Walt Disney World® Resort
February 28, 2014
COMMUNITY UPDATE
Disney Guest Reunites with Special Bear 
Walt Disney World Cast Members recently helped reunite a lost teddy bear with his family after they visited Disney World. Toby the Bear has been a special part of Brooklyn Andrews' life since she was a toddler. Given to her as a gift from her father, Toby carries a loving voice message her father recorded before he died. Toby tagged along with the Andrews family last month when they visited Walt Disney World Resort, but was accidentally left behind. Cast Members from Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa searched high and low for the lost bear until a housekeeper found him in a linen room. "We touched his paw and heard the message, and knew this was definitely the bear," said Sonya Deese-Byrnes, general manager of Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. 
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Disney Designers Showcase Creativity 

With an eye toward the finer details, a costuming team of nearly 200 Cast Members at Walt Disney World Resort are putting the finishing touches on dozens of stunning costumes for a new parade that debuts March 9 at Magic Kingdom Park. Mirroring current fashion trends, Disney costumers have been working for the past year to bring the designs to life through innovative use of 3-D printing technology and custom fabrics that work well in the Central Florida climate and accommodate the needs of each performer. "By paying close attention to detail, we are bringing everything to life in an authentic way to put a fun, modern twist on the classic tales in this parade," said Disney costume designer Jansen DuPuis. 

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Disney Helps Give Kids the World Village
Known for making wishes come true for ill children, one of Central Florida's nonprofits had its own wish granted with help from Disney and other community partners. Give Kids the World was recently re-imagined as part of an Extreme Village Makeover on ABC's Good Morning AmericaDisney Cast Members dedicated countless hours to redesign and renovate a special building for volunteers"This makeover was one of the most exciting events in our history, so it was especially meaningful that Disney Cast Members played such a significant role," said Pam Landwirth, president of Give Kids the World.
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'Pluto and Friends' Support the SPCA 

Joining Mickey Mouse's best friend Pluto, Disney VoluntEARS greeted hundreds of families during the recent Paws in the Park event to benefit the SPCA of Central Florida. A "pack" of Disney Cast Members raised $24,000, making it the top fundraising group for the seventh year in a row. As a warm-up before the walk, dogs and owners visited the Disney Kids and Family Zone where they could meet Pluto, create a special 'paw print' card or run an obstacle course together. "As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Paws in the Park, we want to thank Disney for continuously supporting this effort," said Kerri Burns, executive director of the SPCA of Central Florida.

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Disney Sports Offers Special Military Day 

America's heroes are invited to a special day at the ballpark as ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex and the Atlanta Braves celebrate Military Appreciation Day. On March 8, veterans will receive 50% off select tickets during the Atlanta Braves spring training game against division rival the Miami Marlins. During the ballgame, the first pitch and the national anthem will be dedicated to veterans, along with other surprises. Another example of Disney's long tradition of supporting the U.S. Armed Forces, Disney also introduced Heroes Work Here in 2012 as a company-wide initiative to hire, train and support military veterans. Since launching the program, The Walt Disney Company has exceeded its goals by hiring approximately 2,500 veterans. 

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Disney & Unions Ready for Negotiations 

Leaders from Walt Disney World Resort and the Service Trades Council Union (STCU) will begin negotiations next week on a collective bargaining agreement. For more than 40 years, Walt Disney World has worked constructively with unions, including the STCU which is comprised of six different unions representing Cast Members in roles ranging from cosmetologists to florists to resort housekeepers. The company has long invested in Cast Members through a leading pay and benefits package as well as offering unique benefits such as subsidized healthcare and onsite childcare, an onsite health clinic and pharmacy, discounted groceries and much more. 

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Disney Cruise Line Receives Top Awards
Disney ships received 29 awards from the Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice awards, including 13 first place awards. The Disney Fantasy was recognized in the Large Ship category for Best Overall Ship, Best for Families, Best Service, Best Dining and Entertainment, Best Cabins and Public Rooms and Best Cruises from Florida, among others. In addition, Disney's fleet of four ships was ranked among the top cruise ships in the world on the Condé Nast Traveler 2014 Reader's Choice list, claiming four of the top five spots in the Best Large Cruise Ships category. The recently re-imagined Disney Magic was awarded Porthole Cruise Magazine's 2014 Editor-in-Chief Award for Best Makeover. "These awards ultimately speak to the quality and commitment of our Cast and crew members who are dedicated to bringing our ships to life," said Karl Holz, president of Disney Cruise Line. 
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ALSO MAKING HEADLINES...
Disney Symposium Benefits Nonprofits



Walt Disney Parks and Resorts hosted a special symposium for nonprofits focusing on new ways to strengthen bonds between adults and children.  
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Central Florida Kids 
Let it Go during 
GMA Sing-Along 

 
Dozens of Central Florida children joined Disney princesses Anna and Elsa in a Good Morning America sing-along of the Academy Awards-nominated song Let It Go from the animated Disney movie, Frozen.
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Belle Reads to Kids in Osceola County



Disney Princess Belle shared her favorite books with 
preschoolers  from Osceola County as part of an initiative to encourage kids to read. 
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VoluntEARS Inspire Future Scientists



Using fun, interactive displays, Disney Cast Members helped inspire future scientists and engineers during an Orlando Science Center event. 
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Disney Expands Exhibit of African- American History



New images, artwork and artifacts will soon be added to an Epcot exhibit that reflects African-American history. 
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ESPN Names Teams for MEAC/SWAC Challenge 

MEACCharacters

North Carolina A&T and Alabama A&M will face off during the 10th MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney. 
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Cast Members Earn Top Safety Honors



Walt Disney World Cast Members were recognized for their commitment to safety.
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Disney Hotels Rated Among the Best



U.S. News and World Report named six Walt Disney World Resort hotels among the "Best Hotels in Orlando."
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