Cast Members Dress Bears in Holiday Best for Children In Need

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 16, 2013 – Creativity and generosity recently came together to give Central Florida kids 920 reasons to smile. These smiles represent the response to the 920 uniquely costumed teddy bears designed by Cast Members from around Walt Disney WorldResort for the Salvation Army’s Dress-A-Bear program. The initiative provides a Disney Bear or Duffy Bear to youngsters to unwrap during the holidays.

Cast Members picked up fabric and thread, knitting needles or ready-made costumes to create an individual look for each bear. There were cowboy bears, princess bears, bears in pajamas and even bears dressed as Disney characters.

For more than 15 years, the effort has been a holiday tradition for Cast Members, including Alice Stanley who works as an administration secretary for merchandise.

“I try to think about the child who might be receiving the bear before I decorate it,” Stanley said. “The inspiration is always the children.”

Mark Woodcock, area commander of the Salvation Army for Orange County, believes that because of Disney’s donation, kids in Central Florida will have a more magical Christmas.

“It’s because of Disney’s generosity that we are able to provide these gifts,” Woodcock said. “The special touch that is given to each bear gives it even more significance to the kids who receive them.”

The Salvation Army donation is one of many charitable activities that are part of Walt Disney World Resort’s effort to make the holiday season a little merrier for those who need it most.  Along with Dress-A-Bear, Cast Members also donated other gifts this season and filled more than 168 holiday stockings donated to the Salvation Army.