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Man invites day workers to Disneyland and their reaction to a day of fun is so wholesome

He gave them $200 and tickets to Disney for a day off.

Day workers get paid to spend the day at Disneyland.

Most people would love a free impromptu trip to Disneyland. It's one of those destinations that doesn't have an age limit; no matter how old you are, you get to go explore the park and feel like a kid again for an entire day. And the best part is, since you're an adult, there's no one to tell you no to ice cream before dinner or to drinking a fancy margarita with Mickey ears at 1:00 in the afternoon. You truly just get to escape and pretend you have no responsibilities.

Some lucky day workers got to do just that recently. In a video uploaded to TikTok, Jesús drove a local hardware store to see if any day workers wanted to accompany him and the person filming to Disneyland. The group was skeptical, especially when he wasn't offering work, but a day of fun—and when he told them they'd be paid to join him.

This offer would be a head-scratcher for just about anyone, but these guys decided to lean into the curiosity and hopped in for a full day of working hard at playing.


The look on the men's faces says it all. They went from ride to ride laughing, smiling and just enjoying their time at the park. I'm sure if they're married or partnered, they're going to have a hard time convincing their significant others that they actually got paid to go to Disneyland, but it was worth it. One of the men says in Spanish, beaming while watching the parade, "The face of a child who has never had a toy."

At the end of it all, the men got dropped back off at the parking lot they were picked up and everyone was still full of smiles and gratitude. Jesús gave each of the day workers $200, a hug and memories that will last a lifetime.

Watch the sweet video below:

@juixxe

Their smiles say it all 🥹

Isaiah Garza took a 100-year-old veteran to Disneyland for a day of joy.

Isaiah Garza knows a thing or two about struggle. Having lived in poverty and been in and out of homelessness growing up, the Los Angeles-based designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and public speaker hasn't traveled an easy road, but has always felt compelled to make life better for others and inspire future generations.

Thanks to Rihanna being photographed wearing one of his jewelry designs on the cover of a French magazine, Garza has gotten to fulfill his dream. His successful design business has enabled him to spend a chunk of his money and time making people's days a little brighter and sharing the effects of simple, kind and generous acts on social media.

For example, Garza recently invited a 100-year-old veteran he bumped into to spend a day with him at Disneyland. The man uses a walker, and most people probably wouldn't think to ask a centenarian with mobility challenges if they want to go to a theme park, but the day they had together speaks to the power of reaching out without assumptions about limitations.


Garza's video begins with him approaching the gentleman as he's out for a walk.

"I'm sorry to bother you," Garza says, "but I've had a really rough day. I just wanted to see if you would be willing to go to Disneyland with me today?"

Right off the bat, the ask is a lesson in kindness. Garza isn't saying, "Here, let me do this nice thing for you," but rather he's asking the gentleman to do him a favor by accompanying him.

The man's surprised reaction was understandable, but he said yes. What do you have to lose at 100? What followed was a delightful day for both of them as the man got to experience a day of Disney magic, which somehow always manages to work no matter what your age.

Watch and enjoy:

@isaiahgarza

I took a 100 year old veteran to Disneyland & we became best friends ❤️ #disneyland #kindness #friends #veteran #bestfriends

When the man tells Garza, "I thought my life was over," it's clear how much this day meant to him. When we're young, we're often so busy that we don't recognize that not everyone lives like we do. Older people often get lonely and can easily be overlooked by society, and Garza approaching this man with a Disney day invitation let him know he wasn't forgotten.

It also told him that he was seen as a full human with agency and capacity. Not many people see an old man with a walker and think, "I bet he'd like to go spend a day at Disneyland," but look how happy it made him. Assumptions about what people who are older or people with mobility issues can do—or what they might want to do—can cause us to miss out on mutually enjoyable experiences. Perhaps not everyone this gentleman's age would enjoy something as energy-filled as a day at Disney, but you never know, and it certainly doesn't hurt to ask.

