Cast Place: WDW Guest Storiesby Shoshana Lewin, staff writer
Bryant Helmes’ Story
I was just reading the cast member stories section and wanted to tell you of an awesome experience we had with a cast member.
This past February, my wife and I were down for a quick get away for Valentine's Day. We decided to attend the Pirates and Princesses party at the Magic Kingdom, so we went to Downtown Disney and picked up some appropriate garb for the evening. I wore a pirate bandana and an eye patch and she had a princess hat.
It was getting close to time for the parade so we grabbed some drinks and a good place to view. While sitting there, the Dapper Dans showed up dressed as cowboys and performed for us and a few other folks while we waited. Due to wearing my eye patch and having my depth perception altered, I knocked my drink off of the bench and it went everywhere.
After the performance the bass singer asked me what I was drinking and left for a few minutes. He returned with a full cup of Sprite. That is what I call customer service. I was a klutz and this guy still bought me another drink. Made my night. I never saw his nametag and they were gone before I could ask his name, so to whoever you are. Thanks!
I wanted to write in with a wonderful magical moment a college friend of mine and I had at the Magic Kingdom in June. Just before the start of the 3 p.m. parade, my friend and I were standing on the steps outside of City Hall and we were getting very excited to see that parade.
A Guest Relations cast member came up to us and began speaking with us about our trip and how much fun we had been having. We told her how much we loved Disney and we wanted to make this an annual vacation so that we could let out all of the stress of our "real world" jobs and just be kids for a few days.
She returned with two Magical Moments Certificates from Mickey Mouse, Prince Charming, Peter Pan, Aladdin and Hercules declaring us Honorary Princes for the day.
This was a wonderful treat, and even made us "big kids" in our mid-20s so excited. We talk about this all the time to our friends, and mine is even in a frame so I can remember the good times I had, and how much I look forward to going back. Thanks Disney and all of your wonderful Cast Members for making this such a wonderful vacation.
My family and I stayed at Disney's Polynesian Resort in September. On our fifth day there, my 5-year-old son developed sudden abdominal pain at 11:30 p.m. My husband and I waited a bit, put my son to bed, and 15 minutes later he woke up in extreme pain and was behaving oddly.
I called the front desk and they immediately put me through to Doctors on Call. I spoke with a physician who strongly recommended that I hang up and press the Emergency button and have EMS come to the hotel.
Imagine! An ambulance at Disney! I did what the physician recommended and within a few minutes, a Polynesian security guard was at our door. He was so kind and empathetic and he stayed with us as two duty managers also arrived in our room.
I also spoke at length to Virgen who was incredible. She said that if we needed anything over-the-counter, she would open the store in the Great Ceremonial House for us. That if we needed transport, that would be taken care of—if we needed anything, she was there to help. Her compassion was so helpful during a stressful time- I'm sure she'll never know. I was so impressed with the Polynesian's response! My son went to the ER, had a harrowing night complete with a nasogastric tube—(unfortunately a family tradition)—but is fine. We've since discovered that he is terribly intolerant to ice cream.
I just wanted the MousePlanet community to know that in a crisis, Disney is there to hold your hand ... and a special thanks to Virgen.
Jennifer Weber’s Story
On our two kids' first trip to the WDW, our youngest had his first haircut in the main street barbershop, which was a very special way to celebrate that milestone. The cast member was awesome and fussed over him to no end. He was grinning from ear to ear and received his first pair of mouse ears with "First Haircut" embroidered on the back.
Mary Tesch’s Story
Thirteen years ago, just prior to our trip to WDW, my husband and I announced to everyone that we were expecting our first child. Our dearest friend got the information from us as to where we would be dining on the trip. He surprised us by calling the Coral Reef and arranging with the manager to have his credit card charged for our meal.
When we were finished eating, the manager arrived at our table to announce that our wonderful friend had paid for our dinner and also left a special message for us.
It was a very magical moment and one that my husband and I will never forget. Is it any wonder that one of our daughter's favorite restaurants is the Coral Reef? She loves the lobster bisque there.
Jemma Phillips’ Story
We recently came back from Disneyland Paris and I've been looking for somewhere like this where I might be able to put down in writing, my eternal gratitude to all Disneyland Paris cast members (a few in particular). This is our story.
In June, our beautiful, sweet daughter Ellie, at the age of 2, was diagnosed with an inoperable low grade brain tumor, She shows no symptoms apart from she has a little trouble walking but she doesn't let it get her down.
She is so full of love and joy and wants to share it with the world.
I've always been a Disney fan and had introduced her to the magic from birth (or maybe even before, singing Disney tunes to her when I was pregnant). So, it felt like an absolute necessity to make sure that she got to live the magic at Disneyland Paris. We visited from the December 16-19, so that she got to celebrate her third birthday while we were there. It was the most incredible, unimaginable, magical, happiest, most bittersweet experience of my life. Seeing her little face light up at every site and sound *sigh* how we all wish we were back there, just living the magic everyday till the end.
She was so excited by the characters but a little wary, too, like she was desperate to meet them but then overwhelmed by the excitement... on the third day she met Pluto (we stayed in the Disneyland Hotel so we got to meet a couple of characters at breakfast everyday). He was playing around with some older children and being really lively, then he saw Ellie watching him from across the room... he saw her nervousness right away and approached her in the most beautiful, gentle, playful yet casual way. She didn't back off and try to cling to me like she had done previously.
I watched her face light up with a smile as she stood face to face with Pluto. (At this point I'm desperate to get the camera out to document her first 'real' encounter, but I resist, I'd rather have it as a wonderful memory in my mind than to have disturbed her and not had the memory at all.)
He held out his paw and gently took her hand as she offered it with quiet confidence. Then they began to dance. She danced (albeit a little wobbly) and twirled and laughed (and I cried).
From that moment on she was a different child. She had confidence that I'd never seen in her before, it was truly beautiful. We saw Pluto a few more times after that and I think it was the same one at least twice, he was wonderful and adapted so well to each child (remarkable when there is so much going on). I wish there was some way I could get in touch and tell Pluto what wonderful memories he gave us of our daughter and what confidence he instilled in her which made the rest of our stay all that more magical. By the end of the holiday, when she met a character, she'd have a quick “chat” and a little dance and then back up for a picture. Even when I didn't have the camera.
We had so many magical Disney experiences that week, it's hard to pick just one out (apart from every time we met Pluto) but also, we had lunch with Suzie and Perla and the princesses, we met Aurora and Snow White and Cinderella and Princ Charming and the experience just blew us away. To see our daughter dancing with the princesses was breathtaking. Ellie just loved Perla. She spent most of the time dancing with her and they held hands, so cute. I think Ellie’s favorite might have been Prince Charming (shhh,don't tell Cinderella), she wanted me to take a picture of her with the Prince but without Cinderella, who stood very gracefully in the background. It made a beautiful picture and it is in Ellie’s top five that she has in her room. Another is one with Pluto, then there is one with Snow White blowing her a kiss from the Once Upon a Dream Parade (which she actually did twice) and another is of her with Sleeping Beauty, who on the last day, recognized Ellie in the parade crowd and gave her a beautiful friendly lingering wave, Ellie was thrilled to bits.
Every single cast member was incredible. From housekeeping, to concierge, reception, luggage, stroller hire, waiters, characters ... everyone, made this the most wonderful experience. It will be an incredible memory.
We are going to book to come back in September and we will hope and pray with all of our hearts that we make it. Ellie’s tumour is low grade/slow growing, which means that she may even have five years, but she may not, and we intend to fit in as much magic for her as humanly possible. It doesn't get any more magical than Disney.