Rolling With Tradition: A Cast Member’s Journey in the ‘A Christmas Fantasy’ Parade

Gabe Valenzuela

by , Internal Communications Intern, Disneyland Resort

The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort are in full swing with merry magic and the smell of gingerbread filling the air of Main Street U.S.A. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade joyfully returned during the special #DisneyCastLife preview filled with excited cast members eagerly anticipating the heartwarming feeling of the holidays.

Disney Cast Life Disney Cast Life Moment photo frame

Amidst the joyous melodies and twinkling lights, parade performer Hayley Kelly plays a pivotal role in bringing this holiday tradition to life both on stage and backstage. Having been in the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade for 11 years, Hayley has become not only a seasoned performer but also a specialty trainer, guiding new talent through the entertainment department.

Hayley’s cast member journey has been a dream come true. Securing her role in the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade fulfilled a life-long childhood dream she had cherished for years. Her breakthrough came in a snowflake audition, where she skated her way into the hearts of the casting team.

“I just remember standing there, hoping with all my might that this was it, that I was finally going to become a Disney performer,” Hayley reflected on the moment she received the long-awaited news.

Now as a veteran performer, Hayley wanted to help new cast members adapt to the intricacies of roller-skating choreography. She collaborated with parade management and introduced “Skater 101,” a program designed to ease new snowflakes into their roles.

Hayley’s message to aspiring performers echoes her own journey—persevere and never give up on your dreams. Her passion for the parade and the joy it brings to both performers and guests alike is evident with every piece of advice she shares with new cast members.

For Hayley, the Disneyland Resort has always been a magical place, especially during the holiday season. “Christmas has always been a really special time for my family. So, we would make it a point to come to the park every year during Christmas time,” she shared.

Reflecting on her childhood visits, her love for Christmas transcended into her role as a performer, where she gets to share the joy with thousands of guests who flock to Disneyland during the holiday season.

In every spin, turn, and glide, performers like Hayley bring the holiday magic to the Disneyland Resort, creating memories that linger in the hearts of guests long after the holiday season fades away. Hayley’s story is a testament to the perseverance, passion and magic that define the world of parade performers, making the “A Christmas Fantasy” parade a timeless celebration of tradition and holiday cheer.