LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 17, 2014 – As Walt Disney World Resort celebrates the Grand Premiere of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts (DPAC), many Disney Cast Members are reflecting on years of behind-the-scenes contributions that helped DPAC make its successful debut.
From the very beginning, Walt Disney World Resort was one of the largest supporters of DPAC, pledging $12.5 million to the center in 2007. Throughout years of planning and fundraising for DPAC, Cast Members have lent their support and expertise. For many Cast Members, supporting the arts is a personal passion and fitting tribute to Disney’s founder.
“The Walt Disney Theater is a wonderful way to honor Disney’s heritage and this beautiful theater is worthy of the name,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “Walt would be proud of this contribution, just as our Cast Members are proud to be part of a community that so clearly cherishes the arts.”
Disney Creative Entertainment has been engaged at many stages of the center’s development, from co-producing its 2011 groundbreaking ceremony to co-directing “Broadway and Beyond at the Walt Disney Theater,” the centerpiece of the Grand Premiere gala held Saturday evening. In addition to the performance, the team produced a spectacular fireworks show that created a stunning finale to the evening’s events
During the planning of this cultural cornerstone, Walt Disney Imagineers developed an animated fly-through video of the center used in online promotions. Other examples of Cast Member contributions include hosting fundraisers, producing events and building community support for the initiative. In fact, the Encore! Cast club – a group of 500 volunteers who share a passion for the performing arts – donated proceeds from its annual concert to DPAC in 2012.