As we culminate our nationwide search for 50 Disney magicians who have an impact on their communities, we also recognize our cast members, the original Magic Makers, who make a difference every day.
Seeing your dreams come true is even more magical when you can share that special moment with those who have helped you along the way.
Joe Johnson always dreamed of working at The Walt Disney Company and saw his dream come true when he became a cast member at Disneyland Resort this summer. Joe specialized in screenwriting and has always admired Disney’s ability to tell stories. And now he does it as a cast member at the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland Park.
Joe’s family had been waiting and intended to celebrate him personally on his first day as a cast member, but flying from his hometown of Conyers, Georgia, seemed less possible as his first approached. day.
Unbeknownst to Joe, his new cast members, including coaches Dave Turner and Mike Beckman, worked with his father to orchestrate a surprise greeting on his first day. “At first, I thought he was the father of the year,” Mike said. “He said his son wanted to be a cast member since he was 5 and wanted to be here to share at that time.”
Together, with a few members of the Fantasyland cast, Mike and Dave were able to schedule a surprise meeting during Joe’s training to help a very special guest: his father. “Dave asked me to help the guest who was behind me,” Joe recalled in the moments leading up to his father’s visit. “I think it was the first time in my life that I really didn’t know what to say! I really had no idea what was going on; without a doubt it was a real surprise ”.
And for Dave and the team, doing magic to the cast mates is what makes being a cast member so special. “[These moments] it gives our cast a sense of teamwork and family, ”shared Dave. “[It shows] let everyone care about them here; that we want them to be happy here ”.
After creating a magical moment for Joe, Mike took the extra step to recognize his co-star Dave as the magical creator of Disney, using Recognize Now, an online tool where cast members can appreciate their work and its impact.
“Walt Disney called us ambassadors of happiness, and that also translates into doing magic and creating happiness for each other,” Mike shared. “It’s important that we stand up and be a cohesive team and continue to keep Walt’s legacy alive.”
Keep checking out the Disney Parks blog for more inspiring stories from our cast and our community: the creators of real, everyday magic.