I really have to take a moment to share our amazing experience with anyone who is willing to listen. Two incredible crew members at Universal Studios Orlando went above and beyond today and I will be forever grateful.
My family spent today at Universal Studios Orlando. After riding the more exciting rides (like Space Mountain) at Disney World yesterday, Lexxie decided to brave some of the bigger rides at Universal today. We started out with Transformers and she did okay. But when we made our way to The Mummy, there was instant regret. She toughed it out but it turned her day upside down. With a little coaxing and a lot of bribery (which included an interactive wand and some new stuffed friends from Daigon Alley), she rode Escape from Gringott’s. I quietly hoped that it was enough to have turned her day back around. But I was wrong.
We made our way to E.T. and she just flat out refused to ride. She was in tears – scared and probably frustrated that her fun day was filled with fear and unknown – so she and I sat out while everyone else went on.
It was around 12:30 and I knew the next Animal Actors show was scheduled for 1pm. Nobody loves animals more than Lexxie so I took her over to the stage. The line wasn’t forming yet so we parked ourselves at the start of the queue. I figured, if we are just going to be standing around waiting anyway, we might as well wait for the show.
This is where everything changes.
Georgianna (and I’m really sorry if I’ve spelled that wrong), one of the trainers at the show, came over to chat with us. We told her why we were there so early and she immediately started telling Lexxie about all of the fun rides and attractions that she would really enjoy, if she would give them a try. She suggested E.T. so I explained that it was that very ride that she drew the line. So Georgianna went on to tell Lexxie about how gentle the ride is.
Around that time, Tammy (a shift supervisor) came out to join us. Georgianna told her about Lexxie’s bad experience and Tammy joined in to tell her about E.T. But then she did something incredible – she offered to take Lexxie on the ride herself. After enough explaining, Lexxie agreed. As we headed that way, the rest of the family joined us. Tammy brought all of us onto the ride and rode with Lexxie right up front. It was a success!
Not only did she introduce Lexxie to a ride that she would enjoy (and a new movie to add to movie nights) but she made her feel really special. It may have been a small gesture on their part, but it meant the world to us.
After the ride, we headed back to the Animal Actors show. They gave Lexxie the best seat in the house – front and center. Just as I had expected, she LOVED the show. Her favorite part was Greta the German Shepherd (no surprise since we are a GSD family). Afterwards she was able to pet one of the dogs.
To top it all off, Tammy called ahead to the Minion ride and put us on the list to just walk on and ride (in the express queue). She told Lexxie that they had a stationary seating option and that’s what we did. It was perfect for her.
Universal Studios is huge and they could easily turn a blind eye to the 7 year old guest who just wanted to go back to our resort. But they didn’t. They did the opposite. Their small gesture made our little girl feel extra special and it ensured that we will continue to visit this park on vacation for many years to come.
Thank you Georgianna and Tammy. I can’t say that enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.