For the past 57 years, cast members at our Disney Parks and Resorts across the world have been honored with the role of Disney Ambassador, representing the magic of Disney that has symbolized hope for people near and far for decades. The tradition dates back to 1964, when the tenth anniversary of Disneyland was fast approaching and Walt Disney was overwhelmed with requests for appearances and media interviews. To celebrate the milestone and recognize the talented cast members at the theme park, he chose Julie Reihm, a Disneyland cast member, to help him represent the park.
Now, as we eagerly prepare for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” beginning October 1, 2021, we are thrilled to introduce you to the cast members who will carry on that special legacy throughout the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort as our 2022-2023 Walt Disney World Ambassadors: Ali Manion and Raevon Redding!
With more than 800 applicants, narrowing down our candidates turned out to be quite the challenge. Throughout what was arguably one of our toughest selection processes yet, these two exceptional cast members wowed us with their radiant personalities, passion for empowering cast members and eagerness to create unforgettable magic for our cast, guests and Central Florida neighbors.
Growing up in the Midwest, Ali’s dream of working for Walt Disney World Resort began during her annual family vacation to the resort, where she fell in love with the world of live entertainment through our theme parks. Eventually, she made her dream a reality and began her Disney career in Entertainment, a background she and Raevon share.
Raevon, a Winter Park native, has always had a special place in his heart for Walt Disney World Resort, because both of his parents are former cast members! As a young student, Raevon was also a three-time recipient of the Disney Dreamer & Doer Award, which he earned through essay writing, volunteerism and the impact he had on his community.
Yesterday, we were able to come together during a special ceremony at EPCOT to surprise Ali and Raevon’s families, friends and fellow cast members with the news that they will be taking on this one-of-a-kind role. It was a magical morning, to say the least.
While it feels impossible to think that our time with 2019-2021 Walt Disney World Ambassadors, Stephen Lim and Marilyn West, is coming to a close, we know that Ali and Raevon will bring together our cast members, guests and community with joy and hope as we head into an exciting period of celebration. Their enthusiasm, joy and passion inspire us, and we know that soon, they will inspire you, too. We can’t wait for you to get to know them better, so be sure to follow @wdw.ambassador on Instagram to keep up with their adventures.
There’s plenty more excitement ahead as we get ready to select the rest of our 2022-2023 Global Disney Ambassador teams, so stay tuned as we share all of the latest news. You can also follow along with our Disney Parks, Experiences and Products social handles – Instagram: @DisneyParksBlog, Twitter: @DisneyParks, and Facebook: @DisneyParksBlog.