It was an exciting morning for Mark Everett King Junior & Nataly Guzman as they were announced as the newest Disneyland Resort Ambassadors. The program, first started by Walt Disney himself in 1965, has continued to grow ever since. Today, every Disney resort around the world, including Aulani, has one or more ambassadors. And while ambassadors once served a single year, they now serve for two years and are generally selected in pairs (though there have been years with three or even four ambassadors at Disneyland).
The selection process is grueling, but really brings the candidates together. After months of interviews, events, and training, 5 finalists were selected:
The three runners up for the role of Disneyland Ambassador are:
Dani Decena who works at Savi’s Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and is a trainer for new employees. She began her Disneyland career in 2014 in Main Street Retail.
Harvey Higger is in Workforce Management. He started his Disneyland Resort career in 2014 in Disneyland Custodial. We received many messages from Disneyland Custodial cast members who were beyond excited that one of their own was up for Ambassador.
Megan Matsumoto is also from Savi’s Workshop. She started in Food and Beverage at Tomorrowland Terrace and also worked as a cake decorator and even as a sketch artist at Disneyana.
The 5 finalists became very close during the long selection process. Moments before the big announcement there was an emotional group hug.
And the 2021 Ambassadors Are…
Nataly Guzman who works in Guest Relations and is a VIP hostess. In 2010, she started her Disneyland Resort career at World of Disney. She’s also been a Traditions assistant and Disney University facilitator. She enjoys photography, drawing and painting and is a big fan of all things Star Wars.
Mark Everett King Jr. is a stage manager in Disney California Adventure park attractions. He started his Disneyland Resort career in 2013 in Food and Beverage, was a test and adjust project lead in Avengers Campus and a facilitator for Step into the Magic. He volunteers in youth mentorship programs and his hobbies include fashion, fitness and, going to theme parks.
Dozens of Previous Resort Ambassadors Welcome Mark and Nataly
The previous resort ambassadors, Rafa Barron and Justin Rapp, hosted the ceremonies with the help of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Dozens of previous resort ambassadors were announced and took their spot in the audience. Then, Disneyland President Ken Potrock announced the winners.
You can watch the whole ceremony in our live video here:
Meet Nataly and Mark & Say Farewell to Rafa and Justin
Following the ceremony, MiceChat was first to interview Disneyland’s newest ambassadors. We then had a moment to give our thanks to Justin and Rafa and let them say farewell and wish the new ambassadors a fantastic journey…
Justin and Rafa had a truly memorable run. First announced in 2018, they ended up being extended by an additional year due to park shutdowns. Their role as representatives of the resort became one of holding the cast and community together when thousands of cast were sent home, laid off, or furloughed due to extended park closures. They could never have guessed the tough position they’d be placed in and how much they would truly be needed during those long months when Disneyland’s gates were closed to guests. They’ve earned a bit of a rest and both have exciting new roles with the resort lined up (Rafa in retail management, and Justin in Resort Communications).
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Let’s Hear From You
Join us in wishing a successful run to Mark and Nataly and a fond farewell to Justin and Rafa.