Cast Members are some of the best aspects about the Disney Parks. Filled with magic, Cast Members strive each day to put a smile on the face of Guests. Whether that be sparking a good conversation, directing someone to Splash Mountain, or possibly creating a magic moment, Cast Members have the power to make a good day a great one with their interactions.
But, sometimes Cast Members go above and beyond what anyone would expect of them. Disneyland Cast Member Ray Banales was just honored with the Disney Heroes Award after saving the life of another person by risking his own while on the way home from work. While driving home on the freeway, he noticed a car swerving across the road, and came to a halt in the middle of the busy freeway.
In a panic, Ray pulled over and walked towards the car with traffic rushing around him. He worked to get the driver out of the car, all while almost getting hit himself. After he was able to evacuate the driver, they moved away from the car which would shortly burst into flames. Had it not been for Ray, the driver who was stuck in the vehicle would have likely not made it home that night.
Disney Parks Blog reported on the story after talking to Ray:
“I was terrified, but I tried my best to get the driver to get out of the car while other cars almost hit us,” Ray said. “After he was finally able to get out, the car went up in flames.” Ray then called 911 and waited with the driver until authorities arrived, ultimately agreeing to go on camera for a media interview. “The following day, someone shared it with me, and then it kind of snowballed from there. Reception was very positive, and I had people sharing it with me all over social media.”
Ray’s leader, Disneyland Park east general manager Marybeth Miller, heard about his courageous act and nominated him for the Disney Heroes Award. On February 4, Ray was surprised with a ceremony and the award with friends and family. “It was the right thing to do in my mind,” shared Ray. “If this had been me and I was the one that was in an accident, I would want to think that someone — maybe not everyone — but at least one person would stop and see if I was OK.” These acts of kindness continue to show the magic that Disney Cast Members provide on a daily basis, whether they are in the Parks, or not.
More on Disneyland and Disney California Adventure
At Disneyland, there is so much for Guests to enjoy! Now that the mask mandate has dropped for fully vaccinated Guests, Guests can enter buildings without a face covering if they so choose. Walking up to Sleeping Beauty Castle is always a dream, especially when you get to go inside and relive the story of Aurora and Maleficent. Riding classics like “it’s a small world”, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, The Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and more will have you feeling the magic, and craving a churro! Toontown is currently gearing up for a massive change which will be revealed in 2023 with the reopening of the land, and the debut of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Plus, now at Disneyland, Guests can enjoy Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smuggler’s Run.
Plus, there is so much to see and do at Disney California Adventure Park! Guests can enjoy Buena Vista Street as they walk the roads Walt had in Hollywood, enjoy a hand-dipped corn dog at Award Wieners, Head to Cars Land to enjoy the neon signage and Radiator Springs Racers, check out the new Marvel-themed land in Avengers Campus, where they can meet Spider-Man, Loki, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, and so many more characters. And of course, you have to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT. Rock on the Silly Symphony Swings as well, and go catch Jack Jack on Incredicoaster! The list of rides and attractions never ends!