Giving back is at the core of what we do as Walt Disney Parks & Resorts cast members. From strengthening communities to caring for the environment, we set goals for how we can make a difference – with your help – around the world. We recently released our yearly report on the impact of those efforts in 2016 and wanted to share some of the major highlights with you as well as how you can continue helping make a difference with us in 2017.
One of our biggest commitments is to environmental stewardship and conservation but did you also know we opened a huge Mickey-shaped solar facility near Epcot last year? How about the new 40,000-square-foot solar array system perched on top of Radiator Springs Racers at Disney California Adventure park?
If you’ve ever paid a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, you may have bought a button to support the Disney Conservation Fund, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last April. Unique animal experiences and personal contributions through the Add-A-Dollar program have contributed to more than $65 million in grants in 115 countries to protect wildlife and connect children with the wonder of nature – thanks to your help!
Healthy Living is another big commitment for us. From the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure park to our award-winning Camp Discovery ropes course at Shanghai Disneyland, there are endless ways to get active and have fun. You can also keep an eye out for food with the Mickey Check to help you make healthy choices during your visit to any of our parks, including Satu’li Canteen at Pandora – The World of Avatar, opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom next month.
We also make magic in our local communities through charitable giving. One initiative you may recognize is the #ShareYourEars social media campaign from last year, which unlocked a $2 million donation for the Make-A-Wish® thanks to photo sharing from Disney fans. And in celebration of Shanghai Disney Resort’s grand opening last year, we also pledged to fund Disney-themed play spaces and therapeutic play activities at more than 50 children’s hospitals across China.
And of course, we can’t forget all of our Disney cast members around the world, who contributed more than 542,800 hours of service as Disney VoluntEARS last year. There are so many ways we can all work together to make a difference, and we’re just getting started. Take a look at the full report for more information on our citizenship efforts in 2016 and stay tuned on the Disney Parks for more on how you can get involved.