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Andy

 We have had some Magical Experiences because of Disney Cast Members. I shared a story about the waitress in Le Cellier that told my son about knowing some of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and he still talks about it, six years later. I mentioned Andy at the Boardwalk who made switching rooms a few days into our vacation as easy as walking to the lobby and because of it, we made sure we stopped by and talked to him throughout the rest of our visit (now we exchange Christmas cards). I’m sure everyone who has stayed in Disney World has a special memory of something that a Cast Member did for them. But for people that have not stayed in Disney World, they may not know about this Unknown Magic.

A few weeks ago, I found a book on EBay. It is called The Magic begins with ME: A Happiest Celebration on Earth Keepsake. It was a Cast Member exclusive hardback book that was given out in 2005 for the 50th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland. I can’t read it, not because I am not a Cast Member, but because every single time I start to read it, I have to put it down, because I start to cry. I will admit, I get a little emotional sometimes, but this book makes me blubber like a baby. I can’t read more than a page or two before I start to tear up. I know it’s silly, but I can’ help it. The Magic that the Cast Members give to so many people is amazing to me. The happiness that they give people, the joy they bring children when they are “just doing their job,” makes me well up.

There are stories in the book about A Make a Wish child, and Special needs children, but you expect the Cast Members to give a little more attention to these children. But there are also stories about Cast members going above and beyond to make a child smile. There is one story about a Fast Pass host named Greg that helped make a little girl happy after her two Masks that she made in Epcot were taken. There is another story of Karen a Cast Member who was a handler for Peter Pan when a young girl who had lost her autograph book came through the line for Peter a second time. Recognizing her, they asked her what she was doing coming back so soon. After hearing the story Peter and Karen told her they would get all the other character’s autographs for her. Then later that night Karen delivered it to her in her Resort room. These are the things that Disney Cast Members do that make Disney World and all the Disney Parks Magical.

One of my Favorite Magical things that the Cast Members do In Walt Disney World happens every morning in the Magic Kingdom. As the Park opens and people are making their way up Main Street USA, the Cast Members from all the shops along the street, come out and wave hello, with big Mickey Hand gloves on. It is the neatest thing. It makes me smile every time I see it and I have seen some little kids get all excited and wave and run to them to Hi-Five the Mickey hand. Another thing I love that the cast members do is they play with the kids when they are waiting for the parades or the fireworks. I think it is so neat to see the cast members turning the jump ropes as kids, who were two minutes before that whining to their parents they were bored, are laughing and singing.

The Cast Members are Magical People. Once when we were in the Magic Kingdom, we were heading into the Haunted Mansion. At the same time, there was a large group of people heading in at the same time. Most of them were in their early twenties and there were a few older people, but they were all carrying a binder with them. There were two group leaders who were making comments about different items as we waiting in the queue and I noticed the notebook of one of the young people. It was a new hire orientation. Looking

around the group, my wife and I picked out the new cast Members who were going to do great with the company. They were the ones that you could tell were just as excited as we were about riding the Doom Buggy.

In the Book I mentioned above, there is a quote from Walt that reads:

The First Year I leased the parking concession, brought in the usual security guards- things like that-but I soon realized my mistake. I couldn’t have outside help and still put over my idea of hospitality. So now we recruit and train every one of our employees.

With this in mind, I’m sure the training is very important when it comes to Cast Members, but I think the recruitment process is even more significant. You can tell that Disney only hires the people that will be able to help bring the Magic to the guests. You see it every day in Walt Disney World; from the cast members working the front desks to the Cast Members that work the attractions, they bring the Magic.

After reading The Magic begins with Me, I realize there is one thing I have never done in Disney World That I think I need to do, send a letter and say Thank You to a Cast Member.

You can still find this book on EBay; search The Magic Begins with Me and there are a few up for auction.

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