Did you know April is Autism Acceptance Month? In honor of the month, we are proud to share a little more about Guillermo, a Custodial cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and shine a spotlight on the stories of our cast members with autism. So, let’s begin with one of Guillermo’s favorite phrases: “Lights…Cameras…Action!”
Guillermo has been a fan of moviemaking since he was a child. A Florida native and lifelong Disney fan, some of his favorite flicks include all the Star Wars films, “Dinosaur” and “The Little Mermaid.” He can recite entire movie scripts by memory and loves to share his favorite film and Disney facts with all he meets. So, when searching for jobs, there was no question – he wanted to work at Walt Disney World Resort.
After filling out his paperwork and attending a local job fair, Guillermo received an offer for a Custodial role on the spot, where he has thrived for the past nine years. He was an opening cast member at Pandora — The World of Avatar and recently transferred to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where he can enter the worlds of some of his favorite movies each day. His favorite moments on the job? Sharing some of his favorite bits of film trivia with guests as he keeps the park sparkling.
“Movies are a part of who I am,” Guillermo explains. “One of my favorite Disney songs is “Part of Your World” because Ariel sings about how she wants to be where the people are, and so do I. My autism will never be a barrier for me.”
Through The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Aspire program, which helps cast members make the most of their future through flexible educational opportunities, Guillermo was able to receive both his high school diploma and a Technical Certificate in Digital Media Video Production from Valencia College. He hopes to pursue his love of moviemaking full time as a video producer for the company, even setting up his own independent production company to grow his skills.
“My advice to others with autism is to always trust in yourself. The sky is the limit ‘to infinity and beyond,’ so always look to the stars and know anything is possible.”
If you’re ever visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, be sure to stop and say hello to Guillermo. You may see him walking the red carpet in the future!