Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

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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Disneyland Resort VoluntEARS Support Anaheim Veterans

posted on November 12th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


Disney VoluntEARS recently celebrated Anaheim-area veterans by working with The Mission Continues, an organization that challenges veterans to serve and lead in communities across America. On November 3, Disney VoluntEARS visited Veterans First in Anaheim for a work day where they, along with other volunteers from The Mission Continues, painted, landscaped and performed general maintenance at the facility, which provides housing for homeless and at-risk veterans in the area.
Disney VoluntEARS, Including Veteran Manny Kiesser, Visit Veterans First in Anaheim for a Work Day

“It was an honor to work with the Disney VoluntEARS and The Mission Continues teams at the Veteran’s First home on Saturday,” said Disney VoluntEAR and veteran Manny Kiesser. “Veterans really do have an unspoken bond that spans generations and even the branch you served with. So as a veteran, it felt really special to be working alongside veterans again – and with others who care about us. It was even more special to be able to help out some other, less fortunate veterans. I served with the Marines and our motto is Semper Fidelis – Always Faithful. On Saturday, we kept the faith with our vets, and I’m grateful to Disney for providing the opportunity.”

The Mission Continues is one of the organizations to which Disney has provided a grant through the Heroes Work Here initiative, launched in March 2012. Disney committed to providing at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans over the next three years, supporting military families and veterans during their transition into civilian life, and launching a national public awareness campaign to encourage all employers across the U.S. to hire veterans.


Read more about Disney VoluntEARS in 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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Disney Cast Members Create ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ CANstruction for Local Food Bank

posted on November 2nd, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Who’s excited to see “Wreck-It Ralph” when it opens in theaters today?

A group of 50 Disney VoluntEARS recently combined their excitement for the film with their enthusiasm for volunteer work by building a “Wreck-It Ralph” CANstruction for Second Harvest Food Bank here in Central Florida. The VoluntEARS actually worked for two months to plan just how this larger-than-life structure would look and be pieced together.

Check out the full project in this video:

A few days ago, the structure was disassembled and the 7,634 cans of food were donated to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Check out more CANstructions in the posts below:

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22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort Breaks Records for Kids Like Carson Bosley

posted on October 19th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort

The 22nd annual CHOC Walk in the Park at the Disneyland Resort on October 14 was a huge success, with 850 teams raising $1.8 million, and counting, for CHOC Children’s (Children’s Hospital of Orange County). Walking teams set several new records, including the Disneyland Annual Passholder walk team, which raised their highest amount to date with more than $60,000, and the Disney VoluntEARS walk team, which contributed $150,000, with matching funds from Disney.

This year, Disneyland Resort offered a one-night stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite for any cast member on the Disney VoluntEARS walk team who raised $5,000 or more. Ticket Services cast member Bill Weeks, a former kindergarten teacher, passed the $5,000 mark as the Resort’s top individual fundraiser. Of course, Weeks didn’t walk for the prize. He raised more than $6,000 in memory of a former student, Carson Bosley, who suffered a brain aneurysm at age 7 and passed away 19 days later, devastating Carson’s family and friends, including Weeks.

22nd Annual CHOC Walk in the Park at Disneyland Resort

“The good people at CHOC Children’s were extraordinary,” Weeks said. “They worked relentlessly around the clock to restore him to good health. They made Carson’s family feel so special during his stay. They were, and still are, champions in my eyes. CHOC Children’s needs our support because they can’t reach all of the children in need without it.”

Weeks says he plans to donate his stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite, possibly to the Bosley family, in memory of Carson. “I always thought Carson would go on and do great things … and he has through CHOC Children’s,” Weeks said. Since its inception, CHOC Walk in the Park has raised nearly $21 million for health care programs, education and research at CHOC Children’s.

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Disney VoluntEARS Help Tow Away Hunger in Orange County, California

posted on September 27th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


“Disney

For the fifth year, Disney VoluntEARS had “fuh-un” at the annual Orange County CANstruction event, where they spent nearly six hours “can-structing” our favorite tow truck, Mater, from 5,700 cans of food donated by the Disneyland Resort.

The event, benefiting the Orange County Food Bank, takes place every September in conjunction with the Festival of Children at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif., where structures made entirely out of canned foods are put on display.

Disney VoluntEARS created Mater’s main structure from cans of kidney beans, and eyes and pupils from cans of mandarin oranges, evaporated milk, green beans and salmon. In total, more than 20 types of canned foods were used, and “dadgum,” the design won “Juror’s Favorite!”

Check out this time lapse of Mater being “can-structed.”

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Disney VoluntEARS Create Play Space in Santa Ana, California

posted on September 13th, 2012 by Kevin Rafferty, Jr., Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort


When Disneyland Resort cast member Adrian Garcia played basketball and capture the flag as a member of the Boys & Girls Club in Santa Ana, Calif., years ago, he never dreamed he would one day build a new playground there. Adrian, an attractions host and video producer, joined Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis and 60 members of his executive team to build a new playground and garden at the club on September 10, along with members of the Disneyland Resort College Program, Boys & Girls Club volunteers and KaBOOM! organizers.

Adrian said, “I’ve lived next to this club my whole life and it makes me feel proud to be able to give back to the place that was such a big part of it.” The new playground was built in less than eight hours and will provide more than 2,000 children in Santa Ana a safe place to play.

Disney is a KaBOOM! National Partner and supports the nonprofit’s vision of a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. The Disneyland Resort has built three playgrounds since June 2011 – two in Anaheim at Edison Park and Stoddard Park, and this one in Santa Ana. Check out the build in this video!

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