Disneyland Resort cast member Adeena Welle oversees the daily operation of “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure park as its stage manager. Part of the show’s original programming team, Adeena has one foot in the creation of the show and one foot in the operation – getting to run it and maintain it for our guests. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” Adeena explains her responsibilities and gives us a peek into the wonderful world of stage management!
posted on November 27th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
posted on November 14th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Disneyland Resort cast members bring the magic of storytelling to life for our guests every day, but their creativity doesn’t end there. In fact, many cast members put their talent and energy into creating unique and extraordinary art! Recently, the Disneyland Resort Line, our publication for cast members, put out a call for original artwork that reflects what cast members love most about the Disneyland Resort.
Nearly 75 submissions were received, ranging from acrylic paintings and cartoon sketches to shadow boxes and hand-woven baskets. Here is how some of the “artists among us” expressed their visions of the Disneyland Resort!
John Agnew, Attractions
John’s acrylic painting was selected for the cover of the Disneyland Resort Line. John explains that the couple riding King Arthur Carrousel is modeled after him and his wife. As they catch their reflection in the mirror, they are seen in their younger years. John says, “What I love about the park is that it is timeless … in your heart, you never change age.”
Reuben Jackson, Food & Beverage
Reuben used a stylus and tablet to create this submission inspired by his father, who recently passed away. Reuben says, “May 29, 2013 was the last day I saw my father, and we spent the day here at Disneyland. My illustration depicts family, love and that priceless memory you get with loved ones when visiting ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’”
Kat Valencia, Food & Beverage
Kat draws inspiration from Disney artists Marc Davis and Mary Blair, as well as her two favorite attractions, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Kat aspires to one day develop storyboards for Walt Disney Studios. She says, “I remember growing up watching Disney [animated] films and thinking ‘That’s so cool, I want to do that!’”
Michael Laverty, Merchandise Planning
A self-taught artist, Mike has been perfecting his woodworking skills for 15 years, creating such items as desktop clocks shaped like watches – featuring Disney characters. He says he uses his art to relax, while also spreading joy to others. “I just hope they walk away with a smile,” he said.
Bob Rhodes, Food & Beverage
Bob created this clock inspired by the evil queen’s magic mirror on the wall. He said, “Our family loves ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ the Arribas Bros. glass shop, and the old clock shop that used to be on Main Street, U.S.A. Coming to Disneyland with my family gave me the inspiration to be an artist.”
posted on October 17th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Ever wonder how trick-or-treating originated or where the Jack O’ Lantern came from? Just ask Disneyland Resort tour guide Josh Salas, who stars in this Halloween Time installment of “Every Role a Starring Role” featuring the “Disney’s Happiest Haunts” Tour!
Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:
posted on September 23rd, 2013 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager
My fellow Disney Parks Blog author Erin Glover recently shared an interview with the Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world. Being a former Walt Disney World Ambassador, I enjoyed reading about their experiences as it reminds of my time serving in one of the most amazing roles at Disney. I recently caught up with 2013-2014 Walt Disney World Ambassadors, Tye Arnold and Rich Tamayo, to hear about how their first year has progressed.
What is one word that describes your experience as a Disney Ambassador so far this year?
Tye: I would say, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!” I couldn’t think of just any ordinary word to sum up this role of a lifetime. We’ve met many interesting and talented people, and love sharing those interactions with others. Just recently, we saw a tiger at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park have a dental procedure done by the talented Animal Programs team. That was an amazing thing to see!
Rich: I choose ‘humbling.’ As Ambassadors, we celebrate our cast members’ various achievements. For our first service anniversary celebration earlier this year, I recall meeting Berbino who was celebrating his 25th year with Disney. Tye asked him about his career history, and we thought his response would include a long list of locations where he worked. Much to our surprise, Berbino had spent all 25 years as a steward at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. He was an instant celebrity to us.
Tye: One of my most memorable VoluntEAR moments was helping build a playground in a partnership with the KABOOM! organization. Along with cast members from all areas of the Resort, we built a playground in less than six hours for a local community! While it was a lot of work, the sense of pride after seeing the finished product will remain with me for a lifetime.
