Highlights from Day 4 at the Disney Dreamers Academy 2023

by | Apr 6, 2023 | WDW Blog

We’re sharing all the highlights from the second day of the 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy, which took place at Walt Disney World.

The 2023 Disney Dreamers Academy recently concluded at Walt Disney World. Each year, Disney announces its newest class for the Disney Dreamers Academy, made up of 100 Black students and teens from underrepresented communities who were chosen from a pool of thousands of applicants. As part of the event, each student (along with a parent or guardian) can enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Disney World, with the opportunity to explore the theme parks and also learn from a host of experts in a variety of fields they may be interested in. We were lucky enough to attend this year’s event, and we’re sharing everything we saw day by day!

Here’s what the Disney Dreamers Academy experience was like on day four, the final day of the event.

Kicking Off Commencement

The fourth and final day of the Disney Dreamers academy began with a full-service breakfast. The first plate was filled with fruit and was topped with a Mickey-shaped watermelon slice, and our main course was a vegetable and egg frittata with a side of breakfast potatoes and peameal bacon. All of the Disney Dreamers, chaperones, and Cast Member representatives were dressed up in suits and dresses for this momentous occasion, and Princeton Parker started the day’s celebration by setting the call-to-action. “I will be constant” is what Parker had the Dreamers repeat as their intention for the day.

Shortly after the breakfast festivities, the Commencement Ceremony began – with a musical performance and dance to songs from The Lion King!

The Disney Dreamers Academy Commencement Ceremony

2023 Disney Dreamers Academy commencement Halle Bailey

Photo by Aly Sferlazza

As the final event of the larger Disney Dreamers Academy, the participants were able to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work over the previous three days with an exciting commencement ceremony. Tracey Powell hosted the majority of the Commencement Ceremony and introduced many of the guest speakers, performers, and sponsors, along with the awards and recognitions revealed for the Dreamers throughout the celebration. The performances included musical stylings from The Walls as well as Pastor Mike Jr. 

State Farm presented a “State Farm Good Neighbor Award” to five Disney Dreamers, each of whom showed empathy and kindness through the event. The Dreamers who received this award also received a $500 gift card and Jake From State Farm bobble head. 

Additional recognition acknowledge the Dreamers’ activities and hard work. For example, throughout the week, the students were all able to participate in “social media challenges,” during which they got to create content in their groups for social media about their time at the Disney Dreamers Academy. The top three teams were announced and recognized for their creative efforts. 

The “Sprite Image Award” was also presented to two Disney Dreamers who were described as “the type of leaders and artists that Sprite celebrates.” Both award winners received a prize pack at the end of the celebration.

Disney Dreamers were also treated to an appearance by George Kalogridis, the former president of Walt Disney World Resort. Kalogridis was honored as the Disney Dreamers Academy “Hero of the Year”, and he then introduced the winner of the “Dreamer of The Year” award. This particularly special honor was voted for by the class, and this year Maria M. was named the “Dreamer of The Year” for the Disney Dreamer Academy Class of 2023. She was not only awarded the honor of the title, but also a trip for four to return to Walt Disney World, sponsored by Delta. Mickey Mouse came out to congratulate Maria M. and present her with this award. 

2023 Disney Dreamers Academy commencement awards

“Dreamer of the Year” award winner Maria M. accepts her award. Photo by Aly Sferlazza

Halle Bailey was the last of the speakers to make an appearance at the Disney Dreamers Academy and reinforced the fact that “this is a momentous occasion” for the Disney Dreamers, and just the beginning for these incredible students. She closed with encouraging words: “It is time to make those dreams a reality.”

Presenting the Dreamers with Class Rings

Tracey Powell then introduced the final event of the ceremony, which was receiving the class rings. This is a tradition at the Disney Dreamers Academy, one that brings together the students and their chaperones. The chaperone who came with the Disney Dreamer places the ring on the Dreamer’s finger. Tracey Powell commended the efforts of the chaperones and reminded them that it is through their support, love and encouragement that the Disney Dreamers were able to become who they are today. 

Once the class rings were placed on the Disney Dreamers’ hands, the ceremony wrapped up with Tracey Powell, Princeton Parker, Mickey Mouse, and other guest speakers on stage, all of whom reminded the Dreamers that this is just the beginning. Streamers were shot out into the audience to conclude the event, and the Disney Dreamers said their emotional goodbyes to their new friends. 

You can watch the entire commencement ceremony here: 

If you’re a student in the United States who dreams big, or if you know someone who does, keep an eye out on the Disney Dreamers Academy application page for the Disney Dreamers Academy Class of 2024 applications!

Thanks to Disney for hosting us as part of the Disney Dreamers Academy event, where we were able to conduct interviews and learn more about the exciting program.  

Highlights from Day One at the Disney Dreamers Academy 2023

Highlights from Day 2 at the Disney Dreamers Academy 2023

Highlights from Day 3 at the Disney Dreamers Academy 2023

Posts by Alessandra Sferlazza

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Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram
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Authored by
Alessandra Sferlazza

Aly is the Social Media Coordinator for WDW Magazine as well as a contributing writer. For the past five years, she has worked with The Walt Disney Company and completed her BA, B.Ed, and a certificate in Journalism. Aly loves spending every second she can at Disney World with her best friends and family. Follow Aly on Instagram
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