When you work for the Walt Disney Company, you are not an employee. You are a Cast Member. You are a part of the magical production of Disney. Being a Cast Member is the experience of a lifetime and with it comes traditions and exclusive opportunities like none other. One of those incredibly popular opportunities is the annual Canoe Races!
With work being done on Rivers of America, the highly anticipated Cast Member Canoe Races have been absent for the past two years. They made their return this year to the delight of all Cast Members as 70 teams from all areas of the Walt Disney Company took part.
“This brings the cast together in a way no other event can,” said Cast Activities Program Manager Rick Henson. He began his Disney career as a merchandise host at the Disneyland Hotel 37 years ago. Since then, he has helped oversee the Canoe Races for the last 16 years. “I’ve had cast members tell me how they heard about the races before they started working here, and it was so special once they became a cast member to be able to form a team. I’m honored to be the person who gets to put on these races and keep the tradition alive.”
Along with the Canoe Races, Cast Members can also take part in some newer opportunities. Sunrise Yoga at Sleeping Beauty Castle and a Cast Member, Friends and Family 5K took place on Saturday, July 14th.
The morning run through the parks was coordinated by Tim Sullivan, the Fitness Program Manager. “We have so many cast members that have been working here for a number of years. It’s so fun to see them run into each other and talk about where they are now in their professional Disney careers, introduce their families and reminisce about their time together working in the parks. This place means a lot to so many of us, and to be able to have these events in the park, before or after hours is really special.” Tim’s 22 year career at Disneyland began as a Jungle Cruise Skipper.
Cast Members keep the magic of Disney alive for guests as well as each other. They work hard to create happiness and will always have those special opportunities to enjoy the Disneyland Resort in unique and exclusive ways.
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