LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2023) – Disney cast members Serena Arvizu and Shannon Smith-Conrad ware announced today as the 2024-2025 Walt Disney World Ambassadors during a special ceremony at EPCOT alongside their families, hundreds of coworkers and former Disney Ambassadors.
Serena and Shannon will officially begin their Ambassador term in October just in time to help kick off the company’s 100th anniversary and celebrate all the cast members, fans and storytellers who have made Disney magic possible over the last century. As announced at Destination D23 a few weeks ago, they’ll serve as Ambassadors during a monumental time for the company with more projects underway in the next decade than at any point in our history at Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
The resort will also hit significant milestones during their term with the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom, the debut of a new fireworks nighttime spectacular coming to EPCOT, the groundbreaking of a new affordable housing development in Central Florida and more. And, Serena and Shannon will step into the role just in time to be part of the resort’s next attraction opening – Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – opening at EPCOT on Oct. 16.
The Ambassador Program first began in 1965 when Walt Disney introduced Julie Reihm as the first-ever Disney Ambassador. Now, nearly 60 years later, the program has grown to include a global team of Ambassadors who represent thousands of cast members at our parks, resorts and experiences around the world and play a key role in bringing the magic of Disney out into the community. At Walt Disney World, cast members are selected every two years to become Ambassadors.
Outgoing Ambassadors, Ali Manion and Raevon Redding, will continue to serve in their role as Ambassadors through the end of the year, training the new team and preparing them for a unique experience that only 82 Walt Disney World cast members have had since the resort’s opening.
About Serena Arvizu: Serena started her Disney journey in 2016 on the Disney College Program as a hostess at The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World. She joins the Ambassador Team from Disney Supplier Diversity where she has been a Sourcing Specialist since December 2020. Serena is most looking forward to shining a light on all the cast members at Walt Disney World and helping to tell their stories of making magic for guests, each other and the community.
About Shannon Smith-Conrad: Shannon started her Disney journey in 2012 on the Disney College Program at Disneyland Resort. She joins the Ambassador Team from Professional Recruitment where she has been a Coordinator since November 2021. With a deep passion for helping others, Shannon is most looking forward to bringing the magic of Disney out into the community and volunteering alongside fellow cast as a Disney VoluntEAR.
About Walt Disney World Resort: Walt Disney World Resort is a world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four of the most popular theme parks from around the globe, two thrilling water parks, nearly 29,000 hotel rooms, a sports complex, several golf courses and Disney Springs — a metropolis of shopping, dining and entertainment. Since 1971, Walt Disney World has focused on delivering legendary guest service and one-of-a-kind experiences that make it the number one vacation destination in the world where families create magical memories.