Brimming with Magic: Meet MK and Emily

Today, we’re celebrating Women’s History Month—a time to honor women throughout history, share their stories and celebrate their achievements—by spotlighting a few of our Facility Asset Management (FAM) Associate Project Managers at Walt Disney World Resort who keep our parks and resorts safe, efficient and brimming with magic.

MK Ashford, Associate Project Manager
MK Ashford, Associate Project Manager
Emily York, Associate Project Manager
Emily York, Associate Project Manager

Tell us about your role! What are your responsibilities?

MK: I work with our Engineering Services, Operations, Safety, and Global Engineering & Technology partners to bring projects to life across the park that refurbish, improve and maintain Magic Kingdom Park. There are unique opportunities when helping with engineering and construction projects in a 52-year-old theme park, and it’s so rewarding to contribute to delivering amazing experiences for our guests.

Emily: On the Resorts team with FAM, my job is to help support our team with various construction projects. My team in particular supports the efforts at Disney's Boardwalk Resort and Resort pools year-round.


What was a significant project in your career at Disney?

Emily: I would say the most significant project has been one of my most recent – which was the reimagining of Trail’s End Restaurant at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. This was my first really ‘big’ project that I had the opportunity to help lead. Having the opportunity to assist with one of these refreshes to help bring new life into an already beloved space has been such a cool experience. Especially knowing that I get to help introduce guests and cast into this new space for them to enjoy.

MK: I assisted in the creation of the Encanto family topiaries that were featured at EPCOT’s International Flower & Garden Festival 2023. I met so many Horticulture and Imagineering partners —one who even came from The Walt Disney Studios to assist in character integrity! It was so cool to be in a room with such influential creatives and ironworkers who sculpt rebar like artists to form the bodies’ base the topiaries grow on. And then for months, every time I went to the park, I’d get to see guests admiring and taking photos with something I was a part of and has brought a new level of diversity and inclusion to the parks… the best feeling!


What is your favorite part about your team environment?

Emily: My whole team comes from different backgrounds and experiences, and that diversity of experience allows us to all have different strengths, giving us balance! It’s one thing for everyone to have a different strength, but the team uses those strengths to help each other.


What is your favorite part of the day?

MK: My favorite part is the hour before the park opens and the sun is rising. The area music has started, and the park is empty except for the cast members tidying up and prepping for the day. It’s a really exciting energy to see Magic Kingdom so peaceful and watch everyone get ready for the day ahead!


How does your work impact and influence Disney’s success as a company?

Emily: The work that we do as FAM directly impacts the success of the company, as it is our responsibility to maintain all the existing assets on property. My favorite way to explain my role to anyone who asks is, “If you see construction signs with Mickey on them – then that’s likely my department.”


What has surprised you most about working at Disney?

MK: The most surprising thing about working at Disney is that it doesn’t “ruin the magic” at all! Seeing behind-the-scenes of how the parks are run, and the amount of people and effort it takes to make the magic happen every single day is awe-inspiring. Knowing the hard work and passion every cast member puts into this place, only makes it more magical.


Ready to be part of the team maintaining the magic? Explore opportunities, today!