A bit of pixie dust makes a Disney dream come true

When six-year-old Ashley visited Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World dressed as Tinkerbell, she never expected a bit of pixie dust from a Jungle Cruise Skipper named Heather would make her Disney dream come true.

Jungle Cruise Disney dream come true
Photos courtesy of Disney

Ashley and her family were excited to experience the Jungle Cruise during their 2006 family vacation, but even before they embarked on their jungle adventure, Skipper Heather tapped Ashley as a Jr. Skipper, an award occasionally bestowed on young guests to help Skippers steer the boat on the “10,000-mile journey down the Mekong River.” 

Thanks to Heather, the magical experience sparked Ashley’s Disney dream of becoming a real-life skipper herself someday.

“I try to be inspirational every day to everyone I meet. You never know how you can affect someone’s day or touch someone’s life,” Heather said.

Over the next 20 years, Ashley’s family kept in touch with Heather and would see her whenever they visited the park.

Ashley and her family

When Ashley grew up, Heather introduced her to the Disney College Program, which would offer her an opportunity to join the Disney family (where else?) on the Jungle Cruise. Heather coordinated a surprise to share the news with Ashley that her childhood Disney dream had come true.

“Looking at that little girl years ago, I would be in awe of myself,” said Ashley. “I would have never known {…} every Disney trip would strengthen the impact Heather has had on me and inspire me to desire creating that same magic for others.” 

Magical moments created by cast members like Heather are what makes Walt Disney World so special, and now Ashley has the opportunity to sprinkle pixie dust on young guests who board her Jungle Cruise boat.

Click here for more information about the Disney College Program.

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