December 02, 2011 • Volume 8, Issue 11


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Military Family Officially Launches Disneyland Resort Holidays


On Nov. 14, Gunnery Sgt. Derrick Poteat, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s S-6 communication platoon, and his family “flipped the switch” on more than 300,000 lights blanketing "it's a small world" Holiday, transforming the popular attraction into a visual wonderland and officially launching the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort.

The festive ceremony, presented by the attraction’s sponsor, SYLVANIA, honored Poteat and his family for the contributions they have made to our country. Poteat, who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1996, has completed three tours and recently returned from the latest, a seven-month deployment in the Middle East.

Poteat was joined by his three children, nephew, niece and wife, Clarice, an advisor to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit's family readiness team.


Disneyland Resort Helps Set Record for World’s Largest History Lesson


The Disneyland Resort, along with other sponsors, helped welcome nearly 15,000 Orange County third-graders to Angel Stadium last month for the Gift of History – the world’s largest history lesson. Guinness World Records was on hand to confirm the feat.

Disney Channel's own Caroline Sunshine from “Shake it Up” emceed the event, with notable hosts – including Mickey Mouse – inspiring the young audience to not only learn about the history of Orange County, but to create it, too.

From left, Orange County Sheriff's Department Captain Toni Bland, Author Stan Oftelie, City of Anaheim Councilwoman Gail Eastman, Caroline Sunshine, Orange County Superintendent of Schools Bill Habermehl, Mickey Mouse, Guinness World Records Adjudicator Philip Robertson, Angels Baseball Broadcaster Jose Mota and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Gaddi Vasquez.


Disney VoluntEARS Engage in National Family Volunteer Day


Days before Thanksgiving, Disney VoluntEARS celebrated National Family Volunteer Day by helping assemble 26,341 food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank for local seniors in need this holiday season.

The annual event, created six years ago in partnership with the Disneyland Resort, has grown into one of the largest National Family Volunteer Day events in the country, inspiring employees from companies across Orange County to volunteer with their families.

More than 1,200 volunteers participated this year, setting a record for the largest number of food boxes assembled at the Orange County Food Bank in one day. To learn more about coordinating food drives at the Orange County Food Bank or to make a donation, visit

Disney VoluntEARS, including 2011 Disneyland Resort Ambassador Jolie Hales, helped package 421 tons of food.


Diversity Group Hosts ABC News Correspondent John Quiñones


ABC News Correspondent John Quiñones recently shared his compelling story about growing up in a San Antonio barrio to becoming a co-anchor for ABC’s “Primetime” with members of one of Disneyland Resort’s Diversity Resource Groups, HOLA (Hispanic Organization for Leadership Advancement). Quiñones’ storytelling included political and economic turmoil in Argentina and civil war in El Salvador.

Disneyland Resort Diversity Resource Groups consist of cast members from all lines business who provide enrichment, awareness and education to support and enhance the diversity goals and objectives of the Resort, from informative seminars to feedback about menu items.    

Quiñones, who grew up picking cherries and tomatoes with his family, told the audience to do whatever it takes to take hold of their dreams.

Star Tours - The Adventures Continue Earns Top Industry Award


The Themed Entertainment Association recently announced the winners of the 18th Annual Thea Awards, recognizing excellence in the creation of visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. Star Tours - The Adventures Continue at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World was honored with the Award for Outstanding Achievement – Attraction Refresh.

The original Star Tours attraction, which opened at Disneyland in 1987, was refreshed last summer with more than 50 3-D adventures, sending voyagers for the first time to Coruscant, Tatooine and other destinations in the Stars Wars galaxy.

Characters like C-3PO enjoy new roles after more than two decades aboard the classic Starspeeder 3000.

Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund Awards $388,738 in Annual Grants


The Disney VoluntEARS Community Fund (DVCF) recently awarded 80 local organizations a total of $388,738 in grants selected and funded by Disneyland Resort cast members. Cast members who contribute to the fund can nominate an organization for a DVCF grant.

The organizations – from local schools to social service agencies – received up to $5,000 each. To date, DVCF has awarded more than $4 million in grants.

The Boys & Girls Club of Tustin received $5000 for its HOPE program, providing 10 additional homeless youth an after-school program that includes free meals and transportation.

Disneyland Resort Honored with Business Diversity Award for Creating Jobs


The Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) has awarded the Disneyland Resort its Corporate Eagle Award, the highest honor given to a corporate partner for exemplary contributions to ABAOC and the Orange County business community. 

“This award recognizes the Disneyland Resort for its support of such ABAOC programs as the global procurement conference, as well as the Resort’s impact in Orange County through its latest expansion, which is helping to create thousands of jobs and stimulate the economy,” said Vilmer Villaverde, 2011 president of ABAOC.

ABAOC recognized 35 local businesses for their contributions to the economy
at its 16th Annual Recognition Awards Gala.

Disneyland Resort Honors Military Cast


On Veterans Day, a special flag retreat ceremony was held at Disneyland park in honor of veterans, reservists and active duty members of the U.S. armed forces at the Disneyland Resort and around the country. More than 100 military cast members participated in the event, marching down Main St. U.S.A. in military uniform.

“I’m proud the Disneyland Resort recognizes its military cast,” said Elvia Huizar, a food & beverage cast member and Air Force veteran who spent nearly five months in Kirkuk, Iraq serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “It’s reassuring to know our service is appreciated and not forgotten.”

See the special salute in this video:


At the Disneyland Resort, every role is a starring role. This video feature gives a behind-the-scenes look at the unique jobs and employment opportunities at the Resort. Whether onstage or backstage, each cast member plays an important role in making the magic come to life for our guests.


What They Do:
Food & wine pairings at the Disneyland Resort

Where You Can See Their Work:
Napa Rose, Steakhouse 55, Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery




Preparing for and responding to emergencies is not only my line of work but also a personal passion. That’s why I’ve served on the Orange County Red Cross board of directors since 2004, an organization that provides relief to victims of disasters and assistance in preparing for them.

During my tenure on the board, I've served as Chairman of the Orange County Red Cross’ annual Disaster Preparedness Academy, an event engaging several local businesses in workshops about emergency preparedness. This year, I’m serving as Secretary on the board of directors in addition to the nomination and executive committees.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the work that the American Red Cross has done and the lives they have changed, and I’m strongly committed to our chapter and the organization at large. We have several upcoming events you can learn more about at

Doug Watson
General Manager, Security & Emergency Services
Disneyland Resort


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