|The WDWCelebrations Core Team|
Learn more about the WDWCelebrations Core Team members.
Adam Roth, Co-Founder
Born and raised in Orlando, Adam has had his fingers dipped in the tourism industry since birth. In his early teens he transitioned from a fear of thrill rides to the status of a theme park enthusiast, seeking out newer, larger thrills to impress him. Having spent almost three years as a member of the Disney fan community, he became one of the core team members of Celebration 25, the acclaimed fan event known for its unique commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. Acting as the head of public relations and liaison between the Walt Disney Company and the Celebration 25 team, he worked to create a special relationship with the organization. Following the success of their first event, Adam and co-founder Jason Diffendal worked to develop an organization bent on "Unity in the Community," to celebrate future landmark occasions at the Walt Disney World® Resort and offer Disney fans unique opportunities to have fun together. WDWCelebrations.com was launched in December 2007 with the announcement of the next event, A Wild Decade, commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Disney's Animal Kingdom® Park.
Jason Diffendal, Co-Founder
Jason has been a lifelong fan of the Disney parks since his first visit at age 2. His biennial pilgrimages during his childhood accelerated into semi-annual visits by the year 2000. Luckily, Jason’s bride-to-be was also a Disney fan, which allowed his infatuation with the Disney parks to continue, and ultimately culminated in their wedding at Disney's Wedding Pavilion in September 2003. Early in 2007, Jason began his involvement with the planning for what became Celebration 25, the unofficial fan gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. His primary role in Celebration 25 was the organization and coordination of all aspects of the IllumiNations Dessert Party which capped off the events of October 1, 2007. Significant feedback from attendees of Celebration 25 focused on future events, and so, only two days after the conclusion of the event, Jason and co-founder Adam Roth together hatched plans for the evolution of Disney fan gatherings into a full-fledged organization and website, and WDWCelebrations was born.
Jackie Steele, Core Team Member, Graphic Design and Promotion
Jackie is a bit of an anomaly in the Disney fan universe, in that his love of the parks came later in life. With the exception of a half-day visit to the Magic Kingdom® Park in high school, he didn't set foot in a Disney theme park until 2003. Yet his admiration for Epcot® was instant, and he decided shortly thereafter that he would make arrangements to attend the park's 25th anniversary. That led to his involvement with the Celebration 25 event as the winner of the logo design contest, and when he arrived on site, he pitched in to help out with on-site registration. When Jason and Adam founded WDWCelebrations, Jackie became a member of the Core Team. He is responsible for graphic design for the group’s events, as well as assisting with planning and logistics. Jackie also runs MousePortalStudios.com and can usually be found at Disney events telling another unsuspecting victim about the connections between EPCOT Center® and the 1939 New York World's Fair.
Tom Corless, Core Team Member, Planning and Logistics
Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he counts over 70 visits in the last 20 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch his own website and podcast. Through a series of encounters sparked by his increased involvement in the community, he met Jason Diffendal of WDWCelebrations as the seeds of the new group were being sewn. Tom believed strongly in the mission of the organization and wanted to contribute, and so joined the Core Team in late 2007. Tom has since become a vital part of the core team, sharing his knowledge and time with the goal of making every WDWCelebrations event successful and fun.
Marcus D'Amelio, Core Team Member, Field Research, Director of Marketing
Marcus began his love of the Disney parks when his family took their first trip to Orlando to experience the Opening Day of EPCOT Center® on October 1, 1982. In high school Marcus participated in Magic Music Days, visited Tokyo Disneyland® while an exchange student in Japan, and vacationed at Disneyland® during the 35th anniversary celebration. To say the events of Celebration 25 were a life-changing event might be a slight exaggeration for most, but not for Marcus: it was at Celebration 25 that he met his lovely fiancée, Marcia. Since then Marcus has offered his talents as a WDW Celebrations Core Team member assisting in logistics and event planning. His favorite pastimes are outdoor activities, theater, and of course, visiting and volunteering at Disney!
Matt Pezzula, Core Team Member, Videography, Field Research
Matt spent most of his life in Upstate, NY only visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort once with his family in 1992. However, one visit was all it took - especially because of Figment and Dreamfinder - and Matt was hooked. In 2003, Matt was finally able to return. Although there was a bit of sadness with the "new" Figment, the magic of the parks made him realize he needed to visit much more often. In 2005, Matt and his wife honeymooned at the Walt Disney World® Resort, and they agreed that a visit to the resort would become a yearly tradition. The next year, the dream of many Disney park fans came true for Matt and his wife - they moved to central Florida! This proximity allowed Matt to volunteer his services as a professional videographer to the Celebration 25 team to document the events of those two days. Matt also joined the team for A Wild Decade and documented that day's events, and now as a Core Team member also helps with event logistics as well.
Jose Castillo, Core Team Member, Technical Specialist
Jose has been going to the Walt Disney World® Resort since he was 4 months old. His family moved to Miami, Florida in 1993, and since then he has been averaging 5-10 visits a year to the "World." While he enjoyed the parks, it wasn't until 2005 that he finally found others who share his love of Disney, when he became a forum moderator for the Inside the Magic podcast. He also began to work with Luke Manning on his Everything Disney websites and podcasts. Since then, Jose has worked with a number of Disney-related websites in a technical capacity, including Distant Creations and The Magic in Pixels. In September 2008, he attended his first WDWCelebrations event, World Wide Weekend, where he got a chance to meet the rest of the WDWCelebrations Core Team. He provided much assistance to the Core Team the event, and in October 2008 was welcomed aboard as an Event Staff member.
Jennifer Leveillee, Core Team Member, Communications Specialist
Jen has been a huge Disney fan throughout her whole life. She spent her honeymoon with husband Jerry at Walt Disney World, and has returned to Walt Disney World for every anniversary (except one) to mark the occasion. She is part of an AP-carryin', DVC-ownin', pin-tradin', FastPass-slingin' family of four, and has attended every WDWCelebrations event at Walt Disney World. Jen joined the Core Team in April 2010, and currently manages our Facebook and Twitter communications, and assists with writing the newsletter and press releases.