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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The power of Magical Moments

Never underestimate the power of bringing a smile to someone. As a former cast member, I missed bringing a smile to someone's face, but I never thought that it would happen to me after I worked for Disney. My first magical moment was dancing with Dale when I was seven, and finally meeting Minnie at the fifties themed restaurant at what was once MGM studios. My next magical moment was getting a picture with Stitch on the last day of my vacation, thinking I wouldn't see him before we left. I was able to cheer up little kids who were scared or sad during the Disney College Program, by giving them a Tinker Bell pin or a free ice cream. One couple was extremely excited to get free Mickey Bars on their honeymoon and thanked me more times than I could count. I really miss doing things like that, and every now and then, I'm able to cheer kids up with a good story or help parents with a recommendation at the book store. 
While I was visiting Disneyland with my friends, I really wanted to take a picture with Belle. Mom and I missed her last time when we went to Disneyland shortly after my dog died, and before going to an event for ShineOn magazine.  I had seen the Beauty and the Beast show, but I still wasn't able to see Belle or get her autograph. So I asked my friends if they were ok with me going back to give it one more try. They said it was fine and watched the Aladdin show at California Adventure while I ran over to Disneyland.
I was in line with the people to meet the princesses when some pin traders around my age noticed my Keyblade  necklace and we chatted for awhile. Eventually I told them I was hoping to meet Belle, since I kept missing her. They told me to tell a cast member my story: it was my last day and I had already tried twice to see her. I took their advice and asked the cast member if there was anyone I could talk to. They told me the Beauty and the Beast show was starting, and if I got in before it closed, I could see Belle and get a picture. (I wish I had known that when I saw the Beauty and the Beast show the first two times -_-)  So I went over to the theatre and the cast member guarding the entrance told me that theatre was full, and the last one for the day. I repeated my story, telling her that I literally just wanted to see Belle. She told me she'd talk to her manager. So I waited, watching the audience get excited about the show, and while I stood there a cast member came up with a glass slipper and told me "Cinderella says she's sorry."
By then the show started, so I decided to stay and at least watch the show for the last time. During the show, another cast member came up and told me the same thing, giving me another glass slipper. So there I stood with two glass slippers I didn't need while watching the show. 
Close to the end of the show, the same people I met in the princess line came up to me and asked me what the cast member said. I told them. They walked away and I finished watching the Beauty and the Beast show. After the show ended, one of the guys from the group came back and asked me, "Do you still want to see Belle?" I said yes, and he introduced me to a nice lady who told me to follow her. She had given up two seats to other people so they could watch the show, and her husband and son were already inside, so she told me I could reclaim one of those seats. She told the cast member she had seats inside and said that I was also with her. As we were standing in line, I thanked her and actually began tearing up, because I had never experienced a reverse magical moment. With the people from the princess line cheering me on, I stood in line with the nice lady and her husband and was able to take a picture with Belle. It was a very magical moment, and I was really touched by how kind and generous that offer was. After the guy took my picture, I thanked him. He shook his head and said it was nothing, and the lady and her husband told me that they try to use their powers for good. The guy told me to have a great last day and I told him to have a great vacation as well. I'm so grateful that they were willing to help me see Belle before I left!
As for the Cinderella slippers, my friend and I found some little girls dressed as Cinderella and gave them away. That was another magical moment. I found my Cinderella getting her face painted close to the Toy Story Mania ride. I asked her father if I could speak to her and showed him the slipper. He grinned, but explained that she didn't know English. I asked him if he would tell her that she dropped something and give her the slipper. He did and the girl grinned from ear to ear. That moment reminded me of when I used to work at the parks, doing my best to make someone smile.
My friend found her Cinderella after the Toy Story Mania ride. She tried to give the slipper to a girl in a Cinderella jacket, but she didn't want it. Behind my friend, another little girl in a Cinderella dress ran to catch up with her. Once she got the slipper, she was so excited. That was just a few of the magical moments my friends and I experienced at Disneyland.

Another magical moment was meeting Russell and Dug after graduating as a Wilderness Explorer. My friend really wanted to see Dug, and she is his greatest fan :) We got our badges (stickers) and she took a picture with Russell in the signature Wilderness Explorer salute.
As we left the wilderness area, she looked at the pictures on the wooden sign and saw that Dug was in the photos. We decided to ask the cast member standing at the entrance if Dug would be out and about for the day. He told us to check the fallen tree, and while we were on our way, we saw Dug, and my friend was so excited. He was very interested in squirrels and had an itch that only my friend could scratch as they posed for a picture. It was fun to do the puppy pose, and the wilderness explorer pose as Dug gave us hugs and kisses. That moment really made my friend's day.
We were also able to (miraculously) get reservations to Blue Bayou and had a very nice table by the water, where we waved at the Pirate boats going by. One guy yelled at us to toss him a roll. We all had Mint Julep's and enjoyed the restaurant's tranquil atmosphere. It was a perfect break from the hustle and bustle of the parks.

Our trip to Disneyland ended with a nice view of the World of Color, which we all agreed was phenomenal and well worth the wait.
All these moments are powerful memories that capture the power of a magical moment. When things work out by chance, when someone is kind to you unexpectedly, and when something happens that brings a smile to your face. Magical moments are precious, sometimes rare, and should never be taken for granted.
What magical moments have you experienced?

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