Disney Makes Magic Happen for Cast Member Serving in the Armed Forces

Cast Member Serving in the Armed Forces

Disney Makes Magic Happen for Cast Member Serving in the Armed Forces

Disney recently helped make magic happen for a cast member serving in the armed forces along with other Air Force Reservists. Harry Porrata Doria, a Guest Experience Manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Master Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, asked the Disney SALUTE veteran affinity group to help him make some magic for his team of more than 100 deployed Airmen.

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The Disney SALUTE team acted quickly and set up collection boxes around Walt Disney World offices and in no time, they were overflowing with essential items and treats ready to be sent across the world. The Disney SALUTE veteran affinity group is a collection of cast members who have either served in the military or come from military families, so they know how care packages like these are a big boost to morale for those who can be deployed far from family and friends.

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Disney VoluntEARS including SALUTE members and Harry’s fellow cast from Disney’s Animal Kingdom gathered one morning as the sun rose over this iconic theme park. They got to work sorting through an impressive amount of donated food and hygiene products and packed them up into several boxes that were soon on their way across the world. The care packages also included letters from Disney cast members and executives wishing Harry well and thanking him for his selfless service.


A highlight during the VoluntEARS event was seeing a special video Harry sent in advance where he thanked his fellow cast members for their support in helping him do something special for his fellow deployed service members.

harry

A special thank you from overseas
The packages arrived several weeks later in the undisclosed location in the Middle East. And while the boxes were a little beat up, Harry’s team of Airmen were able to enjoy delicious treats, including some crisped rice cereal treats from Minnie’s Bake Shop along with many essential items to make their deployment a little bit easier.

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“My Unit and myself would like to thank everyone that donated items and time to package and send these great care packages for us,” said Harry. “We really loved everything sent, but especially the healthy snacks! Thanks for bringing a little magic to our team while we’re deployed far from home.”

Disney helps deployed military unit and local Veteran Service Organization
Disney’s cast are exceptionally generous, and upon collecting all the donations for Harry’s unit, they found themselves standing in front of a mountain of items—too much to send it all halfway across the world. Given the impressive amount of donated goods, they were able to take half of the donations and share them with Disney’s friends at the Orlando Fisher House, one of 95+ comfort homes across the United States built by the Fisher House Foundation. Military and veterans’ families can stay at the Orlando Fisher House at no cost while a loved one is receiving medical treatment at the Orlando VA Medical Center at Lake Nona. Disney is honored to participate in recurring volunteer events over the years in support of the Fisher House’s important mission.

The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding 100-year tradition of support for the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Disney SALUTE veterans affinity group proudly contributes to this enduring tradition.

We love feel-good stories like this that come out of Disney World!

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Sara is a travel agent with Destinations to Travel, a Disney Earmarked agency. She lives in Alaska with her husband and 3 kids. Due to her extreme dislike of winter, she travels often to warmer destinations during the colder months. She visits the Disney parks and resorts frequently with her family and loves helping other families plan magical vacations. Contact her here for help with your vacation!
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