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ACT Anaheim Announces $1.5M in Inaugural Grants

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Accelerate Change Together for Anaheim (ACT Anaheim) announced today that it is awarding $1.5 million in inaugural grants to 10 local nonprofit organizations. Disneyland Resort led an effort to develop ACT Anaheim by funding the 2012 Anaheim Youth Services Assessment that highlighted challenges facing youth in California’s 10th largest city.


Over the next three years, three of Anaheim’s largest businesses – Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks – committed $3 million to benefit underserved Anaheim youth, marking a more collaborative approach to help improve their lives in the community. The Orange County Community Foundation joined as managing partner of the program, helping increase the inaugural granting pool from $1 million to $1.5 million by bringing in additional funders.

The inaugural grants range from $100,000 to $200,000, and are expected to address gaps in services for more than 1,000 Anaheim youth, including mentoring and after-school programs. The inaugural grantees and grant amounts are:

  • GOALS, $200,000
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim, $175,000
  • Community Service Programs, $175,000
  • Girls Incorporated of Orange County, $175,000
  • Western Youth Services, $175,000
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, $150,000
  • Tiger Woods Foundation, $125,000
  • Anaheim Family YMCA, $125,000
  • Orange County Congregation Community Organization, $100,000
  • Taller San Jose, $100,000
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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Environmental Integration Representative

posted on April 1st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Happy Earth Month! This green installment of “Every Role a Starring Role” spotlights cast member Helen Jaco, an Environmental Integration Representative at the Disneyland Resort. Helen helps reduce waste at the Disneyland Resort by working with various departments to increase environmental awareness and help them find creative ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

From donating at least 50 pairs of shoes per day to Goodwill to recycling seven tons of food scraps per day into animal feed, the Disneyland Resort continues to minimize waste thanks in part to Helen, who tells us more about her role and the programs she supports in this video!

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort Helps Build Sixth Playground in Orange County, California

posted on March 25th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

On Saturday, more than 200 volunteers from Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Family YMCA, KaBOOM! and Anaheim came together to build a new playground at John Marshall Park, less than five miles from the Disneyland Resort.


This is the sixth KaBOOM! playground that the Disneyland Resort has helped sponsor and build in Orange County since 2011. The playgrounds provide more than 8,500 children a safe place to play! By the end of 2014, Disney’s support will bring the magic of play to more than 75,000 kids and families nationwide as part of Magic of Healthy Living, encouraging kids and families to stay active and healthy.

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Resort Hotels Earn California’s Top Environmental Certification

posted on March 19th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel & Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel each earned an environmentalist certification from the California Green Lodging program! The environmentalist certification represents the state’s top rating for travelers seeking green lodging. Fewer than 1% of Orange County hotels share this level of certification with the Disneyland Resort hotels.


State auditors survey topics including water and energy conservation, waste minimization and recycling, and pollution prevention. Disneyland Resort hotels participate in numerous recycling programs, including recycling plastic cards used as guest room keys, cooking oil used to fuel Disneyland Resort attractions, and partially used soaps and bottled amenities that are sanitized and repackaged into hygiene products for children and families around the world in partnership with Clean the World Foundation.

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Disney Parks Encourage Family Time with America’s Most Playful Family Contest

posted on March 10th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have always been a place where kids and adults create family experiences together – it’s how Walt Disney himself envisioned the park and it’s an integral part of our heritage. So we’re excited to support an opportunity for families to share how they like to spend time together through a contest by KaBOOM! called America’s Most Playful Family Contest

Research shows there are many benefits to children spending time with their families and other positive adult role models, which is why we hosted the Discover Together symposium to provide resources to nonprofit organizations that work with children and families.

Images_WDPR_Americas Most Playful Family Contest Promo_2014

It’s also why we’re supporting the America’s Most Playful Family Contest’s invitation to kids, parents, grandparents, and families of all kinds to submit photos and stories that showcase how they spend time together. The contest is a great way to get people talking about family time and exchange ideas for fun activities for people of all ages. The grand prize winner will get to extend that family fun with a trip for four to one of the most playful places on earth – Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort!

Entries will be accepted through March 16, so get yours in today!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Balloon Vendor

posted on February 28th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

In the early years, Disneyland park had costumed balloon vendors who sold 25¢ balloons in three areas of the park: Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and near the main entrance. Of course, guests can still purchase the time-honored souvenir from balloon vendors like Nick Lanham in Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” Nick talks about his tricks of the trade and memories as a balloon vendor at the Disneyland Resort!

