Every Disney cast member has their own unique career journey. For Dianne, it began at Magic Kingdom Park, just a few years after opening before she transferred to The Disney Inn (now Shades of Green). As fate would have it, her future husband, Don, began working in the same area around the time she moved work locations. The two were like ships passing in the night, until a year later when Don also transferred to the resort. It was an instant Disney love story that resulted from working at The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Now Dianne and Don are celebrating 45 and 35 years of service with The Walt Disney Company and recently had the chance to celebrate all their accomplishments at this year’s Service Celebration. “Don and I have so many fond memories from our time at Disney and getting to celebrate our accomplishments at an event like this means a lot. These events truly show appreciation from the entire company,” Dianne said.
Service celebrations across Walt Disney Parks & Resorts honor those who reach anniversaries starting with their 10th year of service. These events are time-honored traditions for cast, crew, Imagineers and employees across the globe where honorees gather with their loved ones to celebrate their Disney careers, whether it’s 10 years or 50 magical years in the making. While Don and Dianne have attended their fair share of events, Heather and Duane, both celebrating 10 years, attended their first one together this year as honorees.
“Knowing that everyone recognizes how much we do is an amazing feeling,” 10-year cast member Heather shared. “And where else can you have a party with Cinderella Castle dressed up for the 50th Anniversary as the backdrop?”
Heather and her husband Duane have been married for 12 years now and both are celebrating their 10-year Disney-versary. Disney has been a staple in their relationship since the beginning when they moved to Central Florida to work for Walt Disney World after college to start their careers. Duane even proposed to Heather at Magic Kingdom Park, and the two tied the knot at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.
“We both wanted to work at Disney to become magic makers ever since our first trip together. I remember visiting Walt Disney World with Heather and seeing the joy on everyone’s face,” Duane said. “After that, there was never a question in our minds about where we wanted to start our careers. 10 years later, and we still love every moment.”
While they’ve all had different experiences over the years, Heather, Duane, Dianne and Don all agree on what their favorite memory has been while working at Disney – creating special moments for guests to treasure forever. “There are so many moments over the past 35 years that will hold a special place in my heart, but I might be biased to say that meeting Dianne has been the best thing about working at Walt Disney World,” Don shared.
Cast members are truly at the heart of everything we do at Disney, making each day at our parks and resorts an unforgettable experience, and we could not be prouder of everything they’ve accomplished. Congratulations to all who celebrated – we can’t wait to see all the magic you create in the coming years!