More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It!

Chef Jeff with Disney’s Dreamers

For the fourth year, Disney Parks and entertainer Steve Harvey will host a program called Disney’s Dreamers Academy – this year with new collaborator Essence Magazine. The lucky few students chosen are called “Disney’s Dreamers.”

The program is open to U.S. high school students in grades 9 through 12. Thousands apply each year and 100 students are picked by a panel of judges made up of community leaders, educators, celebrities and Disney executives.

The program is designed to do one thing: remind students to dream BIG! Some past Dreamers have experienced enormous tragedies and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. After the program, past Dreamers have gone on to win college scholarships; garner national awards; and even own their own businesses.

Walt Disney World Resort plays host to the 100 Dreamers for four days – this year from March 3 to 6. You can follow the adventures of the Dreamers and the celebrities in live updates that weekend on Twitter using the hash tag #DDA. Or follow them on Facebook at

Disney’s Dreamers Academy is designed so that the teens can be inspired, discover possibilities and prepare for their future. They receive mentoring customized to their individual interests, participate in interactive workshops and seminars focusing on careers and life enrichment – all sprinkled with a little bit of Disney fun and magic!

We hope the academy inspires and fuels the students’ dreams and is a launching pad for their unique and varied passions. You can help us do that! Jump in, watch them on Facebook and Twitter and give the students your support!


  • I think that its incredibly important for us all to remember that teens who have lived through tragedy (these are horrific experiences and not just “sad stories”)often experience huge upsets in the “normal” trajectory of life. During this critical developmental stage they have to summon the courage to even begin to think about things like careers and having the kind future that so many of us take for granted. We all need to dream, but these kids need to be reminded that dreams exist at all. I think that Disney is doing a wonderful service by helping these teens see the possiblities that are still open to them and the kindness that does exist in this world. Bravo Disney and best wishes to the Dreamers!

  • Stories like this make me wish I was eligible to apply…sigh…great job Disney! But I’m with Ashley, how about a program like this for those of us who would love to do something like this but aren’t in the age demographic?

  • If you can dream it, you can do it!
    If you do it, you can dream big!

  • Is this only for African American people? Can anyone enter if they are in the age group? Plus do you have to have a sad story or can you just be someone from a good family that can not afford to send you to school?

  • i wish this was open to all ages. im 30 and def dream big and wish and hope to one day have my very own cake bakery. hope disney does a program for us one day.

  • If I could be one of the Disney Dreamers I would want to be one of the Wedding Planners at WDW. I would love to help couples dream up gorgeous weddings with all the trimmings plus Mickey and Minnie.

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