Outside the magical realm of Disney, she enriches her skillset and shares her passion, contributing to the diverse and vibrant holiday season at the resort. Join us as we explore Kimberlee’s journey, her approach to embracing new challenges, and the memorable moments she’s created at ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’.
What are the latest developments you've been involved with at Disney and how have they influenced your current role?
Kimberlee: This holiday season, I had the honor of being cast as one of the first African American Mrs. Claus at the Disneyland Resort, as well as performing as a Finale Holiday Dancer.
What does visitor attendance at the Disneyland Resort typically look like during the holiday season?
How do you manage the stress and pressure associated with performing?
This year, portraying a Black Mrs. Claus held a unique significance. We were uncertain how guests might react, especially since last year marked the debut of a Black Santa. This year, the company progressed further by introducing a diverse range of Santas across the park, along with a refreshed image for Mrs. Claus. Change can be daunting, both to witness and to be part of, but the positive response was overwhelming. It’s heartening to see both children and adults open to new representations, and the entire entertainment department has been incredibly supportive. This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to introduce a new character at Disney, and it’s been an immensely fulfilling experience, a surprise addition to my bucket list.
Over the years, the best approach for me has been diligent work and preparation. Practicing, mastering choreography, staging, and lines, and trusting that I’m there for a reason has been key. Never did I imagine I’d have a career in dancing, let alone at the happiest place on Earth. Now that I’m here, I focus more on gratitude than pressure, striving to enjoy every moment.
Do you have any memorable or notable stories from your experiences at Disney that you could share?
Read more about Kimberlee Benton’s work as the Lifestyle Director at Homecoming at Eastvale!
Rosie Lewis is the Corporate Marketing Manager at The Lewis Group of Companies. Rosie is a Claremont native who enjoys hiking, yoga, and developing her green thumb.