Disneyland Resort Celebrates its Cast Environmental Champions

Michelle Choi

by , Communications Manager, Disneyland Resort

  • Avengers Campus Food and Beverage team nabs the 2023 Disneyland Resort Environmental Team of the Year award.
  • Disneyland park Retail Lead Kayla Casillas takes honors as 2023 Environmental Champion of the Year for her inspirational efforts.
Group of cast members in front of Pym's Test Kitchen

2023 Environmental Team of the Year:
Avengers Campus Food and Beverage Team

The clank of silverware in the Pym Test Kitchen sorting station at Disney California Adventure park is the sound of the Avengers Campus Food and Beverage team’s environmental efforts paying off. The team is committed to their location’s theme of “shrinking problems, growing solutions,” and their solution for the problem of waste is reusable utensils.

The team has eliminated more than 25,000 plastic utensils from landfills simply by using reusable utensils. Once a guest is done dining, the team sorts all reusables, including utensils, which stewards sanitize before the next guest uses them to enjoy the lab’s tasty experiments.

Cast Members Eliceo and Luis hold knives and forks
Eliceo Rodriguez and Luis Roman from Pym’s Test Kitchen work together to make sure all reusables like the silverware they are holding above stay out of the trash and get reused after being sanitized.

Due to its heroic efforts, the team was named the 2023 Environmental Team of the Year by the Environmental Integration team following a nomination process.

“I’m super proud of our team, because we’ve done a lot in the last year and a half in terms of looking at different environmental factors to see what we can do to make small improvements so that we have a large improvement overall,” Senior Stage Manager William Garcia shared after accepting the award on his team’s behalf.

Cast members Justin and Arianna at work
Left: Food Service Worker Justin Lemus-Canas recycles soft plastics. Right: Cashier Arianna Ochoa is source for her team’s questions about recycling and the new food waste bins.

These environmental super heroes aren’t stopping there. The team is testing out onstage food scrap bins, sorting soft plastics and recycling one-time use gloves to keep unnecessary waste out of landfills.

“It made me so excited to see we won the Environmental Team of the Year award,” said Arianna Ochoa, Avengers Campus cashier. “It encourages us to go further with our efforts. We might be playing a small part, but it is still a small part in the bigger picture.”

Cast member Kayla shows a Little Mermaid toy to a team member
Kayla Casillas (right) shows her fellow cast members how to spot items that can be recycled, such as the cards that come attached to bubble wands.

2023 Environmental Champion of the Year:
Kayla Casillas, Adventureland/Frontierland Retail Lead

Kayla Casillas has a heart for the environment and a sense of adventure that led her to explore the trash bins in her area. And she discovered that a shocking 80% of the trash could easily be recycled if placed in the right bins.

Her first goal was to make mixed recycling bins accessible. Then came educating her fellow Disneyland park cast members by creating meeting topics and placing flyers near the mixed recycling bins to help the team make the right decision when disposing of trash.

Cast member Kayla holds her Environmental Champion award alongside Julia
Kayla alongside Julia Molinaro, who nominated her for the award.

“I would encourage people who are looking to do something similar to be vocal about what they’re passionate about, especially if it’s something like the environment, to get your team involved and to see the fire that they have to make a difference,” Kayla shared.

Group of cast honorees with the Disneyland Resort Ambassadors
The 2023 honorees are joined by the Disneyland Resort Ambassadors.

A donation of $5,000 will be made in honor of Kayla and the Avengers Campus Food and Beverage team to Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots program to inspire future environmental and community leaders.

Take some inspiration from this year’s winners with these tips:

  • Bring reusable utensils wherever you go.
  • Be mindful of food waste.
  • Recycle or repurpose whatever you can.