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Christmas Has Gone to the Dogs … at Disneyland Resort

Matt Nixon

by , Internal Communications Specialist, Disneyland Resort

More than 300 Disneyland Resort cast members from select areas checked “dog snuggles” off their Christmas lists while visiting with seven dogs and their owners from Pet Prescription Team — a local nonprofit that enhances quality of life through the human-animal bond.

“I love it; the dogs are very calming,” said Cashier Nikki Valencia, one of the cast members who took a break from their busy holiday schedules last week to experience some of the magic they’re busy making for guests. Except this time, the magic was just for them — provided by Disney’s Be Well program — in the form of warm puppy kisses and friendly conversation.

“Research shows that pet therapy improves the emotional well-being of individuals and helps reduces anxiety levels,” said Wellness Program Manager Ryan Manuwa.

Cast member Nikki Valencia with Pet Prescription Team volunteer Wesley Ace Mask
Cast member Nikki Valencia with Pet Prescription Team volunteer Wesley Ace Mask

The Wellness team was also ready with additional resources for cast who need extra support this holiday season.

“Having this event at the resort provides a wonderful release and break for our cast members,” said Wellness Event Manager Nancy Murray. “They can sit down, take a deep breath and hug a puppy dog.”