Friday, May 4, 2012

What Keeps Me Going Back

I admit it.  I'm a Walt Disney World junkie.  In my life, I've been to Walt Disney World at least thirty times.  I've done every single ride, nearly every show, and seen nearly every character there is to see.  Some of you might be thinking to yourself "Why on earth would you keep going back?"  Well, I can sum that up in one simple word: magic.  From the characters going out of their way to make a child feel special, to cast members doing little things for people that just make me smile, the magic that Walt Disney World has just pulls me in.  Every single time I go, I meet at least one cast member who makes an impression on me.  I hope you'll bear with me as I share a few of those stories here.

Bert in his sweep outfit (the best way for Bert to be)
My first trip to Walt Disney World was when I was young enough to still know that Mickey Mouse had walked right out of the cartoons to meet me.  So, you can imagine my joy when Bert asked me if I would like to help him lead a parade through Fantasyland (how I wish they would still do this, it was a lovely experience).  After the parade, Bert and I sat and just talked.  He asked me about my favorite rides, my favorite characters, anything he could think of.  Then he asked for my autograph book, and he wrote me a personalized note calling me the best parade partner he'd ever had.  He then took me to the front of the line for Mary Poppins and Mr. Penguin and introduced me to them both as his personal friend.  As you can imagine, Bert still holds a place in my heart to this day.

That same trip, we found Esmerelda and Phoebus in the France pavillion at Epcot.  At the time, Esmerelda was one of my favorite characters, so I was, of course, over the moon to meet her in person.  Not only that, but we were the only people around, so they spent extra time talking to me.  Then, a band came out.  Well, as soon as they started playing, Esmerelda took my hand and we danced together right there in the middle of France. 

As you can probably tell, that first trip made quite the impression on me.  But the magic continues, even now that I'm older.  One trip, a supervisor gave me a free pin, for no reason at all.  Scoop Sanderson gave me a pin two trips ago when I told him I had (regretably) left my pin collection at home.  And, perhaps the most special to me, is a character handler named Chip, who helped me finally meet Terrence in Pixie Hollow after who knows how many times standing in line.  Not only that, but he told Terrence we were special friends, so Terrence made a huge deal out of me and my family.  You can't top memories like that.

So, whenever people give me the crazy stare when I say I'm going back again, I just smile and move on.  I know its the magic that keeps me going back.  And as long as there's magic, Walt Disney World is where you'll find me.

Do you have a magical memory of your own?  Feel free to share it in the comments!

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