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How Buzz & Woody came to the rescue at Walt Disney World during 9/11

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How Buzz & Woody came to the rescue at Walt Disney World during 9/11

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One of the reasons that Nancy & I started JHM's monthly newsletter is that we wanted to be able to share some of the more special items that sometimes come our way.

Take -- for example -- this e-mail from Wendy W. Who recently read that article I wrote a few years back about what it was like to be at Walt Disney World on September 11, 2001 and then decided ...

... to share a little something with you. My husband and I were there with our then-3 year-old son. We had arrived the day before and having done all my homework before, we knew exactly what to do and when. 

On that Tuesday morning, we were in Animal Kingdom. We had done the safari and a few other attractions when we stopped for a restroom break. While in the bathroom, I heard  THE announcement. "Due to circumstances beyond our control, the park is now closed." Well, being (at that particular theme park) and then hearing that announcement, I had only one conclusion: an animal must have gotten loose! Oh no!  But then upon leaving the bathroom, we started to get information from people all around us about what was really going on. 

I have to say that people were calm and caring. We were pushed out to the bus lines and the lines were long.  People were offering small children drinks from their own bags, ushering those who needed shade to shady areas and just keeping a sense of calm around. 

We spent the afternoon in our hotel room napping and taking it all in. 


Wendy and her son in the lobby of the All-Star with Buzz & Woody on 9/11

That evening we ventured out of our room and there is where we had the MOST incredible experience. You see, our son was a huge Toy Story fan and we were planning to see (those characters in the park) the next day.  At this point we didn't know if that would even be possible. And then it happened. We turned the corner in our lobby and there in front of us was Buzz and Woody! Our son did not understand anything that was happening that day and he knew the next day was Woody day. But for him to get a visit in HIS hotel from Buzz and Woody made his day. They were there to see HIM.  

With tears running down my face we took several pictures and enjoyed this special moment with our son. It is the part of the story that he still remembers and will never forget.

By the way, we still have our tear-off tickets that were passed out. We have been debating whether to use them or save them as part of our story. 

We will be going back to Disney for the first time since that trip this coming February when our son -- now 16 -- will be marching down Main Street with his high school band.  It will be another magical moment for all of us. 

Isn't that a great story? Thanks again to Wendy W. for sharing that memory and especially that photo of her son & Woody and Buzz in the lobby at Disney's All-Star.

 


If you'd like to be the first to see Jim Hill stories like this, we invite you to subscribe to our monthly Newsletter "The Rest and the Best"

 

 

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  • My parents were there that day.  They were amazed at how well it was all handled--they said there was so much to do at their resort, within a very short time.  I don't remember specifics, but basically the resort was full of entertainment that the put in place for the day.  Given that they basically never close the parks, it's amazing to know how well they planned for evacuation.

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