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort

‘Countdown to the Oscars’ Special Airs Feb. 27 Featuring Military Heroes at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 24th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Earlier this month, Disneyland Resort cast members cheered the arrival of dozens of military heroes — accompanied by film star Gary Sinise — to the Disneyland Resort as part of a week of surprises arranged by the actor’s foundation in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the film, “Forrest Gump.”

The servicemen and women, who arrived from Walter Reed Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir and Naval Medical Center San Diego, visited several Southern California landmarks. They were honored at the Disneyland Resort during a special flag retreat ceremony, which you can see footage of in this video.

Parts of their trip will be aired on ABC during a “Countdown to the Oscars” special Feb. 27. The special will offer viewers a backstage pass to this year’s 86th annual Academy Awards celebrating movie heroes and include interviews with this year’s nominees. Tune in to see what other surprises were in store for this group of heroic Americans!

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Filed: Celebrity Visits, Disneyland Resort

Cast Members Submit Photos of Their ‘Happy Place’ at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 21st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

A few months ago, I shared with you original artwork by our cast members that was featured in the Disneyland Resort Line, our publication for cast. This time, the Disneyland Resort Line asked cast members to send in a photograph of their ‘happy place’ — an image telling the story about their favorite spot at the Disneyland Resort. Nearly 50 photos were received and eight were selected for a resort wide cast vote to determine which photo would be featured as the cover of the Disneyland Resort Line.


The results are in! Cast member Andy Neitzert’s striking photo of his 4-year-old daughter, Lilly Belle, in Frontierland (yes, she’s named for the Disneyland Railroad train car Lilly Belle, which Walt Disney named after his wife) is the cover of the current issue. When asked about the image, Andy said, “Originally, my ‘happy place’ described a location that made me happy every time I was there. For many years, Disneyland itself was one enormous happy place for me. On Jan. 15, 2010, that all changed. My daughter Lilly was born and she changed everything. Lilly Belle is now my happy place.” See the below collage of the other featured entries!


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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort

Southern California Choirs to Raise Voices and Spirits During Fifth Annual Celebrate Gospel at Disneyland Resort

posted on February 5th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

In recognition of Black History Month, 15 Southern California choirs will perform during the fifth Celebrate Gospel, a festival honoring gospel music at Disneyland Resort.

New this year is the Gospel History Walk, a walk-through exhibit highlighting the history and rich traditions of gospel music. The Disneyland Resort has long celebrated the spirit of gospel music. In 1962, the Clara Ward Singers performed at the third annual “Dixieland in Disneyland.” Since then, Disneyland park has hosted several other gospel events.


All performances and the exhibit take place inside Stage 17 at Disney California Adventure park and are included with theme park admission. Come by and enjoy the show!

Details below:

Date: Saturday, February 15
Location: Stage 17, Hollywood Land, Disney California Adventure Park

11:00 am – 12:45 pm

  • Greater Los Angeles Cathedral Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Rock Boy Fresh (Ontario)
  • Divine Deliverance Ministries Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Pastor Thom Washington & The Cathedral Voices (Los Angeles)

1:45 pm – 4:00 pm

  • Amazing Grace Conservatory (Los Angeles)
  • Diamondz & Pearlz (Yorba Linda)
  • Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum (Los Angeles)
  • New Generation Choir (Santa Ana)
  • J. Kingdom & Voices of Destiny (Compton)

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

  • The Prime Minister of Joyful Jazz (Bellflower)
  • KJLH Radio Free Performance Choir (Inglewood)
  • Moreno Valley College Gospel Singers (Moreno Valley)
  • Project Purpose (Los Angeles)
  • Xtreme Purpose Choir (Pasadena)
  • Friendship Baptist Church – The Wrecking Crew (Yorba Linda)

Schedule subject to change.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Now Available at Disneyland Resort

posted on January 31st, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Twenty ChargePoint charging ports have been installed on the first floor of the Mickey & Friends parking structure for guests with electric vehicles! Guests can begin using them today by scanning their ChargePoint card or by easily registering for a free ChargePoint account at the charging station, or online at


According to ChargePoint, the Disneyland Resort is now home to one of the largest collections of public EV charging stations in Southern California. Guests arriving at the Mickey & Friends parking structure can ask a cast member for directions to the charging stations. Separate charging stations are also available to cast members for a total of 30 charging ports at the resort. To learn more about our environmental efforts at the Disneyland Resort, click here!

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Filed: Disneyland Resort