Every year, around the time of Disneyland’s birthday, Disney pays tribute to the people who make the magic possible: Cast Members. Cast Member Appreciation Week honors all of the hardworking Disneyland Resort Cast Members by giving free meals, after-hours celebrations, attraction experiences, one-of-a-kind photo opportunities, and other incentives. One of the most popular Cast Member Appreciation Week activities returned this year.
At the 66th annual “it’s a small world” duck race, hundreds of rubber ducks raced around the world for a good cause! Before Disneyland park opened for the day, cast members sponsored and painted the ducks, raising more than $1,800 for Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire.
Duck Races, one of the most cherished cast-exclusive activities, was reintroduced this year, and cast members were overjoyed. Before the park opened to the public, cast members purchased and decorated $5 rubber ducks (all profits benefit Goodwill of Orange County) and raced them around “it’s a small world.”
After the ducks embarked on the world’s happiest ship, cast members waited outside the attraction to see which duck would return first after their voyage around the world. Shouts of delight could be heard as the duck in the lead soared out of the attraction, which had been adorned by Ruth from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
“I’m not a morning person, so I actually feel amazing today coming out as first place, said Ruth, Merchandise Host. When asked about her duck, she said: “I really like the character Ahsoka from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Her character is very inspirational, and I think everybody can be an Ahsoka.”
After the final duck had completed its trip, cast members went to Fantasyland to enjoy their favorite traditional attractions.
The proceeds from the rubber duck sales go to Goodwill of Orange County, which helps people who are experiencing obstacles and hurdles find meaningful work.“We are proud to be a long-time partner of Disneyland Resort and so grateful to be the nonprofit recipient,” said Nicole Suydam, President and CEO of Goodwill of Orange County. “This mission work is more important than ever with the current unemployment rate for people with disabilities at 12.6% and we are committed to providing support, trainings and opportunities for everyone who wants to work.”
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