I just returned from a trip to my personal happy placeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Walt Disney World of course. And while the trip was great, it was the way it started which really stands out as a story to be told.
The real challenge about my addiction to my happy place is that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not an easy task getting there. There are only a few good flight choices from Seattle and only one airline that flies direct/non stop. I prefer to not waste a day of possible play time in the air, so typically opt for the red eye that is generally a bit less expensive too. This means twisting my body clock around a little as 3 hours of what could be restful sleep magically disappears. And being one who would rather skip around the Alaska Airlines digi-player for the latest movies instead of trying to sleep in the limited space the airlines think is sufficient for your typical sardine, I usually arrive not really looking my best. (see pictureÃ¢â‚¬Â¦)
I booked my flights late so wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t too surprised when I found myself embarking on my trip with a Magical Express reservation but without the document booklet or tags in hand. I figured it would be a good experience to see what travelers experience in such a predicament so looked at it as an adventure of sorts.
My plane touched down around 7:20 am and I headed for the A side baggage claim. Usually it takes forever to get the bags to the carousel but I was pleasantly surprised when the motors started up within 10 minutes of my arrival. A few minutes later my bag made its grand entrance and I was off to B side to catch the Magical Express transfer.
As I approached the check in area, I was greeted with a line of smiling faces all ready to assist the next guest in line. However, there was no line to be found. Just a line of 5 or 6 Magical Express cast members all smiling and ready to be of assistance. It was obvious they were just getting ready to greet the morning rush and in regular Disney fashion, they were well prepared. I approached the first smiling face and apologized that I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t receive my booklet or tags and my one check bag was in tow. Just as I suspected, they said that wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a problem what so ever and they would be happy to help me get everything in place so I could be whisked away to start my Disney vacation! I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have the heart to tell them it was actually a working trip because they were so excited that I was seemingly on my way to a magical vacation.
As I was being checked in, the gal asked me to wait a few minutes while they got all my paperwork together and in the meantime, one cast member and I started reciting the Mickey Mouse Club song while another really nice gentleman joined me on the guest side of the counter. He was so nice and offered to escort me out to bus as soon as my tags were finished printing. We started towards the end of the counter and a manager, Greg I believe, joined us and greeted me with a hearty good morning. He explained that my escort was going to take me out to the bus. As we walked towards the doors, I realized that not only was my luggage in tow, but there were 5 cast members and a manager behind me too.
They must be thinking one of these thingsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
- I am a very nice person and they wanted to be sure I was safe getting to my destination
- I am ready to fall asleep mid-stride and need 5 people to ensure someone catches me
- Did I mis-spell Ã¢â‚¬Å“MickeyÃ¢â‚¬Â when we were doing the Mickey Mouse Club song and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m in trouble?
- Maybe they were all practicing?
- Or maybe they were just giving the best service possible?
- or Ã¢â‚¬Â¦. maybeÃ¢â‚¬Â¦.
Just as I was trying to figure out the next scenario, and we walk out the doors towards the bus, the cast member with my bag in tow stops and tosses gold pixie dust in the air and smiles from ear to ear. He tells meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a Year of a Million Dreams and we have one for you! You will be traveling in styleÃ¢â‚¬Â he then points to a white stretch limo parked just to my left.
NoÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ really? No way, not meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ this kinda thing doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ever happen to meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ REALLY????
Stunned disbelief set in as they all walked me towards this very big car for just little olÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ me. I hugged them and thanked them and thanked them some more.
OkÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ gotta back up here, this is when I get to tell everyone that Annette should have also been on the reservation, but arrived on a later flight and she elected to be the rental car picker-upper. So guess who got my first phone call from the back of the limo?? I digressÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Anyway, as I realized I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have a camera and havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t studied my instruction manual for my new camera phone, another person was kind enough to take the picture and email it to me. (note to self Ã¢â‚¬â€œ stop at the girls room and put on make up after a red eye flightÃ¢â‚¬Â¦)
I never thought it could/would happen to meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. but it did. My heartfelt thanks to the cast members that went out of their way to make such a magical moment for me and to help document the fact it actually happened. I have the pictures and a certificate to prove it!
Dreams really do come true. Even for little olÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ me. I learned you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be traveling with a family, or celebrating anything special, and you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even have to be in park for Disney to make a dream come true. Thanks to DisneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Magical Express team Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you made my day and a wonderful memory I will share with friends and family for a long time to come.
– Beci Mahnken
How cool! Glad you got your own little piece of the magic!
That is so awesome Beci!! What a wonderful way to start your trip!!!
No need for the make-up, you looked great! If anyone deserves a little bit of magic it’s you (and Annette) for all your hard work.
Wow! That is so cool! I would like to second what Sandy said – you definitely deserved it!
Awesome!!! Poor Annette! Not only did she miss it, but then you had to rub it in! LOL And I’ll “third” Sandy’s comment! 🙂
My question is … how did you keep from telling anyone about this until now?! I would not have been able to keep the news until I got back!! Wonderful story!
Trust me she let everyone she ran into know about her “Magical” trip to the kingdom! I listened to the story at least 30 times! Nothing like rubbing it in your face while in the Limo and then daily while you are there with her! 🙂 I just love that everyone stands a chance at getting a dream – singles, families and even Vacation Planners!
Neat story Beci, I think Annette shared it on WDW Today too, but it was nice to see the fuller version of it here, and as you said it’s a nice confirmation that they aren’t just looking these these things for “the perffect family of four” but are using this to make magic for all guests even those of us who go solo for some of our trips.
I agree with Brian, we work hard too and its nice to see that you got the full treatment! Kudos! I love these stories so anyone else who finds the Magical tap on the shoulder please share with us.
SO is the key to not have any sleep and not brush your hair and they feel sorry for you and say “HEY she needs a Limo ride” LOL just checking since I’ll be there in June and need to know how to prepare myself…..