One of the best things about being a CP is the ability to create magic for families. As a CP there are daily opportunities to brighten guests’ days. No matter what position you have you have to ability to create magical moments. Whether that means letting guests say “All aboard” on the train, calling a little girl princess or just having a conversation with them, you are always able to help enhance guests’ vacation one way or another. There really is no better feeling as a CP than seeing a guests light up from a magical moment you created.
Dad Has To Work On Vacation
One day I was doing parade at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While we were in our pre-setup meeting one of the managers gave me some FastPass tickets and told me to create some Magical Moments. They were FastPass tickets for any FastPass attraction in the park at any time that day.
After we got all setup for the parade I had some time to interact with guests. I began talking with a family of four, 2 adults and 2 kids. After talking with them for a couple minutes I found out that this was their first vacation to Disney. They said they were having a great time but were having a hard time prioritizing attractions to do all together because the dad had to work while they were there so they only had a limited amount of time to do attractions all together.
They told me that after the parade they had to decide whether to go to Dinosaur or Everest but at the moment couldn’t decide which attraction to visit. They asked me which one I would do to which I said Dinosaur because that’s my favorite ride but I also explained the differences between the two rides and asked them which one sounded better after my explanation.
This family had such a positive attitude towards everything we talked about that I knew they would appreciate the FastPass tickets I had in my pocket. I told them I wanted to give them the FastPass tickets and explained what that meant for them. The whole family lit up because this meant something very special to them. It meant that because of the FastPass tickets they would not only be able to go on both rides but they would also be able to do them fast enough to where they could do another attraction or go to a shop or whatever. They were going to be able to one more thing together as a family.
The mother got tears in her eyes from this simple act. She didn’t know what to do because they were so happy they wanted to do something for me and began asking what that thing could be. I just said make some memories as a family and keep being such wonderful people. After that I said goodbye and wished them magical day (not the bad kind lol) and let them alone to just be with each other. I will never forget that family and that experience. I got to help a family create more fun memories together on their Disney trip and that is what I loved most about being a CP.
The Wildlife Express Train Isn’t At the Top Of The List
The Wildlife Express Train at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is considered transportation from Harambe Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It isn’t technically a ride or even necessarily an attraction. Many people do not even know about it or what it is. Heck I had been to Disney on vacation over 20 times in my life and was a CP once before I worked there and when I got my assignment I was like “What’s the Wildlife Express Train.” So needless to say it is not a must do for the majority of guests.
We had 2 positions on the actual train at WLE, Engineer or driver and Conductor. Both positions had magical moments that we could do. As Engineer we could let people blow the whistle on the train and take a picture sitting/standing in the engine car on the train up front. As Conductor you would stand in the last train car and give a spiel. The magical moment there was before leaving the station we could let guests say “All Aboard” in the mic over the PA the train had.
One day I was in the conductor position and a family of four with two boys about the same age probably around 7 or 8 sat in the back next to me. I asked the boys if they wanted to say “All Aboard” in the mic to which they looked at me in amazement like “Are you serious? Are you messing with us right now?” I held the mic to each boy and they both got to say “All Aboard.”
As we left the station and I finished saying the first part of my spiel the boys asked me what else they could say. I had never had anyone ask that before. Since the only rules for the spiel were you had to make sure you got out the safety parts before leaving or entering the station the rest in between stations was up to us. We could pretty much say whatever we wanted within reason obviously. I told them they could give the rest of my spiel. They took turns saying what I would tell them to say the whole way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. I gave my safety spiel going into the station, they exited the train and went on down to RPW.
About an hour later I was still in that position when that family showed up again siting right by me in that back car. The parents told me that all the boys had been talking about the whole time they were at Rafiki’s was getting to talk on the train. The dad said “yeah we had animals right in front of us and all they wanted to do was talk on the train again.” I let them give the spiel on the way back to Harambe station in Africa. When we got back to Africa I got them both an honorary conductor certificate. They loved it. Both boys got super excited about having that experience and now having a certificate to keep forever. The parents both thanked me and they went on their way.
One of the cutest thing that ever happened to me at the train was a magical moment for me. One of our positions at the train was called “Platform.” This position was to help get guests on and off the train and then make sure that the platform was clear for the train to leave. When the train would leave I would wave to all the guests as the train passed by me.
Occasionally little princesses would blow kisses which was just adorable. One day as the train was leaving the station I had three little princesses blow me a kiss. One from the 1st car, 3rd car and 5th car. I blew kisses back at them and they all smiled. It was such a cute sweet moment for me it brightened up my day and made me think of my nieces who were about these girls age who I hadn’t seen in months. It was a magical moment for me that I’ll never forget.
Special Needs Kids Are the Most Magical Of All
At the Wildlife Express Train we had an area in the middle of the preload area that was for special needs guests. Guests in wheelchairs were in there and anyone with a special needs pass as well went in there and then were the first guests loaded on every train.
When you were at platform position you had about 5 minutes or so in between every train so you could either stand there and be bored or talk to guests. I chose talk to guests. I would always talk to the special needs guests first. I found they were more likely to want to talk. Not only that but they were the most interesting people I ever talked with, especially the kids. Some of these kids were there with Make-A-Wish and this Disney vacation could be there last vacation period. It was heartbreaking to think about however these kids were truly inspiring. I will say that the majority of them seemed to be happier and more excited than other kids I met at Disney.
The moments I spent talking with these kids and their families were some of the most special moments of my program. I always gave them the option to blow the whistle and/or say all aboard. These guests knew how to appreciate life.
Woman with a Broken Ankle
One day at the train I met a woman who was on her third day of her Disney vacation. She was in her 70s and came by herself. She had 2 friends that were supposed to come with her but canceled last minute. She decided she would come by herself anyways. On her first day at Disney she fell on an escalator and broke her ankle. She spent the rest of that day in the hospital and then the second day she spent in her hotel room.
While talking to her she told me that this was her first Disney trip and nothing was going to stop her from having a good time but I could tell she was obviously having a rough time between getting hurt and being alone. She had wanted to go on a Disney trip her whole life and by the time she was able to unfortunately many of her loved ones had passed away including her husband of over 40 years.
Earlier that day a manager had given me some FastPass tickets for any FastPass attraction. When I met this woman I knew they belonged to her. I gave her the tickets and told her “With all the things on your mind today I don’t want you to have to worry about long lines.” She began to cry and thanked me many times. She gave me a hug and went on her way.