Imagine if each of us reached out to an elderly neighbor and invited them to do something fun with us. It doesn't have to be a full day at a theme park—it could be a museum tour, a walk in the park, a coffee, a movie date and so on. Just the simple act of reaching out to let them know they are remembered and valued can make a big difference, but taking the time to share some joy together can be life-changing.

Garza's kind and thoughtful approach is one we can all learn from and emulate. Thanks for showing us that it doesn't take an enormous amount of effort to make the lives of those around us a whole lot richer and brighter.

Courtesy of Jeanette Tapley

Disney princess surprises deaf park goer

As if Disneyland wasn't magical enough, the parks have been working to be more inclusive of all of their guests and recently a girl named Zoe Tapley got to experience it herself. Zoe is deaf and when her family was visiting Disneyland recently she was doing her rounds meeting the characters, when the woman dressed as Ana from Frozen began using American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate. The special moment was caught on camera by Zoe's mom Jeanette Tapley who shared it to her TikTok page where it has racked up over two million views and over 450,000 likes.


This trip was Zoe's second trip to Disneyland but according to her mom, this was the first time she has had an interaction with a character that knew ASL. When asked what Zoe's reaction was to the encounter, Tapley told Upworthy, "Zoe was in shock. She was so excited to be chatting with a Princess without my husband or I having to jump in and assist her. She just kept saying, “Wow!!!” We all just cried because it was so special and surprising!" But this isn't Disney's first rodeo with including ASL for their characters. In 2016 a video went viral of Captain America using ASL to communicate with a guest.

@jeanettetapley

When Princess Anna can sign and have a full conversation with my deaf child. 🥹 Zoe has never been able to chat with a princess without Jesse or myself interpreting. This was magical. Thank you Princess Anna for making our trip so special! #deafchildren #asl #americansignlanguage #BigInkEnergy #fyp #feelgood #inclusionmatters @Disney Parks @Disneyland California

Disneyland has been working on becoming more inclusive of their deaf and hard of hearing guests since 2010 and it's pretty evident that they are starting to see the fruits of their labor. Tapley said, "Disneyland actually has some great services for hearing impaired and early in that trip we went and watched a show that had interpreters. It is based off a schedule that is found on Disney’s website," She continued, "you don’t realize how un deaf friendly theme parks are until you are wandering around with your deaf child. With Zoe we just try to make her aware of her surrounding and have check in spots."

Tapley explains that the more deaf friendly a place like Disney can be the better. When you aren't hard of hearing or deaf and aren't exposed to the population, you may not realize how difficult it can be to navigate places like an amusement park. It takes places listening to different communities and people of differing abilities to know what is helpful over harmful. Tapley told Upworthy, "When deaf friends can come in and feel safe and included wow! What a gift! I think it would make for a more popular travel destination and it would make Disney stand apart!"

Zoe and Princess Ana

Photo Courtesy of Jeanette Tapley

The entire interaction left the family feeling pretty good, including the little notes Zoe has been getting from fans of the video. "We are just so thankful. Zoe has loved reading notes from people, she feels seen and loved and it’s been really fun to know that she is not alone. We are SO incredible thankful to Princess Ana for loving our family like this. We are forever bonded and I believe that she will be Zoe’s favorite princess for all of time," Tapley said.

This sure is a moment to remember. Hopefully in the future more kids like Zoe get to meet their favorite character who can communicate with them as they do with other guests.

The 21st century began on Jan. 1, 2001, but for Disney fans it had been in full swing for more than 18 years, since the opening day of EPCOT Center on Oct. 1, 1982, when a sleek and optimistic vision of the future debuted in a theme park unlike any other built before or since.

Late last year, Disney started a massive overhaul of EPCOT, which will see more Disney characters and brands added to the park, and update many of its attractions for the actual 21st century – which has arguably proved a fair deal bleaker and less promising than the happy visions Disney conceived for EPCOT.

Disney's version contained daily flights to space, boundless energy, harmony with the earth and its oceans, pollution-free transportation, and a unifying message of peace and unity among people from every nation. The future didn't quite turn out that way.





