As Disney celebrates its 100th anniversary, we are also proudly celebrating 100 years of support for our nation’s veterans and military service members. We honor our military and veterans every day, and today we reinforced that commitment with several exciting announcements.
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences, with Jared Lyon, president and CEO of Student Veterans of America
Transforming Lives: Helping Veterans Transition Into the Workforce
We are thrilled to expand our more than 10-year relationship with Student Veterans of America through a $1 million donation as the founding sponsor of the SVA Career Center. This initiative will give student veterans the tools and guidance they need to successfully transition into meaningful careers after their military service. The center will benefit SVA’s 1,600 on-campus chapters in all 50 states and three countries overseas, helping veterans realize their greatest potential. You can read more about this initiative here.
SVA held its 2023 national conference at Walt Disney World Resort, bringing together student veterans from across the country. (Photo courtesy of SVA)
Enhanced Support for Fisher House Foundation Supporting Veterans Nationwide
We also announced an expansion of our work with the Fisher House Foundation, which provides a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers. These homes offer free, temporary lodging to military and veteran families. This new initiative will provide care packages in the form of Disney-themed home goods, games and toys to support a network of homes in the United States and beyond.
We also recently provided a $25,000 grant to the Orlando Fisher House, on behalf of the Walt Disney World Resort, to make some great improvements that will benefit guests staying there.
Fisher Houses provide a “home away from home” for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers (photo courtesy of Fisher House Foundation)
Veterans Institute Summit Returning to Disney World
It’s always an honor to host the Veterans Institute Summit at Walt Disney World Resort, and as a veteran myself, I’m pleased this event will be back in fall 2024. The summit brings together companies from across the country and provides a forum for sharing best practices in hiring veterans and military spouses, as well as promoting skills and opportunities for a successful transition from the military to the civilian workforce.
The Veterans Institute Summit provides a forum for sharing best practices in hiring and development of veteran and military spouse talent.
Disney’s Century of Military Support
Disney’s enduring admiration for U.S. military service began with Walt Disney and his brother Roy the very day they started this company in 1923. They both served their country during the First World War, and they hired many other veterans over the years to help build their company, including the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. It’s a privilege, 100 years later, to continue that commitment.
Walt and Roy Disney both served their country during the First World War before they started what would become The Walt Disney Company 100 years ago.
Our salute to service includes discounts on theme park tickets, hotel rooms and cruises, as well as daily flag retreat ceremonies in our U.S. theme parks, and much more.
Since 2012, we’ve been honored to contribute more than $20 million in funding and media support to nonprofit organizations that focus on bringing joy to veterans and military families. And in that same time, we’ve hired more than 15,000 veterans across our company as part of our Heroes Work Here initiative.
On behalf of our team at Disney, thank you to all who serve or have served in the United States military!