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Disneyland Resort Celebrates Creativity in Deaf Community

posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Betsy Sanchez, Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort

I am excited to announce a very special event coming to Disneyland Resort. On the weekend of March 17 and 18, Downtown Disney District will host a celebration of creativity in the deaf community – SIGNin’ in the Street.

Katie Leclerc and Vanessa Marano of ‘Switched at Birth’

The event will spotlight top performers, interactive workshops, film screenings and appearances by the stars of ABC Family’s hit series, “Switched at Birth”: Katie Leclerc, Vanessa Marano, Constance Marie, Lea Thompson, D.W. Moffett, Lucas Grabeel, Sean Berdy and Academy Award winner Marlee Matlin.

In addition, two episodes of the show, including an exclusive sneak preview of the spring finale, will be screened at AMC Theatres on Saturday, March 17. Tickets to the screenings will be limited, so make sure to check back here to find out how you might grab one!

The “Switched at Birth” cast will be on hand earlier in the day for panel question and answer sessions, as well as autograph signings.

‘The Hammer’ Playing at the AMC Theatres in Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort

Throughout the weekend, AMC Theatres will show two feature films, “The Hammer,” based on the life of triple NCAA champ and professional mixed martial artist Matt Hamill, and the award-winning documentary “See What I’m Saying.” Stars from the films will host question and answer sessions, sign autographs and perform live.

‘See What I’m Saying’ Playing at AMC Theatres in Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort

Other highlights of this fun, interactive weekend include:

  • Musical performances by Tony Award-winning Deaf West Theatre, including a sneak preview of the group’s upcoming world premiere, and workshops for guests interested in learning American Sign Language and acting.
  • Drum Café, the internationally acclaimed drumming crew, will super-charge the audience through interactive performances and workshops.
  • Nighttime concerts by popular deaf performers including singer-signer TL Forsberg, rock band Beethoven’s Nightmare, and comic CJ Jones.
  • Specially created Disney merchandise featuring American Sign Language.

The high-energy entertainment kicks off at 1 p.m. both days and continues until 9 p.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Sunday.

Please check back here in the next week or so for a full schedule of events and how you might grab a seat to the sneak preview of the spring finale of “Switched at Birth”!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District



Shaunnon from GA on February 22nd, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Will there be any chance of getting the merchandise without attending the event? We live in Georgia and there is no way we can make this event. My wife is partially deaf (major loss in one ear) and she would love to have some of these things.


Betsy Sanchez on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:55 pm

For those of you asking about the special merchandise for this event: My fellow blogger, Michelle Harker, will post information about the merchandise in the next couple weeks. Check back for details!


Meghann on February 22nd, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I would love to go but I unfortunately live on the other side of the country. Is there anyway to get the merch with out attending? Disney and ASL are my 2 great loves!


Hailee on February 22nd, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Will the cast be there in both Saturday and Sunday?


Carol from FL on February 22nd, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Glad to see Disney leading the way. Is there any plans in the works for doing something at Disney World in Florida?


Ryan on February 22nd, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I saw “The Hammer” at the Florida Film Festival last April (back then it was called “Hamill”, but they must’ve changed the name for marketing purposes). I believe it ended up winning the Audience Award- it was very good and I highly recommend it to anyone in the Orlando area that can see it. Glad Disney and AMC are giving this film a proper theatrical run.


Bryan on February 22nd, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Matt Hamill was a former NCAA wrestler and professional mixed martial artist that competed in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). He was not a “pro wrestler”.


bailee on February 22nd, 2012 at 9:08 pm

i would love to go. I am a ASL Student in high school. I love signing. i am going to try to make and just learn more about Deaf culture!


Deborah on February 22nd, 2012 at 11:25 pm

This looks absolutely fantastic! Isn’t there some way to tie things in to Downtown Disney in Florida? Through the AMC Theatre there? I understand that the talent is located on the other coast, but isn’t there some way to include everyone on both coasts? If not, then PLEASE consider doing something similar in Florida, too!


Alison from AB on February 22nd, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Wish there had been more notice for those out of town ( I’m in chilly Canada). I hope the merchandise will be available outside of the event… I’m Deaf and proud of it. I volunteer with a charity that brings kids with disabilities from Canada to the Disney parks, and quite a few use ASL… I’d like to get my hands on some merch for them too!


