It’s been almost a year since Walt Disney World let it’s first guests in free during their,”Get In Free on Your Birthday” promotion and now Disney is set to give out more free Disney tickets in 2010 to those who work for it.
Disney launched a new promotional campaign this week, “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day,” through which it will distribute a million one-day, one-park tickets to people who volunteer at select charities.
With the program, which succeeds this year’s “Free Disney tickets on Your Birthday” campaign, Disney is continuing its strategy of using discounts to lure vacationers amid a challenging economic climate that is expected to stretch well into next year. But it also marrying the approach with a socially conscious message.
“The thrust of this program is really about inspiring people to consider and participate in volunteerism, with the hope that that will become a way of life for them,” said Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We think, in this case, that doing good for our communities is good business.”
Beginning Jan.1, guests will be able to sign up for volunteer work through a Disney Web site. People will be able to choose from service opportunities provided through HandsOn Network, which links volunteers with more than 70,000 nonprofits across the country.
After guests have completed their community service, they will receive a voucher good for a one-day ticket to any theme park at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. The promotion will continue until Dec. 15 or until the 1millionth ticket has been distributed, whichever occurs first.
The promotion appears to be similar in scope to Disney’s birthday campaign, which continues this year until Dec. 31. Rasulo said more than 3 million people have registered for the birthday passes so far this year, and about 30 percent have shown up to use them — about 900,000 free Disney tickets.
The volunteer promotion is the latest in a series of discounts Disney has rolled out this year to help to prop up attendance at its theme parks during the recession. Disney World, for example, has offered free hotel rooms, free meals and an extra three months on annual-pass renewals.
Rasulo said Disney intends to roll out further promotions soon. There are widespread rumors that Disney World is about to resurrect a popular, buy-four-get-three-free hotel package that it offered earlier this year, though in a slightly modified form.
“Frankly, we know that conditions haven’t changed that much in the economy,” said Rasulo, who called a separate report Tuesday that U.S. consumer confidence had unexpectedly dropped “a disappointment.”
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