More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Surprise! You’re Going on a Disney Cruise!

Christi Erwin Donnan

by , Director of External Communications

Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

“Surprise! You’re going on a Disney cruise!” Imagine hearing those words from the president of Disney Cruise Line. That’s exactly what happened to the children who gathered at the Walt Disney World Clubhouse of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida in Pine Hills last week.

As Disney Cruise Line prepares to bring its newest ship – Disney Dream – online, a special two-night and invitation only preview cruise will take place on Jan. 21, 2011, in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. As part of this one-of-a-kind sailing, 100 percent of the cruise fare will be donated directly to the organization, while select Boys & Girls Clubs children and their families from Brevard, Osceola, Orange and Seminole counties will have a unique opportunity to sail onboard.

Members of the Mickey Mouse and a Member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Disney Cruise Line president Karl Holz broke the news to 45 children from Clubs across Central Florida, plus 24 of their parents and chaperones, announcing that they would be joining him aboard this special preview cruise. Cheers erupted and the room was suddenly filled with excitement, disbelief and even a few tears! Captain Mickey stopped by for the celebration and posed for photos with everyone, including Gary Cain, the president of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, and Rick Continelli, senior vice president of sales and travel operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Rick, who was a former Boys & Girls Club member himself, is now an active corporate board member with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.

Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida Are Surprised with a Disney Cruise

The evening proved to be a memorable one for the children who are now eagerly looking forward to spending time with their families aboard the Disney Dream. The Benefit Preview Cruise is just one way that Disney Cruise Line is dedicated to helping children fulfill their own dreams in the communities we call home. This special cruise opportunity continues the longstanding relationship between Boys & Girls Clubs and The Walt Disney Company, which started more than 50 years ago when Walt Disney was made an honorary member of the organization’s national board of directors.


  • That’s what I call “giving back”!

  • To Mr. Holz,

    I would have loved to be a bystander to have seen those childrens reactions and at that moment I still feel thaey have yet to know what is in store for them. This will be the Christmas gift of a lifetime and Disney Cruise Line could give no greater.

    What your team has done is a beautiful gift. You all have been blessed and you know it and have blessed back. This is how we should live in the Country.

    Grandma Carole in Port St. Lucie, Fl.

  • I love the looks of joy on their faces. =)

  • Wanderfull news for those children I’m sure they will enjoy it very much. Now that the word is out many more will expect the same when the Fantasy comes around. DCL may have to increse the number.

  • So happy to see Disney giving back to the community. I hope all those lucky individuals and their families enjoy 2 great nights on the Dream!!! Congrats to all! What a wonderful Early Xmas gift from Karl Holz and DCL!

  • Very Special!!! I wish someone would say that to me! 🙂

  • I like this. Great idea!

  • That’s awesome. Way to go Disney.

  • Wow – That is sooooo special!!!! They so deserve and will have a Magical Memory for the rest of their lives 🙂 This is what makes Disney – DISNEY!!!! How Exciting 🙂 Great Job DCL

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