This morning, we were able to attend the opening ceremony of the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World. This event, taking place through Sunday, March 26th, is designed by Walt Disney World Resort to broaden career awareness and create exclusive enrichment opportunities for high school students from diverse communities around the country. Each year, the Disney Dreamers are selected from thousands of applicants who answer essay questions about their personal stories and dreams for the future. The students and a parent or guardian enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World for the four-day event.
The event, which took place at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, introduced Halle Bailey (live-action Ariel) as the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy Celebrity Ambassador. Bailey headlines the list of celebrities and will be a mentor and advocate during the four-day event. Other key participants this year include, H.E.R., Marsai Martin, Jayln Hall, Dominique Thorne and Priah Ferguson. You can learn more about the participants and the Disney Dreamers Academy in this post.
The event kicked off with the 2023 program participants being paraded into the ballroom, accompanied by none other than Mickey Mouse!
Following that, Princeton Parker (Associate Manager, Content Programming and Synergy) gave the opening remarks.
We then got to hear remarks from Tracey Powell (VP of Travel Services, Pricing and Revenue), Jeff Vahle (Walt Disney World President) and Gail Evans (Executive Vice President, Chief Digital and Technology Officer DPEP).
The highlight of the event for most came as 2022 DDA Ambassador Kelly Rowland appeared via video to introduce this year’s ambassador, Halle Bailey, who appeared on stage to talk to the participants.
Before closing out the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy ceremony, Dayna Lee (Manager HBCU Outreach) talks about Disney on the Yard, a program dedicated to building a community for HBCU alumni working across The Walt Disney Company and providing meaningful opportunities for students.
Jeff Vahle (Walt Disney World President) even took the time to pose for a photo with some of the program’s participants.
The Dreamers (and likely Halle Bailey) will be appearing in a special cavalcade this afternoon at the Magic Kingdom. Stay tuned as our coverage continues!