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Disney Cruise Line Builds a Nautical Playground in One Day!

posted on July 30th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Approximately 300 volunteers + six hours = one shiny, new playground!

More than 150 Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS joined an additional 150 volunteers from the City of Rockledge to construct a playground in Rockledge, Florida, this past weekend.

In cooperation with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving play for children, the group labored in the heat and humidity, transforming an empty 40-by-60-foot piece of property into a children’s wonderland of slides, climbing walls and zip lines.

 Volunteers mixed and poured 285 bags of concrete, shoveled 135 cubic yards of mulch and planted fruit trees for a custom-designed community garden.  The end result was a space for children and families to come together and enjoy the outdoors.

Crew Members from the Disney Fantasy joined in the effort, coming off of the ship in nearby Port Canaveral to roll up their sleeves while the ship was in port.

Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner, supporting its vision of safe play places within walking distance of every child in America. Since 2011, Disney has pledged more than $3.5 million to help build playgrounds and gardens across the country with the participation of thousands of Disney VoluntEARS. By the end of the year, Disney will have helped KaBOOM! build nearly 30 playgrounds nationwide!

Although the heat was sweltering and our Disney VoluntEARS shirts got a bit “grimier” than we’ve ever seen them before, we were proud to contribute to something that will bring joy and happiness to families for many years to come.



Check out these past posts about our Disney VoluntEARS:

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Aloha Spirit Fills the Disney Wonder

posted on May 8th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


From a greeting with a local children’s choir to an orchid shower and lei presentation, the aloha spirit was alive in each of the Hawaiian ports of call that welcomed the Disney Wonder for the first time last weekend.

Celebrating the ship’s arrival gave us a unique opportunity to collaborate with our friends from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i.

Cast members from Aulani welcomed the crew of the Disney Wonder and presented a traditional Hawaiian paddle to the captain so that the ship could always carry a part of Aulani with it. Disney Cruise Line bestowed a piece of mooring line to Aulani, representing Disney magic that ties the ship to the resort.

Captain Fabian, Captain Mickey Mouse, and Elliot Mills, Vice President & General Manager of Aulani

Captain Fabian, Captain Mickey Mouse, and Elliot Mills, Vice President & General Manager of Aulani.

The Disney Wonder Captain and His Team in Maui

The Captain and his team in Maui.

A Rainbow Shone Overhead to Bless the Ship’s Arrival Ceremony

In Honolulu, a beautiful rainbow shone overhead – a symbol of good luck – to bless the ship’s arrival ceremony, which included local port officials and community leaders including Governor Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Peter Carlisle.

Guests participated in unique port adventures in each destination, ranging from a hike past a scenic waterfall to a special visit to Aulani, where Hawaiian culture, history and traditions are celebrated.

In addition, crew members and Disney characters visited a local hospital for senior citizens in Kahului and an immersion school in Maui to spread the Disney magic across the islands.

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And This Year’s Award for Disney’s Planet Challenge Goes To…

posted on May 3rd, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


During a special awards ceremony held onboard the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Fantasy, a classroom of elementary school students in the Cayman Islands celebrated their success as winners of the 2012 Disney’s Planet Challenge (DPC) for the Cayman Islands. DPC is the in-classroom component of Friends for Change.
The Year 6 Class from Triple C School in the Cayman Islands Celebrating Winning the 2012 Disney’s Planet Challenge Onboard the Disney Fantasy

The Year 6 class from Triple C School beat out more than 1,300 other students in 69 classes to win the award for their “Save the Wetlands” project. Led by teacher Sharmaine Campbell, the students partnered with the local Department of Environment to better understand threatened wetland areas in the Cayman Islands. Then, they hosted public events to educate the community, developed plans to battle soil erosion, and organized a 5K walk to raise awareness.

The result? Their efforts are paying off by helping preserve habitats for all kinds of Cayman wildlife like blue iguanas, whistling ducks and upside-down jellyfish. How cool is that?

Read below for more news about Disney and conservation:

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Disney Cruise Line Takes Boys & Girls Club Out to the Ballgame

posted on May 1st, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


As Jonathan showed you in his April 30th post, Captain Mickey Mouse took the field at Yankee Stadium during last Saturday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. But did you know that 70 children from the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx received surprise tickets to see the game and got to meet the famous character in person? For many of the children, it was not only their first time at a professional sporting event but also their first time meeting Mickey Mouse.

