Tabitha Venkersammy, Beta Upsilon – Penn State, is spending a semester working at the Magic Kingdom. We know Tabitha (or @tibbyvenk as she is known on Twitter), has experienced many “magical moments” during her time as a cast member at Disney World. The culture at Walt Disney World invites all staff, or “cast members” as they are also called, to create magical moments for guests whenever possible.
The cast members are drawn to see opportunities to make a guests’ day, create a memory, offer an exceptional experience, or surprise a guest with something special. Imagine what our lives would be like if we felt the urge to surprise our communities with “magical moments” because we are Tri Sigmas? What if our values were a focused part of what we brought to our workplace? For some of you, they are. We know the world needs a little more magic, and the values of Tri Sigma – wisdom, power, faith, hope and love have found purpose because of your moments with others. Let’s hear more about Tabitha’s magical moment.
Yesterday, my job was taking photos of one of the characters at the Magic Kingdom. The line was already closed, and the attendant told me that a guest was very angry with her for not letting her daughter in the line to take her photo. Unfortunately, at a certain point, the line has to close so all of the characters can be in all the places they need to be. The woman came back, still very upset, and showed us her daughter. Her daughter, Sam, was disabled, and on top of that, it was Sam’s birthday.
I was in a bit of a moral dilemma. I understood that we do have to close the line, because if we open the line for one family, it could still make a real difference time wise, and we are on a tight schedule. But, it was Sam’s birthday, and this character had a special place in her heart. With the weather looking grim, I knew I had to do something.
I went over to Sam and introduced myself. I then took a “magic picture”, where I took a photo of Sam holding out her hand, and then by the magic of Disney, we place a frog in it. I told Sam’s mother that we would do our very best to have her daughter come in and meet the character. I started my set with the character immediately after that, and started taking photos. The last person that the character saw was Sam. She had the biggest smile on her face and even though the character had to run after she was done, it seemed so worth it! After the moment was over, I went over to the family and spoke to them for a while, and Sam hugged me and asked to take a photo with me because I made her trip so special.
I honestly thought I was just being nice, but I think I learned a lesson. Even though the family should have waited another hour and not have been left in, I had to go with my gut and let myself bend the rules. Just an extra minute of generosity can go a long way, and I don’t think Sam will ever forget meeting her favorite Disney character. Additionally, I know now what customer service truly means.