Spreading A Little Pixie Dust: Making Magic For Othersby Eileen Farnsworth, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 5/1/2008
Shortly before my last Walt Disney World trip, I was perusing the PassPorter message boards and read a post that both intrigued me and touched my heart. The poster stated that she and her husband had taken small jugs of maple syrup from their native Vermont to Walt Disney World, and had given them as gifts to cast members who had "gone the extra mile" for them. I felt that this was a wonderful idea and began thinking of up ways that I could do something similar on my own upcoming trip. Just like many of you, I go to Disney destinations in the hopes of receiving at least a little bit of "pixie dust." But I have found that sprinkling pixie dust on others can be just as memorable! Some of the ways in which I tried to do this on my last trip were by giving out little packages to select cast members and fellow guests, by being a "Fairy Godmailer," and by trying to perform "random acts of kindness."
I had fun putting little care packages together before our trip. In each one, I placed a small Virginia memento (since that is where I live), a heart lollipop, and a "Virginia is for Lovers" postcard on which I wrote a message stating, "Thank you for making our day a little bit more magical!" Then I put Disney character stickers on the outside of each package.
Each day during our vacation I placed three or four packages inside our backpack. When we met someone who did make our day more magical, we gave them one of our little gifts. Some we gave to cast members, others to fellow vacationers. In each instance, the person receiving the gift seemed genuinely surprised and pleased. I'd like to share the experience my husband and I had with two of the cast members.
The first person to whom we gave a package was Ame, the woman who checked us in at the Registration Desk at Port Orleans Riverside. She was so nice to me and my husband Mark, making us feel welcome and giving us big "Happy Anniversary" buttons when she saw that we were there for a special occasion. As we were leaving the desk, we thanked her and gave her the package. When we got to our hotel room later that day, we found that it was rather smoky. When we called Guest Services to see if we could switch rooms, we learned that the resort was completely sold out. A mousekeeper was sent to spray our room with air freshener, but it really didn't help. After a rough night's sleep, we woke up in the morning, determined to find another room, even if it meant changing resorts. Imagine our surprise when the cast member at the Registration Desk was Ame, the woman to whom we had given the package the previous day! Ame went out of her way, placing several phone calls in order to find us a more acceptable room. We hadn't given her a gift the day before in order to gain anything, but we decided that the adage, "You reap what you sow," really did apply to us in this case.
The other cast member we gave a package to was one of the food court workers at Port Orleans Riverside. Mark and I had been relaxing after breakfast, just enjoying a few quiet moments together before we hopped onto a bus to one of the parks. We had been watching this woman cleaning tables, and thought that she is probably one of many behind-the-scenes cast members who don't receive enough recognition for all that they do. After we thanked her for all that she does to make guests' visits more enjoyable, we gave her one of our thank-you packages. She was so surprised, and got a little teary-eyed while thanking us for doing something nice for her. She said to us, "Stay here - I'll be right back." She rejoined us a few minutes later, laden with Mickey stickers and Mardi-Gras coins and necklaces. Again, we hadn't asked for anything - she just wanted to repay a kindness. We found that just a little thank-you goes a long way, and that people truly do appreciate being acknowledged.
Something else that I did for the first time was to sign up on the PassPorter boards to be a Fairy Godmailer. Several people messaged me asking me to send postcards to their loved ones. I was really tickled when one of my requests was from a woman who wanted to do something special for her 27-year-old sister who would not only be visiting Walt Disney World for the first time, but who also would be taking her first airplane ride!
I had such fun looking for just the right postcards for each of my "Fairy God-children." I browsed through gift shops with my list in hand, seeing who liked which characters and trying to find something to please each one.
The last thing I did in trying to spread pixie dust around was to perform small "random acts of kindness." Nothing major, just things like keeping a positive attitude while waiting in long lines, making sure to thank bus drivers for their service, and straightening up the River Roost Lounge after a large group left the room in order to maintain the sparkling clean atmosphere that Disney is known for. I also noticed some children on the boat ride from Port Orleans to Downtown Disney who were really well-behaved. I complimented them for it and gave them some stickers. It was a small thing, but I wanted those children to know that an adult was impressed with their good behavior.
Making an effort to "spread the magic" at Walt Disney World really was fun and easy. I am sure that the benefit I gained was much more than anything I could have done for anyone else. Sprinkling pixie dust on others, whether you are doing it for people at Walt Disney World, or just for the people you encounter in your daily life, can really be a meaningful endeavor. Why not give it a try?
About the Author: Eileen Farnsworth "discovered the magic" of Walt Disney World in 2005. She and her husband Mark have 4 children. Eileen is secretly planning her family's next trip to Disney World; at least she wishes she were!
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