I am sure that many of you have experienced Disney’s hospitality. I know that when I travel to Walt Disney World, at some time during my visit, I will have been made to feel special in some respect by the Disney cast members. I believe that it is this, among other things, that continues to make me feel that Disney World is my home, not just a vacation spot. I love to go there to feel that I am special and to also see others feeling that they are special.
The first time I remember Disney’s hospitality was back in 2008. My husband and son had brought some of our friends with us to share the magic for their first trip ever to Walt Disney World. I was excited to be there, but more excited to be there with people who had never experienced all that Disney had to offer. As you probably remember in 2008 Disney was celebrating the “Year of a Million Dreams”. I had heard a bit about others experiencing varying surprises from Disney as a result of this campaign, but did not put much faith on the chance that such surprises would come our way. So on our first day there in the World, we decided to go to MGM (what is now Hollywood Studios). We entered the park and were attempting to get everyone back together after entering the gates when we were approached by a cast member. I just knew it would be another survey from the cast member about where I was from. Instead, they asked if we had a few minutes to participate in their Dreams campaign. We said, “sure”! We were taken in the back portion of the Guest Services to a special room. As we entered the room, we saw none other than Mickey Mouse himself! My son and the our friend’s daughter were so excited to see Mickey! What luck, to get to see him right there within minutes of us entering the park on our first day! The excitement was overwhelming and all of the adults in the room were so taken off guard that efforts had to be made to hide the tears of joy! (Macho boys, what can they say!) It was really suburb!
I had other smaller experiences from that campaign and enjoyed seeing others around the parks be surprised by the cast members. I even remember one time seeing the cast members gathered together trying to figure which person to award prizes to. I remember just standing there and watching in amazement at what fun it must be to get to do that job!
When the campaign ended I was a bit depressed to see it go. Then, on my last trip to the World, my son and I rode the Disney Tomorrowland Speedway. As we exited the ride, we were approached by a guest services cast member. He asked my son for his name and then proceeded to request his driver’s license since he had just driven on the Speedway. When my son stated that he did not have his license with him, the cast member explained that he was from the Walt Disney Police Force and was sent to monitor the Speedway for those without a license to drive. He grilled my son for a bit on his ability to drive and then decided that my son was worthy of a driver’s license. Now, I have a friend that have worked at the Speedway (miss you Nick!) and we have about 10 of these licenses but never have they been presented in this fashion! My son was so excited to receive this (same) license because of the way it was presented to him! And all I could think was the Year of a Million Dreams continues, even for just that moment! Love the way that Disney always makes you feel so special!