Disney Parks Around the World Feed Communities in Need This Thanksgiving

During this special time of year when people gather with loved ones, Disney is volunteering at local food banks and donating food from its kitchens to surrounding communities, sharing Thanksgiving meals as one of the many ways it makes a difference throughout the year.

  • In addition to working with local organizations to provide free culinary training programs and materials to students to increase access to careers in the food industry, the company regularly supports nonprofits like Second Harvest Food Bank.
  • In 2023, Disney teams all around the world sought ways to give back to their communities, from donating food to packing Thanksgiving meals at local food banks to hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for Floridians in need cooked by Walt Disney World's very own chefs.
  • Here are some of the ways Disney Experiences is giving this holiday season:
  • Disneyland Resort
    • November 18: To celebrate Family Volunteer Day, Disneyland Resort is bringing together more than 250 VoluntEARS and their families to participate in an annual food packing event to support families in need through OC Food Bank.
    • November 20-22: Disney VoluntEARS from the resort will participate in projects to support the local community leading up to Thanksgiving with SoCal nonprofit We Give Thanks.
    • November 23: On Thanksgiving, Disney VoluntEARS will also support We Give Thanks at the Honda Center to provide Thanksgiving meals to the community.
  • Walt Disney World Resort
    • November 11-19: Walt Disney World cast members and their families participated in CANstruction Orlando, where they created an 8-foot-tall recreation of Orange Bird out of 11,000 cans of food, which will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. The structure will be on display in ICON Park on I-Drive from November 11-19 for public voting.
    • November 14-18: Disney VoluntEARS are working alongside organizations like Heart of Florida United Way to pack and distribute thousands of meal kits for families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties.
    • November 23: The culinary team at Walt Disney World is once again cooking up 1,000 Thanksgiving meals for residents at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and Harbor House of Central Florida, an organization that helps pull people to safety and hope from domestic abuse. Disney VoluntEARS will serve those meals to residents on Thanksgiving Day – a tradition 25 years in the making. Walt Disney World is extending its Thanksgiving celebration this year with Coalition for the Homeless and inviting families from the Youth Center for a special preview screening of Disney's "Wish" before it debuts to the world.
  • Disney Signature Experiences
    • November: Disney Cruise Line is investing in the Bahamas Feeding Network and their efforts to feed families in Nassau, Abaco and Eleuthera this holiday season.
    • November-December: Disney Cruise Line crew members will VoluntEAR at Kitchens for Good in San Diego (11/29), Children's Hunger Network in Brevard County, FL (12/8) and Galveston Food Bank in Texas (12/21).
    • November-December: Disney Vacation Club cast members collected and donated nearly 500 food items to the Deep Well Project to be distributed to families on Hilton Head Island.
  • Disneyland Paris
    • November-December: Every week, Disneyland Paris is donating food to local charities, a continuation of its year-long food donation program.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland
    • September 26: Nearly 300 Disney VoluntEARS from Hong Kong Disneyland Resort worked with Rise Against Hunger, packing more than 86,000 food packets and donating them to the local community during the holiday season.
  • Shanghai Disney Resort
    • October: Shanghai Disney Resort is donating non-perishable food starting in October as an effort to reduce food waste and leverage high quality surplus food to bring Disney magic to community members in need.

  • From the food donated to the hours volunteered, giving is at the heart of what Disney does. Disney Experiences gives back to the community throughout the year through wish granting, character visits and donations to children's hospitals, charitable giving, investing in youth and workforce development programs to support the next generation, conservation, sustainability and so much more. For more information, visit DisneyConnect.com.

What they’re saying:

  • Chef Gregg Hannon, culinary director at Walt Disney World: "Giving is who we are as part of the Disney family. We believe that everything we do to make magic can also make a difference, which is what I see happening when we provide Thanksgiving meals to those in need in our Central Florida community. Gratitude is something that we all have in common on Thanksgiving. As a culinarian working at Disney for 26 years, I am extremely proud to work for a company and be part of a team that gives back in such an important way."
Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."