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Get Ready to Sing, Dance and Celebrate Gospel in Disneyland Park on February 21

posted on February 11th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In recognition of Black History Month, 16 guest choirs representing nine Southern California cities will lift their voices at the sixth annual Celebrate Gospel at the Disneyland Resort.

For the first time, performances will take place inside Disneyland park at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree from noon to approximately 8 p.m. on February 21, and are included with theme park admission.

Participating choirs have a rich history within the community and several have been featured as talent in national television shows and recording projects. Come share their passion for gospel music!


Date: Saturday, February 21
Location: Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree, Disneyland park

Noon – 3:30 p.m.

  • Moreno Valley College Gospel Singers (Moreno Valley)
  • Rock Boy Fresh (Rancho Cucamonga)
  • Ty Snow & Xtreme Purpose (Pasadena)
  • Amazing Gospel Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Angelic Choir (Hawthorne)
  • New Generation Choir (Tustin)
  • Voices of the Word (Moreno Valley)
  • Spiritual Truth (Tustin)

4:10 – 7:40 p.m.

  • LA Inner City Mass Choir (Inglewood)
  • Project Purpose (Los Angeles)
  • Christian Community Center (Los Angeles)
  • Divine Deliverance Ministries Mass Choir (Los Angeles)
  • Lorenzo Johnson & Prazium (Los Angeles)
  • Greater LA Cathedral Choir (Long Beach)
  • Friendship Mass Choir (Yorba Linda)
  • Destiny 24 (Los Angeles)

Schedule subject to change.

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Topiary Engineer

posted on January 28th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

When we set out to film an “Every Role a Starring Role” about the talented team who cares for the topiaries of the Disneyland Resort, the words “topiary engineer” did not come to mind right away – at least for me! Turns out, that is the job title of Sarah Day and a nod to her skill of maintaining the resort’s “living” topiaries.

The first topiaries inside Disneyland park debuted in the 1960s, and the sea serpent outside of “it’s a small world” has been there since the 1980s. Most of the topiaries there have been a part of the Disneyland Resort for more than fifteen years! What’s your favorite topiary at the Disneyland Resort?

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Governor Awards Disneyland Resort California’s Highest Environmental Honor

posted on January 26th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort was honored last week with a Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) for waste reduction efforts. In the last 10 years, the Disneyland Resort has doubled the amount of waste diverted from landfills with the long-term goal of achieving Zero Waste – a designation already awarded to Circle D Corral by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council and one of the success stories noted in the GEELA nomination.


From the 4.4 million pounds of food scraps processed into animal feed annually, to the 20,000 pounds of partially used bathroom amenities collected at Disneyland Resort hotels for Clean the World Foundation, to the donation and repurposing of gently used shoes, costumes, furniture and decorations, and much more – the Disneyland Resort is doing its part to reduce, reuse and recycle.


The Disneyland Resort also was a 2009 GEELA recipient for sustainable practices, which included the drought-conscious way water-based attractions are drained and refilled working with the Orange County Water District.

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Disneyland Band Opens 2015 NAMM Show in Anaheim, California

posted on January 23rd, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Band NAMM

The Disneyland Band officially opened the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show being held at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend. The NAMM Show is the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products industry.

Disneyland Band NAMM

Yamaha, the official sponsor of musical instruments to the Disneyland Resort, helped make the appearance possible. Guest conductor Mickey Mouse also joined the performance, which included musical numbers ranging from jazz to classic Disney tunes.

Disneyland Band NAMM

In addition to sharing their commitment to music education at the NAMM Show, the Disneyland Band is performing a dozen community concerts for second-grade students in Orange County, Calif., which they have done for more than 30 years!

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Disneyland Resort Circle D Corral Now Zero Waste Certified

posted on January 20th, 2015 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


What do you do with your laundry lint? You may remember that Circle D Corral, a working ranch that is home to the animals of the Disneyland Resort, makes it into compost. Thanks to efforts begun four years ago by cast member Andrea Raney, Circle D Corral is now gold-level Zero Waste certified by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, with 99 percent of its waste repurposed, composted or recycled.


In addition to recycling paper, cardboard, plastics and metal, Circle D Corral composts all animal waste and hay scraps, hand towels and laundry lint from the Disneyland Hotel and coffee grounds from Disneyland Resort restaurants. Congratulations to Circle D Corral for becoming the first Walt Disney Company location, and the first location in a theme park, to achieve this certification!

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Every Role a Starring Role – Celebrating 50 Episodes at Disneyland Resort!

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

Since 2010, our camera crews have covered the Disneyland Resort far and wide to introduce you to our hard working cast members and give you a behind-the-scenes look at the roles they play to bring magic to our guests.

