What was the best surprise upgrade or pixie dust you have experienced?

The post about being selected as “Family of the Day” got me wondering what special surprise upgrades/pixie dust people have experienced. Mine was a trip I took 3 years ago with my two kids alone. We arrived late at night and had reserved a standard bunk bed room at AKL. When we arrived in our room it had no bunk beds and the kids were crushed. I called down to get a room switch and said I would take any room with any view, even if it meant staring at a parking lot, but needed the bunk beds. We got moved to another room and awoke the next morning to be greeted by wildebeasts and other various animals. They had put us in a Savannah room. They also gave each of the kids autograph books, special pens, and sliders for their magic bands, as well as three “anytime” fast passes per day we were there! It was great. I actually wrote a letter after we got home, commending the CM at the front desk at AKL because he was SO nice and great to my kids. They wrote back to me, telling me how rare it is that they receive positive feedback and often only get letters from people when things do not go well. Anyway, the whole experience was very positive and really exemplified the customer service Disney is known for.


We spent two nights at Pop Century a few years ago before a Disney cruise. We had booked a standard room and requested upper floor in the 60s section. When we arrived, we found we had been upgraded to a preferred room on the 3rd floor of building 5 in the 60s. It wasn’t a big change but was a pleasant surprise to be a bit closer to the pool.

On our last trip, we ate at Sanaa. Our server was amazing. We ordered the bread service and since that is so big, we decided to only use 3 dining credits for the 4 of us on entrees. He was so helpful in allowing us to maximize our dining credits informing us that with the plan we could get two meat options with each of our Harvest/Journey selections instead of just one. Since we only used 3 credits, we only ordered 3 desserts. DH is not a big dessert person, so he was willing to skip dessert. Our server teased about how he was being left out, telling us that the candy bar, which my oldest daughter ordered, was the best and DH should make her share. He was right about the candy bar. DD loved it and ate the whole thing. After hearing this when he brought our bill, our server disappeared for a moment and returned with a complimentary candy bar dessert for DH to eat! It was so nice and really pushed our already great meal over the top!


We are hoping to try Sanaa when we go in November- trying to figure out when to go since AKL is a bit removed from everything.

We’ve done Sanaa twice now for dinner. It’s worked well for us on days when we planned to leave the parks around 5 pm and not stay for the fireworks. We’ve always arrived while it was still light out and taken the opportunity to observe some of the animals in the savannah. Once it gets dark they often have night vision goggles available for looking at the animals. Lots of fun!

We have just taken the bus from whichever park we were at to AKL. Then at the end of the night we take the first bus that comes to any park and then from there back to our resort.


DS lost his mouse ears on our way to do Soarin’ at RD. When we went to Mouse Gear to buy replacements, we mentioned that he’d lost his first pair. They gave us a new pair for free! It really gave us the warm fuzzies. It was so kind of them.


My DD lost her favorite pin. It was a Minnie cell phone and she was obsessed. I think she was like 5 when she lost it. We went back to retrace our steps and never found it. It had been purchased a couple years before that so they no longer made the pins. A CM heard us talking about the pin and came over and told DD she could pick any pin off her own lanyard to keep. She was THRILLED and though it did not replace the lost cell phone pin, it is a close second and to this day at age 11 she loves that “free” pin.


We got upgraded this past week at Coronado Springs to a junior suite on the water (and darn it I forgot to leave a note in the Bible!!! But room 3125 is EXCELLENT)

I had friends driving in yesterday to spend the morning with me and so I invited them to come and have a slumber party with us instead, since we had the space!! The front desk was FABULOUS. They added them as day guests, so I didn’t get an extra charge (which I was more than happy to pay), and when I checked out Miriam (She’s this adorable lady from Newfoundland. I plan to go see her again!), handed me extra construction pins for my friends! It was a delightful stay, and a lovely surprise to have such a terrific upgrade! (Since I booked parking lot budget view! :joy:)


On our first big family trip we were waiting to go into FOTLK. It was then located in what is now Pandora. Anyway as we stood in this wicked long line siding for the doors of the theater to open, a CM came over and pulled us out of line. She said she had some special seats for us. We were ringside!!! So much interaction with the performers. It was awesome.

I think Disney knew it was our first trip and were targeting us. This was before magic bands so I think we just had chips implanted via food or something so then could track us and “make magic” along the way. We had a special interaction with Cinderella, two surprise parades, the FOTLK thing, Mickey confetti handed out to the kids before the old Welcome Show… bunched of stuff. It hooked us.

Well played, Disney.


We’ve been upgraded twice at the resorts. The first time was at Port Orleans Riverside, we had garden view rooms booked and requested the Magnolia Bend section… they upgraded us to the Royal Guest Rooms. The second upgrade happened last year - we had a standard view room booked at Beach Club but they upgraded us to Club Level! We were so thrilled!


In 2009, during our first WDW vacation, my DH, DD and I had just gotten a photo and autograph from Pocahontas. We decided to take a break and regroup before setting out again and were resting on the storytelling bench with a drink. A couple of cast members approached and asked if we wanted to be in the parade. (Honestly I think it helped that my daughter and I had gotten our faces painted!) We got to go behind the gates, wore vests and safari hats with ears and were given a disposable camera to take pics…only when we were out of the gates. We rode on the hippo float and had a blast! It was so magical!! A cast member heard my DH say that it was well worth missing a fastpass and she gave us an anytime pass. We really couldn’t believe our luck!! So many magical memories!

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We have never been upgraded, but have gotten pixie dust on our trips. I have at least one for each of our last 3 trips. For our honeymoon, my favorite was getting sung to by a quartet before Beauty and Beast at HS. In 2016, my twins got sung to in Launch Bay for their birthday. Our trip in May, we were Family of the Day at Garden Grill and got a great picture with all the characters. We never ask for anything, but happen to be at the right place at the right time.

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