In the Footsteps of a Disney VoluntEAR

It was a cold Saturday morning in December. The thermometer stood at nine degrees centigrade. I pulled my grey knitted cap over my ears a little more snugly and kept up a stiff pace. I wanted to be on time for my nine o'clock meeting with the Disneyland Paris ‘Disney VoluntEARS’. Today, I would walk in their footsteps as they welcome tens of underprivileged children and their parents from the north of France for a visit to the Parks to experience the magic of Christmas at Disneyland Paris.


Despite the early morning hour, the ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ were already hard at work. They looked highly motivated to make today’s event happen. When everything was ready, I got the chance to get to know them. The ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ talked fondly about Disneyland Paris and its history. They clearly embrace the company’s core values as demonstrated by their kindness and drive for perfection. They immediately made me feel welcome and explained what was going to happen.


I expected that the underprivileged children and their parents would be offered an “ordinary” visit to the Parks. But nothing was further from the truth. Upon their arrival, the ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ (and I) handed out sweets and small presents. At lunch time, the families were treated to a meal at ‘Café Hyperion’. The ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ explained the background stories of each of the lands and attractions. And the families got access to a special area to see ‘Disney Magic on Parade’.


All these little surprises made the visit extra memorable for our little Guests. That was evidenced by the smile on their faces when they received their sweets and small presents, the gratitude when the ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ and I presented them with the food of their choice, their interest in the background stories and their enthusiasm when the parade’s performers interacted with them.


So the ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ not only created happiness by inviting underprivileged children to visit Disneyland Paris. They also made unforgettable memories by exceeding their expectations. And by doing so, the ‘Disney VoluntEARS’ shared the magic of Christmas... with the children, each other and me. Thanks Binta, Quentin, Benjamin, Elodie, Christopher, Julien, Clement, Chris, Mathias, Nathan, Eric & Annabel. Thanks for the heartwarming moments that cold Saturday in December!


Now, it’s your turn to share the magic of Christmas. We sincerely hope that our 2015 Christmas series will have inspired you to exceed expectations too and make some kind of positive contribution to the lives of others this new year. And that can be easily done… Share a smile, tell someone good morning, spend some time with those who are lonely, sweep your sidewalk or put some flowers on the windowsill. It’s these kind of simple acts that will make the world a truly better place in 2016!

And it will surely fill your heart with joy too. I promise.