More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Teens Across America Chosen for Prestigious Disney Dreamers Academy

There are 100 teenagers spread across the country who woke up today to learn their lives are about to take a magical ride that they probably never thought was possible.

They are the 100 high school students selected to participate in this year’s Disney Dreamers Academy, an immersive and transformational program at Walt Disney World Resort. In fact, the magical ride started early this morning for five of the teens, who were flown to New York and surprised live on “Good Morning America” with the news of their selection to the program.

Confetti rained down on Ayanna Adams (Los Angeles) Ava Marie Easter (Los Angeles), Christiana Okafor (Houston), Marquis Thomas (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Sean Smith (Basking Ridge, N.J.) as the “Good Morning America” hosts, Mickey Mouse and Disney executive Tracey Powell broke the news to them on the air. And Harvey congratulated them on their accomplishment with a video message in the studio.

We are sending the students, along with the 95 other teens selected, on an all-expenses paid trip in March to Walt Disney World Resort. Here, they will embark on a journey throughout the Disney theme parks and behind the scenes, turning the vacation destination into a vibrant classroom for them to discover new careers, pursue their dreams and interact with Harvey and other motivational speakers and celebrities. The four-day program, which is entering its 11th year, was created to inspire teens to dream big while also making a difference in their lives at a critical time in their development. This year, the program has a new campaign called “Be100″ which is an inspirational and aspirational invitation to encourage young people to answer the call of their dreams with relentless pursuit.

The 2018 class of “Dreamers” will push the number of students nationwide who have participated in the program to more than 1,100. It’s just one of the many ways at Disney that we continue to show our commitment to the next generation of teens.

Go to to see the full list of the 100 students and check back here later today to get the first look at a behind-the-scenes video of the big surprise moment from “Good Morning America’’ and the students’ visit to New York City.