With thrilling attractions and spectacular shows, imaginations run wild and smiles are abound. Upon entering this magical place, a sign reads, â€œHere you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.â€ For Rene Torrico, dreams really do come true as he goes to work where every day he can feel like a kid again.
Torrico, 29, of Santa Ana, is a 2010 Cal State Fullerton business management alumnus who recently was chosen as a Disneyland ambassador out of 77 candidates, a highly recognized position for a Disneyland cast member as part of a 45 year tradition. As one of the two ambassadors, Torrico will serve a two year term as spokesperson for the company and participate in community volunteer work with nonprofit organizations. Torrico will represent the cast of over 20,000, sharing the magic with millions of guests who visit the Disneyland Park Resort.
â€œRene was selected as part of the next Disneyland Resort Ambassador team because of his ability to relate to our cast members and his passion for Disney, qualities that we know are significant in this unique role,â€ said Diane Killeen, manager of Disney VoluntEARS (Disneylandâ€™s charitable organization) and cast initiatives for Disneyland Resort.
â€œForty five years ago, Walt Disney selected the first ambassador to act as an emissary of goodwill, taking the magic of Disneyland beyond the Resort and into the community, and we look forward to Rene continuing this important tradition,â€ Killeen said.
Ambassadors are selected at each of the five Disneyland Park locations in the world. The position has only been awarded to 57 individuals since its introduction in 1965 by Walt Disney himself. Ambassors will go through two-and-half months of training with the previous yearâ€™s ambassadors as well as attending cast recognition and celebration events.
â€œBeing an ambassador is such a great honor. Itâ€™s such a great and unique opportunity for any cast member to have and if youâ€™re chosen you get to work in this beautiful place every single day. Itâ€™s is a blessing its something I wouldnâ€™t want to trade for the world,â€ Torrico said.
Torrico began his career at the Walt Disney Company three years ago when he worked for Partners Federal Credit Union, the financial institution for cast members. He heard about the opportunity at a career event when he was a student at CSUF. Torrico worked hard and became head teller for the Partners Federal Credit Union, helping make peopleâ€™s â€œfinancial dreams a realityâ€ whether it was a home loan, a student loan or a vehicle purchase.
â€œGoing to Cal State Fullerton helped my career not only at Partners Federal Credit Union, but here as an ambassador just because I get an opportunity to use everything I learned in all of my business, human resource, public relations and public speaking classes in my day to day role. I cant say enough good things about what Iâ€™ve learned and what I still keep applying in my day to day job,â€ Torrico said.
Torrico, with his boyish charm and warming smile, shares the same amiable attitude as many Disneyland cast members. Torrico has been largely involved with VoluntEARS, including the Special Olympics and the Childrenâ€™s Hospital of Orange County/ Disneyland Resort Walk in the Park. With his enthusiasm for the Walt Disney Company, hard work and determination have no doubt paid off, making him an exceptional ambassador as it shows through his work with others.
â€œWorking with Rene at Partners Federal Credit Union was a pleasure and we are all very proud of his accomplishment,â€ said Danny Lemus, Partners Federal Credit Union branch manager. â€œReneâ€™s work ethic, attention to detail and care for fellow cast members made him a strong and effective leader during his time with us.â€
Aside from enjoying the park as a guest and riding his favorite attraction Space Mountain, Torrico enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time with his family and friends. It is that time with his family that led to Torricoâ€™s great love for Disneyland.
â€œMy first visit to the park was my father waking us up early in the morning and kinda giving us a surprise like â€˜hey weâ€™re going to Disneylandâ€™ It became a tradition where my father and i would come here alone to really share that father and son time together and thatâ€™s what I remember most and thatâ€™s what I cherish the most,â€ Torrico said.
At his favorite place in the park, the hub, where the Partners statue stands of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands, Torrico reflects on the magic that Walt Disney created at the parkâ€™s opening in 1965 and how that sense of wonder continues to flourish today.
Torrico will begin as ambassador with Jolie Hales in January, where they will help guests and cast members create and share new magical moments as they â€œLet the Memories Begin.â€