One of the most popular rides at Disney is the It’s a Small World ride. It may not be the fastest or the craziest, but it is part of the Disney experience that any visitor should try out for themselves.
As you are floating around the It’s a Small World ride, you may take a look down in the water and notice that there are a lot of coins on the bottom.
These coins are thrown in by visitors from around the world, but why do they do it?
Nobody really knows why people throw money into the water at It’s a Small World, but it is thought to be a tradition that may have started when the ride was supporting a charity directly. Once it got started, it simply picked up steam, and today, thousands of people do it.
Have you ever heard the expression, monkey see, monkey do? That may have a lot to do what why people throw money into the It’s a Small World ride. They see people doing it or they see the money on the bottom and think about what a good idea it is for them to do it.
Undoubtedly, many visitors to Magic Kingdom and those who ride on It’s a Small World, appreciate the magic behind Disney.
These are also the people who may commonly make a wish and throw a coin in a well, which makes sense as to why they would throw it in the water on this ride.
Wishing wells have been around for thousands of years. Pliny the Younger made the first mention of one around the second century. At the time, it was thought that deities lived in the water and throwing money in would cause them to grant you a wish.
Even today, people still throw money into a wishing well and make a wish for that purpose. When you throw money into It’s a Small World, you are not throwing it into a wishing well but you are making dreams come true.
What Happens To All The Money On It’s A Small World (Does It Go To Charity?)
Depending on when you visit the Magic Kingdom, you may see that there is a considerable amount of change at the bottom of the water. How much money is down there and what happens to it?
The money that is thrown into the It’s a Small World ride is periodically gathered when the ride is closed for refurbishment. Although there are not any official numbers, there are some reports that as much as $100,000 or more is collected during one of those refurbishments.
That is a considerable amount of coin, but what does Disney do with the money now that they have it? Is it simply circulated back into the Disney accounts?
Disney gives to charity, both locally and to other charities that benefit many other people. The money that they gather from It’s a Small World, is said to be donated to the DisneyHands foundation. This foundation helps needy children and families in the community.
You might be interested in knowing that there are coins tossed in many wells, fountains, and waterways throughout the Magic Kingdom and in other areas of Disney. These are also periodically collected and if they are collected frequently enough, they are donated to charity as well.
For example, in a recent year, Walt Disney World‘s wishing wells and fountains generated some $20,000 worth of coins. They were given to a central Florida homeless shelter.
Cinderella’s wishing well is one of the more popular areas where people throw coins. Some people throw pennies, others throw quarters or even silver dollars.
In a recent gathering, some $30,000 worth of coins were taken from Cinderella’s Wishing Well. This was donated to Give Kids the World, a charity that provides children with critical illnesses cost-free trips of a lifetime.
When you make a wish and throw a coin in a Disney wishing well or the It’s a Small World ride, your wish may or may not come true. Regardless, you’re helping someone who has a wish and needs help when you do so.
How Does Disney Give Back to the Community?
It’s amazing when you stop to think how much good is done by people tossing small coins into the water at the Magic Kingdom and other Disney properties. That is really just a drop in the bucket, so to speak when it comes to the charitable giving associated with Disney.
Disney gives in many different ways in the communities where they are located as well as worldwide, to those who need help the most. They help to protect the planet, as well as the people on the planet and they bring happiness to many through charitable giving.
Here are some of the ways that Disney charities help others:
Children’s Hospitals: When children are facing critical illnesses or injuries, they are sometimes provided with an immersive experience and moments that they will remember that come from Disney.
Wish Granting: Most of us have heard of the Make-A-Wish foundation. It is only one of the many foundations that may be supported by Disney that give children who are facing critical illnesses an opportunity to visit Disney with their families.
Charitable Giving: During the 2021 fiscal year, Disney gave $294 million to charities around the world. That’s an incredible amount of money.
Underrepresented Communities: During the 2021 fiscal year, Disney also gave some $150 million to underrepresented communities. This helps many people throughout the world that need help the most.
Employee Volunteering: Since 1983, some 12 million hours were given by employees in local volunteer efforts. This really helps out in the community, and it goes beyond the magical work that happens inside the park, it makes the magic happen outside of the park as well.
Disney also gives in other ways, such as providing opportunities to the next generation and through their conservation fund.
So, regardless of whether you are throwing a coin in the It’s a Small World ride or if you are paying money to get into one of the parks, you are giving toward the communities in the world that need the help the most.