Before I went to work in Walt Disney World, I wasn’t especially a Disney fan. I watched the movies, had been to Disneyland Paris – and enjoyed it – and while I didn’t own one, I thought Tinkerbell T-shirts were kind of cute. I’m still not technically a Disney fan – what I love is being in Walt Disney World. It really is magical. And this is why:
My friend Anne just returned from a trip to Orlando. (She’s the one who brought me back Oreo Cakesters, and not because I had asked her to, but because she’d read Mousetrapped while on the holiday, noted my Cakester obsession and then picked up a box for me in Publix. What a star!) She was there with her husband and their teenagers. They’d been many times before and loved it, but on this most recent trip they had what my former employers at the, ahem, Duck and Tuna would call a ‘wow’ experience.
At the end of a long day at the Magic Kingdom, Anne and her family were making their way out of the park. If you’ve never been, you exit the Magic Kingdom underneath the arches of the train station, and scores of Cast Members – MouseSpeak for employee – wearing big white Mickey gloves line up against the railing above you and wave goodbye as you go. (I always wave; it makes me feel about six but I’m strangely compelled to do it.) Every Cast Member you pass will either smile, wave or bid you goodnight, or all three.
On this occasion, one of the Cast Members asked Anne if she’d had a good time, to which Anne replied something along the lines of, ‘We’ve had a great time – all we’re missing is some pixie dust to take home!’
What would you expect the Cast Member to do? In any other situation, they’d laugh or agree, thank you for coming maybe, and send you on your way. That’s certainly all Anne expected – she was just joking, of course. It was a casual remark.
But this Cast Member told her to wait a minute, and then disappeared. When she returned, she was carrying a small clear plastic bag (like the one spare buttons come in) filled with tiny, multi-colored confetti cut in the shape of Mickey’s head.
Or some ‘pixie dust’ for Anne to take home with her.
Now that’s the Disney experience.
I’m heading to Florida in October but it’ll be part of a whistle stop tour, and I don’t think we’ll have time to visit Magic Kingdom. I don’t mind because we’ve been there countless times, and the only thing I ever want to see is Wishes anyway, which I can watch anytime I want…