Hundreds of rubber ducks raced around the world for a cause at the 5th annual “it’s a small world” duck race! Cast members sponsored and decorated the ducks to raise more than $1,800 for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire before Disneyland park opened for the day.
The cast fundraiser carries forward the attraction’s legacy of supporting children, dating back to the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair when it was created in honor of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
While cast members waited anxiously to see which rubber duck would race through “it’s a small world” fastest, we sent along our camera to capture the journey and winners!
Seven teachers at Paul Revere Elementary School in Anaheim applied for and received Disneyland CREATE Grants this year to fund a variety of visual and performing arts projects, including theatrical puppet shows.
Students at nearby Adelaide Price Elementary School are learning to read and play music on recorders also funded by a Disneyland CREATE Grant.
And they are learning with new art supplies like paints and a drying rack.
The Disneyland Resort funded more than 350 visual and performing arts projects at local schools this year, inspiring creativity in nearly 75,000 Orange County, Calif., students! Since 1994, the Disneyland CREATE Grants program has contributed more than $1.5 million in needed classroom funding!
Earth Month may be wrapping up, but keeping the Disneyland Resort landscape fresh and maintained is a year-round operation! In this installment of “Every Role a Starring Role,” cast member Greg Vierkant explains how he helps every inch of Disneyland Resort horticulture look “show ready” through careful planning!
Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:
Disney AmbassadorMegan Navarette gave ten exceptional Orange County, Calif., students quite a surprise last week. Unbeknownst to them, she led a Disneyland Resort prize patrol into their classrooms to announce that each will receive a $7,500 scholarship from the Disneyland Resort to pursue his or her future education goals. Along with the congratulatory prize patrol was our camera crew to capture their priceless reactions!
Since 2006, the Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program has granted more than $425,000 to graduating Orange County, Calif., students, who are selected by a distinguished panel of community leaders for their leadership, academic excellence and contributions to the community. Learn more about all 10 of this year’s recipients here!
Radiator Springs Racers recently embarked on its millionth trip through Radiator Springs, thanks in part to cast members like Joe Shanahan, who helps maintain the ride vehicles. Hear from Joe about his role as an electrician for the attraction in this installment of “Every Role a Starring Role!”
Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:
For 30 years now, the Disneyland Band has traveled to various venues throughout Orange County to educate more than 1.5 million second-graders about the history of the American Band. In fact, I remember attending the Disneyland Resort Salutes the American Band concert series when I was in elementary school! (Who can forget a field trip to see Mickey Mouse?) To celebrate the milestone anniversary, a few of the people who make the experience possible explain the program and its importance in this video!
One of the benefits of working at the Disneyland Resort is the opportunity to participate in special events designed especially for cast members. Recently, two cast favorites took place after hours with proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations.
On February 28, 350 teams of cast members and employees from around The Walt Disney Company, along with family and friends, took part in this year’s Minnie’s Moonlit Madness. The event consisted of a Disney trivia-based quiz, followed by a scavenger hunt inside Disneyland park where four-person teams tested their music savvy under a “Soundsational” theme with a special catch: to complete 10 assignments by midnight while connected by rope!
Participants this year included a team of cast members from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai`i. Entry fees benefited Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, which was presented with $5,000 at the event!
Days later, the lights of the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure park shone brightly when more than 250 cast members participated in “Flashback”, an annual production where cast members produce and star in their own mini-musicals. Each year, four teams of cast members representing various areas of the Disneyland Resort perform for family and friends after nearly two months of practice and production.
The first “Flashback” performance was in the Golden Horseshoe in 1998. Over the years, the event has gained popularity and grown to attract an audience of thousands, with proceeds from ticket sales benefiting local charities – more than $250,000 donated over the past 15 years. This year’s event benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County with $15,000 each!
Last week, Clean the World’s CEO and co-founder Shawn Seipler was in Anaheim to recognize the Disneyland Resort for collectively donating nearly 20,000 pounds of soaps and bottled bath amenities from its three Resort hotels in 2012 – more than any other participating property in California!
“The passionate, voluntary support of our housekeeping cast members is what makes this program successful at the Disneyland Resort,” said Pilar Hamil, general manager of the Disneyland Hotel. “They have brought this program to life at our hotels and thousands of lives have already been changed because of them.”
With 25,000 cast members, it’s no surprise that many find true love while working at the Disneyland Resort. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating two of these couples here on the Disney Parks Blog!
Andrew Salter and Alyssa Allinson met in 2008. The couple worked together at their favorite attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean. Just like Alyssa’s parents, they had their first date at Disneyland park, and even shared their first kiss in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Andrew said, “Over the course of the next four years, I decided I wanted to marry her. I was just having so much fun. I started brainstorming how to ask.” On October 17, 2012, Andrew made arrangements to bring Alyssa to the Disneyland Dream Suite for the first time, where he popped the question. They plan to get married in August.
Nick and Diane Filippone first met in Fantasyland in 1999, when Diane was an attraction hostess and Nick was working in training and development. Their paths crossed again when they helped prepare for the opening of Disney California Adventure park. The couple married in 2004, and walked into their wedding reception to the soundtrack for Soarin’ Over California. Now, they have two little girls, Sarah and Amanda, who love riding Storybook Land Canal Boats and have Nick remind them that, “Mommy used to do that.” After nearly 13 happy years together, Nick and Diane agree that the Disneyland Resort truly is a place where dreams come true.