Videos: Hero and Dreamer of the Year Revealed at Disney Dreamers Academy, Celebrity Ambassador Halle Bailey Gives Closing Remarks

Today, the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy, a four day event designed by Walt Disney World to broaden career awareness and create exclusive enrichment opportunities for high school students from diverse communities around the country, came to a close. Highlights from this morning’s festivities include the naming of the 2023 “Hero of the Year,” the 2023 “Dreamer of the Year” and a closing speech from this year’s Celebrity Ambassador, Halle Bailey.

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. As part of the program, these students get to interact with and get advice and tips from some high profile mentors who are on scene to share their own stories of blazing their own trail to achieve their dreams.

Every year, a “Hero of the Year” is designated, and this year it was former Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort President George A. Kalogridis. See him receive the award in our video below:

George then had the honor of introducing the one extraordinary Dreamer named as “Dreamer of the Year.” This year’s recipient was student Maria Maione:

Finally, the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy Celebrity Ambassador, Halle Bailey (star of the live-action The Little Mermaid), gave some closing remarks at the end of the four-day event:

The 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy may be over, but the journey never ends. Check out our Disney Dreamers Academy tag for more moments from this year's event, including plenty of interviews with the celebrity mentors.

Laughing Place recommends for all your Walt Disney World travel planning
Fill out the form below for a free,
no obligation quote from
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.