Children from the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx Meeting Mickey Mouse

The children could barely contain their excitement on game day, as they watched some of their heroes play in one of the best-known ballparks in the country, and perhaps dreamed just a little bit bigger than they had the day before.

70 Children from the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club in the Bronx Received Surprise Tickets to See Captain Mickey Mouse at Yankee Stadium

Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club was one of five local clubs that received a portion of the $100,000 donation Disney Cruise Line made to the Boys & Girls Clubs of New York in March to celebrate the christening of the Disney Fantasy.

For more Disney Cruise Line news, check out the posts below:

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Disney Cruise Line Guests Team Up with Crew Members to Help Protect Chimpanzees

posted on April 24th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Disney Cruise Line Guests and Crew Members ‘Walk for Wildlife’ and Raise Money to Help Protect Chimpanzees

This week, guests on all four Disney Cruise Line ships for the first time took part in a “Walk for Wildlife” alongside crew members to help raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. On behalf of hundreds of guests and crew members who turned out for the walks, Disney Cruise Line donated $5,000 to help support chimpanzee habitats, care for orphaned chimpanzees and support education.

What first began as a crew member event three years ago has grown into a unique opportunity for guests and crew members to connect with nature and each other, while raising awareness for a great cause. Nearly $30,000 has been given to environmental charities, as a result of company and personal crew member donations, since the program started. Those onboard the Disney ships walked on Disney’s private island, scenic Castaway Cay (on separate days), while more than 3,000 miles away, guests and crew members walked in the ocean breezes onboard the Disney Wonder.

Disney Cruise Line Guests and Crew Members ‘Walk for Wildlife’ and Raise Money to Help Protect Chimpanzees
 
What did you do this weekend in honor of Earth Day?

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Bon Voyage, Disney Fantasy

posted on April 3rd, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


The Disney Fantasy sailing by approximately 4,500 spectators, who were waving Mickey hands along the shoreline.

Members of the community gathered together at Jetty Park in Port Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday to wish the Disney Fantasy “Bon Voyage.” There was excitement in the air that erupted into cheers when the Disney Fantasy played “When You Wish Upon a Star” on its horn and began its way down the channel for its Maiden Voyage to the Western Caribbean.

Our new ship sailed by approximately 4,500 spectators, who were waving Mickey hands along the shoreline and at nearby restaurants, on its way out to sea. Disney Fantasy guests and beloved Disney characters onboard waved back.

Port Canaveral also hosted a similar event to welcome the Disney Dream last year, and many local families were able to attend both events and wave to both ships. Radio Disney and WLRQ FM 99.3 played music and hosted trivia contests.

We were even treated to a visit from Disney fan favorite Bonnie Voyage, who entertained the audience.

Nothing could dampen the spirits of our fans who were there to help us celebrate the newest addition to our fleet, not even a little rain.

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Disney Cruise Line Contributes $250,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

posted on March 16th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Disney Cruise Line Contributes $250,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

What better way to celebrate the arrival of our newest ship than to mark the occasion with a donation of $250,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida?

The Disney Fantasy is a place where imagination comes alive. I saw this for myself this morning when some children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida joined us on the ship for a very special check presentation from Disney Cruise Line to this youth development organization. As the children laughed and played in the specially designed youth spaces onboard and discovered some of the hidden wonders of our new ship, there was a feeling that anything is possible.

Disney Characters Meet the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

The donation will assist in the development of a new Boys & Girls Clubs facility close to our homeport in Port Canaveral, Florida, which will allow our crew members to further support these children through Disney VoluntEAR efforts in the future. Last year, Disney hosted a one-of-a-kind benefit cruise on the Disney Dream, the sister ship of the Disney Fantasy, raising $750,000 for the organization.

Disney Characters Meet the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

You may not know that the relationship between Boys & Girls Clubs and The Walt Disney Company started more than 50 years ago when Walt Disney was made an honorary member of the organization’s national board of directors. Disney has been an active supporter ever since, and as the Disney Cruise Line fleet has expanded and the business has grown, it is our pleasure to help the clubs grow as well.

