My story begins at the stroller parking area across from the Journey of the Little Mermaid ride. As Guests frantically rush from ride to ride, dragging along their little ones, yelling across the crowds of people, I see an older woman sitting on her scooter. She had just waved along her family to enjoy the ride without her. I make my way up to her and say, “Ma’am, this ride and queue are entirely wheelchair accessible. You could ride with them if you’d like!” She responded with a gentle, “Oh no! That’s okay. I need to take a break.”
I nodded in understanding, and let her daughters and wild grandchildren make their way through the ride.
She then begins a conversation with me that I hope to keep with me for the rest of my life.
“How long have you been working here?” she asks. I replied that I had been here about a month, and that I was a College Program participant. She then began to tell me her Disney journey. She and her husband had worked at the park for over 19 years. Beginning on third shift custodial, she helped open EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. She worked her way up into the clerical side of custodial, and assisted with the housekeeping staff and many of the different Disney resorts.
She and her husband both retired and moved up north to be closer to her daughters and grandchildren.
Her next comment was the one that struck me the most.
“My daughters thought that I could use a little refresh on my Pixie Dust. They knew I needed to come back (to Disney World) and visit.”
I responded with, “And have you gotten some of your Pixie Dust back?”
“Oh yes. This trip has helped much more than any kind of medicine.”
I don’t know what had happened in her life. Maybe her husband had passed. Maybe she was just diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. But a trip to Disney World was the one thing that could lift her spirits. And I was touched that she had let me be a part of her Disney story. I hope that by the end of her trip, she has a fresh batch of Pixie dust to get her through many more years to come.
Stories like these are the reason why I love my job. I give people their Pixie Dust.
Do you have a story about how a trip to Disney refreshed your Pixie Dust? Let me know in the comments.
-The Memory Maker