May 11th will mark the very last showing of Wishes at The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. I am going to miss it. I am sad I will not have the opportunity to see it one last time before it ends. I still cry each time I see it. I used to end my nights during my 2012 Fall Advantage Disney College Program with Wishes. I know the words. I know the timing. It is sewn into my memory. I’ve heard many great things about the new show and I’m very excited to see it. I know it will be fantastic. Even so, it will never be Wishes. So, in honor of Wishes, I have one story to share. One I have shared with very few people.
It was late one night. I was working in The View (the place where you can see your PhotoPass pictures). It was so slow. There were several of us and one woman with her son. The mom was sorting through their photos from the week. Her son, who was about 8 years old, was bored. I started talking to him. Asking who his favorite character was, what was his favorite ride from the day, etc. I then heard the five minute reminder to Wishes. Very quickly, without thinking, I asked if he would like to join me to watch them. I then realized what I did and quickly asked mom if that was okay. She nodded, with a smile.
I had a big Mickey glove and asked if he wanted to wear it while watching. He said yes. We made our way to Main Street but made sure to not go too far from Town Square Theater. I wanted it to be easy for Mom to find us when she was finished. While waiting for the fireworks, I had several Guests come up to me to ask questions – directions, where is the nearest restroom, what time the park closed, etc. The little boy would answer each time before I could start. He knew ALL of the answers. Then, he turned his attention to Wishes.
He pointed his Mickey clad hand into the air and “directed” Tinkerbell as she flew from the Castle. He knew exactly when the next big firework would come and from where. He kept smiling, giggling and directing. It was one of the most awesome things to see. He was having so much fun. I saw Mom join us and didn’t say anything to her son. I smiled and nodded to her. Her expression caught me off guard. She had tears rolling down her cheeks. She stood there, quiet, watching her son as he was enjoying the fireworks.
Once they were done, she asked if she could take our picture together. I, of course, said yes. She then asked if she could give me a hug. Again, I said yes and we hugged. She told me at that moment that her son had NEVER watched the fireworks before. They always had to leave early, because he was super sensitive to noise and afraid of them. I asked her if he had ever seen videos of them. She said no. I couldn’t believe it. i explained to her how he had directed ALL of the show with his Mickey hand. She started crying, again. It was a night I will never forget. The little boy hugged me. Mom hugged me one more time, thanked me and they were on their way.
I have never seen the picture. I don’t know their names. However, I will never forget that evening and how Wishes and a Mickey hand brought a frightened little boy out of his shell. Even if for just 14 minutes…
Farewell, Wishes! You are loved. You helped create memories. Every night. You will be missed…