May 31, 2013

Walt Disney World® Resort
May 31, 2013
COMMUNITY UPDATE

Florida Cast Members Receive Top Honor
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They create magic every day, inspire others and represent Disney’s heritage. They’re the more than 350 Central Florida Cast Members recently recognized with the 2013 Disney Legacy Award. The award recognizes Cast Members, Crew Members and Imagineers around the world who uphold Disney’s tradition of excellence and represent a commitment to the values prized by Walt himself. Recipients are nominated by co-workers and receive an iconic blue name tag that distinguishes them as recipients.

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Disney VoluntEARS Celebrate 30 Years
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Walt Disney World Cast Members celebrated the 30th anniversary of Disney VoluntEARS this month by lending a hand all around Central
Florida. They built playgrounds, cleaned homes for seniors, beautified neighborhoods, helped kids with homework, donated blood, sorted food donations and more. “We live in a dynamic community with many needs,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Through our VoluntEARS we inspire children and families, revitalize our environment and improve the quality of life.” Last year, Disney VoluntEARS demonstrated their passion and commitment toward improving the quality of life in Central Florida by donating 230,000 hours to support more than 1,700 nonprofits in Central Florida.

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Local Students Named Shining Stars
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Sixteen students representing elementary, middle and high schools from five Central Florida counties have been named Disney Dreamers & Doers
Shining Stars in recognition of their leadership and character. This year’s Shining Stars organized food and clothing drives, sent letters to soldiers, mentored peers, found homes for rescued animals and raised money for diabetes research, among other activities. “Having a Shining Star adds to the pride we already have for our students and our community,” said Gabriel Berrio, principal of Timber Creek High School. The Shining Stars were chosen from among 400 Disney Dreamers & Doers who were selected by their schools. They receive a Mickey Mouse statue, a gold medallion and annual theme park passes.

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Disney Hosts Diverse Leaders
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The Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Minority Business Development team recently hosted a luncheon at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort for a group of leaders from Central Florida’s diverse business and professional organizations. They shared insights on how their organizations are contributing to the economic vitality of the region. ”The luncheon was a chance for us to have a discussion with George Kalogridis as well as continue to strengthen relationships amongst our organizations,” said Gail Rayos, immediate past president of the Asian American Chamber of Central Florida. “When our organizations work more closely together we have the potential to identify and influence opportunities for the entire Central Florida community.”

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Be Our Guest Wins National Award
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The new Be Our Guest Restaurant at Magic Kingdom is earning national recognition for providing guests with a groundbreaking dining experience in New Fantasyland. The National Restaurant Association recently honored Walt Disney Parks and Resorts with its “Operator Innovation Award” for introducing state-of-the-art touch-screen terminals that allow guests to customize their orders and have their food magically delivered to their tables. ”Winners redefine how the industry views innovation and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013. 

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ALSO MAKING HEADLINES…

Walt Disney World Recognizes VoluntEARS
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Veterinary assistant Liz Hedrick received the 2013 VoluntEAR of the Year award and a team from Disney’s Animal Kingdom was named VoluntEAR Team of the Year.

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VoluntEARS Build KaBOOM! Playground
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Kids and families in Clermont now have a new play space thanks to the efforts of Disney VoluntEARS and other community groups.

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Disney Hosts Chef’s Gala to Support Heart of Florida United Way
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The culinary delights of Central Florida’s top chefs helped raise a record $296,000 for people in need.

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Walt Disney World Welcomes Urban Youth Conference
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Nearly 200 students gained entrepreneurial leadership skills during Central Florida Urban League’s annual Youth Leadership Summit.

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Disney Cruise Line Crew and Guests Paint Mural for Hospital
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Watch this video to see images of the mural painting aboard the Disney Magic’s transatlantic crossing to Barcelona.

Disney Executive Honored for Efforts to Help Students
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Chief  Safety Officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Greg Hale, was named Volunteer of the Year byOrlando FIRST for his dedication to education in science and technology.

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MouseMail is a periodic news brief for Central Florida business, community and government leaders, produced by Walt Disney World, Co.

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