Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Ten High School Seniors Receive Disneyland Resort Scholarships

posted on April 26th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disney Ambassador Megan Navarette gave ten exceptional Orange County, Calif., students quite a surprise last week. Unbeknownst to them, she led a Disneyland Resort prize patrol into their classrooms to announce that each will receive a $7,500 scholarship from the Disneyland Resort to pursue his or her future education goals. Along with the congratulatory prize patrol was our camera crew to capture their priceless reactions!

Since 2006, the Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program has granted more than $425,000 to graduating Orange County, Calif., students, who are selected by a distinguished panel of community leaders for their leadership, academic excellence and contributions to the community. Learn more about all 10 of this year’s recipients here!

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Disney Cruise Line VoluntEARS Salute National Literacy Month

posted on April 3rd, 2013 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager of Public Affairs at Disney Cruise Line


Some of my most cherished memories from when my children were young are quiet times spent together reading a good book. Reading aloud gave us a chance to bond over favorite stories, while instilling a love of reading that continues today.
“Disney

Crew members from Disney Cruise Line ships recently made memories of their own, saluting National Literacy Month with special visits to schoolchildren in our ports of call. Taking place as part of the Disney Reading Together program, these visits brought Disney VoluntEARS to read with children in Grand Cayman, St. Thomas and Nassau. And while the efforts were designed to promote literacy and inspire children to enjoy reading, I really think that our crew most enjoyed getting to spend quality time sharing stories with young readers.
“Disney

Since launching 10 years ago, our Reading Together program has taken crew members into schools to read aloud, inspired cast and crew members to make personal donations through book drives, and has helped to distribute more than 7,000 books to children in communities across the Caribbean and the Bahamas.

Taking time out to read together can make a big impact – both on the children and the adults that share the story.

I’m sure the crew can’t wait to return to read with the schoolchildren again. Do you have a favorite Disney story you enjoy sharing with your family?


To read more about other ways Disney VoluntEARS and Disney Cruise Line give back, see the posts below:

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Disneyland Band Concerts Mark 30 Years of Educating Local Youth

posted on March 20th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


For 30 years now, the Disneyland Band has traveled to various venues throughout Orange County to educate more than 1.5 million second-graders about the history of the American Band. In fact, I remember attending the Disneyland Resort Salutes the American Band concert series when I was in elementary school! (Who can forget a field trip to see Mickey Mouse?) To celebrate the milestone anniversary, a few of the people who make the experience possible explain the program and its importance in this video!

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Cast Member Competitions Benefit Local Charities at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 13th, 2013 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


One of the benefits of working at the Disneyland Resort is the opportunity to participate in special events designed especially for cast members. Recently, two cast favorites took place after hours with proceeds benefiting local nonprofit organizations.
Orange County's Pacific Symphony was Awarded With $5000 at This Year's Minnie's Moonlit Madness Event
On February 28, 350 teams of cast members and employees from around The Walt Disney Company, along with family and friends, took part in this year’s Minnie’s Moonlit Madness. The event consisted of a Disney trivia-based quiz, followed by a scavenger hunt inside Disneyland park where four-person teams tested their music savvy under a “Soundsational” theme with a special catch: to complete 10 assignments by midnight while connected by rope!

Participants this year included a team of cast members from Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, in Hawai`i. Entry fees benefited Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, which was presented with $5,000 at the event!
The First “More Than 250 Cast Members Participated in 'Flashback' at the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure Park
Days later, the lights of the Hyperion Theater at Disney California Adventure park shone brightly when more than 250 cast members participated in “Flashback”, an annual production where cast members produce and star in their own mini-musicals. Each year, four teams of cast members representing various areas of the Disneyland Resort perform for family and friends after nearly two months of practice and production.

The first “Flashback” performance was in the Golden Horseshoe in 1998. Over the years, the event has gained popularity and grown to attract an audience of thousands, with proceeds from ticket sales benefiting local charities – more than $250,000 donated over the past 15 years. This year’s event benefited the Boys & Girls Clubs of Anaheim and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County with $15,000 each!

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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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Giving Around the Community from the Disneyland Resort

posted on December 24th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Happy holidays, Disney Parks Blog!

As in years past, please enjoy caroling about the ways in which the Disneyland Resort supported the local community in 2012. And if you don’t feel like caroling, check out the video instead – it recaps many of the Resort’s efforts to support the community during a year that was not only focused on the grand reopening of Disney California Adventure park, but also on enriching the lives of our neighbors!

Giving Around the Community
To the tune of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Giving around the community
At the Disneyland Resort,
Helping nonprofits in the OC
New records to report!

Giving around the community
More than $16 million bucks*,
CALIFORNIA letters for the state fair
Traveled north on flatbed trucks.

You may get a sentimental feeling,
When you hear:
Disney VoluntEARS have been on duty
Ninety-two thousand hours this year.

Giving around the community
$5 million for CHOC’s lobby,
After school programs in Anaheim
Kids find a safe hobby.

Giving around the community
KaBOOM! playgrounds down the street,
Collecting toys for families
Gardens for schools complete.

You may get a sentimental feeling,
When you hear:
Make-A-Wish and military
Guests attended Cars Land premiere.

Giving around the community
Healthy cooking videos,
College scholarships and arts grants
How quickly another year goes!

*Amount includes cash, Disney VoluntEARS hours and in-kind donations

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Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

posted on December 19th, 2012 by Rebecca Peddie, Manager of Public Affairs at Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line crew members who donated their time as Disney VoluntEARS put smiles on the faces of more than 2,600 people in less than a week in nine of the port communities that our ships call home.

That’s a lot of cheer!
Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

From helping deliver toys to deserving children to creating holiday crafts with senior citizens, these Disney VoluntEARS made a difference in communities throughout The Bahamas, The Caribbean, Mexico and Port Canaveral.
Disney Cruise Line Brings Holiday Cheer to Port Communities

Officers and crew on all four ships collected toys to benefit the US Marines Toys For Tots Foundation, while crew members living on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, delivered 1,200 storybooks to children in the surrounding Abaco Islands.

Throughout 2012, Disney Cruise Line cast and crew members contributed more than 4,500 community service hours, supporting a number of causes benefitting children and families, as well as the environment.

How does your family give back during the holiday season?


For more of how Disney VoluntEARS and Disney Cruise Line gave back this year, see the posts below:

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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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