Every Role a Starring Role” – a video series spotlighting various roles at the Disneyland Resort – celebrates 50 episodes this month, and we’ve taken a walk down memory lane that I’d like to share with all of you. As Orange County’s largest employer with 26,000 cast members, it’s no surprise that the Disneyland Resort offers such a wide variety of jobs. (Though, I am surprised by many unique ones!)

We look forward to introducing you to more of our cast members who make Walt Disney’s dream, as he put it, a reality. Here’s another look at those you’ve met so far!

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ESPN Zone Cast Member Plays Dad and Colleague to Three Daughters

posted on June 12th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

Creating guest memories is a family affair for many Disneyland Resort cast members, and among these are inspirational dads who lead their families at home and work. With Father’s Day around the corner, now is a great time to introduce you to the Hernandez family!


When Shaleena Hernandez, a server at ESPN Zone, needs someone to talk to, she turns to her father, and doesn’t have to go far. Richard Hernandez also works at the Downtown Disney District restaurant — as do his other two children, Jessica and Briana. And would you believe Shaleena’s and Jessica’s fiancées also both work at ESPN Zone? They do!

Richard values the time he spends with his daughters and future sons-in-law on and off the clock. “Being together is great,” said Richard. “I have always enjoyed working at the Disneyland Resort because of my supportive co-workers, and now it’s extra special because I get to also work with my daughters.”

Shaleena, Jessica and Briana attribute their work ethic to their dad. “Working with my dad allows me to spend time with him and see his hard work,” Jessica said. “I love my dad, and we hope he enjoys his day off on Father’s Day.”

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America’s Most Playful Family to Visit Disney Parks

posted on June 4th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, our cast members and Imagineers are always looking for new ways to create special places and great experiences within our theme parks and resorts where kids and adults can spend meaningful time together. We are committed to nurturing, inspiring, and empowering kids and families to join us in making lasting and positive change in the world and based on research shared in January, during our two-day “Discover Together” symposium, we feel that one of the best ways to do that is to help strengthen bonds between kids and adults in communities across the country.

In March, we encouraged families across America to enter the KaBOOM! America’s Most Playful Family contest, made possible with support from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The contest encourages families to incorporate play into their everyday lives and inspires families to create a playful environment. KaBOOM!, along with a panel of celebrity judges has selected the Most Playful Family contest winners!

The grand prize winning family, The Thomas family from Laguna Pueblo, N.M., spans three generations, and uses play as a way to teach valuable life lessons on health, partnership, relationship-building, culture and tradition. The Thomas family will choose from a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. and Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

For more information on the contest and to see how all ten of the winning families spend meaningful time together in their own unique ways, visit

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disneyland Resort Monorail Pilot

posted on June 2nd, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

This month, we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Disneyland Monorail, which opened in 1959 as part of the first major expansion of Disneyland park that included the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Submarine Voyage.

Walt Disney was personally intrigued by various forms of transportation and included a “highway in the sky” in his early plans for Disneyland park. Today, the Disneyland Resort is the only place in the world to experience the Disneyland Monorail Mark VII.

Mike Gibson has piloted the Disneyland Monorail for 20 years and was the first cast member to operate the orange Mark VII train. Mike explains his duties in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”

Learn about the history of the Monorail here:

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Journey Through Cast Member Mike Larson’s 50 Years at Disneyland Resort

posted on May 29th, 2014 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

For 50 years, Mike Larson has worked in Disneyland Resort Custodial Guest Services – with no plans to retire. Mike’s gentle, friendly approach to guest service is anchored by his enthusiastic admiration for Walt Disney. I recently met up with Mike to journey down memory lane.


What was it like to work at Disneyland while Walt Disney was alive?
“He was on television every week, but he also was the CEO of the company and my boss. It was like working for the first rock star. I take a lot of pride in working here, and I still tip my hat to Walt every day.”

Did you ever see Walt Disney at work?
“I saw him three or four times while he was walking down Main Street, U.S.A. He was always on Main Street because he would park his car behind City Hall and walk into Disneyland from his apartment. When I think about all of his awards and accomplishments, it’s remarkable to know that I saw him in person, and it was so exciting because all the cast members would know when Walt was in the park.”

Can you share a special experience you’ve had as a cast member?
“I’ve had many, though the one that stands out is working at the 1995 premiere of “Pocahontas” at the Great Lawn in Central Park in New York. I joined a team of custodial cast members all hand-picked by our peers to keep the event clean. Working there felt like we brought Disneyland to Central Park, which was fascinating.”

What has kept you at Disneyland Resort for the past 50 years?
“What really keeps me going is a sense of laughter when interacting with guests and fellow cast members. I think you have to have a good sense of humor to work here, and the people here have kept me laughing. If I am having a bad day, a quick chat with a guest will turn it all around.”

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