When you work at Disney World for over 25 years, you collect a lot of stories.

Just ask Mikey Jacobs, who worked at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, from 1989 to 2015, and played the character Goofy since the late-'90s. He's seen all manner of magical and heartwarming Disney moments.

Recently, Jacobs hosted a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) where he regaled the internet with tales of backstage Disney World romance, lunchtime cliquey-ness, and of course, surviving the Florida heat while wearing a costume (apparently you just get used to it).


Jacobs working the parade. Photo courtesy of Mikey Jacobs.

When one user asked him to share his best "magical" moment, he shared what he considers the "defining moment" of his Disney World career.

Jacobs recalled an encounter he had with two little girls who came to the park back in 1996. "The two girls were with their mom and dad at Epcot," wrote Jacobs in his AMA. "And on the way home they got into a horrible car accident."

According to Jacobs, both of the girls' parents were killed in the crash, and nurses at the nearby hospital had brought them back to the park to see if they could get their tickets refunded to help pay for a trip back home. "My heart absolutely sunk," Jacobs wrote. "If you had seen these girls you'd know why. They were truly traumatized."

Jacobs — who worked at Disney World's Guest Relations Department at the time and was also an experienced tour guide — helped the girls get a refund and brought them on a private tour of the park that included VIP access to the parade, free ice cream, and a seat on every ride. Unfortunately, the girls were far too shaken by what they had been through to enjoy their time. "Nothing worked," said Jacobs.

Jacobs leading kids on a tour of the park in the '90s. Photo courtesy of Mikey Jacobs.

Finally, he offered to personally introduce the girls to Mickey Mouse. That's when, for the first time, the girl's faces lit up with smiles."It felt so good to be a part of that," he wrote. "It was a special day for me."

That day, Jacobs saw firsthand how powerful the work of a Disney World character can be, and he dedicated the rest of his Disney career to working as a character. "When I saw the transformation of those two little girls I immediately turned my heart over to the Character Department," explains Jacobs over email. "There was no greater thrill for me than being able to immediately and directly make a magical moment for a Guest."

Those two little girls had a profound effect on Jacobs in 1996, but in 2016, his story about them had a real-world effect on the people who saw it on Reddit.

In the comments on Jacobs' AMA, one Reddit user mentioned that he had donated to the Florida Hospital for Children — a hospital near Disney World that is home to thousands of kids battling often life-threatening illnesses. The hospital has an Amazon Wishlist full of items that aim to make a child's stay at the hospital more comfortable.

The idea caught on, and before long, the hospital was inundated with donations. Workers spent the days after Jacobs' story went viral unloading three pallets worth of toys and fielding a long string of online cash donations, according to Janna Aboodi at the Florida Hospital for Children.

Photo courtesy of Janna Aboodi/Florida Hospital for Children.

Photo courtesy of Janna Aboodi/Florida Hospital for Children.

Photo courtesy of Janna Aboodi/Florida Hospital for Children.

Jacobs says he never expected his own life-changing encounter to have this kind of effect on others. But he's glad it did.

"To think that children may be able to have less of a difficult time in the hospital because of it really overwhelms me," he says.

Donating a couple dollars or buying a toy may seem like a small gesture, but the little things can go a long way. The toys donated to Florida Hospital will help bring smiles to kids faces, and as Jacobs knows, a smile can change everything.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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