Disney Tries to Influence Florida Schools…Again

crowds walt disney world disneyland theme park disney character costume head inside hot visibility mickey mouse stitch pluto donald duck mr. smee mrs. incredible
Credit: Disney

Remember when the Walt Disney Company decided to get involved with the Parental Rights in Education in Florida (AKA “Don’t Say Gay”) bill? It thrust them into a series of legal actions (Reedy Creek), calls for Disney movie boycotts (Lightyear), and many other problems they still have not entirely recovered from. At the time, many wondered, “Why is Disney getting involved in the Florida school system?”

Reedy Creek

Credit: Reedy Creek

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It’s Been Going on for Years

Actually, Walt Disney World has been involved for years with Florida schools. For nearly 20 years, Disney World has held an annual Back-to-School Supply Drive and made other contributions. This year is no different.

VoluntEar helps with school supplies

Credit: Disney

Today (August 17), Walt Disney World Resort recently unveiled its latest investments in Florida education: $125,000 in contributions to school districts in Osceola, Lake, Polk, and Seminole counties.

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“Our company is very much rooted in storytelling, so supporting the future storytellers in our community is critical,” said Tajiana Ancora-Brown, the Director of External Affairs at Walt Disney World. “Career dreams begin in the classroom, and we’re helping students build a solid foundation to pursue those dreams and become who they imagine they can be.”

VoluntEARS reading Disney Disneyland group of kids mickey mouse

Credit: Disney

This donation is in addition to Walt Disney World Resort’s Back-to-School Supply Drive, which has collected more than $117,000 in school supplies and donations from its Cast Members.

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“As our longest and largest supporter, Disney has made a deep impact on our organization and our community,” said the President of A Gift For Teaching, Jane Thompson. “We are so grateful for their help as we work together to empower local teachers and inspire future leaders. Thanks to every Cast Member who took part in the supply drive, we’re one step closer to a future where every student has the tools they need to achieve their dreams.”

disney voluntears donate books first book charity

Credit: Disney

Other Support

Walt Disney World also supports education in the State of Florida by matching Cast Member Donations through its Disney Matching Gifts program. Other efforts include Disney VoluntEARS spending more than 2,300 hours in the community helping kids and Florida educators prepare for the school year, and enabling participants in runDisney to raise another $20,000.

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More information on how Disney helps the state of Florida can be found here!

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)