Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Magical Moments

I haven't blogged lately, mainly because I haven't felt like anything has happened that merits being blogged about. I wake up, go to work, come home and go to bed, alternating with days off, during which I do nothing because I'm usually pretty exhausted. I went through a really bad couple of weeks where I just wanted to quit and go home. It was a combination of bad days at work, the weather, anxiety and a whole mess of other things. This program is definitely tougher than you'd think, but worth it in the end.

Anywho, I thought this would be a good time to share some magical moments that have happened over the last few weeks. My job is pretty demanding and thankless a lot of the time, which makes the magical moments that much more special.

The first was when I was working with Daisy at the flagpole in Town Square. It's a tough location because she's very visible, and it's the front of the park so people are overexcited. As a result, her line is l-o-n-g all day. It's also in the direct sunlight, and on this day it was about 85 degrees. Needless to say, it was not the best. At one point, a Make-A-Wish family came to my line, so I asked the family at the front if they would be willing to let the Make-A-Wish family visit Daisy before them. The mom gave me a funny look when she said yes, which I thought was strange, but I didn't think anything of it. I showed the Make-A-Wish family to Daisy and turned around to see the mother in line crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she explained to me that last year, Make-A-Wish had granted her own daughter's wish to visit Disney World. Her daughter was standing in line beside her, in remission from the cancer the doctors thought she wouldn't beat.

A couple days ago, I was working at the Glade, which is where Tiana and Naveen normally hang out. Two women were waiting in line with a little girl when I heard them start arguing. It’s impossible not to eavesdrop, and I get the gist that one of them had lost the little girl’s autograph book. This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that they had spent all day waiting in line to get autographs. I radioed my captain, explained what had happened and asked him if he would get an autograph book from the store so I could go and find some of my character friends to sign the book. He went and got the autograph book and managed to get Tinkerbell, Terence, Pluto, Chip and Dale, Goofy, Donald and a few others to sign the book. I went over to the little girl and handed her the autograph book, explaining that my friends heard she lost hers and that while they couldn’t replace what she’d lost, they thought this might make her feel a little better. Her mom honestly started crying, hugged me and told me that I had made their vacation.

The last magical moment that really made an impact on me was in Town Square Theatre with the princesses. A little Make-A-Wish girl in a wheelchair was waiting in line. I struck up a conversation with her, which I do with a lot of little kids, but she really made an impact on me by how adult her speech was and how clever and funny she was. I started walking back towards the front of the line when the little girl’s grandmother stopped me and told me that the little girl’s last wish was to dance with the princesses at Disney World. So, I went up to Aurora, Belle and Cinderella and asked them if they wouldn’t mind dancing with the little girl when she came up. Of course, being the gracious princesses that they are, they each spent a good amount of time visiting with her and all three twirled around with her. While the little girl was dancing with Cinderella (who is the last princess you meet in Town Square Theatre in case you didn’t know J) the grandmother pulled me aside and told me that I had granted that little girl’s final wish. She said that if everything else went completely wrong today, the girl would still be happy because that’s all she wanted from her trip. I am not going to lie, I almost started tearing up at this point because that girl was so smart and funny. And for the record, I don’t like children, so she really made an impact on me.

Things like this make the bad aspects of my job a little bit easier to manage for sure. I do think that I am one of the few people in WDW who can really make or break someone’s vacation. And when I stop and think about how much parents sacrifice to bring their children here, and how it’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime trip for so many people, it does make me want to try harder to make it unforgettable.

And every post is better with a picture, so here’s me and Jack Sparrow from One More Disney Day J