LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., April 9, 2009 — Magical Moments are one of the many things Cast Members do to leave lasting impressions on Walt Disney World Guests long after they return home. Often times, Guests surprise Cast Members and leave lasting impressions on us as well.
During a conversation with a female Guest at the Magic of Disney shop at Orlando International Airport, Merchandise Host Joseph Haworth discovered that she graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park. He attended the same school but wasn’t able to participate in his graduation ceremony, a major milestone in a college student’s life.
“I had accepted the invitation to attend the ceremony with everyone else, but I was reassigned to Sunneyvale, Calif., with the Air Force, and I didn’t have the money to travel back, so I missed it.”
Joseph didn’t think anymore about the conversation with the Guest until she returned to the shop. His story had touched her so that she came back to create a special Magical Moment just for him: She brought him a graduation gown and a medallion from the university, and conducted a graduation ceremony for him in the shop as Guests and Cast Members looked on and applauded.
“I thought it was some kind of joke when she came out with the gown,” he said. “And then she put the medallion around my neck and she said, ‘You didn’t get to walk. This is your walk.’
“All of a sudden I saw my manager taking pictures and everyone looking on, and that’s when it hit me. I was overjoyed and tears came to my eyes.”