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Disney offers free park admission to those who volunteer

September 29, 2009 |  7:15 am


The Walt Disney Co. today unveiled a new promotional campaign for 2010 to spur volunteerism -- even as it sought to boost attendance in its domestic theme parks.

The company will offer a free one-day admission ticket to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., or Disneyland in Anaheim to as many as 1 million people who volunteer through HandsOn Network, a giant volunteer organization. HandsOn is part of the Points of Light Institute, which operates 250 centers throughout the country, connecting volunteers to more than 70,000 nonprofit agencies seeking help.

"It's a great way to honor guests who are making a positive contribution to their communities," Disney President and Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said in a statement. 

The "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" campaign represents another installment in promotions designed to keep visitors coming to the theme parks despite the recession. Hotel and ticket discounts this last year stabilized attendance in Orlando and boosted traffic to Anaheim, even as it squeezed profit margins. 

Starting Jan. 1, people can go to to browse for volunteer opportunities in their area and sign up for a day of service. Many of the opportunities will be projects that the entire family can participate in. To be eligible for the promotion, volunteers must pre-register and sign up through the parks website. 

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Flanking Mickey and Minnie are Michelle Nunn, chief executive of the Points of Light Institute and co-founder of HandsOn Network, and Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts at the Bethune School of Excellence in Chicago to announce the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program. Credit: Walt Disney Co.