But even back in 1982, it was something of a fiction. Grounded in the harsh reality of the time, it was a quintessential Disney wish that got its start in the 1950s, as Walt Disney was readying Disneyland. Even the most devoted Disney enthusiast rarely sees past the rides, shows, restaurants and shops when they go to Disneyland, but Walt Disney and his engineers (long before they were "Imagineers") saw something far different: urban planning. So impressive was Disney's ability to make something out of nothing that James Rouse, designer of the first enclosed shopping center in America said in 1963, "the greatest piece of urban design in the United States today is Disneyland."

An avid traveler, Walt Disney had also spent much time visiting cities around the world – and around the country – and by the early 1960s he was growing concerned about the state of American cities, but eager to explore solutions he saw internationally. His interest became an obsession, and by the mid-1960s he was wholeheartedly turning his company from a film studio into a think-tank devoted to creating a prototype community filled with experimental technology from around the world.

He called the city EPCOT – the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. To help fund it, and to draw even more attention to it, he placed it within the confines of "Disney World," the gigantic project his company was building in Central Florida. Building the theme park proved relatively easy; but when it come to the "city of tomorrow," even his closest aides were confounded by the visions and ideas Walt Disney had proposed. "He had come to fear that EPCOT would not be built if anything happened to him," biographer Neil Gabler wrote in Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination. On Dec. 15, 1966, Walt Disney died.



So, for a time, EPCOT died. Its vision of a future created by corporations and big industries, supported by governments and social unity, was undone by the violence, unrest and distrust of the 1960s. Yet, a decade after Walt Disney died, EPCOT began moving ahead.

The idea of a "real" city that housed research-and-development arms of major corporations, staffed by people from around the world, fell away quickly, but at EPCOT's core was the belief that the ideas and innovations of companies, and the imagination of the people who worked for them around the globe, could serve to inspire the future. These two competing notions of technological innovation and of cultural cooperation were initially proposed as two parks, until, inspiration struck.

"We found that we couldn't get enough sponsorship for both," remembered Marty Sklar, who went on to head Walt Disney Imagineering, "so we pushed the two of them together, basically, and that became EPCOT Center." The building, transportation and management codes that had been created for development of the city formed the backbone of the entire Walt Disney World resort development, so the 43-square-mile complex became known as "EPCOT," while the theme park would be at its geographical heart – it would be, literally, the EPCOT Center.

Those two sections that were initially separate parks were joined and became Future World and World Showcase. A massive marketing campaign supported what was then the single largest construction project in the world – no small feat, considering a global recession that gripped the world in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

As a company, Disney was undaunted. "EPCOT Center is a celebration of ingenuity, innovation, imagination … and most of all … hope for the future," the company wrote in its 1982 annual report. "We believe we need optimism in our world because a society just can't progress without the belief that life will be good, that individual enterprise will bring its own rewards and that the great nations of the world will be guided on the right course with a better informed public." Disney called EPCOT "the dawn of a new Disney era."

Instead of single rides, massive pavilions contained long, elaborate attractions that explored key concepts vital to the future: communication (in Spaceship Earth), energy (Universe of Energy), the environment (The Land), transportation (World of Motion), imagination (Journey Into Imagination) and, after EPCOT's first expansion, the oceans (The Living Seas) and future technology (Horizons). The Wonders of Life added a look at the human body, completing Future World in 1989.



World Showcase opened with nine countries – Mexico, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States – with Morocco joining in 1984 and Norway in 1988. Country pavilions were initially sponsored by private companies, except Morocco, which has always been sponsored by its government. Curious what EPCOT looked like in 1982? Here's a carefully restored 16 mm film taken not long after opening.

The hopeful vision of the future presented by EPCOT officially became outmoded when the 21st century really did dawn. An enormous overhaul of EPCOT was announced last summer, but construction has been stalled by the outbreak of coronavirus – an outbreak that may best be solved by cooperation among people, innovation led by private industry, and an understanding that our future is shared by everyone. One of humanity's greatest crises may find its ultimate solution in the ideas, spirit and innovation that Walt Disney left behind, and that led to a theme park – and a vision – unlike any other.