Rich: I loved visiting the Walt Disney World Boys and Girls Club in Pine Hills outside Orlando, Florida. During our visit, we learned how this club positively impacts the lives of the children it serves. We had a great time with the kids making crafts, helping them with homework and playing games.
What has been the most surprising part of your role as a Disney Ambassador?
Tye: The most surprising part of being a Disney Ambassador was the tremendous honor I felt from the moment I first wore the Ambassador pin. While Rich and I may serve in an official capacity, we know that each and every cast member represents the legacy of Walt Disney every day.
Rich: I was surprised by the number of cast members who have worked for Disney for 25 or more years. These special cast members paved the way for the rest of us, and are a big reason why guests enjoy visiting Walt Disney World Resort year after year.
posted on September 19th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Sara Curtis has a starring role as the first cast member guests encounter when they enter the Golden Age of Hollywood at the Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge. Among her duties is hosting a new daily tour of the restaurant’s landmark building and its décor, telling the story of the relationship of the Carthay Circle Theatre to The Walt Disney Company. See how Sara helps evoke the grand elegance of a classic movie premiere in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”
Check out these posts for more “Every Role a Starring Role”:
posted on September 17th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Walt Disney once said it takes people to make the dream a reality. Recently, the Disneyland Resort treated cast members who have dedicated 10 years of service to the Disneyland Resort and every five-year milestone anniversary thereafter to an evening of special entertainment, food offerings and exclusive access to attractions in Adventureland, Frontierland and New Orleans Square, hosted by Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier.
The Disney Parks Blog caught up with cast member Mark Taul at the event, who was celebrating his 45th service anniversary and is a recently named recipient of The Walt Disney Legacy Award, the highest honor cast members, crew members and Imagineers can achieve at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The award recognizes cast members who consistently inspire others, go out of their way to create happiness for guests and team members, and find new ways to deliver Disney magic. Each recipient is nominated and selected by leaders and peers and receives a signature blue name tag allowing them to be recognized on an ongoing basis.
When did you start working at the Disneyland Resort?
I started working at Casa de Fritos in Disneyland park during the holiday season in 1967. Currently I am a food and beverage operations manager.
Is there a particular memory that stands out over your 45-year career?
I would have to say meeting my wife, Sandra, at Casa de Fritos. We have been married for 39 years and have three lovely adult children. My two daughters work at the Disneyland Resort.
What was your favorite part of the service anniversary celebration?
If I only had one favorite I wouldn’t be doing the celebration justice. What really stood out to me was the chance to meet my fellow cast members’ spouses and partners. The food was over the top and having a reception at the Blue Bayou Restaurant for the 40- and 45-year cast members really made me feel special.
What was your reaction to receiving The Walt Disney Legacy Award?
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk, so several colleagues pointed out that I was speechless after receiving the award. With only 75 new recipients at the Disneyland Resort out of 25,000 cast members, it makes me stand a little taller when I come to work!
Did you always want to work at the Disneyland Resort?
I only intended to work at the Disneyland Resort as a way to get through school. However, I realized that I wanted to work at a place where the whole goal is to make people happy, so 45 years later, I am still enjoying it as much as ever. Thanks, Walt!
posted on August 22nd, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
Earlier this year, I told you about the 30th anniversary of the music education concerts that the Disneyland Band performs annually for Orange County second-graders.
Throughout that time, Disneyland Resort cast member Art Dragon has been a member of the Disneyland Band, serving as conductor the past two decades. In this “Every Role a Starring Role,” Art talks about his role conducting 15 talented musicians who perform more than 1,000 concerts at the Disneyland Resort every year!
posted on August 12th, 2013 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer
“I love trying something different, and sharing discoveries with a team,” says Chef Mark. In his first two months at Disney’s PCH Grill he’s not reinventing the menu, but he’s added a new favorite: the PCH Mesa Burger – a 1/3-pound Angus burger topped with Pepper Jack cheese, roasted Anaheim chili, barbecue sauce and an onion ring, served on a hefty pretzel roll.
The California native says he’s also hoping to add more seasonal dishes to the menu, and describes his culinary style as “melting pot.” He loves the idea of taking a childhood favorite and serving it with a modern twist “to trigger great childhood memories.”
