Let me tell you a story about the Happiest Place on Earth. I was working at Disneyland a few years back and while many stories came out of that place there's one I remember better then any others. I had a closing shift at Thunder Mountain but I had come in early that day to get my hands on one of the anniversary pins that they hand out to cast members. Truth be told I'm not big on the whole pin trading, but I figured I could always sell it one day.
Closing time came and I packed up my things and headed of towards my locker. It's was just a little bit before one o'clock and most of the people had emptied out of the park already. As I passed in front of the castle I noticed a family taking pictures. If you've ever been to Disneyland you know there's ALWAYS someone in front of the castle ruining your family photo, but this group had it made. It was the same deal as always, Dad takes the picture of Mom and Son and then Mom takes the picture of dad and son, etc. I was already off, but I figured I'd do something nice for them and offer to take their picture.
The parents were overjoyed. They explained this was their first time to Disneyland and they hadn't had a picture all together all day. That alone would have been enough to make your day, but what happened next changed my life. The son had asked me if I had the anniversary pin that had been given out earlier that day. Sure enough I did, but it was in my locker. I asked the mother if it would be alright for me to send them the pin in the mail. She thought that'd be great and we exchanged information.
A few days went by and I finally got around to mailing the pin off. It was weeks before I heard a response and I'd all but forgotten about my random act of kindness until a letter arrived in the mail. It was from the mom. She apologized for the delay in response and thanked me ten fold for sending the pin. She said it really made her son's day. She continued on to explain that on their way home they'd been in a drunk driver and her husband was killed in the collision.
It turns out that she was looking through the photos of their first visit to Disneyland as a family. In every picture someone had been left out except for one. The picture I took of them together, in front of the castle, for the last time.
Happiest place on Earth...