If you’ve ever wondered who dreams up the amazing merchandise found all over the Disneyland® and Walt Disney World® Resorts, look no further: it’s all thanks to the work of talented cast members like Deanne.
“I’m a Merchandiser, and what I do is think up new product ideas and have them produced for sale in our many retail locations. I work with art teams to develop concepts and, once approved, negotiate with factories in various parts of the world to produce the item. These products end up on the shelves in our locations on both coasts,” Deanne explained. “It could be mugs, apparel, headwear…a wide variety of product categories. Our aim in the merchandise division is to support the various concepts Imagineering has created in the parks and resorts with tangible memories our guests can take home.”
“One of my areas of responsibility is our Resort Logo Programs. I love learning about each resort and the guest experience there. Right now, I’m working on the Fort Wilderness Resort. As you can imagine, I’m designing a lot of camping-themed items. Many guests come back annually, and I want to surprise and delight these guests with items that allow them to connect with the resort because it’s such an important part of their year,” Deanne said. “It’s all so much fun! We have a really great team. My work is an exciting combination of business and creative skills.”
Deanne has been a part of the Disney family for nearly twenty years and a Member at Partners for 11 years. When Deanne went through some hard times, Partners was there to help support her: “I had gone through a divorce, and through that my credit score went down. It took many years to repair that. Last year I was finally able to qualify for a credit card and a loan for a car,” Deanne explained. “I went in to see Eric at Partners and talked to him about the direction I wanted to go and to see what I could do. He was just so helpful and so patient.”
“Eric was just a great place of counsel,” she said. “Once I got the arrangements made with CarMax for my car, he said, ‘Great, your paperwork is going to be held for you here, here’s the loan amount, and here’s what we need to do next.’ He was super helpful in helping me expedite all that.”
“They say that you’re part of the Disney family when you work here, and that definitely was true when I was working with Partners,” Deanne smiled. “If Eric wasn’t there, then there were other cast members that could answer my questions and help keep me moving forward. It was great to have that partnership.”
“I was thinking recently that in 10 years or so, it’ll be time for me to retire. I know now that I have someone there who’s willing to look into my financial situation and help me see what’s ahead and what to do to prepare. I have found it to be such a great blessing to have Partners,” Deanne said.
Formerly authored by Sarah B. at Partners