The Disneyland Resort recently honored six Cast Members with service awards for over 50 years of making magic at “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
- On November 30th, a special service award celebration was held on the Mark Twain Riverboat in Disneyland Park for six Cast Members who have been with the resort for 50+ years.
- During the ceremony, which included a speech from Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock, five 50th anniversary statues were given to Cast Members, which features Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- The 50 year Cast Members honored at the celebration were:
- Martha Blanding – Senior Manager, Disneyland Resort Merchandise Special Events who started in 1971 as a Tour Guide
- Dean Yamada – Theme Park Duty Manager, Disneyland park who starts in 1971 at Refreshment Corner
- Patti Oltman – Retail Allocator who started in 1971 as a waitress
- Sue Clements – Manager, Disney Look and Cosmetology who started in 1971 as a Wardrobe Attendant
- Dave Brizic – Security since 1966, served in Vietnam in 1968 and returned to Disneyland in 1970
- Celebrating 55 years with Disneyland is Vic Polwektow, who started in 1966 at Walt Disney’s favorite restaurant the Plaza Inn and currently works in Costume Issue.
- The award for 55 years of service is a statue of Mickey Mouse and his pals creating a portrait of the recipient.
- Footage from the event was released in a new “Disney Cast Life” video, viewable below.
- Visit Disney Parks Blog to learn more about each Cast Member celebrated during this ceremony.
What They’re Saying:
- Ken Potrock: “It was an honor to congratulate and personally thank six amazing Cast Members for their dedication and commitment to the Disneyland Resort – five who are celebrating 50 years of service and one who is celebrating 55 years! In a special ceremony that concluded with a journey around the Rivers of America on the Mark Twain Riverboat – Vic, Sue, Martha, Patti, Dean and Dave were recognized by their leaders for all the different roles they’ve had, the unique experiences and opportunities they’ve enjoyed and most importantly, the many lives they touched over the years. Disney magic comes in many different forms, but the true magic is our Cast… and these six Cast Members are an inspiration to all!”
- Martha Blanding: “It’s not like going to work. I enjoy everything about what I do – the good and the bad. I just choose to always smile and laugh through it.”
- Patti Oltman: “I’ve always had someone to lift me up here. From birthday parties to baby showers, to bittersweet memories like Roy Disney passing away … everything we’ve celebrated and endured has helped us form a deep camaraderie and friendship.”
- Sue Clements: “Even though there have been so many changes over time and the resort has expanded, the ultimate goal of providing fun family entertainment has stayed the same throughout my 50 years.”
- Dave Brizic: “The friendships I developed with people I worked with kept me coming back. I became part of a group of 12 Disneyland Resort Security Officers … we met weekly for years and still meet up occasionally today.”
- Vic Polwektow: “The thing I love most about working at Disneyland is all the friendships I’ve made over the years.”
Laughing Place recommends MouseFanTravel.com for all your Disneyland Resort travel planning