Disney World is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, but its lights, noises, and crowds can also be overwhelming, particularly for visitors who have autism or sensory processing disorder.
Lauren Bergner’s son, Brody, knows this problem first-hand. The boy, who has autism and is nonverbal, definitely was not having the time of his life as he waited in line at Epcot to see Snow White.
“He was crying and was overwhelmed and just having a hard time,” Bergner remembers.
Luckily, however, the brilliant actress playing the role of Snow White knew just what to do when Brody reached the front of the line in full meltdown mode.
Snow immediately hugged Brody, gave him a kiss, and cuddled him on her lap as he cried, never asking him what was wrong or urging him to stop crying. Then she took him for a short walk away from the crowd to a bench where he could decompress a little. Brody even got to dance with Snow White!
Grateful for the actress’s kindness and understanding, Bergner turned to Facebook to than the young woman for treating her son with such respect and accepting him just the way he was, meltdown and all.
“She took so much time with him,” says Bergner. “She was a pure angel! She was magical and my family is forever thankful and touched!”
Since the post went up, it has garnered more than 230,000 reactions, 20,000 comments, and 70,000 shares. The internet is going wild over this beautiful act of kindness!
Bergner also emailed Disney to let them know about their cast member’s amazing gesture that changed the entire experience for Brody. “I would love to personally thank her,” she wrote. “Please make sure she is recognized! We will never forget this moment.”
Happily, a Disney photographer also captured some of the special moments between Brody and Snow, and now Bergner and her son will have these photos to cherish forever.
“I am thankful these moments were captured. My heart is full,” she writes.
Thank you, Disney World, for taking the time to properly train your cast members for situations like this one, and a special thanks to Snow White for your compassion and kindness for a child going through a tough time!
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?