/ Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life


We hear it all the time: Follow your dreams. It’s what we see our favorite animated heroes do in each of their films. It’s what we constantly hear in various attractions throughout Walt Disney World, itself dubbed the place where dreams come true. We all aspire to achieve our dreams, and we almost always think that means having a grand quest that we pursue all Thor-style with epic obstacles and mighty triumphs.

Continuing our discussion of such dreams, we’ve explored what kind of dreamers we are and going the distance after what we want most, and while those aspects of goal-making are important, so is a vital realization: sometimes it’s the small moments that make the biggest dreams come true.

Cast-Member-Tour-GuidesThere is no greater expression of this than Disney Cast Members. I’m sure each of us has stories of how someone working at a Disney destination has gone above and beyond to make an experience extra-special. In the same vein, the greatest way to bring Disney home with us is to infuse that same Cast Member mentality in the things we’re part of.

When it comes down to it, making magic in the way Cast Members do boils down to two ideals: instilling unity and allowing someone to be your guest. (Those aren’t official Disney statements… but wouldn’t you believe me if I said they were? Pretend you never read that last sentence inserted for legal clarity.) When we find ways to unify others and put them before ourselves—making them our guest—we’re making magic.

This concept is so important to me and something that I try to heavily prioritize so much that I put it on my daily list. I use an accountability app that allows me to check each day when I’ve succeeded in my goals (things involving discipline, integrity, and time management are among them). One of the items on that app for me is labeled “Make some magic.” It sounds like a daunting impossibility to complete every day when first thinking about it, but once you examine just how magic can be made, it’s really quite simple and is exceptionally fulfilling.

I saw this just the other day in the computer lab. I was doing some homework, and another student was having trouble with the printer. The student lab assistant came to the girl’s aid as it was her job to do. But as I overheard the conversation, the help of the lab assistant went far beyond what her job description probably entails. Not only did she answer the girl’s question, but she sat down to work through the technical difficulties she was having, handled the solution personally, and even paid for the print job with apologies for the inconvenience. It wasn’t the university’s fault that the girl didn’t know how to use the printer, nor did the lab assistant have to be so involved in helping her figure it out, but the fact that she DID, made the student’s experience a thousand times better than it would have been if a simple, one-sentence answer had been given to pacify her question. Totally a Cast Member move, and I loved getting to watch it happen.

I remembered this instance last weekend as I volunteered at my church. As guests exited the auditorium, they were given a pack of seven thankful prompts for each day of the forthcoming week. I was a children’s check-in station, not involved with the card packs. A guest who I suppose missed the other volunteers approached my station and asked for a thankfulness pack. I of course didn’t have any, and at first I said just that. The man was understanding, told me to have a nice day, I said likewise, and he walked away. But then I remembered the Cast Member mentality of the lab assistant and the “making magic” motif that I’ve been trying to infuse daily. This was the perfect moment to implement it! I called after the guest, “Actually, wait! Hang on just a moment, I’ll be right back.” I went and found someone who I knew did know where to find the packets, he found someone else who had the packets, she gave them to him, he gave them to me, and I gave them (with a couple extra thrown in the Disney way) to the guest, whose face immediately lit up and was very appreciative. It was so cool.

Disney-Cast-MembersBut it doesn’t even have to always be in a position in which you are serving someone else’s need. Making magic can be as simple as having an intentionally meaningful conversation with someone. It can be putting value on something or someone who perhaps doesn’t always get much recognition. It can be planning something special that’s going to bring excitement. It can be sending an encouraging text to brighten someone’s day.

Magic is, ultimately, using what you are good at to bring people together at a level of excellence. That’s it. No other requirements. So come on. Let’s make some magic!


Images copyright Disney.

Blake is a college student focusing on Film and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @olddirtyblake, or at BlakeOnline.com.



2 thoughts on “Finding Disney: The Basic Secret to Making Magic”

  1. Steamboat Eddie says:

    What a positive post, awesome!

    Have a great day and catcha later.

  2. Tony E (BacksideOfWater) says:

    My favorite way to make magic is when I’m walking along and see people taking pictures in front of various landmarks. I’ll stop and offer to take a group picture. The majority of times I do this is at Disney but I’ve made the gesture other places such as Six Flags, the arch in St. Louis, and even with the the various statues of characters from Popeye in my own hometown (I live in the town where Popeye was created)