NEWS: Disney Steps Up with Big Donation

As the world was once again rocked by a senseless and brutal act of terror over the weekend, many in the Orlando and Disney community have come together to support the victims, their families and other members of the central Florida community. As Orlando residents and long-time lovers of Disney World, this recent attack hits very close to home, not only geographically, but emotionally as well. With the attack taking place just miles from Disney World and with the tragic loss of at least one Disney World employee, this is very personal for the Disney Company, Cast Members and the Disney fan community. We were thrilled today to see the Disney Company stepping up in a big way to help victims and their families. Details and statements from Disney follow below.


From Disney:

Today, the Walt Disney Company is announcing a $1 million cash commitment to the OneOrlando Fund, established by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to assist those affected by the tragic events in Orlando. Also, eligible donations from Disney employees will be matched dollar for dollar by Disney Employee Matching Gifts: A Program of The Walt Disney Company Foundation.

“We are heartbroken by this tragedy and hope our commitment will help those in the community affected by this senseless act,” said Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “With 74,000 Cast Members who call Orlando home, we mourn the loss of the victims and offer our condolences to their families, friends and loved ones.”

OneOrlando Fund will provide funds and other services to individuals affected by the tragedy. The website for the new fund is www.oneorlando.org.

Walt Disney World Resort has also been working in coordination with other Central Florida agencies and leaders to provide support to those in need. In coordination with OneBlood, cast members and other employees working at Walt Disney World Resort wishing to donate blood to help victims may donate at five designated locations across the resort property.

Through an effort led by the City of Orlando and the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association, Walt Disney World Resort is also providing complimentary accommodations for the families and friends of the victims.

Our hearts are with everyone impacted by this horrific event.

Sadly, we know of at least one Disney Cast Member killed in the terrorist attack. Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado worked at Disney Live in the Mickey’s Rockin’ Road Show. Universal Orlando also had at least one employee, Luis Vielma, who was a production assistant on the Harry Potter Forbidden Journey ride. Vielma was 22.

Personally, Cindy and I would like to thank the Disney Company for their generous donation in helping victims of this tragedy here in Orlando. In honor of the victims of Sunday’s attack, we will be donating all revenue from DisneyLists.com that day to help victims and their families. We’d also like to encourage the DisneyLists.com community to get involved. If you feel led, please consider joining us in donating to OneOrlando at www.oneorlando.org.

We’d also like to encourage you to do your part to make this world a little better by doing something to bring a bit of magic into the lives of others whether you’re in the parks or at home. Thank you – Chad & Cindy


Related Article: Top 10 Ways to Make Someone’s Day at Disney World

By Mike & Jamie Sylvester

Who’s in the mood to make magic? Sure, Cast Members do an excellent job of this and even get paid to do so – but anyone can make someone’s day while at Disney! Stranger, friend, foe – it’s really pretty simple. So, let’s get to magic making… here are our top 10 ways to make someone’s day at Disney!


1 – Have a Magical Day!

Disney is one place you can tell someone to have a magical day and not receive strange looks in return! We all feel warm and fuzzy when Cast Members tell us to have a magical day, so why not do that for a fellow Disney fan in the park or at your Disney resort? See a celebration pin? Wishing someone a Happy Birthday or Anniversary for example is a great and easy way to make someone’s day.

2 – Look – It’s a Princess!

As we walk around the park, it’s hard not to notice the vast amount of little Princesses and Pirates at Disney. One of our favorite things to do is acknowledge the child that is dressed so wonderfully. We simply say something to our daughter, like “Look! It’s Princess Elsa!” Our daughter usually follows it up with – “She’s beautiful!” Of course, we purposely do this all in ear shot and enjoy the glow on the child’s (and parents!) faces. Another fun trick to this is to ask the princess or pirate for their autograph!

3 – A Helping Hand

Another way to make someone’s day is to help them out in some of the simplest of ways. Have you ever noticed a parent struggling to carry their children plus their food tray at a quick service restaurant? Offer to carry their tray to their table for them. Maybe you’ve notice someone trying to find a spot to put their stroller among the crowded stroller parking areas? If you see an extra place or are leaving and can offer them yours… go for it! Look for the little moments where a helping hand is needed.

4 – Map Guidance

Alright, Disney regulars! Here’s an easy way for you to step up and make someone’s day! Have you ever noticed a guest looking at a Disney map as if it’s a road map to nowhere, all written in Greek? Or maybe they are standing there just looking around in a bewildered way? Here’s your chance to be their superhero for the day! Ask them where they are headed to or where they would like to go, and direct them towards that direction.

5 – Drink Up

It’s HOT in Florida. Ok, that’s an understatement – it’s REALLY HOT in Florida. Water should be your best friend while venturing off at Disney. If you see someone that just looks like they are in the need for a good drink, you may have the time and chance to offer them a drink of water. Quick service locations provide fountain water for free! We sometimes carry a few bottled waters with us as well, that we’ve been happy to give out from time to time.


6 – Offer to Take a Picture

Super easy, and only takes a minute! Offer to take a picture for an individual or family. There have been plenty of times we’ve come across a group of folks trying to squeeze in for a selfie. Be their photographer for a moment (unless they are just simply looking for that selfie look).

7 – Extra, Extra

Before we head to Disney, we typically make a quick trip by the dollar store and snag some extra snacks, toys, glow sticks, and even ponchos in case the need arises. If you are in a line with a grumpy child the parent is trying to wrestle with, offer them a simple toy to keep (with their mom/dad’s ok first). Glow sticks are fun to pass out to kids at the Main Street Electrical Parade at Magic Kingdom or during any of the firework displays at Disney. We’ve also been in situations when rain is beating down and we all have ponchos, but still have a few extra dollar ponchos with us. If you see a family in need and don’t have a need yourself – give them a poncho. Make someone’s day with the extras!

8 – Offering a Seat

This one may seem obvious, but we’ve seen several occasions on buses, the monorail, and even the boat transportation system when a pregnant lady, elderly person, or child is left without a seat. If you are able to stand comfortably and offer someone your seat, this simple gesture could have make their day!

9 – Down in Front

Giving ample time to wait for a parade or fireworks to save a spot is highly recommended at Disney. If you are able to secure that awesome spot, but sure you are still considerate of the folks behind you – especially any kiddos. Offer for kids to stand in front of you or maybe sit down on the curb so the people behind you can see. Such a simple way to let someone else experience the magic too!

10 – Keep it Sweet

Our final top idea for ways to make someone’s day at Disney (and one of the most important) is to be polite. Please! See what we did right there? Simple words like please and thank you with a smile go a long way for Cast Members and for fellow Disney guests. Even if you’re Anger side is lurking, try to think happy thoughts and that Joy attitude is sure to follow.

What are some of your favorite ways to make someone’s day at Disney? We’d love to hear from you!


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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