Prior to having our daughter, my husband and I visited Disneyland together frequently. We absolutely appreciated our Disney time as adults but knew it was a place where many families made vacation memories. Although we did not have any children of our own yet, the excitement and joy when a child first discovers Disney is contagious.
In May of 2005, as annual pass holders, we attended a press event for the 50th anniversary at Disneyland. We had an amazing experience and to this day, call it one of our most memorable visits to the park. It was also one of the first times we experienced a Disney cast member acknowledging kindness in a guest to guest interaction. The interaction was our own with a child excited about riding The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for the first time. My husband and I waited in a very short line and were about to step into the front row of the beehive when we heard a little voice behind us expressing his disappointment in not being able to ride in the front. With out a second thought, we turned to the little boy and offered our front row seat to his family. His eyes lit up with excitement and his parents politely thanked us as they stepped onto the attraction. My husband and I rode in the back row of the same beehive. As we exited the attraction, a cast member approached us and shared that he had witnessed our kind act. He thanked us and offered a fast pass valid for any park attraction that day. We were completely unaware the cast member was watching as we helped a family make a great Disneyland memory. We were flattered that our kind act was acknowledged and very appreciative of the fast pass. We never used the fast pass and still have it today to remind us how just one simple act of kindness can make a difference in someone’s day. In our case, the memory of riding in the front row watching Pooh and his friends twirl around the Hundred-Acre Woods.
Jump ahead several years and we were visiting the park with our daughter. From her first visit at just nine months old, one of our first activities when we visit Disneyland is picking a balloon. During the summer of 2010 we were visiting Disneyland when my daughter chose her very first Minnie balloon.
About an hour after she fell in love with her new balloon, we had the opportunity to once again experience the attentiveness of Disneyland cast members. We completely did not expect what happened with that balloon. My daughter was happily holding on to her balloon when a boy walked by and accidentally ran into our stroller. The string fell from the balloon and we all watched in complete disbelief as the boy and his mother simply walked away. It took a few seconds to process what had just happened. Before my daughter went into a full melt down, a cast member had approached us and offered to escort our family to get a complimentary replacement balloon. The cast member shared that this was certainly a unique situation, but anytime your balloon becomes unattached from the string while in the park, Disneyland offers a replacement with out any questions asked.
My daughter received a second balloon and made sure she held on to it tightly. Hours later, while napping in her stroller, she still had a firm grip on the balloon string.
We were again amazed by the genuine kindness shown by the cast members. With out a doubt, this is one of the reasons our family will continue to make our favorite memories with Disney!
My husband and I have been traveling to Disney parks our entire lives. If you are planning a visit to Disneyland with children, be sure to see my Travel Tips: Disneyland with Infants and Toddlers.
Have you had any Disney experiences where the cast members made you feel special?