This is a great story shared by an audience member at one of my workshops.
Our family really enjoys all things Disney. We have traveled to both Disneyland and Disneyworld on several occasions. One thing remains the same, all of the staff go above and beyond to serve their clients. They realize that for some families it is truly a once in a lifetime vacation, and it needs to be magical. But, how often are they sincerely thanked for the joy that they brings to others? How many “grumpy” people do they meet? How many complaints do they have to endure?
We were headed to Disneyworld to celebrate our 23rd anniversary, and we wanted to find a way to celebrate our happiness and say thank you in more of a tangible way. We knew that most Disney Cast Members could not receive tips unless they work in a specific service sector such as coach driver, restaurant service, room attendant, etc.; however, our research showed that cast members “may” accept small notes or small tokens of appreciation. We also remembered that it was the 15th anniversary of Disney/Pixar’s movie “UP!” We thought it would be a great idea to merge our thank you with the movie’s anniversary.
Fans of the movie might remember a scene where Carl receives a gift of a grape soda pin made from a bottle cap from Ellie as a childhood friend – now they were in a club. The friendship blossoms to love and they marry. As a couple they had the spirit of adventure together, which helps them through happiness and adversity. It is an inspiring story of togetherness. So several Pinterest and YouTube posts later we armed ourselves with a shopping list and headed to the craft store. To make sure we had a variety, we made some bottle cap pins with a grape soda label, others with Mickey heads and glitter – it was a lot of fun.
Once we arrived at the park, the whole family set about distributing their pins. While some cast still had to decline the gift, many accepted with gratitude and surprise. Since we had several pins, we looked for opportunities to include others in the fun. As it was our anniversary, we were gifted with a “We are Celebrating” pin. We started to find other couples that were decked out with “Engagement” celebration pins. So if we were in line with them, we would strike up conversations and congratulate them. We would ask if they were fans of UP! and then gift them congratulatory Grape Soda Pins. In another instance the cast member actually hopped up and down, and said that in all of the years she worked at Disneyworld, she had never received a gift – she had heard about others receiving them – but now she had gotten to experience it.
The best part was the peoples’ reactions. People quickly pinned them on their lanyards or backpacks. They were surprised that we made them, and that we would share them with strangers. When my wife asked me why I wanted to make Grape Soda Pins, I told her that giving a thank you or a memory to others made me happy. Who doesn’t like a good story to tell? As far as we know, our Grape Soda Pins may be as far away as Japan with newlyweds.
Ultimately, we are all in a club, whether at work, with our family or other social circles. Celebrating togetherness and gratitude is fun.