Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

‘Discover Together’ Symposium at Disneyland Resort Offers Nonprofits Nationwide the Building Blocks to Strengthen Relationships that Help Kids Thrive

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


Through work with our valued community partners, we at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are constantly looking for meaningful ways to extend our impact beyond our theme parks.
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Part of that effort, and happening right now at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, is the two-day “Discover Together” symposium – which brings together nearly 60 nonprofit organizations from across the country to explore ways to help strengthen bonds between kids and adults in their own communities. Participants also receive a full day of Disney Institute’s Leadership Excellence training.
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The group heard from several speakers, including Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who talked about Disney’s commitment to nurturing, inspiring and empowering children and families, and creating opportunities to help children succeed and thrive.

They also heard from researchers with the Center for Childhood Creativity and the Search Institute, who shared findings about the crucial impact a parent, grandparent, mentor or other influential adult can have on a child’s life – including the fact that kids with positive relationships with adults are almost twice as likely to do better in school and three times more likely to volunteer in their community.

At the symposium, KaBOOM! announced the search for America’s Most Playful Family contest, which kicks off today and is supported by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The winner will receive the most playful vacation of them all – a trip for four to Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort – and the opportunity to work with KaBOOM! in granting an Imagination Playground to a nonprofit organization in the family’s home state. Learn more about the contest at kaboom.org/playfulfamily.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton

posted on January 23rd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Chef de Cuisine Bill Orton oversees culinary training, chef recruiting and special dietary programs at the Disneyland Resort, including a new Culinary Apprentice Program he helped develop!

As the first three cast members selected for the program, Chefs Albert Esparza, Joanna Aguayo and Sean Harper are about two months into their six-month journey to become certified culinarians with the American Culinary Federation, learning culinary skills at a different Disneyland Resort dining location every two weeks.

The three chefs will learn how to create everything from pasta with clams at Wine Country Trattoria to fried pickles at Carnation Café, and also will spend a week at an outdoor vending location. Chef Bill explains more about the program and his role in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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Holiday Carol: It’s Giving Time from the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 24th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In the spirit of the holidays, and the annual tradition of the Disneyland Resort, we hope you’ll enjoy caroling about some of the ways the Disneyland Resort supported the local community in 2013 to the tune of “Silver Bells.” Happy holidays!

Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers at Disney California Adventure Park

$17 million, in donations,
Includes tickets and cash,
Disneyland
Has a feeling
Of giving.
Playground building,
Toy bins filling,
Granting wish after wish,
And from the community you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, care packaging,
Soon reaching troops far away.

Funding youth grants
‘Round our city
With the Angels and Ducks,
As ACT Anaheim meets
Needs of the children.

A classroom made
With concrete laid
By 30 VoluntEARS,
And from Ecuador’s students you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland
It’s giving time in the city
Ring-a-ling, arts granting,
Soon putting on student plays.

Thirty years, helping others,
Dressed in VoluntEARS shirts,
Disneyland
Has a feeling
Of giving.
Patients listening,
Mickey’s visiting,
Bringing smile after smile,
And from the community you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, scholarships in spring,
Soon funding their college way.

Strings of floodways
To the ocean
Collect trash and debris,
Disneyland helped launch
Adopt-A-Channel.

Watch the teams flock
To the CHOC Walk
Raising millions each year,
And from the participants you’ll hear:

Disneyland, Disneyland,
It’s giving time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, contributing,
Soon to more causes next year!

Click here to learn more about philanthropic giving at the Disneyland Resort in 2013.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Silhouette Artist

posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In 1974, Harry Brice, a former artist at the Silhouette Studio in Disneyland park, said, “Anyone can cut a silhouette, but it takes practice to capture a good likeness of a particular subject – that’s what makes producing silhouettes an art.” At the time, it was estimated that Harry was “the fastest snip in the West.”

Today, cast member Bonnie Elliott, who worked with Harry, and a select few silhouette artists in Disneyland park carry on the rare trade and create one-of-a-kind keepsakes for our guests. In fact, Bonnie can cut up to nine profiles in a single portrait! Watch Bonnie in action in this “Every Role a Starring Role!

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Every Role a Starring Role – ‘World of Color’ Stage Manager at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 27th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort cast member Adeena Welle oversees the daily operation of “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure park as its stage manager. Part of the show’s original programming team, Adeena has one foot in the creation of the show and one foot in the operation – getting to run it and maintain it for our guests. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” Adeena explains her responsibilities and gives us a peek into the wonderful world of stage management!

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Support Toys for Tots by Donating a Toy at Disneyland Resort

posted on November 26th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


This December, make the holiday season brighter for children in need throughout Orange County, Calif., by donating a new, unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more at the Disneyland Resort!

Disney was a founding sponsor of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots when the program began in 1947. Disney artists even designed the first Toys for Tots promotional posters and Walt Disney personally supervised the creation of the original Toys for Tots logo, which is still in use today!

