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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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Disney Cruise Line Delivers Books to Children in The Bahamas

posted on November 3rd, 2011 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Watching children squeal with delight as they see Mickey Mouse, many for the first time, is an experience that never gets old.

Recently, Captain Mickey Mouse teamed up with Disney VoluntEARS to surprise and delight students in the community surrounding Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. The group visited schools to deliver an educational activity book created by Disney, in partnership with local educators and conservationists in The Bahamas.

Utilizing colorful illustrations, interactive puzzles and games, the books are designed to teach children about conservation and show ways they can make a difference for the environment…starting right in their own backyard.

Captain Mickey Mouse and Disney VoluntEARS Surprise Students from the Community Surrounding Castaway Cay

Seeing the children greet Mickey Mouse and dive right in to using the books definitely brought a smile to my face, which you can experience for yourself in the photo below. The event was just one part of a multi-year Disney project combining scientific research with community-wide education to engage and inspire others to make a difference for the planet.

Captain Mickey Mouse and Disney VoluntEARS Surprise Students from the Community Surrounding Castaway Cay

Here’s a video recap of the book delivery, along with a peek at some of the in-classroom activities led by our Disney VoluntEARS. Not a bad way to spend a morning in The Bahamas. What are you doing to get involved and help conserve in your local community?

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Disney Cruise Line Summer Camps Inspire Children to Care About the Planet

posted on August 29th, 2011 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager, Public Affairs


Hi, I’m Rebecca, the new manager of public affairs at Disney Cruise Line, and I’m excited to be a Disney Parks Blog author. I will keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings at Disney Cruise Line, including the progress of the Disney Fantasy, the impact of our community outreach as well as our environmental and conservation efforts like this eco camp for children in the Abaco Islands.

This summer, scientists and educators working near Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay spent the season leading hands-on activities, taking field-trips and even exploring the famous blue waters of The Bahamas – all in the spirit of conservation.

As part of a long-term project, Disney partnered with Friends of the Environment, a local nonprofit, to plan and host summer eco camps for children in the Abaco Islands. Sponsored in part by Disney Cruise Line, the camps included classroom instruction and interactive programs designed to inspire children to care about the planet.

Disney Cruise Line Summer Camps Inspire Children to Care About the Planet

From the basics of recycling and saving water to learning how to snorkel for the very first time, campers focused on exploring the unique environment in their own backyards. They even visited Abaco National Park to swim in a blue hole, a unique and naturally occurring pool of fresh water that “floats” on a level of salt water below.

Camp culminated with a special visit to Castaway Cay, where campers were able to get up close and personal with native stingrays, learning about the animals from Disney researchers that call the island home.

Disney Cruise Line Summer Camps Inspire Children to Care About the Planet

In all, more than 150 Bahamian children took part in the camps that showcased the importance of appreciating and conserving the natural environment for future generations.

Disney Cruise Line Summer Camps Inspire Children to Care About the Planet

Check out this video recap of the experience.

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