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Around the time that Walt Disney was first presenting the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, Mary Poppins was about to be released, and he was also trying secretly buying up land in a mosquito-ridden swamp land we now know and love, he realized he needed a little help in representing the Company at all the events where he was asked to appear. Thus the Disney Ambassador program was born and has been in place ever since, 47 years later.

Today at Epcot, a ceremony was held to choose and announce the two new Ambassadors from five finalists for the 2013-2014 season. On hand were Vice President of Epcot Erin Youngs, President of Walt Disney Parks and Operations, United States and France, Meg Crofton, current Ambassadors Norman Vossschulte and Jennifer Mason, and 65 former Walt Disney World Ambassadors to welcome the new team members.

In a twist a little like a Miss America pageant, all five finalists were called to the stage and were able to say a few words about themselves and their journey, while their fellow Cast Member friends and family cheered on. World Showcase Cast Members stood behind them with giant posters featuring their faces and names as we waited with anticipation for the announcement. Mickey and Minnie joined in, carrying the Ambassador pins and scroll featuring the Ambassador pledge. The scroll was read aloud before the names were chosen, while the Voices of Liberty sang softly in the background. Meg Crofton had the honor of announcing that Tye Arnold and Richard Tamayo were to be the newest Walt Disney World Ambassadors as confetti and applause filled the American Gardens Theater.

Disney's Friends for Change

The Disney Channel and its stars are uniting with the goal of inspiring millions of kids and families to make a difference in their community. Disney Channel Stars Debby Ryan (“Jessie”), Bella Thorne and Zendaya (“Shake It Up”), and Ross Lynch and Laura Marano (“Austin & Ally”) will serve as the inaugural ambassadors for the Friends for Change initiative.

In collaboration with select non-profit organizations, Disney Friends for Change Ambassadors will lead campaigns to engage millions of kids to take action and volunteer. Each nonprofit will receive a Disney Friends for Change grant to further the reach and impact of the themed campaign. In total, $750,000 will be awarded to the following three efforts: