I am an introvert. That means that when I’m feeling down, chances are that I won’t actually go to you for help. In fact, I won’t go to anyone for help. You’ll have to actually check on me. I don’t feel that I should burden others with my problems but if you come to me, I might just trust you enough to let you help.
As a cast member, you see magical moments happen every day. Usually they are created by you, sometimes by fellow cast members, and even sometimes on your days off playing in the parks. Most happen and you smile and think about that moment for the next hour, but then move on with your work and don’t think on it again. Once in awhile though, there are magical moments that you will remember for the rest of your life.
Tomorrowland Speedway in Magic Kingdom is my location. I was on track assisting a family of five that included a handicapped little girl. It was her older sister’s birthday and they were beyond excited to be riding speedway. It is their favorite. We pulled out the special happy birthday sign and placed it on the back of the birthday girl’s car. Off they went. Once they came back around and got unloaded, the little girl pulled me aside and asked if she could ride one more time, but this time alone. She had just turned the big 1-0 and wanted to celebrate such a big milestone. After I made sure she was tall enough to go on her own, we loaded her into her very own special car and off she went again!
While continuing working the track I was idling chit chatting with the mother of the family. She talked about how excited the girls were for Disney, how Speedway is their favorite, and how she was so happy we let her daughter go again and make this special memory. Mom has been trying to pack in as much fun as possible while they could. She then continued to tell me how their father couldn’t be with them because he is currently deployed and she was trying to make her daughter’s birthday as special as possible because he wasn’t able to be there with them. I immediately knew at that point I wanted to do something special for them. I just didn’t know how special my simple action would be.
I flagged a fellow cast member down to hold my place while I ran an errand. I retrieved a special pass that allowed their party of five priority entrance to any attraction of their choice. I walked back to the mother, still waiting for her birthday girl to come back around, and I handed her the little slip of yellow paper. With a big smile I told her I wanted to help make this trip as special as possible. Showing her the paper, I told her it could be used at any attraction, that it could even be used to go meet Anna and Elsa, arguably the attraction with the highest wait time at Magic Kingdom.
She stared at me blinking for a few seconds. “Are you serious?” She half shouted at me with a growing smile. Smiling, I nodded. She started profusely thanking me for the gift and gave me the biggest hug. Then she told me it was going to be used it for Anna and Elsa and explained to me why. Birthday girl was a HUGE Frozen fan, of course. Earlier they had actually signed up for a return time on their green disability card, but at some point in the day it had accidentally gotten crossed off (which means the return time is either used or voided.) The little girl was of course devastated because she wasn’t going to get to meet her favorite princess and queen. Mom had started to tear up at this point because she had felt so guilty all day about her mistake and didn’t know how to remedy it. She continued to thank me as I went back to my track.
Eventually I got rotated out of the track to a greeter position. A few minutes later, the birthday girl was joined back with her family and they were exiting the attraction. I smiled at mom and whispered to the side “Did you tell her yet or is it going to be a surprise?” Instantly she beams and said I should tell her. I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I got to tell a sweet little girl that for her birthday, she and her whole family get to go meet her most favorite characters, and they don’t even have to wait in line. The smile and laughter from her was unreal, and I came extremely close to crying. It took everything I had to keep it together.
It’s amazing how such a small act of kindness can turn into such a big thing. I had no idea they missed their opportunity to meet Anna and Elsa. If I hadn’t taken those few minutes out of my day to give them the attraction pass, they might have never gotten to meet them. That would have been such a huge disappointment at the end of their trip and you know that little girl would have remembered not being able to do that. To have been apart of a magical moment that amazing makes me so thankful for this opportunity I have with The Walt Disney Company. To be able to create magic like that makes me feel so happy and fulfilled. All I can say after that is this: if you’ve ever experienced the happiness of a magical moment as a guest at Disney, it is nowhere near the happiness cast members feel when we are able to make those magical moments happen.
I really need to start blogging again and write down any dcp stories I’ll want to remember later. Starting now.
ah yes summer time for shorts
*unsticks thighs from plastic chair*