Meet Howard, a Custodial cast member at Disney California Adventure, who weaves magic into every role he plays. With over 15 years in Park Operations, Howard's commitment to creating unforgettable moments for guests defines his daily endeavors.
"At the core of making magic," Howard shares, "is caring for the park and its guests." His childhood dream of spreading joy led him to Disney, The Happiest Place on Earth.
From Day Custodial Lead to his current role as Core Lead for Avengers Campus, Howard's journey within Disney has been purposeful. "My Salaried team and my fellow leads have always been a huge support system for what I do and what I will do," Howard says. He thrives in a team that feels like family.
There are so many ways Howard makes magic, "from recovering accidental popcorn spills to potentially surprising our guests for celebrations or first-time experiences with a button or sticker to commemorate the memories being made in real-time." Greeting guests at the park opening is the highlight of Howard's day, fueling his excitement by witnessing their contagious positivity. His passion for creating magic has not gone unnoticed by his leaders, or fellow cast members who nominated him for the Walt Disney Legacy Award. Less than 1% of all Disney Experiences cast members receive this award, making it the highest honor awarded to cast members across the globe who continue to live out Walt Disney's legacy of excellence as dreamers, creators, and inspirations.
"Wearing this on my nametag makes it feel like a spirit badge of courage and hope for the future. Getting to carry on Walt Disney's Legacy is a ton of fun. I feel humbled and flattered that my cast members nominated me for this honor."
Beyond his role, Howard aspires to venture into video game design. His imagination, nurtured through custodial work, propels his ambitions, supported by the Disney Aspire program. Disney Aspire is an educational investment program that provides hourly cast members and employees with the resources they need to achieve their educational goals. It breaks down barriers to higher education, inspires career mobility, and helps the company's workforce prosper by offering 100% upfront tuition coverage for a network of schools and universities, along with added benefits, like reimbursement for books and fees.
"Attending Southern New Hampshire University has been extremely seamless, and I do not know how I could have done it without the Disney Aspire program. Having the confidence to learn and enhance my scope of what I am capable of, all while letting the Disney Aspire program pay for my tuition upfront, is the best feeling in the world."
Howard's story reflects dedication, passion, and the pursuit of dreams within Disney's magical realm. His journey inspires others to embrace the magic and embrace their authentic selves.
"When the Inclusion Key was introduced, I honestly cried because I knew how much this would mean to our cast members moving forward. I felt like I was being truly seen and validated for who I am. The ability to express ourselves authentically has amplified diversity, creating a more cohesive work environment."
For those considering a role at Disney, Howard shares these words of wisdom:
"Having the chance to unlock the magic for any and all who visit the Disneyland Resort is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you have a passion for doing more and want to do it in a way that is unlike any other, look no further than being a part of the magic of the Disneyland Resort."
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