Before an audience of their peers, family and friends, the next chapter in a true-life Cinderella story unfolded this morning at Magic Kingdom Park as two Walt Disney World Cast Members were chosen to step into the time-honored role of Walt Disney World Ambassador. During a special ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle prior to park open, Norman Vossschulte and Jennifer Mason were named as the 40th Walt Disney World Ambassador Team and will serve from Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2012.
“Our Walt Disney World Ambassadors represent our resort, their fellow cast members, and the heritage, tradition and values of Walt Disney. It is a role filled with great significance… and great responsibilities,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Those chosen as Ambassadors are truly talented individuals who represent Disney Cast Members with purpose and grace, and bring the magic of Walt Disney World to the world at large.”
The 45-year tradition of the Disney Ambassador program is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those selected. Individuals named as Ambassadors accept a two-year-long assignment representing Walt Disney World Resort’s approximately 58,000 Cast Members and share the magic of Disney throughout the community and the world. Typical Ambassador responsibilities include making hospital visits and appearances with Disney characters, participating in community outreach events and recognizing Cast Members’ milestones and special achievements.
Every two years, thousands of Cast Members are invited to participate in the Ambassador recruitment process that starts with information sessions and ends with a ceremony announcing the new Ambassador team.
Following a two-month training, the 2011-2012 Ambassador team will start their year with a full schedule and can expect to participate in more than 3,500 events for various occasions.
Norman Vossschulte steps into the Ambassador role from Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where he currently is a Jedi Master at the Jedi Training Academy. Born in Berlin, Germany, Vossschulte has lived all over the world, holds baccalaureate degrees in physical science and biology and trained as an actor in New York City. His Disney career began in 2008 when he became a safari driver at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. Vossschulte went on to join the Guest Relations team at Epcot and eventually Entertainment.
Jennifer Mason currently oversees the Magic Kingdom Custodial team and ensures the place where dreams come true is kept clean. Born in Alabama, Mason grew up in Clearwater, Fla. and spent countless days at the Walt Disney World Resort with her family. After graduating from Florida State University, she became a member of the opening team of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park in 1998. Throughout her Disney career, she has served as a leader for several Operations teams at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
The great honor of being selected as a Disney Ambassador began during the 10th anniversary of Disneyland, when Walt Disney himself was overwhelmed with requests for appearances and media interviews. As a result, he selected the very first Ambassador in 1964 and the tradition has continued ever since.