When the New Fantasyland opened in 2012, my son was immediately drawn to Ariel’s Grotto. He went so much that the cast members started to know him by name which made it even more magical for him. There are so many nice people who are friends of Ariel but there immediately became one or two special friends.
As my son is disabled and been in a power chair since first grade, he has come to love the Magic Kingdom as it has created a “safe” environment for him. During 2012, he decided to experiment with independence as much as a wheelchair bound person can who has limited functionality of his hands. Ariel’s Grotto immediately became his second home. Ariel would greet him by name and make him to feel welcome without Mom and Dad tagging along. We would meet up after two house of “independence” and he would tell us all about his conversations with Ariel.
On one outing at the park a cast member named Lizzie saw him going around the park on his own and asked him if he would like to spend a day with her. She contacted us by email and we made arrangements. Little known to him even to this day, Lizzie is close friends with Ariel. Arrangements were made and they spent a day touring Ariel’s Grotto, riding her ride and then the rains came and they didn’t get to do anything else together that day.
But, the magic remains due to one cast member’s kindness; Lizzie and Matthew are friends outside of the Grotto, and he always gets a special welcome whenever he is able to find her in Ariel’s Grotto.
As he had to have surgery in September of 2013, the cast member’s got together with another nice friend of Ariel (aka, Libby) and made a special video for him and posted it on his Facebook page. This made recovery from a surgery so much nicer for one young man. The post came through the day after his surgery and it was a happy moment to have Ariel give you a personal get well message.
Thanks so much to those who are friends with Ariel that made the life of one young man a happier existence. You never know what your kindness means to someone and we hope that you continue to share your love with all the special needs people who come to your Grotto. (Submitted by Mark and Dora D.)
In each issue we feature a magical memory submitted by one of our readers. We look forward to sharing your memories in upcoming issues! To submit your memory, email a photo with a short description to email@example.com.