Anna on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:08 am

I absolutely can’t wait. I am beyond excited. I love Disneyland, I love ASL, and I love Switched at Birth. I will
definitely be there. Thank you Disneyland for doing this. :-)


Jamie on February 23rd, 2012 at 12:11 am

Wow! Great idea, Disney! This event sounds amazing!


Juliette on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:18 am

I cannot wait to share this with my niece and her three children who are all profoundly deaf. They have shown us a whole new world without our “ears”. ( Funny, they sign Mickey Mouse with their hands on their heads like mouse ears.)
The deaf culture truly is a whole new culture that the hearing world usually does not take part in. I feel honored to be allowed to share and communicate in their world. All the richer for it.


Suzanne on February 23rd, 2012 at 10:07 am

Huge deaf community here in Florida. Will there be something like this in Orlando soon? Please? :)


Kathryn from ON on February 23rd, 2012 at 10:47 am

Yes please post information about the ASL merchandise! Will it be in DisneyStore?


Kelly on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Dang it…wish I lived in Cali just to go to this event!!!

Would be cool if you had something like this in a touring format 8(:-D


Kelly on February 23rd, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Also are they going to bring back the t-shirt with Mickey hand spelling his name?? It is my FAVORITE Disney t-shirt!


Jamie on February 23rd, 2012 at 3:30 pm

I think it was fate that I just found this Amazing event Disney is putting on! My hearing daughter is a college sophomore and is a Deaf Studies Interpreting & Deaf Studies Pre-Deaf Education double major that recently receive early acceptance to California State University Northridge for her upper-grad (CSUN has 1 of only 2 comprehensive Deaf Studies programs in the Nation and has the largest population of deaf students attending a mainstream university). We just so happened to be traveling to the LA area the day before for her CSUN Academic Advisement appointment and I am excited to let her know we will now be staying longer to attend this event on Saturday!!! She has been wanting to see the Hammer for a yeat but it has never played anywhere close to us and Switch at Birth is one of her favorite TV shows. By the way Disney, CSUN has the only Deaf NCAA Division 1A male basketball player on their team, as well as a deaf female athlete on the track team, in addition to one of the professors is a prior Deaf Olympic waterpolo player. Might be good if you havent already to extend an invitation to those athletes and others in this field of study and within the deaf community at CSUN. :)


Nick on February 24th, 2012 at 12:56 am

This is awesome! I read this last night when it was posted and got excited becasue I love disneyland and ASL. I’m an American Sign Language student level 4 student in California and today I went into my teacher and showed her this and jokingly said “Field trip to Disneyland?” Then she was suddenly sending emails about fundraising to go to this amazing event. All the students in my class were so excited when I showed them all this. Now I believe we are actually going to try to go!


Heather on February 24th, 2012 at 11:24 am

I’m so excited about this event! I’m an Educational Interpreter in the central valley of Cali. & My student & I started a ASL Club on campus! We have anywhere from 40-80 kids that show up during thier lunch time to learn Sign Language. We are happy to say that our School District approved our feild trip to come to this event on Sun. We will have a bus load(57 passengers)of High School kids, theater kids & school staff that will be attending! Thank YOu so much Disney for making this opportunity available!!!


Karen on February 25th, 2012 at 5:59 am

#20 – I’ve put this on our calendar and I hope we can get into the screenings. Switched at Birth is one of our favorite shows! We’ve been to 2 of Deaf West’s shows (Big River and Pippin) and they were excellent!!

I’m looking forward to getting more info from you on this, Betsy!


Miranda on February 26th, 2012 at 11:34 am

I am with everyone else. 1) I would love this to happen in FL. I am a cast member who signs and would to see this happen here and 2) Can we please buy the merch online! That would be awesome!


Brian on February 27th, 2012 at 10:22 am

I wont able to fly out to California from here NY. Besides, this same weekend, it is my nephew’s big 5 birthday.

I wish I would love to meet entire cast of Switched at Birth, love to ask them questions.

Is there any chance that I can buy any merchandise online from this event? Thank you.


