Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Update

Edit:  9/30/13:  For those looking for the current promotion for 2014, please visit this blog post.  The details can be found there about the 2014 Disney Campaign, Show Your Disney Side. 

Edit 1/2/12:  For those looking for the current promotion for 2012, please visit this blog post.  It will explain all the details for you.   The promotion for 2012 is called One More Disney Day

Edit 12/30/10: Many of you have recently been finding my blog by searching about a possible Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Promotion for 2011.  I can assure you, (especially if you read this article, you will see why) that this will not be continued in 2011.  This was a one year campaign, which worked all too quickly.  For those who are wanting to know, 2011's campaign is called "Let the Memories Begin".  To read more about what the 2011 promotion will entail, click here.  And for those who want to know more about what happened with the 2010 Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Promotion, please continue reading! 

After less than 70 days, Disney has officially ended their Give a Day, Get a Disney Day promotion. The campaign, which was designed to get people to help their fellow man and volunteer their services appeared to be more successful that many, possibly even Disney thought, as it was cut short just after a few short months, quickly netting 1 million volunteers.

The press release from Disney reads:

March 9, 2010 – “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” – a first-of-its-kind program of Disney Parks – reached its goal of inspiring 1 million people in 2010 to give back to their communities through volunteer service in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

Since the program started just 10 weeks ago, on Jan. 1, a million people already have volunteered or have committed to volunteer in their communities, according to Disney Parks and HandsOn Network, the nation’s largest volunteer network and a facilitator of “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day.”

To celebrate the good deeds of these individuals, Disney Parks offered each volunteer who completed an eligible project a free one-day admission to one theme park in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California. Although registration is now closed and the program has ended, those who volunteered have until Dec. 15, 2010, to redeem their free park ticket (certain block-out dates apply).

“By any measure, the ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program exceeded our expectations,” said Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “These one million volunteers touched their communities with their hearts and hands. Their commitment to service is truly worth celebrating, and there’s no better place to celebrate than at Disney Parks.”

Volunteerism has been a part of the Disney culture since the beginning. Through Disney VoluntEARS, cast members have been giving back to communities for more than a quarter century. More than 5.5 million hours of volunteer service worldwide have been donated, and Disney’s commitment to volunteerism will continue even as “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” draws to a close.

Officials at HandsOn Network credited the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program for increasing volunteer activities this year.

“The innovative nature of this program has exponentially increased our capacity to both invite and excite people about volunteerism,” said Michelle Nunn, co-founder of HandsOn Network and CEO of Points of Lights Institute. “The overwhelming participation of families – and youth especially – is a testament to a growing trend. Many of these volunteers are serving for the first time, and some will develop into service leaders who help change the face of our nation.”

Encouraging that kind of commitment was one aim of the Disney program, Staggs said.

“The goal of the ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program was to lay the groundwork for a new spirit of volunteerism,” he said. “The need for volunteers across the country is ongoing. We look forward to more people, especially families, carrying on the momentum and giving back to their communities through volunteerism.”

Although the program has ended and a free Disney theme park ticket will no longer be provided, those still interested in volunteering may search for opportunities through HandsOn Network at (or in Canada, at

So what do I think of the celebration being over when the majority of the year is still upon us?

I am in shock. I knew it would be a great promotion and I loved the idea of what Disney was trying to accomplish with it, but I couldn't believe when a few weeks ago they stated they were already at 600,000 people already and then now to have already met that 1 million mark. It's astonishing! I am so glad that people came out in droves to help out.

With that being said, I wished Disney had extended the promotion until 2 million or another couple of months. I know a lot of people had trouble signing up, especially when it first began. And quite a few people had trouble finding things that children could help with, with those opportunities being far and few between, causing some people who were trying to volunteer, unable, rendering them hopeless, as the deadline rolled around, waiting for people at the volunteer organizations to get back to them on if they could participate.

I know if Disney had decided to extend the celebration, it would have cost them more money, but, think of the great press the company would have gotten if they would have extended it. People would have loved to see that Disney had decided to extend their promo because of the success it spurred and it would have encouraged more people to do good for their community. The great press would have just kept on rolling, as it had been from the moment that this was announced...and now, it's just stopped, for the remainder of the year.

Which brings me to the question, what are they going to do the remainder of the year? I mean, yes, the people who volunteered will still be getting their tickets, so I guess we can still celebrate volunteering, but it's a little more bittersweet now, knowing the promotion is over.

And yes, even if it did cost a little more than originally planned to extend this project, Disney would more than likely get that money back. I mean, most people (with the exception of locals) are going to have to book a trip...which will last way more than 1 day. Disney would get the cost of upgrading the tickets, the would get the cost of food and souvenirs that people bought, and depending on some families, they would get the cost of hotel stays or if staying off property, parking fees...all of this, to me, would add up way more than a 1 day park ticket would.

Edit: Or as was pointed out to me by Jeff Chaney (@jeff_chaney on twitter) many people who signed up and volunteered won't even end up using their park tickets. Which I can definitely see being true. This is why I believe they could have made the promotion be about 1 Million who've been claimed, not 1 Million who've actually done the work. It would have meant more organization would have been able to get more people to volunteer for their projects.

But, I can see the other side of the coin on this one...what happens to those who have their trips planned at the end of the year, volunteered and then were shut out because they couldn't take their vacations any earl
ier in the year. Then you'd have some extremely angry people on Disney's hands. So, I can see why they might not have gone this route. Better to end it now then have angry people (and therefore, the inevitable bad press) later.

Although if they had just increased the number to begin with, we wouldn't have to worry about leaving people out.
It would have been nice to see how many people actually would have participated in this program for the whole year anyway. I mean, if we were already on tap for 1 Million this soon in, imagine what kind of numbers we'd see in a year's time.

I'm not trying to say Disney was wrong in their decision to not extend the promotion. I mean, after all, it was stipulated in their rules with the celebration in the first place. And we did have a heads up, what with the announcement of 600,000 volunteers already a few weeks ago. They had every right to end the promotion when they did. I just think, that in my opinion, it would have showed they were truly in the giving spirit by extending it, even a little bit.

But with that being said, kudos to Disney for convincing people that volunteering is a great thing, especially in a world where many people wouldn't have even considered it. Hopefully it will have made more people aware of great volunteer opportunities that they can take part of in their daily lives and continue in the future. Not just do it for a free ticket.

As for me...I've got my date picked out. I'll be volunteering April 24th. :) And I can't wait to help!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Rikki! I just don't see the down-side to Disney extending the promotion. I am one of those people who hard a difficult time finding something the whole family could do so I would love to see it extended.


John said...

I am hoping most of these 1 million people actually follow through. It would be a shame if 1 million registered but on say 600K actually helped out.

Surprised they ended it so soon. I would hope the would at least keep the infrastructure in place so people could find places that need help more easily.