Hi there, MiceChat!
The point of this thread is to tell everyone your stories you have about incidences of "real" magic you have seen while inside the parks we all love so much. These stories can have happened to you personally, the group you were with, or someone else you just happened to witness. What I mean by "real magic" is something that can and could only happen inside the gates, something that was brought on by a wonderful cast member or a perfect character interaction or just the fact that you were at Disneyland, anything at all that manages to instill a sense of wonder and amazement and most of all, appreciation for our little patch of orange groves that everyone here adores.
I was recently able to take a trip out to the parks with my nearly five year old cousin. This has become a rarity as he is now about as big as a five year old should be, meaning that he can no longer get in for f(th)ree. Well since he is getting bigger, that means that it is now coming to the point where he is wanting to try the "big-boy" rides. Wanting to, but still very hesitant.
So the day rolls out as any day at Disneyland should, full of fun and surprises around each corner, but as the sun has already begun to set, we walk by the Matterhorn for maybe the third or fourth time that day and my little cousin stops me dead in my tracks and says "....I wanna go on that." Needless to say, I was both surprised and very excited for him. So we part ways with his parents, so it is now just me and him, and we hop in the line that stretched out to around where the wall is covered in rock, not quite out to the waterfall on the tomorroland side, this gives him plenty of time to change his mind about wanting to ride.
Well we inch along for a while and the whole time, he's just as calm as can be, looking at the trees, observing the lagoon across the way, and every time Harold would roar, his head would pop up to the mountain and I could see him studying and analyzing the ride, trying to figure out what was inside. We make it to the long straightaway that comes before the covered switchbacks, and I could tell that his poise was beginning to buckle, he knew it was getting close. After a while I decide to talk to him and try to make him understand what was going to happen. I told him that we were going to sit in a bobsled and they're going to strap him down real tight so he doesn't fly out, and then I went on to tell him about harold and the waterfalls, just to try and water everything down as much as possible. It didn't do too much at all. We get into the switchbacks and he is starting to get real antsy on me. I tell him over and over again that it's a lot of fun and that I will protect him from the monster if anything happens. At this point he is still eager to ride but he was definitely fighting his fears. We are now at the final switchback and he has a perfect view of the dark tunnel we are about to be going in. Not what he needed.
So he is now thoroughly frightened and at the verge of wanting out. Just then, a cast member comes down the steps from the control booth and heads down our row on the other side of the rail. She then stops in front of us, gives me a smile, and then kneels down to my cousin's level. "Have you ever been on this before?" "no" "Well I'll bet you're gonna have fun" "it's scary" "Aww, why is it scary?" "there's a monster in there" She then proceeds to spin him a story about how Harold is a friendly monster who only growls at you because he is sad that his feet are frozen to the floor. She points to the top of the mountain to indicate to him that it is snowy up there. The whole time this is going on I'm just standing back amazed at how intently he was listening to her, and the fact that she was following us all the way to the end of the line to make sure he would want to go on.
We eventually make it on to the bobsled and my little cousin is strapped in and holding on to the hand bars with all his might. I then notice that same cast member on the phone to the control tower. We move up a ways and we are right where she is standing. She then gets my little cousin's attention and tells him to look up to the window of the control booth. It opens up and out pops a little harold plush that I didn't even know existed. It danced back and forth making him laugh hysterically, and with that we were sent into the mountain.
His eyes were closed most of the time and he was clinging on to me like a cat above water, but we made it through alive and for that i congratulated him and let him know that he did a great job. He was definitely proud of himself and I could tell. We are one train behind the unloading platform when I notice that same cast member standing there waiting for us! We pull up and she immediately asks us if we want to go again! Our train answers with a unanimous YES and so she looks back up to the control tower and gives a whirlybird signal. We are whisked right past the loading and unloading platforms and proceed right to the seatbelt check. My little cousin was most definitely excited this time.
The second time around his eyes were fully opened and he was screaming and laughing and having the time of his life. We splash down and come out of the final tunnel (on the fantasyland side), and there waiting for us was the Parade of Dreams which had just started its show stop in my favorite section, the Lion King. Because the path is so narrow in that part of the parade route, there is no room for guests to stand and watch. Because of this, every single parade performer was performing directly to us and the riders on Alice. We were stopped on the brake run for what seemed like the entire show stop, the gold streamers came out and the birds were spinning in the air, just then the Mark VII went by overhead blaring that beautiful new horn and my cousin and I just sat in wonder at everything happening at once. We never did see that cast member again and I wish I would have gotten her name, but the memories she created will forever be shared by me and my cousin and this is my thank you to her.
Now it's your turn to tell us your special stories about the happiest place on earth!