Saturday, December 23, 2023

Merry Christmas! Giving Christmas Treats to 500+ Disney World Cast Members!

During Halloween 2022, we had the great idea to do reverse Trick-or-Treating at Disney World, giving bags of candy to all the cast members we saw. That went so well that for Valentine's Day 2023, we did the same thing, giving Hershey Kisses and Valentines to cast members at the Magic Kingdom. Halloween 2023 came and the kids wanted to do the exact same thing

The kids have such a fun time with it, that we felt like Christmas, being the season of giving, would be the perfect opportunity to bring joy to the people who give us so much joy throughout the year. Let's give out some treats! 

Just like Halloween, Jacob is joining us again! Good thing because it's great to have someone else helping fill these bags! We've got a production line going. Over 2 separate nights, it still took us 90 minutes to get all these bags filled. 

Two candy bars, a mini candy cane, and a note from us. Observe the way things are neatly tucked into each bag, with the note clearly visible. 

That... is a lot of candy. So much that Jacob actually weighed it. 50.6 lbs. Wow. 

It's a crowded day here at the Magic Kingdom. Today is the last day that our annual passes are valid before we're blocked out until the new year. 

But we're loaded onto the monorail and on our way to the park. 

Ian told me he was so excited for today that he had a hard time sleeping last night. He really does look forward to these kinds of days. 

And giving out candy starts as soon as we arrive. We've learned a few things in our times doing this. Don't run to catch up to cast members who are walking somewhere. Don't talk to someone's back. Hold out the bag so the person can read the tag, and speak clearly. It all helps not cause confusion. 

We're ready to attack the park! 

Meet the players really quick. There's Alli and Ian who will be handing out all the candy. We opted to use our Disney Christmas stockings as their "pails" to hold all the candy in. Alli and Ian are wearing Christmas Minnie and Mickey hats. Alli has a cute red dress we picked up at Goodwill, and Ian's Hawaiian shirt (also from Goodwill) has reindeer all over it. 

There's Jacob whose main job today is carrying candy refills. 

Theresa who has a backpack full of everything else we might need. 
She's not normally a hat person, but I had this Jessica Rabbit Disney hat that hasn't seen any use in forever. She said she'd wear it, but don't blame her if she gets kisses from people all day. (We made sure to give her kisses whenever we thought she needed one.)

And there's me, Joe, with my homemade Hades Santa hat and my "Joy to the Underworld" shirt. 

It's a windy day today and these balloons were ready to fly away! But all the balloon ladies still had time to take some candy. 

One of the stops that we absolutely have to make whenever we do this is the Crystal Palace restaurant. The very first time we did this, we met some great cast members who led them around the restaurant and let them give candy to everyone. People were so grateful and appreciative here. Well, when we came back for Valentines, we heard a lot of "I remember you"s along with all the smiles. Plus we had a couple cast members take the lead and show the kids around. We asked for those cast members by name during Halloween 2023, but one of them was in training. 
So when we walked up today, our first question was "Is Julissa or Mildred working today?" They both are! The cast member working the front desk hopped on the radio and called them out to the front. 

It's Julissa! Glad we caught you here today! 

And Mildred following right behind her! 

They led the kids inside to meet all their friends. Some new ones, and many old ones we've seen before. 
New, to us, is Roger, who kept singing Christmas carol after Christmas carol to us. 

Meeting some of the Hundred Acre wood friends. 

Good to see you Piglet!

But Jacob has a special place for Eeyore. He made his own magnetic shoulder plush and has him on his Santa hat. 

So many cast members work here! We heard "going to make me cry" and "that made my day" quite a few times. 

And you know it's making the kids feel really good too. 

A whole other side to the dining room that they haven't visited yet! 

Hi Tigger! 

Julissa took us to meet a few of her other friends. The ones who work inside the kitchens! They've got a busy job keeping food moving out the door for this all-you-can-eat buffet. 

I hope we got everyone! If not, it wasn't for lack of trying! 

Once again, this has been a very rewarding stop. We'll hope you see you again on Valentine's Day! 

And even though they refilled a few times while we were there, they both need refills. Guessing they gave out 50+ bags of candy at this one stop. Love it! 

Moving to Adventureland. 

The kids really wanted to focus on the cast members who might not always get the accolades. 
Ian - The custodians deserve candy every time we come. Not just Christmas. 
The do do a great job to keep the parks clean for us. 

Jacob was awake early to get reservations for Tron. We'd give even more candy away here, but last time my backpack wouldn't fit in a locker and it took a lot longer to do the whole shuffle. 

We're not riding these lightcycle motorcycles crouched down. Our hands are high in the air while we launch. 

And this boy's hair goes wild! 

Any custodial worker is high on the list to run over to and offer a treat. 

