I’m sure most of you have heard of Random Acts of Kindness (RAKs), where you perform a nice service or something similar for a random person or group of people, anonymously or not, or perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of an RAK.
The unique thing about Disney is that Disney Addicts such as me and my family get to practice what’s called Random Acts of Disney Kindness (RADKs) while in the parks.
In the past, we performed RADKs by giving someone our paper Fastpasses if we had decided not to take advantage of them or had run out of time on the last day of our visit. Now, however, with the demise of paper Fastpasses, we can’t do that. But we’ve modified our RADKs to giving a trading pin to a small child to get them started in the pin trading hobby, or it can be as simple as saying “Happy Birthday!” or “Happy Anniversary!” to people we see wearing their celebratory pins.
During my and my wife’s visit on May 21, we were on the receiving end of RADKs because we were wearing our “Anniversary” pins because we were belatedly celebrating our 15th anniversary during this visit.
But, I was on the receiving end of a special RADK. This is that story.
While in the Magic Kingdom on May 21, I had made it my goal to find and purchase a Tomorrowland pin like the one featured in the movie. I asked around while in Tomorrowland and was directed to Merchant of Venus as the place that should have them.
I found the pins, but unlike the ones I had seen in the Tomorrowland trailers and had seen in posts where they had been given out at Test Track and other places, this pin was 1 ½ inches in diameter. It was big! It was also $11.95.
Since it was the only one I had seen for sale, and appeared to be the only one Disney would offer for sale, I went ahead and purchased it. It is nice and detailed. It has a depth to it that I haven’t seen in other pins. I like it and wear it on my i.d. lanyard at work.
Anyway, back to the RADK story.
On the next day, after performing the work duties I had been sent to Tampa for, my wife and I made the trip to Orlando again, this time to Downtown Disney. This was May 22, the day that Tomorrowland was being released in theaters.
We arrived at Downtown Disney and had to navigate our way around all the construction. We made our way to the temporary parking area across from Downtown Disney and discovered there was a shuttle to take us safely across the busiest street I had seen to get to the shops and restaurants.
But we found out that the shuttle would only take people to the West Side and not the Marketplace, which is where we wanted to go, and it turns out that a car occupied by 2 young ladies also wanted to go.
We were told that if we wanted to go to the Marketplace, we could go park “in the Casting parking lot beside the building with the points on top.” We located the building and made our way there; it wasn’t as hard to get to as it looked from the first parking lot.
We parked and made our way to a crosswalk manned on each side by Disney cast members who would make sure it was safe to cross and let us go in groups.
While waiting for the next crossing opportunity, the 2 young ladies we saw at the first parking lot joined us at the crosswalk. We noticed they were both wearing small Tomorrowland pins, about the size I had seen in the trailers and in previous posts.
We struck up a conversation about them and were told that the ladies had attended the Tomorrowland premier that morning and were given the pins for attending. I related my tale of the discovery of the honking big Tomorrowland pins in Magic Kingdom and how it was larger than I expected.
We talked about the movie, asking them if it was good (they said it was great) and whether it was suitable for kids, mainly an 11 year old and a 7 year old (they said it was perfectly suitable and had a good message for kids).
That’s when one of the women pulled out a packaged, small Tomorrowland pin identical to the ones they were wearing. The one young lady explained that after the premier showing that morning, each person in the audience was given 5 additional pins. These were to be given out to other fellow true believers to spread the magic.
I was the recipient of one of these pins! We thanked them profusely and then we each went our separate ways in Downtown Disney. We never saw them again. But now I have a cool RADK story to tell!
So we were on the receiving end of a very special RADK. I made sure to wear the pin on my shirt when we took the kids to see Tomorrowland back home the next weekend.
The guy working the concession stand noticed it and asked about it. I quickly told him the story about how I had received it. He was amazed and admitted he was jealous of it.
So now, when I can, I wear my gifted Tomorrowland pin on my shirt, because I still believe!
Do you have a story of performing or receiving a Random Act of Disney Kindness? If so, please let us know in the comments below.