This was also a special day for another reason. In keeping with maritime tradition, Disney Cruise Line hosted a plaque exchange ceremony with key members of the port and community leaders commemorating the inaugural call of the Disney Fantasy on Port Canaveral. Welcome home, Disney Fantasy!

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Disney Cruise Line Contributes $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of New York

posted on March 1st, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


It’s no secret that we’re excited for the March 1 christening of our new ship, the Disney Fantasy. In fact, we’re so excited that we’ve decided to share that joy with some of the local community, especially the New York area Boys & Girls Clubs.

After the ship pulled into port, Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line, was joined by several Disney VoluntEARS and Captain Mickey Mouse where they surprised the children at the Frederic Douglass Academy Clubhouse in New York City with a $100,000 donation to support the New York area Boys & Girls Clubs.

Disney Cruise Line Contributes $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of New York

The donation will help fund programs at Boys & Girls Clubs throughout New York City that teach children character and leadership, develop life and health skills and expand their creativity and cultural awareness through the arts.

Disney Cruise Line Contributes $100,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of New York

The Boys & Girls Club and Disney share similar values, in that we both champion the happiness and well-being of kids, as well as inspire them to make a lasting, positive change in the world.

Be sure to check out posts by fellow Disney Cruise Line bloggers and my friends Jason Lasecki and Jonathan Frontado as we get ready to christen the ship.

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Disney Fantasy Delivery Ceremony Holds Special Meaning

posted on February 9th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Being fairly new to Disney Cruise Line, I wasn’t there when the first “block” or section of the Disney Fantasy was lowered into the building dock at the Meyer Werft shipyard, but I will never forget what an honor it was to be in Bremerhaven, Germany, today to witness Disney Cruise Line history, when we officially took possession of our fourth ship during a traditional maritime delivery ceremony onboard the Disney Fantasy.

Delivery is the final milestone in the ship’s construction journey and is particularly meaningful to everyone who has worked to bring the ship to life – no matter how long we have been on the project – and to the crew members who now call the Disney Fantasy their home.

Disney Fantasy crew members from all over the world, some who are new to Disney Cruise Line and some who have sailed with our other ships, joined the delivery celebration.

 Disney Fantasy Crew Members

Their enthusiasm could only be matched by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, who celebrated the occasion with (from left to right) Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, Captain Wolfgang Thos, also from Meyer Werft, Captain Tom Forberg, and Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line.

 Mickey and Minnie Mouse with (from left to right) Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, Captain Wolfgang Thos, also from Meyer Werft, Captain Tom Forberg, and Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line

After 18 months of construction at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, Disney took possession of its newest ship as we watched the Meyer Werft flag lower to the German national anthem and the Disney Cruise Line flag rise, transferring ownership from the shipbuilder to Disney.

 Lowering the Meyer Werft Flag and Watching the Disney Cruise Line Flag Rise, Transferring Ownership from the Shipbuilder to Disney

Captain Tom will take the helm of the Disney Fantasy for its voyage home, which begins February 16 and culminates in a March 6 arrival in Port Canaveral, Florida. As part of the Disney Cruise Line ship construction team, Captain Tom was responsible for launching Disney’s first three ships, the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder and the Disney Dream.

Soon the Disney Fantasy will be ready to welcome guests on her maiden voyage on March 31. We can’t wait for guests to join us on this incredible ship and experience the magic themselves!

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400 Children in Germany Attend Disney Cruise Line Community Event

posted on February 2nd, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


The Disney Fantasy recently left the shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, but not before nearly 400 children from three local schools got to experience Disney characters and a special screening of “The Lion King” in 3D. It was Disney Cruise Line’s special way of saying thanks to the community that many cast and crew members have called home while the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy were being built at the nearby Meyer-Werft shipyard.

As the children clamored to hug Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse in the lobby of the local theatre, it was clear that while most of us who were Disney VoluntEARS at the event could not speak German with the children, a smile – rather 400 of them – means the same thing in every language.

This is just one of the many ways in which Disney Cruise Line gives back to the community across our many ports of call, including The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera and Europe.

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