Disney Duck Races – Disney VoluntEARS have been Giving Back for 40+ Years

Disney VoluntEARS are on a mission, and they mean business. For four decades, these folks from Disneyland Resort have been rolling up their sleeves, gathering friends and family, and hitting the community with full force.

Last year they descended upon Pearson Park in Anaheim, alongside Love Anaheim, to celebrate their 40th anniversary in style. But this wasn’t just a celebration; it was a call to action. Disneyland Resort, in partnership with the City of Anaheim, identified parks needing a facelift. And guess who’s stepping up to the plate for the first time? That’s right, the VoluntEARS.

They’re not just there to shake hands and take photos. No, sir. They’re getting their hands dirty, painting fences, planting trees, and sprucing up playgrounds. And it’s not just about the physical work; they’re assembling care kits for those in need, showing that their commitment goes beyond the paintbrush. Pearson Park holds a special place in Anaheim’s heart, being the city’s first official “city park.” So, it’s only fitting that it kicks off this series of beautification projects.

A Legacy of Giving Back

Since 1983, Disney VoluntEARS, formerly known as the Disneyland Community Action Team, have been the backbone of The Walt Disney Company’s community efforts. From cast members to Imagineers, they’ve been spreading their magic far and wide. Mark Everett King Jr., Disney Ambassador, couldn’t be prouder as they embark on this park beautification series. It’s not just about celebrating the past; it’s about making a real difference in the present.

And it’s not just about the parks. Disney employees worldwide are encouraged to give back, whether through personal volunteer hours or Disney VoluntEARS Grants. The numbers speak for themselves: nearly 13 million volunteer hours and $23 million in grants over the past decade. That’s not pocket change; that’s a commitment to making the world a better place, one park at a time.

The History of Disney Duck Races

In 2008, Disneyland Resort cast members had a wild idea: why not race rubber ducks down “it’s a small world”? Thus, the Disney Duck Races were born, and they’ve been making waves ever since. Originally limited to “it’s a small world” cast members, the event soon spread like wildfire across the entire resort and beyond.

Fast forward to 2019, and the Duck Races made their debut at Disneyland Paris on none other than Donald Duck’s birthday. Talk about impeccable timing! Cast members from across the park showcased their creativity, decorating ducks to represent different lands. From Main Street, U.S.A., to Adventureland, the competition was fierce.

But it’s not just about winning; it’s about having fun and giving back. Proceeds from Disneyland Resort’s races have supported charities like Toys For Tots and Make-A-Wish. This past year, it’s all about My Day Counts, an organization helping individuals with disabilities. And over in Paris, profits went to La Maison de Tom Pouce, aiding vulnerable mothers and their children.

A Quack-tastic Celebration

These events aren’t just about rubber ducks and friendly competition; they’re about community and camaraderie. Whether in Anaheim or Paris, cast members come together, showcasing their talents and giving back to those in need. It’s a celebration of creativity, compassion, and, of course, a little friendly rivalry. So here’s to another year of Disney Duck Races, where fun meets philanthropy in the most delightful way.

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A Cast of Characters

characters at duck racesLast year, a hand-knit “it’s a small world” duck stole the show in Paris. Another Ludwig Von Drake duck took home the gold in Disneyland Park.

Over at Disneyland Resort, an “Angry Donald Duck” won the Most like Donald Duck category, and there was huge talent in Maleficent-inspired duck and “Alice in Wonderland” teacup designs.

A Cause Worth Quacking About

Beyond the laughter and excitement, there’s a deeper purpose to these events. Charities like My Day Counts and La Maison de Tom Pouce rely on the generosity of Disney cast members to make a difference in the community.

Thanks to their efforts, organizations like La Maison de Tom Pouce can continue their vital work, supporting vulnerable mothers and children.

So, what’s next for the Disney Duck Races? More laughter, more creativity, and more giving back, of course. As long as there are rubber ducks and enthusiastic cast members, these events will continue to make a splash around the world. And who knows? Maybe next year, your duck could be the one crossing the finish line first, all in the name of charity.

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