Experiencing the “Real” Disney

I have written and rewritten this post in my head no less than a dozen times. Yes, it’s Disneyland, and it was a blast, but there are so many things I learned and realized in the days that I was there, that I feel I need to share. It is hard to convey how I feel about this trip.

Experiencing_the_Real_Disney Photo credit: Josh Hallett

The Shoes

At first I couldn’t tell this story without my voice breaking and tears welling up in my eyes. Now, I can – for the most part – keep a straight face without wanting to just bawl.

On Friday, while I was in the conference sessions, Shane and the kids were at the parks. Cam lost one of his shoes on a ride, and they couldn’t retrieve it. Shane spoke to one of the cast members about it, and they told him to check Lost and Found the next day. The cast member also gave him – of her own accord – a voucher for $25 to get Cam a new pair of shoes.

The story should stop there, right? I mean, that’s pretty generous. The shoe Cam lost cost $15 at The Children’s Place, and were easily replaceable. He did need shoes for the park, but we had another pair in the room. Yet, this cast member gave Shane a voucher for shoes from their park, not to replace any we had purchased there, but a cheap pair purchased for this trip – just in case he lost them.

Shane gets to the store and there are two pair from which he can choose. They are $30, and when he finally decides on a pair, the cashier decided not to charge him at all. You see, he presented her with the voucher, and he explained what happened and how he came to have the voucher in the first place. After both parties took their turns being insistent, Shane trying to pay and the cashier refusing payment, the cashier won.

I really have no words.

I am not moved to tears by a lot, y’all. You know this. I’m not really an emotional kind of girl. But this. This got me. WHO DOES THIS? What company does this? It’s not like Cam lost a shoe we had just purchased at Disney and they were making it right. This had nothing to do with Disney at all. The kid lost his shoe. Period. But the cast members at Disney chose to go out of their way to make something that had nothing to do with them right.

The Cast Members

Every person we encountered on this trip went out of their way to be friendly and helpful. From guest services, to janitors, to security, to vendors in the park; every cast member (aka, staff) engaged us in a conversation. It was always more than just a cordial greeting. This surprised me in that I’m not used to it. I’m from the South; we are pretty friendly folks down here, but even we aren’t this good! The cast members at Disney seem to truly care about the people visiting their establishment.

Disney_Friends

As a perk of the conference, we received great seats to the fireworks show on Saturday night. We got there very early, and spent our entire wait time (about an hour) chatting with and getting to know two cast members (pictured above). They engaged us. Meleah was singing {what else?}, Let It Go, and the sweet girl began singing with her. It was adorable. At first, you think the cast members are just being nice, doing their job. And then they keep talking to you, asking about you and your trip, and you realize they are genuinely interested. The girls were sad when we had to leave our new friends!

The Disney Walt wants you to see

Ok. So, I’m not Walt Disney. {Raise your hand if you knew that already.} Gary Buchanan spoke to us on Friday, and many things he said really hit home. Our family was blessed to experience a side of Disney – apart from the conference – that I truly believe was Walt Disney’s original intent.

I can say I love Disney all day long. In fact, I came home last year, blown away, but this year what truly got me wasn’t the rides or the princesses or the parks themselves. It was the people. The people who work at Disney because they love it. Because they love people.

Disclosure: I was not asked to write any of this. I am not getting paid for what I say. Yes, I received discounted tickets and accommodations as part of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, but writing a blog post was not a requirement. I want to make it clear that I am not trying to “sell” anything, but that these are my opinions and my stories from the trip.

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A Roundup of the Detox Your Home Series

Did you get a chance to read all of the fantastic ideas included in our Detox Your Home blog series last week? If not, I’ve got the list right here.

Detox_Your_Home

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Be sure to pin them so you have them saved! Here they are on Pinterest.

And just a reminder, today is the last day to get a FREE copy of The Chemical Free Home by Melissa Poepping when you sign up with a Premium Starter Kit.

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Discover the New Disney Apparel By Jumping Beans at Kohl’s + a Giveaway!

Disney_Apparel_Line_Kohls

In just a few days, our family will head to Disneyland for the first time, and thanks to Disney and Kohl's, we will be doing it up right - in perfect Disney style! On April 3, Kohl's launched a new {and totally adorable!} line of Disney-themed … Click to continue reading...

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Young Living April 2014 Promo: Free Deep Relief and Ravintsara

April _Promo

What a fun month for freebies! Deep Relief is one of my favorite oils, and was extremely helpful when I twisted my neck one day. I immediately applied Deep Relief (and kept applying as needed), and the pain and tension was gone. We also love Deep … Click to continue reading...

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18 Months

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I'm not exactly on-the-ball with this post, as my adorable little guy actually had his 18 month birthday on March 23. Ahem. He certainly keeps me busy, and I had So. Many. Things. I wanted to share about him that I couldn't get this post … Click to continue reading...

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