LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As part of Disney’s 50th-anniversary celebration, cast members are being lauded for the hard work they’ve put in over the years.
“They are the heart and soul,” said Raevon Redding, a Disney ambassador.
During the three-day celebration, veteran employees known as “legacy cast members” joined the festivities. Becoming a legacy cast member is a big deal, as it means you’ve been working at Disney for decades and represent its core values and ideals.
One of those is Cooper City native Christopher Stewart, a cast experience manager who has been working at Disney for 30 years. He knew he wanted to work at Disney since he was a little kid, often taking the drive up from South Florida with his family.
“It was 3 hours and 27 minutes from our house to the Walt Disney World Resort. And every time we came up here, it brought us such joy,” Stewart told Local 10 News.
His first job was working in merchandise at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Stewart was fascinated by the monorail going in and out of the resort.
“I just thought it was the absolute coolest place in the world,” Stewart said.
The parks have certainly changed over the years, but the allure and magic never really goes away. His loyalty to Disney is centered around making people smile, something he still does every day.
“When I came here as a child everyone here was happy,” Stewart said. “I work here for one simple reason and that is to make people happy.”
And as far as his favorite Disney character? Well, it’s Donald Duck.