In a tradition dating back to 1965, Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro announced that cast members Justin Rapp and Rafa Barron will represent the Resort as its 2019-2020 Disney Ambassador Team.
The announcement was made Thursday, October 4, 2018.
The pair will serve a two-year term during the opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the park’s largest expansion in its history, set to debut summer 2019.
“Congratulations to Rafa and Justin,” D’Amaro said. “An engaged, thriving cast makes the magic stronger at the Disneyland Resort, and I am proud to welcome such talented new Disney Ambassadors to represent them.”
“It’s an honor to be able to represent over 30,000 cast members from all over the resort,” Rafa said.
Rafa hired into Tomorrowland Attractions two and a half years ago. He currently is a working lead at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Astro Orbiter and Tomorrowland Theater, and is a trainer in the area. When he’s not in the land of tomorrow, Rafa also facilitates orientation classes for new cast members in both English and Spanish. Rafa is a native of Mexico City, Mexico, and currently lives in Irvine.
Justin and Rafa were selected from more than 100 applicants and will take the magic of the Resort into the community by acting as emissaries of goodwill.
“One of the things I’m really excited about is we begin making monthly visits to CHOC with out Disney characters, that’s really special,” said Justin.
Justin joined the Disneyland Resort in 2012, cruising along the Nile River as a Jungle Cruise Skipper. He then felt a pull to Entertainment, where he has performed in a number of shows. Justin also facilitates a training class called Step into the Magic for new cast members. He is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and currently resides in Anaheim.
After they were named, they were honored with a cavalcade down Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland.
In addition, the pair will serve as spokespersons for the Resort, as well as host dignitaries and other VIPs. While the tradition started at Disneyland, today there are Ambassadors at every Disney Park around the world.
Story by Mark Eades