Bringing Light and Joy: Cast Celebrate Hanukkah

Eli Levin

by , Manager, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products

Filling homes with light, joy and warmth – Hanukkah began at sundown last night!  

Often called the “Festival of Lights”, Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday where those celebrating light a menorah for eight nights. This is to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, when the lamps of the original menorah were lit with oil that was only supposed to last one night, but lasted for eight.  

In addition to lighting the menorah, Hanukkah is celebrated by eating foods cooked in oil to represent how long the oil lasted such as latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (round filled donut), playing games such as dreidel and sharing small gifts with loved ones.  

While many may think that Hanukkah has come early this year, it follows the Hebrew (lunar) calendar and is always on the 25th day of the month of Kislev.  

Many of our Walt Disney World Resort cast celebrate Hanukkah and have their own special traditions to share.  

Susan's Hanukkah traditions

“I love sharing Hanukkah with our friends who don’t celebrate so they can learn more about the food we eat and our Jewish traditions. I also like to have my kids each light their own menorah and sing the prayers as a family.” – Susan, Communications Manager  

Jordan's Hanukkah traditions

“We have a favorite family heirloom, a gorgeous Hanukkah blanket, that we look forward to pulling out every year and cozying up on the couch after a delicious meal of many latkes. We also have a carefully curated playlist years in the making of Hanukkah songs that we listen to while making latkes, baking our grandmother’s famous cookies and opening presents.” Jordan, Learning Program Facilitator, & Maddie, Concierge  

Corey's Hanukkah traditions

“My favorite thing about Hanukkah in recent years is getting to pass down traditions to my kids that I learned from my family growing up. When we light the candles each night, my daughter helps me and tries her best with the prayers. My son has his own wooden toy Hanukkah to safely follow along with. And I love getting to teach them about playing dreidel and seeing how into they get!” – Corey, Operations Training Assistant  

Melanie's Hanukkah traditions

“I get really excited when I see Hanukkah represented in our Parks! I also like to bring the celebration with me all Hanukkah long, whether into the office, or even staying at a Resort.” – Melanie, Manager of Franchise Strategy

Robbie's Hanukkah traditions

“We decorate our house with Hanukkah decorations. Each one of us will light our own Menorah and we always put one in the window for all of our neighbors to see.” – Robbie, Guest Relations  

Know someone who celebrates Hanukkah? Wish them a Happy Hanukkah and ask them how they plan to celebrate.