Walt Disney WorldŽ Resort
August 15, 2014
School Supply Drive Benefits 70,000 Kids 
As Central Florida teachers busily prepare for another school year, Disney VoluntEARS have been busy with their own back-to-school bustle - collecting more than 2.5 million back-to-school supplies and cash donations to benefit more than 70,000 local studentsIn addition to devoting more than 2,000 hours of service collecting, sorting and organizing donations, VoluntEARS recently joined Mickey Mouse for the first day of teacher shopping at A Gift for Teaching (AGFT). "We appreciate the efforts of Disney Cast Members to boost our schools' resources and supplies this back-to-school season," said Jane Thompson, president of AGFT.
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Disney Supports Children and Education
When it comes to building a better future for Central Florida's children, it doesn't take a Ph.D. to know supporting education is a smart place to start. That's why Walt Disney World Resort takes an active role in bolstering the region's educational resources - from early learning to higher education. Besides annual contributions to five local school districts and grants to several nonprofits focused on education, Disney has supported local institutions such as the University of Central Florida, Valencia College and Bethune-Cookman College. "Whether we're recognizing Central Florida's outstanding young people as Disney Dreamers and Doers or mentoring children in local schools, Disney is invested in the local community through financial support, product donations, pro bono services and volunteer engagement," said Nancy Gidusko, director of corporate citizenship for Walt Disney World Resort.
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Future Engineers Train at Disney Parks
In a twist on the traditional career fair, Cast Members from Walt Disney World Resort hosted nearly 60 college interns majoring in engineering, math and science to see if they have what it takes to be a Disney engineer. Disney's Ultimate EnginEARing Exploration challenges students to apply their classroom learning and technical skills to help solve real-life engineering problems in a theme park setting. During the most recent EnginEARing Exploration, students worked together to simulate the installation of new theme elements inside an attraction queue. "The impact this event made on my career is phenomenal," said Clayton Walker, a computer science major at the University of Central Florida. "Going behind the scenes to see what it takes to create and maintain attractions, while working with other young engineers toward a common goal is something I will never forget."
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Local Girls Celebrate with Anna and Elsa 
Like sisters Elsa and Anna from Disney's popular movie Frozen, members of Lakeland-based nonprofit Girls, Inc. are strong, smart and bold. That's why Walt Disney World Resort welcomed 12 of these "sisters in spirit" to Disney's Hollywood Studios for a day of Frozen Summer Fun LIVE to celebrate National Sisters Day. The girls, ages 8 to 12, watched Anna and Elsa's Royal Welcome procession, joined a sing-along with the royal sisters and took part in wintery fun such as ice skating, playing in the snow and building a snowman. "With the chance to strengthen their friendships and try exciting new things, this special Frozen experience was the ideal way for our girls to celebrate National Sisters Day," said Kay Harris Fields, executive director of Girls, Inc.
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VoluntEARS Help Animals at Nonprofit 
Fifteen Crew Members from the Disney Fantasy, based in Port Canaveral, Fla., recently volunteered at the Cozumel Humane Society while the ship was in port. During their visit, Crew Members took dogs for walks, gave them baths and oversaw puppy playtime. "It's amazing what a few hours of time can do for animals without a home that only need love," said Crew Member Taylor Narcisse. In 2013, Disney Cruise Line Cast and Crew donated more than 4,500 hours of personal time to benefit worthwhile causes across nearly 40 different port communities. 
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"Having spent most of my life creating
material for children and observing their potential, 
I feel convinced that a full-time education for our youth is our best investment in the future." 
~ Walt Disney
Cast Members Support HBCU and MEAC/SWAC Football

Cast Members who are HBCU alumni show their school pride for the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney, kicking off Aug. 31. 
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KaBOOM! Tour stops in Central Florida

The KaBOOM! Play Together Tour powered by Disney Parks is traveling to six cities, including Kissimmee, Fla., for fun-filled events that encourage connections between kids and adults.
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Search is on for Disney Ambassadors 

Marking 50 years of the Disney Ambassador tradition, the search is now on for ideal Cast Members - like first-ever Walt Disney World Resort Ambassador Debby Dane Brown - to fill these roles.
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It's a Boy!

Disney's Animal Kingdom welcomes a bundle of joy - a newborn western lowland gorilla.
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Parking Tips for Downtown Disney

As Downtown Disney transforms into Disney Springs, here are some tips for navigating through the property during the expansion.
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