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Happy Fourth of July from Disney Parks

Every Role a Starring Role – Dapper Dans of Disneyland Park

posted on December 22nd, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Singing, dancing, playing their unique organ chimes and even riding a bicycle built for four is all part of a day in the life of a Dapper Dan! The Dapper Dans are an iconic part of the Main Street, U.S.A., experience at the Disneyland Resort. In this episode of “Every Role a Starring Role,” hear from Jim Campbell about what it is like to bring magic to our guests through song.

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Top 10 Ways Disneyland Resort Shares the Magic

posted on December 19th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


In the spirit of the season, I am proud to share with you the top 10 ways the Disneyland Resort and its cast have given back to the community this year. This list speaks to how we continue Walt Disney’s legacy of giving. Of a total $17 million donated in 2014, these 10 efforts top the charts! As we approach 2015 and the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, we will continue to nurture, inspire and empower families in making lasting and positive change in the world. Happy Holidays!

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  1. The Disneyland Resort, Angels Baseball and the Anaheim Ducks committed $3 million (to be allocated over three years) to Accelerate Change Together (ACT) for Anaheim.
  2. The 24th annual CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort raised more than $2 million to support CHOC Children’s.
  3. Eighty-five Southern California nonprofit organizations benefited from the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund – to the tune of $415,000 in grants.
  4. 120,000 pounds of gently used costumes, shoes, mattresses and box springs were donated to Goodwill in an effort to reduce waste to landfills.
  5. 13,000 military care packages were sent to U.S. servicemen and women overseas.
  6. Two KaBOOM! playgrounds were built in 2014, bringing the total number of playgrounds built in Orange County to seven and giving nearly 11,000 children a place to play.
  7. 709 Disney Wishes were granted at the Disneyland Resort through Make-A-Wish.
  8. 249 Orange County arts and music projects received Disneyland Resort CREATE grants.
  9. A total of $75,000 in scholarships were given to ten Orange County high school seniors.
  10. Nearly 8,000 toys collected at the Disneyland Resort were donated to Toys for Tots.
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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort

‘World of Color’ Refurbishment Continues Innovative Approach for Conservation in Water Attractions at Disneyland Resort

posted on December 15th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Walt Disney once expressed an “immediate need for education and practice in using our natural resources of soil, forest, water, wildlife and areas of inspirational beauty to the best advantage of all.” Walt’s conservationist heart has led The Walt Disney Company to be a responsible environmental company from the beginning.

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The innovation that fuels Disney to create amazing attractions and experiences, often leads us to pave the way in those behind-the-scenes areas as well. In 2007, when preparing for the launch of “World of Color,” Disneyland Resort drained Paradise Bay in a new way. Partnering with the Orange County Water District, we drained 16 million gallons from the bay into the Orange County Water District’s groundwater replenishment system, instead of storm drains. This ensured the water was purified and stored for future use. When we refilled the bay, the water came from that same system.This innovative, water-saving solution helped earn the resort recognition by being awarded the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award in 2009.

Since then, all water-based attractions at the Disneyland Resort follow the same process. “World of Color” will undergo refurbishment beginning January 7, 2015, and will follow the same process that Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage underwent during its recent refurbishment, as did “it’s a small world” Holiday when it reopened in November.

Take a look as Mickey and Goofy help refill Paradise Bay for the first time, back in 2009.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Every Role a Starring Role – Hotel Programs Coordinator

posted on November 26th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Did you know that guests staying at any of the three Disneyland Resort hotels have an opportunity to participate in fun, exclusive activities? Hotel Programs Coordinator Dave Lay and his team work together to create and facilitate these unique experiences for our hotel guests, including learning to drawing Mickey Mouse and morning power walks through Disney California Adventure park, before it’s open to day guests! Watch how Dave leads hotel guests through these one-of-a-kind activities in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”

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Filed: Cast Member Profiles, Disneyland Resort, Hotels & Resorts

Disneyland Resort Cast Members Grant Nearly $2.2M to Southern California Nonprofits Since 1997

posted on November 21st, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Cast members say that one of the best parts of working for the Disneyland Resort is the encouragement we receive to give back to our communities.

This year, Disneyland Resort cast members granted 85 Southern California nonprofit organizations a total of $415,000 in grants through the Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund (DVCF). That’s nearly $2.2 million since the program’s inception in 1997!

DVCF is funded entirely by cast members through regular payroll deductions or one-time donations. Those who contribute during the year have the opportunity to nominate an organization of their choice. The organizations, from local schools to social service agencies, received up to $5,000 each. Organizations that received a grant this year include American Heart Association, Boys & Girls Club, Make-A-Wish and Sam Dimas Mountain Rescue.

Check out the video below and watch Christine Ludin, a hotels cast member at the Disneyland Resort, present $5,000 to the Southern California Special Olympics!

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Filed: Community Outreach, Disneyland Resort

Disney VoluntEARS, American Heart Association and Walt Disney Elementary School Build First Teaching Garden in Anaheim

posted on November 7th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


I recently joined my teammates and fellow VoluntEARS, representatives from American Heart Association (AHA) and Walt Disney Elementary School teachers, students and parents to build the first AHA Teaching Garden in Anaheim, Calif., funded by the Disneyland Resort. Developed using AHA science and nutrition guidelines, as well as information shared by gardening and education experts, the garden is a learning laboratory where students plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and, in the process, learn the value of healthy eating.

