Something curious happens to us every time we travel to Disney, somehow cast members always recognize us as Canadian. It never happens when we travel anywhere else in the U.S., but somehow Cast Members always ask us where in Canada we’re from. It’s not like we drape ourselves in a maple leaf flag as we tackle the parks. Although the occasional “eh” may slip out from time to time, I could not discern anything that obviously sets us apart. I was so curious I began asking Cast Members how they could tell we were from Canada.
The first time it happened I was ordering a yogurt at the yogurt station at Port Orleans Riverside and the young man behind the counter adding the toppings asked me if I was Canadian. Surprised, I asked how he could tell. Much to my surprise, he said because I asked for granola on my yogurt, apparently Canadians always get granola on their yogurt.
Later that day, a photographer taking our picture at Disney Studios, asked me again if we were Canadian. Now, I was starting to get a complex! How could he tell? Apparently my involuntary “eh” had come out when I said, “Thanks a lot, eh!” Okay, that’s an easy one. But then it happened again and again with our servers at restaurants. Sure, we got all the trivia right while waiting for our table at Le Cellier ;o) but surely at other restaurants we would blend right in.
Interestingly enough, despite our countries being so similar, we use different words for everyday things. Here are some giveaways, that our observant cast members picked up on: We ordered “POP” instead of “SODA” for dinner. We asked for extra “SERVIETTES” instead of “NAPKINS” when my daughter made a mess, and asked where the nearest “WASHROOM” was, instead of a “RESTROOM”.
Really subtle hints, but for people so accustomed to welcoming people from around the world, easy tells. It’s a little thing, but I think it’s a testament to the attention to detail and a sincere interest Cast Members bestow upon us guests and what makes Disney World so special.
While cast members recognize us as Canadians, fellow travelers often mistake us for alumni of various colleges thanks to my husband’s vast college t-shirt and hat collection. Whenever, I’d lose track of him at WDW, I’d ask my oldest daughter where Dad had gone off to, and she’d point to him and say, “Daddy’s made another new friend.” It never fails, almost daily he’d get stopped by someone that happened to go to the college adorned on his hat or t-shirt. What inevitably ensued was a conversation about football and sports. It was a great way to meet people from all over the U.S ;o)
And while we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving back on October 8th, I’d like to wish you all a very Happy American Thanksgiving!