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Toy collections will take place December 1 – 14 at the World of Disney store, Disneyland Resort hotels and the following locations at the Downtown Disney District:

Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and Anaheim Fire and Rescue will be on hand December 7 and December 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. to collect toys at the west end of Downtown Disney District, by AMC Theatres and ESPN Zone.

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Thirty Disney VoluntEARS Help Build a Classroom in Ecuador

posted on November 22nd, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Last week, thirty Disney VoluntEARS from across The Walt Disney Company traveled to Ecuador for Disney’s first ever Global Service Project in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS.

Among them were cast members Dave Smith, Agar Yanulaytis, Rachelle Allen and Mohammad Jaffrey from Disneyland Resort and Ian Craig and Toshia Mcgoldrick from Walt Disney World Resort. The group helped build a classroom for a Quichua community in the upper Amazon.

DaveSmith

“In Quito, we piled into buses for a seven-hour ride down from the highlands and into the Amazonian jungle,” Dave, pictured above, said. “At the end of a long, gravel road we finally came to the Napo River where we loaded our gear into motorized canoes and headed down the river. By the end of the week, we had completed much of the foundation work, painted an inspiring mural and learned a lot about the Quichua culture and the community’s desire to find ways to get their children the education they need.”

Photo 2 - Agar

Agar, above left, said, “At the beginning of each day, the children were so happy to see us, play games, sing songs and work with us.” Rachelle, bottom right, added, “The kids spoke a combination of the local Quichua language and Spanish, but as soon as they saw the Disney VoluntEARS Vinylmation I brought with me, they got huge smiles on their faces and yelled ‘Mickey Mouse!’ Mickey Mouse is all it took to break the language barrier and that warmed my heart.”

Photo-3---Rachelle

Mohammad, pictured below, said, “I was presented the challenge of a mural and asked the local children what they would like it to be. They wanted nature, music, books, soccer, and mathematics. I worked hard to make sure that the mural was their mural. The leaves on the tree include the handprints of all 30 Disney VoluntEARS and the locals.”

Photo-4--Mohammad

“It was amazing to be able to work directly with children and families in Ecuador”, said Ian, pictured bottom right. “We did a little bit of everything, from collecting gravel and digging holes to mixing and pouring concrete. Building this classroom helps provide better access to education for many kids and I certainly will cherish this trip forever.”

Photo-5---Toshia-and-Craig

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VIDEO: Disney’s Environmentality at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 15th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Did you know today is America Recycles Day? Check out how some of our recycling efforts add up in an average year at the Disneyland Resort!

Learn more about our environmental programs in this video!

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Celebrating ‘Artists Among Us’ at the Disneyland Resort

posted on November 14th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort cast members bring the magic of storytelling to life for our guests every day, but their creativity doesn’t end there. In fact, many cast members put their talent and energy into creating unique and extraordinary art! Recently, the Disneyland Resort Line, our publication for cast members, put out a call for original artwork that reflects what cast members love most about the Disneyland Resort.

Nearly 75 submissions were received, ranging from acrylic paintings and cartoon sketches to shadow boxes and hand-woven baskets. Here is how some of the “artists among us” expressed their visions of the Disneyland Resort!

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John Agnew, Attractions
John’s acrylic painting was selected for the cover of the Disneyland Resort Line. John explains that the couple riding King Arthur Carrousel is modeled after him and his wife. As they catch their reflection in the mirror, they are seen in their younger years. John says, “What I love about the park is that it is timeless … in your heart, you never change age.”

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Reuben Jackson, Food & Beverage
Reuben used a stylus and tablet to create this submission inspired by his father, who recently passed away. Reuben says, “May 29, 2013 was the last day I saw my father, and we spent the day here at Disneyland. My illustration depicts family, love and that priceless memory you get with loved ones when visiting ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’”

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Kat Valencia, Food & Beverage
Kat draws inspiration from Disney artists Marc Davis and Mary Blair, as well as her two favorite attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Kat aspires to one day develop storyboards for Walt Disney Studios. She says, “I remember growing up watching Disney [animated] films and thinking ‘That’s so cool, I want to do that!’”

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Michael Laverty, Merchandise Planning
A self-taught artist, Mike has been perfecting his woodworking skills for 15 years, creating such items as desktop clocks shaped like watches – featuring Disney characters. He says he uses his art to relax, while also spreading joy to others. “I just hope they walk away with a smile,” he said.

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Bob Rhodes, Food & Beverage
Bob created this clock inspired by the evil queen’s magic mirror on the wall. He said, “Our family loves ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ the Arribas Bros. glass shop, and the old clock shop that used to be on Main Street, U.S.A. Coming to Disneyland with my family gave me the inspiration to be an artist.”

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Tour Guide

posted on October 17th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Ever wonder how trick-or-treating originated or where the Jack O’ Lantern came from? Just ask Disneyland Resort tour guide Josh Salas, who stars in this Halloween Time installment of “Every Role a Starring Role” featuring the “Disney’s Happiest Haunts” Tour!



Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:

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