This morning, Disneyland unveiled their new 2022-2023 Disneyland Resort Ambassador Team. The new ambassadors are Mark Everett King Jr. and Nataly Guzman. We were there to see the presentation and check out the festivities.
- Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock, along with the current Ambassador Team took to the stage of the Fantasyland Theater this morning to announce the two new Ambassadors that will serve beginning January 1, 2022 through the end of 2023.
- Current Ambassadors Justin Rapp and Rafa Barron first shared some memories of the last three years they have served (an extra year than normal, due to the pandemic) and then shared some history of the program.
- Justin and Rafa then introduced a large percentage of Disneyland Ambassadors from throughout the years, beginning with the original, Julie Reihm, who was selected by Walt Disney himself back in 1965.
- Ken Potrock then took the stage to congratulate Justin and Rafa, and then introduce the five candidates for Ambassador. They are Dani Decena (Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge), Nataly Guzman (Guest Relations), Mark Everett King Jr. (stage manager at Disney California Adventure), Megan Matsumoto (also from Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge) and Harvey Higger (a Workforce Management data integration associate).
- Mickey and Minnie Mouse came on stage to announce with Ken Potrock the new Ambassadors: Mark Everett King Jr. and Nataly Guzman.
- At the conclusion of the ceremony, a group photo was taken with all of the present Ambassadors.
What They’re Saying:
We had the opportunity to speak to both Mark and Nataly, and here’s what they had to say:
LP: How are you feeling?
Nataly: It’s such a hard emotion to describe, but it’s wonderful. I am so proud of myself as a cast member, because working with everybody that I’ve come across is what led me here. This isn’t something that you do on your own, this is something that has been built upon by our peers, by our leaders. I think at that moment, all of that came flooding back… My 11 year journey here and everybody that has cheered me on. It’s just amazing.
Mark: Being a cast member has a deeper meaning than just creating magic, right? These are real people. Knowing their stories, where they came from, and how they have got to where they are is a really big key factor in how we are able to represent our cast every single day. I’m over the moon, super excited. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, it’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be a good time.
LP: How long have you had this as a goal for yourselves?
Nataly: I quietly had this goal since Day 1. I did not know about the Ambassador role when I came in, and I grew up coming to Disneyland. When I was hired in, they just announced Jolie and Rene as Ambassadors, 11 years ago. That was being replayed everywhere backstage, and as a new cast member, I would see these two on my break. I knew what the role was since then and it was something I knew I would love to try. It’s incredible, and I’ve quietly worked my way through here.
Mark: For me, the idea pondered around my second year here, but it came to full fruition within these last two years. It has really shown me what type of love our cast needs continuously. Justin and Rafa did a phenomenal job, and now we get to carry that on and keep it going. This has always been something I’ve always wanted to do and the deep passion that lies behind it.
What's Next for the 2019- 2021 Ambassadors:
- Though their time as Ambassadors will soon be coming to a close, Justin and Rafa still have a bright future ahead of them at the Disneyland Resort.
- Justin will be staying in Communications.
- Rafa has a role lined up as a Stage Manager in Fantasyland.