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Disney’s Volunteers Protest After Seeing Their Free Admission Cut In Half

We have seen more and more complaints from Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort Guests these days, mainly involving the drastic increases in Disney theme park ticket or experience prices and the drastic decrease in the quality of Disney vacations (not to mention the decrease in things like portion sizes at Disney restaurants)!

Even though former CEO Bob Iger has returned and now-former CEO Bob Chapek has left the Walt Disney Company, there are still plenty of issues plaguing Disney World Guests — and now, people who volunteer with Walt Disney World are also feeling some negative effects from Disney’s downfall!

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runDisney marathons take place in the Disney Parks and theme parks. Credit: Disney

The runDisney marathons and running events are a staple at Disney World for athletes and marathon runners — or Disney enthusiasts who want to win medals and try something new — and around 15,000 volunteers play a crucial role in running these events. At least 1,000 volunteers also work hard on the race day and the weekend of the races, which can be a particularly hectic time.

Usually, these volunteers receive a free day of Disney Park admission as their thank-you gift from Disney World; however, Disney has just adopted a rather sneaky strategy and cut that gift down to a half-day of free Disney Park admission — and saved that unfortunate news for volunteers after they had already completed all of the work.

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Credit: Disney

Now, race volunteers (particularly those who just finished working at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon for free) will only get free Disney Park admission for one day after 1:00 p.m.

A volunteer named Michele Stone complained to the Orlando Sentinel, calling out Disney for its supposed hypocrisy and lack of appropriate customer service (even if the volunteers were not quite customers).

“Over and over [during the event], you hear the announcements, ‘Thank you, volunteers! We couldn’t do it without you. We depend on our volunteers.’ And then they went and changed the tickets without anybody knowing,” Stone continued. “So that was just like, ‘You only half appreciate us now.’”

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Credit: Disney

Apparently, the race volunteers were also told that this decrease in free admission will be a permanent change. Have you ever volunteered at a Disney event and received a free gift or complimentary Disney Park admission? Do you think that this change was unwarranted and unkind?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!