Winnie the Pooh once said, “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” A knuckle bump from Buzz Lightyear can change a kid’s whole day. That high five from Goofy, Pluto or even Mickey Mouse to a shy little one and suddenly a confidence is awakened and creeping upwards. It’s the way one of the princesses notices the one with the physical disability who then goes out of her way to linger a bit longer and give her undivided attention to this one who normally may be passed by as unseen.
At Disney, “See you real soon” means everyone matters. Nobody is relegated to the margins because of learning challenges, attention spans or physical limitations. The unpopular kid at school who always seems to be the one left out is the same kid who is poised for a powerful moment of connection with a character or cast member when on Disney property.
One of the wonderful things about Disney is how the Cast Members are trained to look for the little moments that can make the biggest impact in a person’s life. If I’ve seen it happen once, I’ve seen it a thousand times all throughout my various Disney adventures in every setting a person can imagine: At a parade. During a dinner. Outside by a swimming pool. Inside a resort lobby. During a boat ride. Waiting our turn. The Disney Cast Members make the effort more times than not to connect with all kinds of people dealing with all kinds of challenges to make sure their time at Disney is the best day ever!
While not every kid can be the most popular or the one who has a bazillion friends back home, at Disney everybody gets noticed. Everybody is important. Dignity is dished to all shapes and sizes from all over the physical, mental and emotional spectrum of people. Everybody seems to get seen and slowed down for and paid attention to at some point in the trip. This is especially true when the Cast Members get pointed to a clue to help them understand a need, challenge or disability that can be accommodated with sensitivity and care.
Sometimes we just need to be reminded that there are still places in the world where people see you and notice and want to make sure you know that you matter. Disney is one of those places. Disney employs those kinds of people. And even though Walt Disney once said, “It all started with a Mouse,” it doesn’t have to end with one. Perhaps “See you real soon” can go back home with you to make a difference in someone else’s life who just needs to know that someone sees them too.