Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion

Disney VoluntEARS Help Spread Cheer with 36,000 Toys for Kids

posted on December 9th, 2013 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Disney VoluntEARS Help Spread Cheer with 36,000 Toys for Kids

Like elves from the North Pole, Walt Disney World Resort cast members were busy this past month supporting the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots annual drive.
Disney VoluntEARS Help Spread Cheer with 36,000 Toys for Kids

After days of shopping for bicycles, games, books and plush dolls, they donated more than 32,0000 items and spent more than 6,000 hours helping to register families, and sort and pack the toys so that thousands of Central Florida children have at least one gift to open this season.

They even found time to craft small presents such as fuzzy scarves, reindeer candy canes and colorful gift bags made during a special Family Day. The VoluntEAR event was meant to inspire others to give back during this season of sharing.
Disney VoluntEARS Help Spread Cheer with 36,000 Toys for Kids

In addition to the toy drive, Walt Disney World Resort shared some holiday cheer with a local nonprofit that provides services to help homeless families. Prior to a special community performance of the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort announced a surprise gift of $30,000 for the Community Hope Center.

It made me so proud to see the different ways we are making a difference in the community.

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Disney Cast Members Stage Benefit Concert Set For July 19-20, 25-28

posted on July 18th, 2013 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Although it’s not the weekend yet, I’m already excited about the special performance I’ll get to see at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Produced by Encore! Cast Performing Arts, “The Art of the Possible – The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” is a show like no other as it represents the commitment of more than 500 Walt Disney World Resort cast members who once a year produce a benefit performance for a charitable organization.

This year’s show will benefit A Gift For Music, a Central Florida nonprofit organization that provides free, stringed instruments and professional instruction for students in several public schools. Since 2002, Encore’s productions have donated more than $200,000 for charity!

Disney Cast Members Stage Benefit Concert Set For July 19-20, 25-28

The troupe is still in rehearsal until opening night this Friday, but they clearly have turned their common passion for music, into a passion for giving back. The talents of the Encore! Performing Arts group are certainly diverse. The group of volunteer singers, instrumentalists, dancers, actors, flag performers and support staff donate more than 50,000 hours annually to create, rehearse and produce each Encore! show, which is an incredible commitment.

Performances of “The Art of the Possible,” scheduled for July 19-20 & 25-28 at the Premiere Theater inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, are open to the public. Tickets are available at www.encorecentral.org.

See you at the show!

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Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids

posted on March 27th, 2013 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


At Walt Disney World Resort, we make magic happen everyday for kids. Today Mickey Mouse, Goofy and some of our cast members got to spread even more magic to dozens of non-profit organizations that serve children in Central Florida.
Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids
As part of Disney Helping Kids Shine Grants program, we awarded more than $1.5 million to 59 local organizations and school districts that have a positive impact on approximately 70,000 thousand children in our community. They do that through programs that inspire creativity, encourage compassion and promote the health and well-being of families.
Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids
During the event, Walt Disney World Resort President George Kalogridis also presented the Orange County Public Library System with the Bob Allen Outstanding Community Service Award. The grant is given each year to recognize a local social service, environmental or humanitarian organization for outstanding work in Central Florida. The library system plans to use the grant for its Summer Reading program.

Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids Disney Awards $1.5 Million to Support Central Florida Kids

Hats off to all 59 organizations for their dedication to Central Florida’s youth.

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Disney VoluntEARS Spend ‘A Day at the Beach’ to Help Keep Florida’s Coastline Clean

posted on January 29th, 2013 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


“Disney
More than 150 VoluntEARS from Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line did their part on Friday, January 25, to help clean up a stretch of beach along Florida’s coastline.
“Disney

With temperatures in the 70s that turned this January morning into a perfect day at the beach, Disney VoluntEARS worked alongside friends, family and community partners from Keep Brevard Beautiful, the United States Coast Guard and the Canaveral Port Authority.
“Disney

By the end of the cleanup, the team cleared more than 250 pounds of trash and debris from coastal areas near the Disney Cruise Line terminal in Port Canaveral. Picking up litter keeps our shores pristine and safe for beachgoers to enjoy, while also preventing trash from harming wildlife such as sea turtles, birds and fish.
“Disney

Disney VoluntEARS have supported local coastal cleanup efforts for almost two decades. Their commitment has contributed to the removal of approximately 40,000 pounds of trash along fragile waterways.

Nice work for a day at the beach!

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Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season

posted on December 13th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to forget the true meaning of the season! Today I got a big lesson about generosity, compassion and caring for others from our Walt Disney World Resort cast members who donated 35,000 toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.

Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season by Donating Toys to the Toys for Tots Program

Mickey Mouse was there and so were the Marines; all coming together as one big community to make sure that many kids in need have at least one present to open during the holidays. Our Disney VoluntEARS are also giving 7,100 hours of their time to help the U.S. Marines with everything from registering families to sorting and packing toys.

Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Show the True Meaning of the Holiday Season by Donating Toys to the Toys for Tots Program

Since Walt Disney and his animators designed the original Toys for Tots logo 60 years ago, Disney has supported this program that puts the season of sharing in the right perspective.

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Community Leaders Enjoy the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

posted on December 4th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


It’s hard to get in the spirit of the holiday season when the calendar shows it’s December but the temperature in Orlando is 81 degrees. But last night I was able to feel the true magic of the season when, for the first time as a cast member, I experienced the Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Andy Garcia Narrates the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

The experience was even more special as I was surrounded by hundreds of community leaders and friends who were invited by Walt Disney World Resort to enjoy this unique holiday tradition. The music of the 50-piece orchestra was touching, the voices of the community choirs were inspiring and the deep and familiar voice of celebrity narrator Andy Garcia was a treat.

Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, Presented $100,000 Donation to Central Florida Organizations During the Candlelight Processional at Epcot

But the true highlight of the evening was $100,000 donation that Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France, presented to two local organizations that help address homelessness and its underlying causes here in Central Florida. Receiving $50,000 each, the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida provides food, shelter, and support services to people who are homeless and the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness is working to end homelessness in Central Florida.

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Central Florida Community Leaders Get First Look at New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom Park

posted on November 15th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


More Than 150 Community Leaders Gathered to Hear About the Positive Impact New Fantasyland is Having on Central Florida

More than 150 community leaders yesterday got a glimpse of the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom Park history. In between sampling the fare at Be Our Guest Restaurant and experiencing attractions like Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid and Enchanted Tales with Belle, on Wednesday they heard about the positive impact New Fantasyland is having on Central Florida.

More Than 150 Community Leaders Gathered to Hear About the Positive Impact New Fantasyland is Having on Central Florida

“There is no better way to celebrate this landmark occasion than by sharing New Fantasyland with our Central Florida friends and neighbors,” said Meg Crofton, president, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, United States and France. “Not only is this magical, story-filled land a milestone for Walt Disney World Resort, it’s a boost for local jobs and businesses, and it offers families yet another reason to visit Central Florida.”

More Than 150 Community Leaders Gathered to Hear About the Positive Impact New Fantasyland is Having on Central Florida

The expansion has created jobs and economic opportunity for the region. Since work began in 2010, New Fantasyland has generated 700 construction jobs. And when it’s complete in 2014, it will have added another 800 operational jobs, ranging from skilled mechanical jobs to management positions.

More Than 150 Community Leaders Gathered to Hear About the Positive Impact New Fantasyland is Having on Central Florida

“Walt Disney World Resort is an integral part of the fabric of Central Florida, so it’s rewarding to help build this unique feature of the Magic Kingdom Park from the ground up,” said Brian Butler of JCB Construction, a minority-owned underground utility and site development firm based in Orlando. “Because of this project, we were also able to retain many valuable employees.”

More Than 150 Community Leaders Gathered to Hear About the Positive Impact New Fantasyland is Having on Central Florida

In celebrating the upcoming grand opening of New Fantasyland with the community, yesterday’s event also included a $55,000 donation to the Orange County Library System. The donation honors Belle’s love of reading and 1955, the year the first Fantasyland opened at the Disneyland Resort.

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Walt Disney World Resort Shares New Fantasyland with Central Florida Kids

posted on November 12th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


“Walt
Mickey Mouse and his closest pals stood beneath the arches of the castle wall in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park to welcome them.
“Walt
Belle was excited to meet them in her library.
“Walt
And Gaston waited outside his tavern to offer them a mug of LeFou’s Brew.

While New Fantasyland officially opens December 6, we were excited to open the gates for an exclusive sneak peek this weekend with some of our most important neighbors. Dozens of members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Florida, who share Belle’s love of learning, were among the first to experience the latest example of Disney storytelling. They found themselves inside the pages of some of their favorite stories by experiencing the new Enchanted Tales with Belle, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid and a double dose of Dumbo The Flying Elephant.
“Walt
Their excitement and laughter truly added to the magic of this enchanted place. And I can’t think of a better way to write a new chapter of Disney history than by creating childhood memories in a land where the pages of a book come to life. Fantasyland is here for these kids to enjoy today and for years to come.


For more New Fantasyland updates, check out the posts below:

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Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

posted on November 9th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


When the first call went out for Disney VoluntEARS to help raise money for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, I checked my watch. It was 3 p.m. and the first shift started in just three hours. “There is no way,” I thought.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

But more than 75 Walt Disney World VoluntEARS quickly showed their character, shifting their evening plans to support a good cause. For six hours, they answered phones at the Disney Reservation Center in Orlando to support ABC’s national “Day of Giving,” which raised more than $16.8 million for the American Red Cross.

Walt Disney World VoluntEARS Help Raise $16.8 Million for Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Among the stories the VoluntEARS will never forget are that of a 100-year-old man who donated $100 in honor of his age and 10-year-old Keyla, who did not think twice before donating her weekly allowance.

“Can you send me an envelope so I can send you my $10?” Keyla asked the Disney VoluntEAR, who was touched by the sense of compassion in her voice.

The envelope is on its way, Keyla.

Thank you to all who supported “Day of Giving” and thank you, Disney VoluntEARS!

Check out these past posts about our Disney VoluntEARS:

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Walt Disney World Resort Selects 2013 – 2014 Ambassador Team

posted on October 12th, 2012 by Wilma Colón, Media Relations Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


As a relatively new cast member, I was both touched and excited today to be included in a long-standing tradition that has become such an important part of our company’s heritage: the announcement of our two newest Disney Ambassadors.

During a special ceremony at the American Gardens Theatre at Epcot, cast members Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo were selected for this revered role.

As they received their gold pins in the midst of confetti, cheers and fanfare, both became part of a special group of cast members who have carried on a tradition started by Walt Disney himself in 1965, when he was overwhelmed with appearance requests. Today, Ambassadors may be seen at community events, helping build playgrounds, sorting school supplies for children, greeting special guests and honoring fellow cast members for anniversaries and milestones.

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of an intensive, two-month search for candidates who exemplify the talent and excellence of Walt Disney World Resort and demonstrate an understanding of the company’s heritage and, above all, Disney passion.

Representing more than 64,000 cast members, the pair will share the magic of Disney throughout the resort and the Central Florida community from January 2013 through December 2014.

Congratulations, Tye and Rich!

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