"You can take the person out of Disneyland, but you can't take Disneyland out of a person." This is the opening sentence from the first newsletter of The Disneyland Alumni Club, written by Van A. France, founder of the University of Disneyland and The Disneyland Alumni Club, as well as a Disney Legend. “I created the Alumni Club because Disneyland's leaders and I wanted to make Disneyland a life-long experience, something that adds to a Cast Member’s life after their work experience here at the Happiest Place on Earth comes to a close,” Van said.
“All Disneyland Cast Members are special. Walt knew that,” explained one of our founders. “In fact, he said, they have to be special in order to bring to life an outdoor entertainment experience found nowhere else in the world. The Disneyland Alumni Club brings together those special people and helps them all stay in touch with each other, while it preserves, honors, and perpetuates the values, traditions, and outlook upon which Disneyland was created.”
For many years after its founding in 1983, The Disneyland Alumni Club existed as a list in a desk drawer. After Van’s passing in 1999, The Disneyland Alumni Club became self-supporting in 2001.
In 2005, after Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, your all-volunteer leaders recognized the need for a fresh approach and a re-established foundation. Consequently in 2010, The Disneyland Alumni Club became a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, supported by its members and occasional donations. Since then, we have been able to host speaker series, a celebration for the Park’s 60th anniversary, screenings, and to add a number of popular new venues.
While the need for fresh input will always exist, we can confidently say that The Disneyland Alumni Club remains devoted and committed to the original vision of “you can’t take Disneyland out of the person". The Disneyland Alumni Club is a lifelong connection for former Cast Members.
So if you haven’t signed up for Club membership yet, please do so today. We’d love to know who you are, where you are, and how we can continue to keep the ever-growing list of Disneyland Alumni connected.