|10-12-2007, 12:49 AM||#1|
Grateful to God
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Great Northwest
The Magic of Disney: Revisited
What is magic, but the gift to see the underlying beauty that others miss, or to bring that beauty to the surface where all, but the most jaded souls can see it, touch it, taste it and live it? Walt Disney possessed the Midas Touch that transformed dross to gold, chaff to pixie dust. He wove this magic thread into all that he created from his family films to his child-centered theme parks. The wondrous thing is that Walt was able to bestow this gift of magic touch to those whom he left behind. A new generation of "Disneys" is making magic every day at Disney parks around the globe.
A few months ago, I began a thread about how Wish trips revealed the soul of Disney. This was before we left on a Wish Trip to Disney World with our little daughter. Now that we have tasted the sweetness of that mystical place for ourselves, I feel compelled to express my new insights into Disney Magic.
I had high expectations going to Orlando, having read so much about the generosity of Disney in helping to create magical memories for countless children with life-threatening illnesses. Now that we have been there, done that, and have the tee shirts, I have to say that my high expectations of Disney were actually exceeded by our first-hand experiences.
There are so many positive things that I could say about the real magic of the Magic Kingdom, that I hardly know where to start. Perhaps the beginning would be as good a place as any.
From the beginning of our time in Disney World, we felt the warm touch of royal hospitality. Even at the ferry dock, as we prepared to board the ferry during a tropical storm, we were met with genuine smiles of welcome. After losing some video discs from my camera bag due to failing to zip up a side pouch after the bag check, I went to Guest Services on Main Street to file a lost item report. When Jeff, a Cast Member behind the counter saw my Make a Wish button, he inquired about my daughter's wish. I told him that she really wanted to see the inside of Cinderella's Castle but that we had received our trip dates too late to schedule a meal in the castle. I asked if there was any way she could "peek in" for a moment to see more than the tunnel under the castle. In typical Disney Guests Services he said, "Let me see what I can do." That must be their motto and they truly mean it. In a moment Jeff returned. "Can you make it to breakfast at the castle in half an hour?" he asked. Could we ever!
At the castle my daughter's main wish of meeting Cinderella and seeing her castle was fulfilled, all because one man cared enough to "see what he could do." At Cinderella's Royal Table, she was enthralled with the personal attention that Snow White gave her. Belle, Jasmine and the Fairy Godmother were all very kind as well. It was such a magical time that I could not keep the tears out of my eyes when we were leaving the castle. "Daddy, why are you crying," she asked. I was unable to explain tears of joy to a five year old child.
The magic did not end at the Magic Kingdom. When we were toward the end of our day at Animal Kingdom, she fell and cut her knee. All she could think about was going back to our villa at Give Kids the World Village. We were able to persuade her to stay for the last showing of the Festival of the Lion King. There, one cast member asked her to help teach the "hand jive" to the crowd. She jumped up to help, her limp vanishing. Another cast member came to present her with Tinkerbelle pins and spoke sweetly to her, getting down on one knee to be at her level. When the show began, another cast member invited her to join in the celebration by dancing and playing a maraca. Her face nearly split in two with a huge smile. This extra kindness meant the world to a little girl who has been through a lot of hurt and pain in her life, but has overcome with her spirit of joy and hope unscathed.
There were many instances of kindness and hospitality that were demonstrated to us during that week. Perhaps the most amazing thing was that every cast member smiled at us. They all appeared to love their jobs. Where else in the world can you find that kind of spirit. For one magical week we were surrounded by love, kindness and joy. That was the real magic.
The royal treatment provided by Disney to children on Wish Trips reveals the true soul of Disney. Walt would have loved to see what his Kingdom has become. It is still the happiest place on earth, because the wonderful subjects of that Kingdom make it so. To every wish-trip child, Disney provides free tickets to its theme parks. In addition, cast members are instructed to allow these children to bypass lines for attractions, and to escort them into the rides in royal fashion. Evidently Disney figures that these kids have had to wait too often in their young lives. They have waited during medical scans. They have waited to recover for surgery. They have waited for donor matches for transplants. In their waiting, they have missed countless opportunities for joy and fun that other kids enjoy. There will be no waiting for these special children in the World of Disney.
What kind of a corporation is Disney? One with a soul. What kind of a soul has Disney? A soul filled with love. What kind of love does Disney display, the kind of love that stoops to lift the spirit of a child up to the heights of magic and joy. I am a true believer in the Magic of Disney, and I shall remain so always.
Make a Wish Trip to Orlando, Sept. 17-23, 2007
Give Kids the World Village Information for Families
Wish Trip Planning Tips
Wish Trippers Unite! One-The Original Home Page for Wish Trippers
Wish Trippers Unite! Two- The New Home Page for Wish Trippers
How to Start Your Own Trip Report see post #30
My Disney Poems
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