Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Little Disneyland Cast Member Magic

Well, I don't really read a lot about outstanding things Cast Members do at Disneyland.  That may be because a preponderance of the Disney-themed blogs are focused on the East Coast Park

But, Enchanted Rose just called me to relay a story that her sister, Julie, told her over the phone.

My niece, Regan, is about to celebrate a Birthday in a few days, so Julie had decided to take her and a few of her friends to Disneyland for a day of fun.

Well, her brother Collin, was having a runny nose day and his school sent him home.  So, despite the original plans, Collin was brought along.

As often happens when Julie goes to Disneyland with Collin, his autism or various other symptoms of his disease causes him to not be comfortable.  This results in them having to pack up and go home.

Well, it happened this day after only being at the park for about an hour and a half. 

As they loaded back up on the tram to go to the parking structure, the tram driver recognized them from shuttling them to Downtown Disney earlier.

He asked why they were going back so soon (it was about noon) and Julie explained the whole story.  The Tram driver also noticed Regan's b-day pin.

At this point, he felt the urge to sing "Happy Birthday" to Regan over the PA System on the tram.  This one little act of kindness made her entire day. 

As many have said, it doesn't take much from a Cast Member to turn a bad day into a good one.

I'm glad that tram driver was there.....

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Grump's Opinion: Small World Big Controversy

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

-- James Baldwin

Did you think that a controversy such as the changes to Disneyland's It's a Small World could pass without hearing my 2 cents?

Once I saw that Jeff Pepper dared to touch this rather sensitive subject, I felt it was ok to state my opinion.

I believe that all sides of this argument have valid points.  I don't believe anyone is wrong on either side of the fence because it's not right to say that someone is wrong when it comes to how they FEEL about a subject.  By doing so, all you are doing is telling them that their feelings are wrong.

But, when it comes to how I feel about the subject.  And since this is my blog and my post, it is all about my feelings, right?

When I'm 100 years old and getting ready to breathe my last breath and I'm thinking back to my many, many laps on that little river that carries us through It's a Small World, I'm not going to be thinking longly about the way the attraction looked when it was unveiled in the 1960's.  I'm also not going to be bemoaning any changes that I felt were not to my liking.

What I'm going to remember is the look on the children's faces that I had seen over the years. 

For those who don't know me, my wife and I don't have any children.  But, I have had the privilege of logging some serious time on this great attraction with my niece, Regan, and nephew, Collin, and Billy Devine (son of Tim Devine).

I have also observed countless children of total strangers.

To the average adult, this ride is many things:

  • An attraction with a song that dig into your soul like a parasite
  • A piece of moving art
  • A grand socio-political statement on world unity

But, to a child it's just absolute wonder.

I do believe many of the children will notice that something is different about the attraction when it opens back up.  Many of those same children will also be able to point out those changes. 

But, the only change that I believe will billy1really upset them is one that causes the closing the doors of this venerable attraction.

I can say with 100% assurance that right now with the attraction down for refurbishment, my nephew Collin, who suffers from pretty severe Autism (among many other things), is suffering far more with his inability to get onto his favorite attraction than if the ride was changed to include a few Disney Characters or to include a tribute to America in lieu of the Rainforest Scene.

So my opinion about this controversy can be summarized with a picture

Friday, April 4, 2008

Grumptastic Links: New and Improved

image John Frost, owner of The Disney Blog and all around nice guy, has been very kind to link to my posts on several occasions in the past within is Daily Roundup posts.

To repay the favor I have decided to do a quick post to point you his site.  I know many, many of you already read his blog, but you, like myself, may do so via RSS feeds.

That means you are probably totally unaware that he has dumped TypePad and switched to a WordPress blog.  So head on over and see the new & improved blog.

As his blog header now reads, "Keep moving forward" and that is what he seems to be doing with his site.

Love the new look John!

[Editor's Note:  For those keeping track......Yes, that's two posts in one day....haha]

Grumptastic Links: Now for Something Completely Different

Well, I intended to blog this link to my sister-in-law's blog about her little family because she had a great time with a out-of-the-blue request to go to lunch at Downtown Disney at Disneyland with her mother and her mother's husband (my mother-in-law).

So, if yo want to check out a great post about someone who got a really last minute day trip to Disneyland from the eyes of a local, check out this post.  It's also nice because a good majority of the day was a day of fun and pampering to my niece, Regan, who often happily takes the back-seat to her very sick brother, Collin.  I felt it important to blog this so Regan can get some much deserved attention because she's as much of a Disney fan as your bother:

I love unexpected fun days!

Now for the part of the post that warranted my Monty Python reference.

We all know that Lou Mongello's Dream Team Squad's purpose in life is to try and raise mucho dinero that ultimately goes into the coffers of The Make-A-Wish Foundation in order to send extremely sick kids and their families to Disney.

Well, I don't know if all of you may know but Make-A-Wish does more than just send kids to the Happiest Place on Earth.

I have blogged many times about my nephew Collin who suffers from a very rare and very debilitating genetic disorder.  He already received a gift from Make-A-Wish several years ago, but as my sister-in-law's post indicates that once you are welcomed into the Make-A-Wish family, the gifts keep coming.

Well, Collin and guests got invited to go watch the opening game of the LA Galaxy (you know the soccer team the lured David Beckham to the United States).

Check out the blog post and see what other once-in-a-lifetime events Make-A-Wish does with our donation dollars:

We LOVE LA Galaxy and Make A Wish!!!

I know there is plenty of altruistic motivations to help Pat and her team with the Dream Team Auction at MagicMeets, but I thought I would provide another great perspective of this great organization.