Disney’s Commitment to Giving is Making Magic and a Difference. From Make-A-Wish to the Disney VoluntEars, Disney has always been committed to lending a helping hand.
At Disney Experiences we believe that everything we do to make magic can also make a difference. That’s why we give food, books, toys, and our time to help those in need all year long.
Magic comes in all sizes, from simple acts of kindness to grand gestures of generosity and we are so grateful for the cast, Disney VoluntEARS, and community organizations who help us make a difference. From making wishes come true for children to giving food to those in need to donating our resources, time, and knowledge – giving is at the heart of what we do.
Take a look below for a snapshot of how giving comes to life through the magic of Disney.
Making Wishes Come True and Children’s Hospitals
Disney has worked with Make-A-Wish since 1980 to grant more than 150,000 wishes, and we are the largest wish granter in the world for Make-A-Wish. Historically, one out of every two wishes granted in the U.S. through Make-A-Wish has been a Disney wish.
We celebrate our incredible ongoing relationship with Make-A-Wish through one-of-a-kind experiences for wish kids and their families all around the world. From a window dedication ceremony at Disneyland Resort to honor Make-A-Wish kids; to our largest wish-granting event ever at Walt Disney World’s “Once Upon A Wish Party,” to a week of Hawaii wishes at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa; to a Frozen-themed celebration at Hong Kong Disneyland’s World of Frozen, we strive to deliver joy when it’s needed most to children facing critical illnesses.
We also bring the positive power of Disney stories and characters to children in hospitals and pediatric care locations around the world. Here are a few examples of how we support:
- Disneyland Resort has supported Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) since the 1960s when Walt Disney served on their very first Board of Directors. Disney has contributed more than $50 million in cash and in-kind support to CHOC, including hosting their annual CHOC Walk in the Park presented by Disneyland Resort. Additionally, Disney VoluntEARS provide extra magic to patients in the hospital with Disney characters and fun surprises in the annual Minnie Walk and Holiday Party.
- In September 2023, the first Mobile Movie Theater in mainland China officially launched at Shanghai Children’s Medical Center. Disney Fun Houses, a themed play space that includes therapeutic play activities, have been constructed or are being planned in fifty children’s hospitals across China.
- Disneyland Paris rings in the holidays by wrapping thousands of Disney gifts to distribute to children in more than 60 French hospitals as well as local charities. On Christmas Day, Disney characters visit children who are spending the holidays in the hospital, a meaningful tradition for our cast members and Disney VoluntEARS.
From Our Kitchens to Our Communities
At Disney we want our meals to make magic, which is why we send prepared, unserved food to local food banks in our communities. One of our most valued holiday traditions at Disney Experiences is providing Thanksgiving Day meals to those in our community who need it most.
Our commitment to giving stretches across the globe, on land as well as at sea. Our Disney Cruise Line shipboard and island crew members are dedicated to creating a lasting, positive impact in the port communities that our ships call home. One of the ways we do that is through teaming up with organizations in those communities to make a difference.
In a multi-year project, Disney Cruise Line worked with the Agricultural Development Organization Bahamas to build gardens across schools in Abaco and Eleuthera, donating nearly $100,000 to support the project.
Walt Disney Imagineers joined the Agricultural Development Organization team and dozens of students to kick off the program at Preston Albury High School in Eleuthera, where Disney is creating its new island destination, Disney Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point. Through this effort, students across The Bahamas have the opportunity to learn first-hand how to grow their own fruits and vegetables.
In addition to donating meals to food banks, we collaborate with local organizations to provide free culinary training programs and materials to students to increase access to careers in the food industry. We strive to make a difference by supporting one of the most critical needs for children and families.
Disney VoluntEARS and Donations
Disney VoluntEARS and teams all around the world delight fans and families through things such as donations of toys and books, Disney VoluntEARS events, and only-Disney experiences.
A central part of our company’s culture and at the heart of our community engagement efforts around the world, our Disney VoluntEARS, our cast members, are passionate and involved citizens in their local communities and around the world, contributing their time and talents to causes great and small.
Since 2000, Disney Publishing Worldwide has donated more than 90 million books to First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free and affordable new books and educational resources to educators who serve children in need, to help inspire the next generation of. And for over 10 years, Disney Stores and shopDisney donated thousands of products to Good360 each year, to support under-resourced communities across the country.
Through Mickey’s Attic at the Disneyland Resort, surplus merchandise and retired company assets are given new life in Southern California through a collaboration with more than 200 nonprofits and schools. In 2023, more than 1.3 million pounds of toys, apparel, packaged food items, novelty items, and more were diverted from landfills and repurposed by more than 65 different organizations.
Over the holidays, we give back to those who need it most through the Disney Ultimate Toy Drive supporting the Marine Toys for Tots program. Disney’s relationship with Toys for Tots began over 75 years ago when Walt and his animators personally designed the original Toys for Tots train logo that is still used today. Since 1947, Toys for Tots Marines and volunteers have distributed 652 million toys to over 291 million children!
GIVING IS WHO WE ARE
From supporting our communities around the world through wish granting, character visits product and book donations, charitable giving, investing in youth and workforce development programs to support the next generation and so much more, giving is part of who we are at Disney.