I seem to remember reading somewhere, that more couples get engaged at Walt Disney World than any other location in the US. I see marriage proposals all the time while in the parks, so I supposed there’s a grain of truth to it. Here’s the story of one recent engagement made just that extra little bit more magical by the efforts of the cast members at Liberty Inn in Epcot’s America Pavilion.
With only a few hours separating Brock Laylan and Molly Vossekuil from a long journey home to Wisconsin, they decided to spend the final afternoon of their once-in-a-lifetime vacation touring World Showcase. And although the two had already visited Epcot earlier in the week, they brought along something new this time: a diamond, shining brightly on Molly’s ring finger. As it turned out, just the night before, Brock proposed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.
Soon after entering Liberty Inn, the couple celebrated their engagement with a quick service meal they won’t soon forget – thanks to a group of magic-making Cast Members that included Caroline Bair, Emily Bresette, Jordan Moore and Clayton Sullivan.
The Cast approached Brock and Molly at the register, inviting them to the location’s “Celebration Table,” where the pair would experience a unique patriotic-themed lunch.
Suddenly, the hosts became servers. The meals were delivered on glass dishes with silverware, not paper plates or plastic utensils. The table itself was topped with beautiful red, white and blue decorations. And lunch ended with a chocolaty treat specially prepared for Brock and Molly – including a miniature American flag at its center.
While magical moments like this one are created for Guests, area manager Leslie Higdon said, “You can see how it touches the Cast as well.”
Caroline, Emily, Jordan and Clayton all said the Celebration Table experience is the most rewarding part of their roles, especially seeing how they make Guests smile. After learning of the couple’s engagement, the four brought out celebration pins to commemorate the occasion.
“You made this special,” Molly said after dessert, smiling to the Cast.
At Hollywood Studios a while back, my wife & I walked into Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream and were surprised to be greeted by a cast member (we’d been in the attraction a number of times and never had that happen). She asked us if we’d like to take a three-question quiz based on the exhibits and receive a prize before entering the theater. The quiz was easy & fun, and we found another cast member before entering the theater so we could “hand in our work.” She returned to take our contact information and gave us Honorary Citizens of Walt Disney World pins. Apparently they’re so rare, cast members don’t even see them often (many asked us about them). When we got home, we looked up the pins and found out the fairly well-kept secret that they’re given out when a cast member notices guests doing something nice…picking up trash that isn’t theirs, holding a door for another guest in a scooter, etc. My wife & I do those things, but we never thought about it. Yet it was so nice to find out that someone else noticed and appreciated us for it.
That, the celebration table in this article and all the other similar things cast members do to make a visit extra special are the heart that makes Disney so different than anything else.
But how did Liberty Inn know they were newly engaged? I’m missing part of the story.
Probably because they were wearing ‘Just engaged’ buttons, but it could have been arranged via other methods too (front desk at their hotel, for instance).