This past Monday my friend Ben met with Regis Alart & Osvaldo del Mistero, the 2012 Ambassadors of Disneyland Paris. He spoke with them about the 20th Anniversary, what its like to be an ambassador and then what is next for them. Ben was kind enough to send my the interview to publish on Dedicated to DLP, so that we can share it with all of you. So, over to you Ben.
April saw Disneyland Paris celebrate twenty years of magic. Out of all the new and exciting additions brought in for this momentous occasion, what one is your favourite & why?
Regis: I will go with the easy one; Disney Dreams! It is quite amazing and is the first time we have had a night-time spectacular of that magnitude, so we are very happy with it. It has great art direction and it’s great to use Sleeping Beauty Castle as the backdrop to an amazing show.
Osvaldo: It always brings a tear drop to the eyes of the guests and indeed us Cast Members too. It is really something quite spectacular.
If you had to pick your favourite part of Disney Dreams, which section would you choose & why?
Osvaldo: For me, the Tangled part is my favourite part of the show, however the finale as well is very impressive and really gives you that last touch of magic for the day.
Regis: The finale is amazing; I really love the Genie section, that one is really good and how the castle disappears and then re-appears as a Las Vegas style castle, it is really very good.
As Ambassadors, you are the spokespersons for the entire resort and participate in various enrichment activities including Disney’s Friends For Change and Disney VoluntEARS. To dare what has been the most fun and then perhaps the most daunting challenge for you both?
Osvaldo: I was lucky enough to work on the Disney’s Friends For Change project, which was launched by The Walt Disney Company in 2008. We needed to adapt the concept for the French communities and its been a lot of work and very time consuming. But in the end, it was a very interesting project to work on and we have been able to go and visit the children within the local communities and teach them how to respect the environment and about planet earth. It was really a lot of fun and we actually finished the first phase of the project last June and we had an activity at Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch where we invited a number of children from across the area to join us and spend the day together as we learned about biodiversity and how we can help the planet.
Regis: And also, with the Disney VoluntEARS, we go out to hospitals along with the Disney Characters to visit children and one particular visit that stays in my mind is when we went to a local hospital in Cannes, along with the Disney Cruise Line Crew Members where we had the Disney Magic sailing in the Mediterranean and we were able to partner with that visit, it was really a unique moment.
Friday (October 5) is when the announcement of the new ambassadors for Disneyland Paris is made. What advice did you give to all the candidates in order to stand a good chance of succeeding?
Osvaldo: We always told them to be themselves. It may seem pretty easy to do, but it is the key to go forward in the selection process. What we are looking for is just individuals, to be themselves and show their personalities to different juries who will then select the ambassadors.
Sadly, this means your time as being Ambassadors is almost at its end. Out of everything you have experienced throughout the past twelve months, what has been your favourite moment and why?
Regis: Well, being a “Disney Geek” myself; being there on April 12, the day of our 20th Anniversary and sharing that incredible moment with our Cast Members, the Disney Global Ambassador Team and of course Tony Baxter was surreal. Hosting Tony Baxter for his conference was really a huge treat for us. So I would say that particular day was quite amazing.
Osvaldo: It’s pretty hard to pick a specific moment during two very rich years that we have spent as being Ambassadors. But of course the 20th Anniversary stands out. The entire experience is something Regis & I will remember for the rest of our lives.
What is next for both of you, do you both return to your previous positions?
Osvaldo: Yes, that is one of our possibilities. We were Cast Members before we were Ambassadors and we will be Cast Members after our term comes to an end. We may return to our previous positions, which for me; I was the manager in the hotel operations and Regis was in Guest Relations. So, we may get our previous positions back or we will see what turns out in the future months. If there are openings in other divisions that interest us, we can apply as any other cast members could.
Regis: We have learned so much with the Ambassador program, that we have been trained in various things so it is good to see how we can apply that. A key task as our role as Ambassadors was to know what it is like for our fellow Cast Members and the only way to know that is to experience it first hand, which was a great experience as we got to work in many divisions across the resort.
If you could choose any attraction from any other Disney Park to bring to Disneyland Paris, which one would you choose & why?
Regis: Mine probably wouldn’t be picked, but I would say the Carousel of Progress. It is a classic attraction that has moved around. It went from New York to Disneyland and then to Walt Disney World, so why wouldn’t it be the next step for it to come to Disneyland Paris?
Osvaldo: I would choose Journey to the Centre of the Earth from Tokyo Disney Sea. I think it would be a great addition for Discoveryland. I experienced it when I visited Tokyo Disney Resort and found it to be a very amazing and unique attraction.
What is your favourite season that is celebrated at Disneyland Paris?
Regis: Christmas, it has to be Christmas – it is my favourite holiday. The way that the season is brought to life in our parks is just amazing and brings it to a whole new level.
Osvaldo: I also love Christmas in general but then again I started working at Disney in December 2002 and so I have an emotional link to the season at Disney Parks.
Finally, what advice would you give to those who would like to work for Disney?
Regis: Apply. Fill out your resume. The thing is that when it comes to Disney, we are dealing with so many different trades. So there is not one particular way to get to Disney. I started working out in attractions at Walt Disney World. You’ve got the International Program which is a great thing when you are from Europe, as you have Epcot, where so many different countries are represented. That is one thing I would certainly encourage people to do. It is a great experience and then if you really fell in love with it, come and work for us at Disneyland Paris!
Thanks to Regis & Osvaldo for taking time out of their busy Monday Morning to meet me.
You can follow Ben on Twitter @ExploreWithBen