Here at Disney, we have supported those who serve in the Armed Forces since the founding of our company nearly 100 years ago. We’re honored to have so many veterans as part of our Disney cast family and recognize them for the many ways they make magic for our guests. Meet Paul, a cast member who spent 30 years serving his country in the U.S. Navy before joining Disney.
Paul loved boats for as long as he can remember. He discovered his love for being on and around water when he was a kid, spending time there with his family and friends. So, it’s no wonder that one of his dreams was to join the U.S. Navy to serve his country while being out on the ocean. But his dreams didn’t stop there: Paul also dreamed of becoming a Disney cast member!
As a Petty Officer First Class in the Navy, Paul held a variety of positions during his Naval career that brought him all over the world. But when it came time to retire from naval service, Paul knew there was only one place he wanted to be. He and his family moved to Florida in 2011, and shortly thereafter, he became a cast member. “Serving my country for three decades, and now getting to make magic every day for guests, is truly amazing,” Paul said.
Paul works as a Sassagoula River Boat driver at Walt Disney World, ferrying guests between Disney Springs and various Disney Resort hotels along the Sassagoula River. Paul has been a Sassagoula River Boat cast member for a little over nine years, but you could say he’s a Walt Disney World transportation expert. He’s worked in almost every line of transportation across Walt Disney World – including the Walt Disney World Monorail, Magic Kingdom Watercraft and the Disney Skyliner. “I always knew that working on a boat was my goal with Disney, because of my Navy background, but I wanted to learn as much as I could about other lines of transportation as well,” Paul said.
In his role at the Sassagoula River Boats, Paul acts as a Coordinator for his fellow cast and does whatever he can to help them thrive in their roles and advance their careers with Disney. “I really connect with the cast here, and it’s an honor to step into a leadership role to support them,” Paul said. “I always tell them, ‘Go out, be safe and have fun!’ After all, if you’re having fun, you’ll never work a day in your life!”
Every day out on the Sassagoula River, Paul uses what he learned in the Navy to assist both his cast and guests. “I look forward to each and every day at work,” Paul said. “Every day there are different challenges and ways to make a difference, and I love to help in whatever way I can.”
So, here’s to you, Paul! Thank you for your service to our country, and for everything you do to make magic. We salute you!