On 11 November 2014, hashtagSOCKS answered questions in “Confessions of a (former) Disney cast member — revealed!” on Imgur. @purplecow asked, “What moment made you the happiest to be a cast member? Were there any moments that were extremely awkward or sad?”
This is hashtagSOCKS’ answer: “Settle in, kids, this might be a longer one (or you know … skip to the bottom).
“The happiest moment I ever had is easy. I was chillin’ with the Goofmeister doing a dinner service at Chef Mickeys. Often there are younger kids who get scared of the characters and might cry or other things and we come across them quite often. We are taught to interact with them at their pace. Some kids are great with giant mice, others will scream bloody murder if you get within 3 feet of them.
“I was going through my set and came across one table that had a mom, dad, two other adults and two kids. A girl about 12 years old and a boy who was about 10. I had been told backstage by my attendant that the little boy had some form of autism, I can’t remember exactly which.
“His family had a table in the corner and he was seated with his back to a window so he could see the entire restaurant but was ‘protected’ behind the table. So we needed to just stop by the table, give a little wave, and move on. I went out for my first set and gave a little wave [and] he looked at me and kind of smiled a bit but didn’t move.
“I went back out for my second set and the family was still there. I went by to wave again and all of a sudden the little boy comes from behind the table and runs up with a huge smile and gives me a hug around my waist. And his eyes were so bright and his smile [so] huge it warmed my heart so much. His family was able to get a bunch of pictures with me, I think Minnie came through for a minute and got a picture with him as well.
“But what touched me even more than the little boy’s smile was his mom. When he came up to hug me, she smiled and her eyes were full of tears. She was so happy to see her little boy having a good time and that she was able to capture the moment with him and Goofy. After the boy had sat down, she came up to me and gave me the biggest, tightest hug. And I don’t know what it was, but you could just feel her happiness. I can honestly say (as strange as it might sound) it was probably the warmest hug I’ve ever had in my life. I still remember exactly how it felt. She was crying fairly heavily while she hugged me and she whispered in my ear that her son was autistic and he had not let a single character near him the whole trip. They were leaving the next day and she was so happy that she finally got to have pictures of her son with a character. She let me go and then just told me that they had been through so much with him and had been saving for this trip for a long time and were finally able to make it to Disney. She was just so happy … I still feel so good about that night. It was just … awesome.
“I wouldn’t say I had too many awkward moments, but [I] had a couple sad ones. I didn’t get as much info about this particular boy, but it was still a neat moment to share with him and his family. “I was working in Epcot with my main mog [half man, half dog], Herr Goof. And it was the last set of the day, all of the other characters (Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald) and I had [gone] backstage to get changed. We were then told by our manager that we needed to get back in costume to meet one more family.
“This doesn’t happen too often. The manager came back and told us that the little boy was part of the Make a Wish Foundation. Disney works very closely with Make a Wish and special exceptions are often made for them.
“**For those of you who don’t know Make a Wish works with terminally ill kids to help fulfill their last wishes. Many kids wish for Disney-related trips to meet the characters they have grown up with.**
“Anyway, we went out and spent 20 minutes with this wonderful family. The boy was probably 8-9 years old and had a younger brother who was about 5. He was so happy to be in Disney and was so full of hope. It is truly amazing to see how strong children can be [when] faced with such insurmountable obstacles. I didn’t get to interact with him as much as I would have liked since all of the other characters were there.
“We actually heard back that the little boy passed away about 2 weeks later. We see quite a few Make a Wish kids, and rarely hear about what happens to them. While in one way it was actually nice to be updated, in another I wish I hadn’t been.
“That being said, I find comfort in knowing that that boy got to have his wish, and I got to be a part of it. “tl;dr: Making kids smile.”
Source: hashtagSOCKS, “Confessions of a (former) Disney cast member — revealed!” Imgur. 11 November 2014 http://imgur.com/gallery/MKI3P
Source: Zewzur, “Peter Pan in Disney Parks.” Imgur. 11 November 2014 http://imgur.com/gallery/P16PM
ANOTHER DISNEY ANECDOTE
Here is a Disney anecdote that has appeared on various pages on the Web:
“Today Yesterday, there was a kid near Adventureland who was about 4 years old or so. he was a wearing a princess crown, had a princess wand, the autograph book was princesses, etc. and there was a grown man teasing him about ‘being gay’. A grown man.
“Peter Pan likes to hang around the Adventureland bridge and he happened upon that scene.
“Not liking what he saw, especially from a grown up, he spoke up: ‘Excuse me, sir, but I’m about to give you some advice I never tell anyone: grow up.’”
Source: Post. LGBT Laughs. Tumblr. Accessed 12 November 2014 http://tinyurl.com/nnss23f
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