Thousands of Disney Cruise Line guests and crew members recently volunteered their time on all four ships to take part in the first “AquaDucky Derby” rubber duck races in the ships’ pools and famous water coasters to raise nearly $14,000 for Make-A-Wish International.
The events saluted the 30th anniversary of the Disney VoluntEARS program, which provides opportunities for Disney cast and crew members to donate their time to worthy causes around the world.
The one-of-a-kind fundraiser brought together crew members and guests, who purchased yellow rubber ducks to decorate and then enter in a water-filled race aboard the ships. Races took place in Goofy’s Pool on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, while those onboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy utilized the AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea exclusive to Disney Cruise Line.
All funds raised from the duck sales are being donated to Make-A-Wish International, an organization that grants wishes for children facing life-threatening medical conditions in 48 countries outside of the U.S. Since the first-ever official wish experience 32 years ago, Disney has helped grant more than 81,000 wishes globally and is involved in nearly 50 percent of the wishes granted each year.
“The cast and crew of Disney Cruise Line are proud to support Make-A-Wish International and its mission of making wishes come true for children worldwide,” said Rena Langley, vice president of Public Affairs, Disney Cruise Line. “The AquaDucky Derby allows us to engage and inspire our guests to get involved, joining our efforts to give back to this great organization in a fun and interactive way.”
According to Christiaan Abbott, Cruise Director aboard the Disney Dream, “Having our guests take part in this first-ever AquaDucky Derby has definitely made it especially unique. You can feel the excitement in the air. The entire shipboard community of guests and crew came together to have fun for a great cause, and the reaction from the crowd has been incredible.”
Events like this are just a small part of Disney’s commitment to give back to local communities through in-kind donations and the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS. In 2012, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members completed 75 community outreach projects and donated more than 4,500 hours of personal service to nonprofit organizations, working both onboard the ships and in communities across Central Florida, The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe. Additionally, the line provided more than $640,000 in charitable and in-kind donations to organizations supporting children, families and the environment.