Walt Disney World has called Florida home for more than 50 years, but you may be surprised to learn that many Florida-based cast members live and work beyond the gates. If you’ve called Disney for vacation planning assistance in the past 25 years, it’s very possible you talked to a cast member in Tampa, Fla., about 70 miles southwest of Cinderella Castle.
Disney is celebrating over 25 years of operations in Tampa, where more than 600 cast members at the Disney Central call center answer calls, chats and emails from thousands of guests planning their Disney vacations. To help commemorate this milestone, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor issued a proclamation declaring Thursday, May 11 “Celebrate Disney Cast Members Day” in Tampa – read the whole proclamation on the City of Tampa website.
“For more than 25 years, our cast members in Tampa have made magic for millions of guests by helping them plan their dream vacations to Walt Disney World in Florida. We’re so proud of these cast members for all they do at Disney and in our community,” said Maryann Smith, Vice President of Customer Experience.
The day was full of fun surprises for the cast members, who were welcomed to work on Thursday with a special event where Mickey Mouse and Pluto helped deliver one of the most iconic symbols of being a Disney cast member – a new nametag! The newly designed nametag just for Walt Disney World cast will soon be worn by more than 75,000 cast members based in Central Florida.
Nametags are treasured by cast past and present, and for Tampa cast there’s a special hometown connection. Many of the nametags have been manufactured just a few miles away in Tampa by a local business.
“I’ve been working at Disney Central Tampa for over a decade and it’s truly special to see how our team has grown over the years and has maintained a positive footprint on my hometown,” said Tony Hernandez, a Senior Manager of Sales. “It’s so great to celebrate with my fellow cast members on this special day.”
As part of the celebration, Tampa-based cast also took part in a special volunteer activity through the Disney VoluntEARS program, working together to create a hand-painted mural of Disney characters through the Foundation for Hospital Art. Once complete, the mural was delivered to AdventHealth for Children, a part of AdventHealth Tampa to help bring some special Disney magic to patients and families. This joins other recent efforts at the hospital like the delivery of a mobile movie theater unit which you can read about here on the Disney Parks Blog.
Congratulations to the cast members in Tampa for over 25 years of vacation planning magic and giving back to their community.