Disney Parks has announced that it has met its promised goal of giving away 1 million free passes to people who donate a day of volunteering. Now that the target has been reached, the program will end.
And what a massively successful program it was. As our incisive sister site Gadling pointed out, Disney gave away about 100,000 tickets a month, or 1.2 million total, in 2009, when it let guests in for free on their birthday. But its 2010 program created a much wider frenzy, with 100,000 being given away every seven days.
Just a month ago, it was announced 600,000 passes had been given away, which means that nearly half the allotment was distributed in the space of a mere four weeks.
Some theme park observers have suggested that Disney may be tempted to revive the program, particularly since revenues are down slightly in its resorts and even a person with a free pass ends up spending money on parking, hotels, food, and souvenirs, to say nothing of the friends and family they almost always bring along.
But for now, the Mouse is taking a break. Conveniently, it comes right as the mini high season of Spring Break is upon us, and a few months before summer kicks in. Those who hold vouchers for free passes still have until December 15 to redeem them.
Non-profits around the country reported a bump in participation during the promotion. Will Americans continue to feel so magnanimous now that Mickey has moved their cheese, and there's no longer a reward in it for them?
Last month at Epcot, Disney promoted the runaway success by sponsoring the construction of the world's largest structure of canned food in a convention pavilion inside the World Showcase. WalletPop was there to catch the feat on video:
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