I seriously thought I shared these stories with you guys, because they were so special to me :wub: But in retrospect, I don’t think I did :ohmy:
So here’s my chance! Just a bit of good-heartness to maybe lift some of my Northeastern friends out of this rainy-Monday funk! :glare: (And on Opening Day! :eek:)
Anyways, these are two very special stories of the first forms of magic I got to experience and create while I was on my program last Spring!
I hope everyone enjoys them! :happy:
Magical Moment 1: My First Little Princess![/B]
[B][I]Once Upon A Time….[/I][/B] there were two new CM’s being trained down in Fantasyland, at the Enchanted Grove cart. One of those CM’s was me. We had just began our first days at work in the Magic Kingdom as official WDW Cast Members! So after a little discussion and explaination to both of us, my lovely trainer Beth began to help Jana, a friend of mine on the CP, to learn the register and things like that! Beth told me that I could maybe blow some bubbles if I wanted to, to help create some atmosphere! So I gladly did, and after about a minute I had snagged a brother and a sister from the UK! The little girl was about 5 and her brother was maybe 8. We sat there playing, as they took turns helping blow some bubbles of their own! And may I say, what great manners they had! Soon enough their parents, who had been watching from afar had walked over closer to video tape the kiddos playing! (I had noticed their pins, it was there first trip to WDW!) Then all of a sudden, while the little girl was skipping around in the bubbles her brother was blowing, she skipped right out of her shoe! This was a grand opportunity to insert some more magic! So quickly I called to the little girl, right at the foot of the castle, admist all these bubbles, “Princess! You lost your glass slipper!” Here eyes LIT up! She started blushing and giggling, and her parents turned to each other in awe. It was a precious moment for everyone! Then she blushed and coy-ly walked over and sat down in front of me with her foot extended out and let me put the shoe back on her foot. And quietly, I whispered… “Oh look, it fits perfectly!” She gave me a hug and ran to hug her parents!
At this point, I already could have finished my program and been happy that I had atleast made one kids day! But then Storytime with Belle had begun (right behind us), so the kids ran to watch and her parents walked over to thank me for making this a special trip for all of them! And that they would definitely be back for more! Then the husband had noticed my ‘earning my ears’ badge, and he said to me “how long have you been working here?” I replied…. “About 4 hours!” Their jaws dropped and they laughed and said, “well, you are very good at your job, and I’m sure you’ll get even better over time!” They had also stated that this was the first day of vacation and they already knew that they would definitely be back again! That meant the world to me! I was so glad I had made that little girl and her family’s day! [B][I]I’ll always remember my first little princess![/I][/B]
[B]Magical Moment #2: Park Orientation![/B]
[I][B]Once upon a time……[/B][/I] It was my park orientation, during Traditions, where we got taken into the Magic Kingdom, and I was super excited because this was actually the park I’d be working in. Since it was Traditions, there were kids from all different parks and resorts in my group. At first we were just taken to a section of the park, our group was taken to Liberty Square, near the Haunted Mansion and Fantasyland, near the teacups. Again I was super excited because Fantasyland was my land! :] But anyways, we did a little team building exercise and had to look for examples of each of the 4 key principles (safety, show, efficiency and courtesy!) My team won! It was like a scavenger hunt. Then, we got to ride the Haunted Mansion and get a backstage tour! Veryyy cool. One of my favorite backstage areas. Then after that, this was the magical point….
We all went over to the Columbia Harbor House and sat back in a secluded nook, there was probably about 16-20 of us and our 2 traditions facilitators. As we all sat down, my one facilitator (how I wish I could remember his name! ) began to tell us little trivial things about the Haunted Mansion and Liberty Square. He told us how a lot of people often ask what the story behind the Haunted Mansion is; where the story came from; any truths their are to the story of the ride. Then he asked us all “would you like me to tell you the REAL story behind the Haunted Mansion, the true events that inspired the ride.” As we all replied “YES!” at once.
He began to tell us this most elaborate, gripping story about Master Gracey and his wife (and her other unfortunate grooms). He began to pace back and forth in front of us, telling this story in this slow, campfire manner. He told his this intricate, breath-taking tale of love, loss and a little hint of murder. It gave me goosebumps, had me on the edge of my sit listening for more. Oh how I wish I could recall and recite the entire thing. It was so eloquent, so intriguing it really drew us all in. And as we began to draw in items from the Columbia Harbor House, it all started to really make sense. (This was also how we could tell guests who ask ‘Why is the HM in Liberty Square, what does it have to do with Colonial America?’ Well, just check the bathroom upstairs and the window that peers over to the gloomy mansion, and you might just see why!) As he was finishing up with his ghost tale, he left us all with a cliff hanger…. “and what do you think is the most remarkable part of this tale” he asked? We all sat there, our eyes begging for him to continue on. He paused a moment longer, broke out of his ghost story persona, stopped pacing, stood up straight, cracked a smile and said…. “the most shocking ending to this story is that it isn’t true!”
He told us there was no real story to the Haunted Mansion, it was just an idea someone had had long ago, and it was simply dreamed up and the story inside the attraction has grown over time. No long, drawn out, magnificent tale like the one we all had just heard and become immediately attached to. Just lore and tales thought up by cast members and imagineers, just like us. But his point was not to smash our new found mystic opinion of the HM, it was to show us how to put on a show for our guest. That its okay to make up folk lore about an attraction, it’s alright to add to the fabric of the story of a ride. That its all about immersing the guest in the wonderment of the story. Everything is about the story. [B][I]This is where I got my first and most important lesson in storytelling….[/I][/B]