The Disneyland Resort Ambassador Team for 2015-2016 was named in a ceremony that took place in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at the Disneyland Resort. The two cast members named to be Disneyland Ambassadors are Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto. While always an illustrious position, this team also will hold the distinction of being Disneyland Ambassadors for the 50th anniversary of the program.
For the next two years, these two cast members will represent the 26,000 cast members of the Disneyland Resort. A full time position, the ambassadors will be tasked with taking the magic of Disneyland out into the community. They will visit hospitals with favorite Disney characters, appear at special events and promotional tours, and also help with cast members recognition ceremonies. One of their first duties will be joining the current ambassador team to help host the CHOC Walk in the Park on Sunday October 12 at the Disneyland Resort.
The tradition of the Disneyland Ambassador dates back to 1965 when Walt Disney himself created the program to help him share the magic, inspiration, and optimism of Disneyland. The candidates went through a lengthy interview process that began with 60 applicants and were narrowed down to the four that appeared in the ceremony today. From these four, the two were selected.
The first Disneyland Ambassador Julie Reihm Casaletto was in attendance and participated in this passing of the torch ceremony that was hosted by current ambassadors Megan Navarette and Sachiko White. It included an overview of the ambassador program, introduction of many ambassadors from the past, and then Disneyland President Michael Colglazier announced that Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto would be the Resort’s newest cast members to fill the role. With the announcement came fireworks, tears of joy, and lots of smiles. After the new Disneyland Ambassador team had been pinned, they were joined by all the former Ambassadors in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle as A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes and When You Wish Upon a Star was song.
The event was followed by a quick photo shoot, a cavalcade down Main Street, and interviews.
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Playlist of all the events of the day:
Interviews will be in an upcoming article.
The Disneyland Resort also issued the following press release about the event:
ANAHEIM, Calif., Oct. 10, 2014 – In a ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier today announced that cast members Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto will represent the Resort and its 26,000 cast members as the 2015-2016 Disney Ambassador team, a program celebrating its 50th anniversary.
The team will continue a tradition started by Walt Disney in 1965, established to assist him with sharing the magic, inspiration, and optimism of Disneyland. Julie Reihm Casaletto, the first Disney Ambassador who was selected by Walt Disney, helped welcome the new team at today’s ceremony.
Bernard and Kawamoto were selected from nearly 60 applicants, and will spend a two-year term bringing the magic of the Resort into the community by acting as emissaries of goodwill. As part of their full-time duties, they will represent the Resort at a variety of events, such as hospital visits with Disney characters, promotional tours and cast recognition ceremonies. In addition, the pair will serve as spokespeople for the Resort.
“Disney Ambassadors have played an important role at the Disneyland Resort throughout the past 50 years,” said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. “This tradition will certainly continue as Allie and Jessica help us share the excitement of our upcoming 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration with our guests, community and fellow cast members.”
In 2007, Kawamoto began her career in the Disney College Program and most recently served as a food and beverage manager on Main Street, U.S.A. She participated in the Resort’s Emerging Leaders Program and is a member of the Disney VoluntEAR Leadership Council. Kawamoto is from Cerritos, Calif.
Bernard began her career with Disney in 2012 in entertainment and performed in shows including “Mickey & the Magical Map.” She has volunteered with a number of organizations, including The Ronald McDonald House and Mary’s Soup Kitchen. Bernard is originally from Bend, Ore.
The tradition that started at Disneyland 50 years ago now includes Ambassadors at Disney Destinations around the world, most recently adding Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, and Shanghai Disney Resort, which will select its first Ambassadors this year.