Sometimes when we're giving out candy to cast members, like those working the lines, the kids get asked if they've had a chance to ride yet today. They will always take them up on that! It doesn't stop at the entrance either. They give candy out all through the line, to the workers who are sorting the queue into groups, to those in the loading zones, to the people who meet you at the exit. 

And sometimes they'll say "my friends were wondering if you wanted to ride again?" Totally!  

One of Theresa's favorite rides here. 

We continued around the park, giving out candy to so many cast members. 

Grabbing a photo in front of the castle. 

And getting a shot from a Photopass photographer. 

Is Jacob Nice? 

Or maybe he's Naughty. 

A fun family photo. 

Alli - We can go to Tomorrowland again!
We could... but I think we have some other plans for the rest of the night. There is a Christmas party at the Magic Kingdom tonight, so I think we're going to head to another park to give out more candy. 

Hopping on the monorail. Hey! I see you getting into that candy! 

Next stop is... Epcot! 

Those people at Club Cool are always working hard. Definitely have to stop and give candy to some of our favorite cast members there. 

Let's go over to see the cast members at Test Track and Guardians of the Galaxy! 

At Guardians, Theresa can walk all the way to the front of the line with us! That meant we gave candy to everyone again! Even those plaids who were giving people tours! 

There were something like 8 cast members working the exit to the ride, and the kids made sure to get all of them too! One of them loved what we were doing and asked if we wanted to go again, walking right back into the queue to get loaded! Fastest re-ride ever! I wonder why there isn't any holiday music playing this year. 

Time to load up with more candy! 

And visit some cast members near The Land! 

More of the custodial staff! Gotta visit every one we see! 

While we were in the area, we picked up our complimentary poster from the new Wish movie. Still haven't see that one yet. When you see it, make sure you keep an eye out for Ruston Harker in the credits! 

You think we might be done, but there's still a bit of candy left! Time to go to one more park! Hollywood Studios! It's starting to get cold though! Out come all the jackets, and hoods are going up! 

And also a wardrobe change for me! I made this Vader Santa hat to match the Vader Santa shirt I already had. 

Alli made friends with about a dozen cast members at the front of the park. 
When we headed back towards Toy Story Land for a restroom break, Ian met some friends at the Guest Experience team. A couple minutes later, when they weren't busy, one of them found us again and asked Ian what his favorite ride in the park was. Alli arrived shortly afterwards and was asked what her favorite ride was too! Next thing you know, the cast member has loaded 2 Anytime Fastpasses onto our cards! Awesome! And she said if we really wanted to make some people happy, stop by Guest Relations. They're having a rough time with the parks being so busy.  

What's Alli's favorite ride that she wants to use a fastpass on? Toy Story Mania! 

Could be because she loves Hamm. 

With the second fastpass, Ian has other ideas, but Alli doesn't like it. Instead, she's going to ride Toy Story Mania again with Theresa and just put up the best score she's ever had! And it happens to just be the best score this hour too! Awesome job Alli! 

Where did Ian want to go? 
Well it's been closed ever since we arrived, but opened again right as we finished Toy Story Mania! It was hard to decide between Rockin' Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror, but Tower of Terror won out!

Ian continued his giving spree. At an ice cream shop, he took care of everyone behind the counter and got a free sample of ice cream! Orange Sherbet. Yum! 

Our travels took us over to Star Wars Land (Batuu), where we hoped to ride Rise of the Resistance before the park closed. Unfortunately it's down right now. Instead, we'll give treats away to everyone we see in Galaxy's Edge, wishing them a Happy Life Day! 

Let's wrap this up, heading through Muppet Land and the rest of the park, giving away as much candy as we can. 

And of course to end our night, we stopped by Guest Relations, just like the Guest Experience person suggested. The lines were super long, so we just gave out as many as we could, then gave one cast member a big handful to take to the back for everyone else. 

All the remaining treats we handed out to the people working the gates and the security guards. Whew! Over 500 bags of candy to some very deserving and grateful cast members. Our Christmas giving hearts are full. Almost makes up for our tired feet, having walked 12.5 miles today! Close to a half marathon! 

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good

1 comment:

  1. THAT was a FULL DAY of spreading Christmas joy and love (over 500 bags of candy...oh my!!)...smiles, touched hearts, and words of gratitude from all the Cast Members!! Your family and Jacob helped spread the Christmas spirit of giving and sharing to those who create magic for all the guests year round. What a unique Christmas sweater Jacob is wearing...never saw that one before. Crystal Palace is such a special stop for the family...great time when your family is able to reconnect with several familiar faces there. What a creative Vader Santa that! Eeyore looked so adorable on Jacob's hat. Using the Disney stockings as the candy "pail" was a fantastic idea. Lots of tired feet at the end of the day :-) EOM