Many Disney fans know that a special honor bestowed on long-time Cast Members of the Walt Disney Company are cherished service award statues commemorating years of service.
Last week, Disney continued that tradition with a special ceremony in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to commemorate Cast Members marking 50 and 55 year anniversaries with the company. Seven Disneyland Resort cast members who marked 50 years of service in 2020 — and one who marked 55!
Many of this esteemed class of Cast Members came to Disneyland park in 1970 to get a fun, part-time job while they were in school ⎼ and wound up staying for five decades, building careers, some meeting their future spouses here, making lifelong friends and a couple even eventually recruiting their children to work for the Mouse!
About the Honorees
Details on the honorees were shared by Disney:
Honoree Larry Snow, who’ll mark 56 years with Disneyland Custodial in May and is one of the longest-serving cast members at the resort, recounted how he was actually hired by Walt Disney at a group interview in 1965. “Walt had a terrible cold at the time and I came down with a cold almost immediately after,” Larry said. “The guys in my fraternity were impressed that I caught a cold from Walt Disney!” Larry’s specially designed bronze statuette features Disney characters gathered around his photo.
Seven cast members who marked 50 years of service in 2020 also attended the ceremony, including Jan Fleener, who has been a vacation planner nearly her entire Disney career, met her husband, a former Jungle Cruise skipper, in the 1980s while working at the park – and their daughter even spent five years working at the resort. After the ceremony, her grandson was entranced by the characters who lined the steps of the Train Station in Town Square to wave goodbye to the honorees, who rode the Omnibus down Main Street, U.S.A., to cheers from cast members. Before that, all honorees and their guests were treated to a sneak peek of the reimagined Snow White’s Enchanted Wish attraction.