I don't know about you, but the Magic Kingdom has helped me through my own personal tragedies by taking me into a magical land where bad things don't happen. After this tragic week in Orlando, I believe that we all felt the need to stand united as Disney fans, some as Locals, some who worked with or knew the victims of the shooting in the Pulse nightclub. We needed to support our City and each other through our own sadness and/or loss. A post came out that on Saturday night, exactly one week after the shooting, there would be a special "goodnight kiss" in the Magic Kingdom. This was not a "Disney Event" but it was approved and a very special way for us to gather in support of our friends, our City and heal from this in our own way together. After the park closes each night, the Magic Kingdom always has a "goodnight kiss" to those who wait around to enjoy...and on this night so many of us did. Disney Cast Members did the usual "goodnight kiss" effect on the castle 3 times (as of my count). But so many people came with battery operated candles and glow sticks and flags...and what we did as a community was such a special feeling. I have never FELT such a reverence, respect for all people, and somber love for everyone as I did last night. Everyone was quiet. Some that did speak talked about coworkers and friends who were lost. We made hearts out of glowsticks and put candles inside the hearts.
There were candles by the Partners statue...There was love. Someone made a flag to support the victims & people were taking pictures in front of the flag. As we were leaving Cast Members were handing out pins. And sometime after I went in, the entrance had been dressed with the patriotic stars & stripes. It was a beautiful tribute to the victims and their families. Some family members were in attendance on Saturday night enjoying the parade, fireworks and a little bit of pixie dust to get them through this difficult time. I think this beautiful vigil was a perfect way for so many of us to feel like WE are going to grow from this horrible act and stand strong as a City and united as Disney fans...and just be there in our special place in respect to everyone affected by the past week. I was honored to be there and among so many friends who felt the same way. Thank you Walt Disney World for allowing us to come together as fans, as Cast Members, as Locals, as families who love to travel here...this is our safe place, this is our happy place. This is where we come to work on our own healing. Thank you for allowing us to do that together in a very special way. Thank you for making our heart smile through the tears.