Havanah on February 27th, 2012 at 1:02 pm

This looks like so much fun! Does it cost money to go to this event?


martha on February 27th, 2012 at 4:46 pm

We would love to go. My daughter is hard of hearing and this is something she will definitely love to do. We are so lucky to be from Southern California


Marty on February 28th, 2012 at 1:59 am

Bob Hiltermann, one of the stars of “See What I’m Saying” has created a crazy new Sign Language series called “Shut Up and Sign,” designed to make learning Sign Language FUN, through skits, stories and music videos! For any of you who can’t come to Disney for this event, you can see the demo and buy the series at shutupandsign


Jamie on February 28th, 2012 at 3:54 pm

There are 4 of us who are traveling 4 hours from the CA Central Valley to attend on the Saturday – we are SO excited for this amazing event being put on by Disney!! I have been checking back to this blog twice a day in hopes of seeing details on how to get tickets to see The Hammer and for the sneak preview of Switched at Birth tickets. Any idea when that information will become available or should I be looking on a different spot of the Disney website to purchase tickets?


monica on March 4th, 2012 at 4:27 pm

how can i get a discount tickets for deaf but can my hearing friend get a discount ticket if she knows sign language or cant? deaf people only?


Brieanna on March 5th, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I see the schedule has came out, but I keep checking back here for details about getting tickets to Switched at Birth with no luck. The main event page gives a link for ticket info and it brings me back to this blog that does not have info about getting tickets. Help I am going in circles and really want to get tickets!!! Thanks


Gigi on March 6th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Please, I too, am going in circles trying to find these tickets you mentioned. It’s been at least 2 weeks since you announced this great event! :o) I keep getting ‘bounced’ back to this page with no updates for the tickets for Switched at Birth event/preview…

This wonderful deaf event is less than two weeks away…how may we buy/find tickets? Thanks so much for your help in advance. I’m sure others also would love to know!

Take lots of care.

Warmly, Gigi :o)


deborah on March 6th, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Thank you for this once in a lifetime opportunity! Tuesday nights are family nights as we watch Switched at Birth. We Skype in Indiana with our daughter who studies ASL! Can’t wait to be at the Happiest Place on Earth for this wonderful event! We can’t wait for the tickets to become available. Thank you. Debbie


Jeffrey on March 7th, 2012 at 1:26 am

Is there an admission fee to get into Downtown Disney on this event day? I haven’t seen anything about admission except the events listed above (shows, tickets, etc).


R on March 9th, 2012 at 1:47 am

I’ve already purchased my tickets for “The Hammer” and “See What I’m Saying” but HOW ON EARTH DO I GET TICKETS FOR THE “SWITCHED AT BIRTH” SCREENING? Is it first come first serve, will they be available on the AMC Downtown Disney website? Would someone please tell me. The event is in 9 days and there is not much information available. Thank you, I am really looking forward to this.


Heather on March 9th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Is there anyway we can get info bout the workshop schedule for Sun? I have a bus full(47 H.S. students & faculty) coming from the central valley for this event alone & are eager to learn & absorb as much as possible. We will be there & ready(& have eaten @RFC)by noonish & are will have to leave @5:30pm. Even if it rains, we’ll have our hoodies on & ready to participate. Thank you for providing this opportunity in lieu of Deaf Awarness Day inside the park being canceled.


jade on March 11th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Where in Downtown Disney will all these performances and events be held at? All it says is that the Sneak peak finale and the 2 episodes from Switched at Birth will be at the AMC theatre. But what about all the other performances?


Leah on March 13th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

So…… where are the event details that you promised?? I’ve been checking back almost every day with no update.


Lacey on March 13th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

I will be flying in for the weekend for this event. Is anyone staying in hotels nearby?


Chris on March 15th, 2012 at 9:04 am

I am still waiting on more information about the ILY Mickey shirt


Heather on March 15th, 2012 at 11:25 pm

The Mickey shirt will be $29.95 & it looks like it’s grey with the Classic Mickey & the ILY sign to the upper left of him. It’s really cute, their is a link somewhere with it & the poster which has the Classic Mickey & his name signed with his hand above him & that’s $39.95. Hope that helps! I will be there with a bus load of High School kids on Sun with our parkas in hand. We will be Driving for this event alone & had to do fundraisers for it, some of my kids have never been out of the central valley. I’m so excited for the ASL Club to get this opportunity!! Thank You Disney for making this magical moment happen for a Deaf student in the central valley.


Leah on March 16th, 2012 at 3:29 am

How do we get tickets to the Switched At Birth screening?