Walt Disney World Donates Fountain Coins to Local Charity

The annual tradition continues amid the pandemic

Walt Disney World Donates Fountain Coins to Local Charity

In a year filled with shutdowns, mandates, limited capacity parks, and employee layoffs, a glimmer of hope was still managed to be found in what once was “The Happiest Place on Earth.” The tradition of collecting coins from Walt Disney World’s wishing wells and fountains and donating them to charity continued this year. Tossing coins into a Disney fountain is a rite of passage, for guests young and old, when visiting the theme park. The coins were dropped in the iconic wishing well at Cinderella’s Castle along the waterways of the popular “It’s a Small World” ride, and in other fountains found throughout the local parks.

Disney employees, typically referred to as “Cast Members,” collected, cleaned and sorted the coins. Naturally, there was some concern about the amount of coins that would be collected this year due to park closures and then reduced park capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grand total of the coins came in at $20,000, which was a surprisingly large amount given the tumultuous year our country has had.

Each year Disney selects a charity to receive the donation, and this year there was very careful thought as to where the donation would make the most impact. The charity selected by Disney to receive the donation for 2020 was Coalition, the largest homeless advocacy organization for Central Florida. “I am just so thankful, especially in light of everything that’s going on in the world, and everything that Disney is going through,” said Allison Krall, CEO of the Coalition, told the Orlando Sentinel. “We needed this so very much”.

The donation was not the only contribution Disney had up its sleeve. Disney’s chefs prepared a delicious Disney feast for over 650 members of the Coalition and other homeless guests. The Thanksgiving dinner required seven kitchens, 250 pounds of turkey, 60 gallons of gravy and cranberry compote, 30o pounds of cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes and green beans, 800 dinner rolls and 72 pumpkin and apple pies. The dinner was enough to feed approximately 400 men, women, and children who reside at the Coalition, along with another 250 people who depended on the charity for their Holiday meal.

In a year like nobody has seen before, this was truly a dream come true. This gift from Disney brought joy to so many during times of widespread illness, death, layoffs, racial tensions, political divide, and economic stress. After all, like Disney says, “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”