For the uninitiated, Disney defines “magical moments” as spur-of-the-moment acts of kindness “between cast members and the guests.” They are completely random, and no employee is required by Disney to make them happen.
“For example,” a Disney fan site explains, “if a cast member watches as a child drops their ice cream, that is when a cast member can swoop in to give that family a certificate, called a No Strings Attached card, for a free ice cream.”
Simply put, magical moments are the cherry on top of the experience of visiting a Disney park, and, when caught on camera, can turn into viral video potential.
“In 2018, while I was working at Disney, I had an annual pass holder come up to me and tell me to name the four keys or write [them] a No Strings,” Jonas said.
The “four keys” are the core beliefs Disney employees are told to follow at all times — Safety, Courtesy, Show and Efficiency. A “No Strings” refers to the “No Strings Attached” cards that some employees hand out that can offer free merchandise, free food or even a chance to skip the line for a ride.
“I was very taken aback by this,” Jonas continued. “I told him I’m not writing him a No Strings and he was very confused.”
Jonas added that 20 minutes later she ended up meeting a nice family visiting the U.S. for the first time from South Africa. After having a conversation with them, she decided to award the family a fast pass for one of the rides — right in front of the annual pass holder.
“The annual pass holder was so mad,” she said. “But they didn’t ask! And he did. So, don’t ask!”
Commenters sided with Jonas over the ordeal and agreed that asking really ruined the experience.
“I’m a [cast member] and I’ve done one magical moment for a family,” a commenter wrote. “If you[‘re] nice and not rude that’s when magic can happen.”
“I loved making magical moments,” Jonas agreed. “They’re so rewarding.”
“Why do people ask? That’s so rude,” another viewer said. “I was given a Mickey cinnamon roll once definitely magical and made my day!”
“Because they know we have the power to do things like that,” Jonas explained.
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