Disney Dream “Benefit Preview Cruise” Raised $750,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Filed in: Community

Official check presentation took place at Sail-Away Celebration

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla., (Jan. 21, 2011) - Disney Cruise Line made dreams come true for thousands of Central Florida children through a special “Benefit Preview Cruise” that brought community leaders and invited guests together to raise $750,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.

The special two-night voyage took place onboard the newest Disney Cruise Line ship, the Disney Dream, which sailed today from Port Canaveral to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay, and returns Sunday, Jan. 23. Disney Cruise Line leaders presented Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida with the official check at a special sail-away celebration this afternoon aboard the new ship in Port Canaveral.  The event included children from Boys & Girls Clubs who are sailing on the Benefit Preview Cruise, along with Disney Channel stars representing Disney’s Friends For Change, a multiplatform initiative that empowers kids and encourages them to help the planet. 

“Disney Cruise Line is dedicated to helping children fulfill their dreams in the communities it calls home,” said Karl Holz, Disney Cruise Line president. “The celebration of the arrival of our third ship, the Disney Dream, gave us a very unique opportunity to make even more dreams come true for the children in our home port of Central Florida.”

The Walt Disney Company has a longstanding relationship with Boys & Girls Clubs that was started more than 50 years ago when Walt Disney was made an honorary member of the organization’s national board of directors.  The relationship continues today with ongoing funding by Walt Disney World to Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida, including the 2008 opening of the Walt Disney World Clubhouse Branch in Orlando, Fla. 

“We’re grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity Disney has once again shown Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Gary W. Cain, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.  “This contribution will have an immediate impact on thousands of young people throughout the Central Florida community and help to shape our future generation of local leaders. The chance to give some of our Club members and their families a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail on the Disney Dream went far beyond any of our wildest dreams.”

As part of this special sailing, 45 children from local clubs are having the opportunity to experience a Disney cruise and all the unique new experiences aboard the Disney Dream such as the AquaDuck water coaster, as well as all of the family-friendly features for which Disney Cruise Line ships have become known.

Disney’s Friends for Change

During the cruise, Boys & Girls Clubs members are participating in a Disney’s Friends for Change activity on Castaway Cay with Disney Channel stars Brandon Mychal Smith, Doug Brochu and Allisyn Ashley Arm.  Together, Friends for Change stars and children from Boys & Girls Clubs will paint a giant mural that will be donated to a Boys & Girls Club location.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida

Since 1944, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida has provided children from the local community between the ages of 6-18 with a safe place to learn and grow. Its membership totals more than 12,000 youth at 15 Clubs and 14 middle school sites in Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

The mission of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. For more information or to find out how you can support the Boys & Girls Clubs movement, call 407-841-6855 or visit www.bgccf.org.

New Ship, New Itineraries

The Disney Dream is a 4,000 passenger ship that will sail three-, four- and five-night cruises from Port Canaveral to the Bahamas beginning January 26. Featuring the world’s first water coaster at sea, AquaDuck, enchanted art pieces that come to life when viewers stop to look and magical portholes that give every stateroom an “ocean view,” the Disney Dream offers a number of industry firsts.

The Disney Magic will continue sailing seven-night eastern and western Caribbean cruises, before returning to Europe for another summer venture in this region.  The Disney Wonder begins 2011 by repositioning to the West Coast of the U.S., sailing seven-night Mexican Riviera cruises from the Port of Los Angeles, while spending the summer sailing first-ever Alaskan itineraries from Vancouver. Disney’s fourth ship, Disney Fantasy, which is currently under construction in Germany, is scheduled to set sail in early 2012 and sail Caribbean itineraries from Port Canaveral.

Known for establishing the family cruise market when the Disney Magic debuted in 1998, Disney Cruise Line continues to build upon this success with a focus on the legacy and heritage of The Walt Disney Company’s most known assets – master storytelling, world-class entertainment and legendary guest service.