Watch for new dishes on the PCH menu as Chef Mark settles in. Meantime, we asked him five fun questions:
- What are some of your favorite dishes to prepare? Simple Filipino dishes such as chicken adobo. And tacos, with everything made from scratch, from the taco shells to the beef to the salsa. Also anything sautéed; I just love the action of using a sauté pan.
- Favorite spice? Toss-up between cumin and paprika.
- You run a restaurant, but what do you cook for your family? Meatloaf with garlic mashed potatoes.
- If you weren’t a chef, what would you be and why? A doctor. My mom was a doctor; I would like to have followed in her footsteps.
- Your secret culinary indulgence? Bacon is good with anything!
posted on August 11th, 2013 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort
This afternoon, Disney Parks Ambassadors from around the world spoke at the D23 Expo 2013, produced by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Before they took the stage, we had the chance to ask a few questions of current Disney Parks Ambassadors Sachiko White, Megan Navarette, Antonella Giallombardo, Jonathan Rabeute, and Tye Arnold about the history of the program and their own experiences as Ambassadors.
What inspired you to become a Disney Ambassador?
Tye: After becoming a leader in the company and seeing the impact I could have in my local area, I thought being a Walt Disney World Ambassador would give me an even greater platform to recognize our cast members and to share the amazing stories from our guest experiences.
Sachiko: I saw it as an opportunity to serve, learn more about, and sing the praises of a company that has been extremely good to me, while learning new skills and applying existing ones in new and interesting ways.
What has been your favorite project so far in your term?
Jonathan: I’ll always cherish the magical moment that was to meet and interview Disney Legend Alan Menken when he came to Paris … he played and sang “Be Our Guest” for the two of us. Truly magical!
Megan: It’s really difficult to pick a favorite as each event is special for its own reasons, but the events that have stood out include hospital visits with Mickey Mouse, the Walt Disney Legacy Awards reception and building a playground with KaBOOM. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities this role presents, and constantly pinch myself as if I am dreaming.
Antonella: We’ve had the opportunity to spend shadowing days with our fellow cast members (I love these moments because we can meet people, know more about their passion and talent and of course their jobs!), to give classes about Walt Disney’s life and career, to perpetuate Disney values to our local communities along with the Disney VoluntEARS, and to interview people such as Dr. Jane Goodall.
With the 50th anniversary of the program approaching, what is the most interesting piece of Disney Ambassador history you’ve learned?
Tye: Having spent time with Debby Dane-Brown, our first Walt Disney World Ambassador, I’ve heard great stories about the expectations of her role back in 1971. She shared with our team about the time she had an appearance on the TV show “To Tell the Truth.” The show had a panel of celebrity judges that had to distinguish which person out of a group of three was telling the truth about the real Debby Dane (Brown). Debby walked out and said “Hello, I’m Debby Dane (Brown) and I am the 1971 Walt Disney World Ambassador.” Then a second young lady came out and said the same thing, and then a third. She shared fun memories of this appearance as it was a way that the country learned more about this new “Disneyland of the East.”
Megan: I love the story of the beginnings of the Ambassador program. There were so many exciting and significant things happening at the company with the release of “Mary Poppins,” the tenth anniversary of Disneyland and the New York World’s Fair – it would have been fun to be a part of it all.
What does it mean to you to be part of the legacy of the Disney Ambassador program?
Jonathan: It is a great honor being part of a legacy that Walt Disney initiated himself. It’s a dream come true that we are living every day of this experience.
Antonella: I feel extremely honored and lucky to be a Disney Ambassador. I grew up watching Disney cartoons on television. When I started working at Disneyland park 7 years ago, I was proud to be a cast member and to share the Disney values with our guests. Today, when I see our guests’ reactions when they ride an attraction or watch our nighttime show, “Disney Dreams!,” with tears in their eyes, I can’t stop thinking that all this started with a man and his dream of amusement park. Thanks to all the cast members, Walt Disney’s legacy is perpetuated all around the world.
posted on July 26th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort
I love the scenic views of Disneyland park from the decks of the Mark Twain Riverboat. My favorite view is of the Disneyland Railroad chugging next to the “Twain” as they align with each other along the Rivers of America and whistle hello. Of course, the cast member and guests with the highest vantage point are those in the wheelhouse, like Mark Twain Riverboat Captain Jen Holst, who talks about her duties in this “Every Role a Starring Role!”