The following piece was written for a prompt posted on my work’s webpage about my experience with Make A Wish, which is celebrating their 30th anniversary granting wishes with the Walt Disney Company. The prompt asked for a story about an interaction with a Wish child and how I as a cast member played a role in making it happen.
Prior to transfering into my current role as a Vacation Planner, I worked at the Character Warehouse shop in the Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive. One day, I welcomed a mother and daughter into the shop and asked if they needed anything. The woman named Crystal replied that they were just browsing for something fun for her daughter Amy. Her daughter was about 10 years old, confined to a stroller like wheelchair and as hard as she tried to wiggle out to do some shopping on her own, she was a little girl on a mission. I decided to play the role of personal shopper and help her explore the many items in our store.
Upon approaching our toy section, Amy reached for a set of play food and pointed “Look, it’s Mickey on the hot dog.” Come to find she found a hidden Mickey in the relish of the toy hot dog I have never seen before.
“Too cool! Good job Amy.” The mom said with tears. She went on to explain that her daughter Amy suffered from a severe brain disorder where she was slowly regressing, eventually losing her sight. She also went on to explain that she was road tripping it to Give Kids The World, but had a day or two to go exploring before check in.
As we were talking, Amy asked me to pass her an Alice in Wonderland play set and asked Crystal if she could buy it for her. Crystal repled that she could only choose one toy, the play food or the Alice play set. Amy handed the play set back to me and said “I think I can wait until Santa gets it for me.”
Upon hearing how polite Amy was about the whole situation, I went into the backroom and asked my manager DeJuan if there was a way we could break the rules a bit and make some magic happen. Given that we were an off site location, a No Strings was unheard of.
DeJuan gave me the OK and with the mother’s permission I was able to present Amy her Alice play set, after explaining to her that “Mickey Mouse is BFFs with Santa Claus.” and that I was given the okay to give her a present early. Amy was estatic and asked to be losened from the stroller so she could give me a hug. That moment in time is forever etched in my memory.
Sometimes when I think the magic was all gone, I think back to Amy and Crystal and realize why I am a cast member. I can make the magic happen and with a little help of manager approved pixie dust, can make a dream a reality