U.S. Military service was recognized across Disney Experiences—from Florida to California—throughout the week leading up to Veterans Day as we honored those who have contributed so much in service of our country. Veterans were honored with special flag retreat ceremonies, flyovers, military band performances, special merchandise and more as Disney saluted those who served.
Saluting Military Veterans at and Above Disneyland
Disneyland Park hosted an unforgettable Veterans Day flag retreat ceremony featuring an airborne salute from the U.S. Air Force. The event began with nearly 200 Disney cast members from Disney SALUTE teams from Disneyland and the Los Angeles area who served in uniform proudly marching down Main Street U.S.A. The procession was led by the U.S. Marine First Division band as guests clapped and thanked them for their service. The cast veterans flowed onto the train station steps in Town Square to observe an extended flag retreat ceremony full of numerous patriotic song performances.
Members of Disney SALUTE Veteran Affinity Group march down Main Street U.S.A. as part of the Disneyland Veterans Day celebration.
A highlight of the ceremony was a flyover by an U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft soaring high over Sleeping Beauty Castle and down Main Street U.S.A. as the Marine band performed The Star-Spangled Banner eliciting thunderous applause across the park.
A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft soared high over Disneyland Park in honor of Veterans Day
Twin Brothers Who Make Disney Magic and Serve in the U.S. Air Force
Making the U.S. Air Force flyover extra special is the unique connection between Disneyland Resort and the squadron that soared high over the resort. Identical twin brothers, Cody and Matt Breidinger, both make magic as Disneyland cast members and serve in the U.S. Air Force reserve. Both hold the rank of Staff Sergeants working in the 729th Airlift Squadron stationed at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California—the same squadron who flew over Disneyland today.
Identical twin brother Cody and Matt Breidinger are Disneyland cast members and serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserve
Observing the celebration of service and the flyover was special guest, U.S. Air Force Gen. David Allvin, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force. During his visit, Gen. Allvin met with the twin brothers as he greeted all the Disney cast veterans before the parade to thank them for their service.
“Service is a special thing,” said Gen. Allvin. “Whether we serve for two years or four decades, Airmen and all veterans are bound together in pursuit of a worthy cause. Through our service we discover collective purpose, as well as personal growth from the unique experiences we share. Veterans Day reminds us of this bond.”
Gen. David Allvin, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, joined Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Experiences and Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resort, for the Disneyland Veterans Day celebrations
Walt Disney World Honor Cast “Veterans of The Year”
In Florida, Walt Disney World honored Disney cast members representing different service branches as cast “veterans of the year” during a special annual flag retreat ceremony in Magic Kingdom Park. As part of an annual tradition, we reserve Veterans Day as a day to honor our cast members with military service. Those selected have the honor of representing all their fellow cast veterans in Florida during this yearly tradition.
Disney cast members honored this year were married couple Joanna (U.S. Air Force veteran) and Carl Adrian Abinuman (U.S. Navy reserve); and Oscar Marin (U.S. Marine Corps veteran). The ceremony was particularly special for Oscar who joined the company after participating in the Disney Military Fellowship program as he served his last days on active duty.
Disney cast “Veterans of the Year” with Magic Kingdom Park Vice President Sarah Riles
Celebrating Veterans & Military Families Through Music
Guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts were treated to special performances throughout the week leading up to Veterans Day by military bands from several service branches. Disneyland guests were entertained by the United States Air Force Band of the Golden West and 1st Marine Division band performances. At Walt Disney World, several elements of the U.S. Navy Band Southeast delivered stirring performances across the resort including their marching band entertaining guests in Magic Kingdom, brass and wind quintet performances at EPCOT American Adventure Pavilion and their Navy Rock band getting people on their feet dancing at Disney Springs.
Navy Band Southeast performs at Magic Kingdom Park Nov. 8 as part of Walt Disney World Resort’s Veterans Day celebrations (photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Disney has honored U.S. military service throughout the 100-year history of our company, and we continue that proud tradition today. We’re grateful to all who ever wore the uniform and for those who continue to stand the watch around the world. Thank you for your service this Veterans Day and every day.