By Angie Roberts Harris and Leah Harris
Discovering ways that your family can create their own magic will transform your Disney vacation into an enchanting Disney adventure that your children will never forget!
One time when my baby duck and I were vacationing at Disney by ourselves, she had an amazing idea; she wrote a note that read “Your wish is on me.” and placed it on the side of Cinderella’s fountain along with several pennies. We then found a place in the distance where we could sit and watch.
Some guests took a picture, others pointed out the note and pennies to people around them, and a few just picked up a penny and made a wish. One sweet lady was emotional and teary-eyed as she read the note. Every person responded differently to the act of kindness and the experience was unforgettable!
The characters have a demanding job. They are required to constantly smile, take an interest in every person, and create lasting memories for the gajillion daily guests! Why not return the favor and create some magic for them? Present small gifts such as handmade pictures, jewelry (like macaroni necklaces), or candy. The cast is not allowed to keep expensive items so keep your tokens simple. The important thing is to provide an opportunity for your family to do something nice for someone else. Spreading magic is fun for even the smallest of Disney visitors.
It’s my Party!
Disney provides their guests with free personalized buttons celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, a last chemo treatment, or anything your heart desires to celebrate. When you spot people wearing buttons, it is fun to call them by name and offer congratulations. Little princes and princesses love this, especially when they are dressed up and addressed as their character. For example, ‘Happy Birthday, Cinderella’!
When you see a family taking a group photo, offer to take it for them so everyone can be in the shot. My favorite bit of magic is to photo bomb other people’s pictures. Smiling, of course!
You light up my life!
Papa Bear LOVES to take our little ones shopping for fun light up toys for the parade which is a big deal for him and them. However, when you are staying seven nights and have 6 grands, the light up money runs out very quickly. We buy plenty of glow sticks at the dollar store before we leave home and our grands have a great time sharing with other children!
When you notice a single guest in line for a ride, invite them to be part of your group, share seats, and make a new friend!
Our biggest surprise came when someone sent flowers to us at Disney World. Our plane had been cancelled and we were stuck at the airport with no hope of getting to our Disney family trip before it ended. Out of thousands of people stranded that day, we met the sweetest couple ever. After twenty-four hours, we managed to get a plane into Orlando just in time to make our family dinner reservation at Ohana. To our total surprise, a beautiful bouquet of flowers decorated the table when we arrived, sent from our new friends! A month later, I ran into the husband again at a different airport while on my way to a work convention. It really is a small world after all.
The Disney parks offer many opportunities for your little ones to share their giving hearts. Taking the extra time and effort to create your own magic while planning your Disney trip will truly be an exciting and remarkable experience for your family!
P.S. After posting this blog my Disney loving friend Amanda Wilbourn shared her family’s magical activity. Here is her description:
“My kids spend every day at Disney taking note of caste members who go above and beyond to create magic,help us out, or just engage them in conversation. At the end of the day, we go to City Hall and film out exemplary service forms for each cast member. We love this tradition and it’s almost like a treasure hunt for the kids. They are actively focused on finding the good in other people and ‘rewarding’ them for it. She suggests that when you do this remember exactly where they were working, what time of day it was and be sure and get their name.
Thank you friend Amanda for sharing your awesome tradition.
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Angie Roberts Harris has been Going Out The Door to Disney since 1974 when she was 11 years old. Today she travels to the ‘happiest place on earth’ with her husband and their crew of 5 children and their families.