Many people see the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Ambassadors on TV, in the Parks and at high-profile events, but who are they? What is their job really like? How did the role start? How do you apply?
I sat down with Quinn Shurian, Disneyland Resort Ambassador for 2009 and 2010, to get the scoop.
HHR: How did this role, the Disneyland Resort Ambassador, start?
QS: In 1964, Walt Disney was being pulled in a variety of directions – the New York World’s Fair was about to start, Mary Poppins was soon to be released in theaters, Disneyland Park was going to celebrate its first fabulous decade in 1955 and Walt had a glimmer in his eye that would later become the Walt Disney World Resort.
Because of these commitments, Walt knew it would be impossible to focus on the job at hand and to grant the enormous requests for his time. So, he decided to select a single Cast Member, Julie Rehim, to represent him throughout 1965. And the tradition has continued ever since.
HHR: How long have you been a Cast Member and what has your time at the Disneyland Resort been like?
QS: As a California native, raised in Newbury Park, I was lucky that a trip to Disneyland Park was no more than a freeway ride away. I’ve worked here for 15 years and began my career in Fantasyland where I worked on “it’s a small world,” Storybook Land Canal Boats and others. Being an Ambassador has been a dream come true. In fact, I was a finalist for the 2007 team and was determined to try again. I knew this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I did not want to miss!
HHR: What are some of the duties of an Ambassador?
QS: As the Ambassador, the job functions basically fall into four categories – Emissary of Goodwill, Official Host, Cast Member representative and Resort Spokesperson.
As Emissaries of Goodwill, we get the incredible opportunity to visit area children’s hospitals with Mickey Mouse and some of his pals and attend a great number of Disney VoluntEARS events. You can imagine, the look of joy on the young patients faces when Mickey and an Ambassador enter the room for a short visit. In terms of hosting, I personally have had the great honor of hosting Disney Legend and Academy Award winning actress Julie Andrews during a recent appearance at the Resort. Ambassadors are also requested to participate in some amazing Cast Member events, like the Spirit of Disneyland Award ceremony and the service awards celebrations. Finally, as a Resort spokesperson, we have the chance to speak to the media about the great reasons to visit the Resort.
I am often asked what a typical day looks like for the Ambassador – my answer is simple, there is no such thing as a typical day!
Do you have any questions for the Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort Ambassadors?