Raevon Redding is making history as the fifth Black male chosen as a Walt Disney World Ambassador. Redding is living a dream he sought out at just 13 years old when the then-ambassador showed up to his class with Mickey Mouse.
The Orlando native didn’t know at that age that people could experience the magic of Disney outside the theme parks and resorts.
“I was shocked,” Redding recalls the pair coming to his classroom. “I told him that day I want to do your job as ambassador.”
Fourteen years later, Redding is the fifth Black male out of 80 ambassadors to hold this prestigious title during Walt Disney World’s historic 50th anniversary.
But even without his title, Redding is an avid Walt Disney World enthusiast, and now he is dropping gems on the must-see experiences. While the rides are some of his favorite attractions, he urges people not to forget about the entertainment.
“My heart is with entertainment forever. I used to be a performer here at Disney, so I’m always going to gravitate towards entertainment,” he says. “Our entertainment is what really brings everyone in and brings our characters to life.”
Here are his top picks at Walt Disney World:
Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom
Lion King’s iconic circle of life takes center stage in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom through the Festival of the Lion King.
It’s a Broadway-style show that woos spectators with the costumes, dances, puppets, stilt dancers, and more.
Get those voices ready. You’ll be able to sing along to the film’s classic songs, including “Hakuna Matata,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” and a rendition of “Circle of Life.”
Fantasmic! at Hollywood Studios
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The pandemic temporarily closed another fan favorite at Disney World: Fantasmic!
Fantasmic! features approximately 50 live performers, inspirational music, massive sets, and fireworks over the water. It’s breathtaking to see.
Mickey's Magical Friendship Faire at Magic Kingdom
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire at Magic Kingdom takes place right in front of Cinderella’s Castle.
Joining Mickey Mouse, of course, is Minnie Mouse, Princess Tiana and friends from The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled, and Anna, Elsa, and Olaf from Frozen to name a few.
“I got to be a part of the opening of the original. You don’t want to miss this because here is where you see all our characters come to life,” says Redding.
Enchantment Fireworks at Magic Kingdom
You can’t leave Disney World without experiencing the fireworks and light show at the night’s end.
The display will give you goosebumps every time, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth time visiting.
Harmonious Fireworks at Epcot
The other fireworks show is Harmonious at Epcot.
“Harmonious comprises 14 different languages with 240 different recording artists from around the world and bringing the Disney songs to life in the language the song originates from,” says Redding.
“For example, Mulan’s songs are sung in Mandarin, and the songs in the Lion King are sung in Swahili. Everyone will feel represented, which is something Disney makes sure of.”
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure at Epcot
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Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will make you feel small on the 4D adventure, but it’s only to ensure that you get the most out of the experience, as it makes everything bigger.
Based on the Disney and Pixar film Ratatouille, you will join Chef Remy on a culinary ride that will ignite all your senses.
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind at Epcot
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind is the first-ever reverse launch on a Disney Roller Coaster, the largest fully-enclosed coaster in the world, and it’s also the first roller coaster thrill ride at Epcot.
You can learn more about the ride here.