Some of us built planter boxes and planted herbs and vegetables, while others painted a mural, rocks and trash cans to beautify the garden. In just a few hours, we created a great new space where parents will continue to work alongside teachers and students to sustain the garden for at least three years, with supplies provided by the Disneyland Resort.

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I am so proud to have been a part of this effort and make a difference for the community at Walt Disney Elementary School.



See the posts below for more Disney VoluntEARS events:

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Every Role a Starring Role – Disney Vacation Club Sales Associate

posted on October 8th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


As a Disney Vacation Club Sales Associate, Jose Colon has the opportunity to listen to guests share favorite Disney Parks vacation memories, tell them how Disney Vacation Club could be a part of their next vacation experience and provide assistance to them while visiting the Disneyland Resort. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” see how Jose shows guests the exciting vacation possibilities that await with Disney Vacation Club.

See more episodes of “Every Role a Starring Role” here:

Raise Funds and Spirits for CHOC Children’s During 24th Annual CHOC Walk at the Disneyland Resort

posted on October 7th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Nothing makes me more proud to be a Disneyland Resort cast member than seeing the positive impact we make in the community, which is why I am excited to invite you to support this year’s CHOC Walk!

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Bright and early on October 12, nearly 15,000 “CHOC Walkers” from throughout the world, including children, family, friends, nurses and doctors who have been impacted by Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC Children’s), will line Main Street, U.S.A., for the start of the 2014 CHOC “Walk in the Park,” presented by Disneyland Resort. The 5K pediatric walk will take walkers through Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park and Downtown Disney District – before opening to the public. Last year, the event raised $2.1 million, and since its inception in 1990, has raised more than $22 million.

The Walt Disney Company has a long history of supporting CHOC Children’s, beginning in the early 1960s when Walt Disney helped advocate for a children’s hospital in Orange County, Calif. This relationship has continued to grow, including a $5 million donation from the Disneyland Resort in 2012. As part of that gift, Walt Disney Imagineering brought the world of “Finding Nemo” to life in the CHOC Children’s second-floor lobby with an experience that includes the interactive “Turtle Talk with Crush” show – just like the one in Disney California Adventure park – a mural and 180-foot-wide mobile!

Even if you can’t attend the event in person, you may register as a “Sleeping Bear” and donate through October 31. To register to walk, visit www.chocwalk.org. Registration closes at 3 p.m. PDT on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney District

Disneyland Resort Cast Members Help Make Cinderella’s Crystal Coach Accessible to Guests with Mobility Disabilities

posted on September 12th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


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Oregon couple Larry and Kelcie Ragsdale had the wedding of their dreams at the Disneyland Resort last week. The young couple’s lives changed in an instant when Larry’s car was hit by a drunk driver the night he was going to propose to Kelcie. He survived the crash but was left with severe head trauma that requires him to use a wheelchair. Thanks to their generous community, the couple was wed in a beautiful Disney Fairytale Wedding. The bride- and groom-to-be were transported like royalty to the ceremony in Cinderella’s crystal coach, thanks in part to the cast members who make up the CastABLE diversity resource group (DRG).

As you may have read in a recent Disney Parks Blog post about our military DRG, SALUTE, these groups serve as resources to the company and our cast by sharing the unique perspectives and contributions that diverse communities can offer. Cast members in CastABLE often work with Disney designers and technicians to ensure accessibility for guests with mobility disabilities. These cast members also worked with the Disneyland Resort Entertainment, Safety and Disney Fairytale Weddings teams to customize Cinderella’s crystal coach to allow for a portable lift system to transfer a person with mobility disabilities into the coach.

The team not only looked at safety requirements with the design of the ramp, transference and familiarization with the horses drawing the carriage, but also focused on staging the coach and beautifying the railings to ensure that the experience adds to each couple’s special day.

“They had already done a really good job of modifying the coach,” said CastABLE’s Michelle Beausoliel-Smith, part of the testing team. “We helped them better understand how a person with mobility issues would use the system. It is truly gratifying as a cast member and to be able to participate in those feedback sessions, and know that in a small way I’ve helped someone’s wedding dream come true.”

Larry and Kelcie Ragsdale Have the Wedding of their Dreams at the Disneyland Resort Larry and Kelcie Ragsdale Have the Wedding of their Dreams at the Disneyland Resort
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Filed: Disneyland Resort, Weddings & Honeymoons

Every Role a Starring Role – runDisney Event Manager

posted on September 11th, 2014 by Melanie Vogel, External Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


From helping with the initial course design to ensuring every last race day detail is in place, runDisney event manager Shannon Abeyta and her team work year-round to ensure “every mile is magic” during Disneyland Resort race weekends. See how Shannon’s work came to fruition during the 9th annual Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend in this episode of “Every Role a Starring Role”!


For more from the “Every Role a Starring Role” series, check out the posts below:

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Filed: Disneyland Resort