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Holidays at the Disneyland Resort

Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members Rally To Reunite Guest With Beloved Bear

posted on February 20th, 2014 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Disney cast members often go the extra mile to reunite guests with items that have been lost at the Walt Disney World Resort – but we’ve never heard of a story quite as emotional as this.

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Let’s back up. When Brooklyn Andrews was 3 years old, her father, Tony Andrews gave her, her sister and brother, Courtney and Jessy, very special teddy bears. A member of the United States National Guard, Tony had just been called up to serve a one-year tour of duty in Iraq and purchased the bears as special gifts that his daughters and son could cuddle when missing him during their separation. He even left a voice message within each bear so that his children could hear his voice at any time reminding them that “Courtney, Brooklyn and Jessy, I love you all.”

After Tony’s tour of duty ended, the family (also including mom, Marsha) celebrated by purchasing Annual Passes to Walt Disney World Resort and took three memorable family trips – with Brooklyn’s bear, Toby, joining them on each one.

Then in 2006, Tony suddenly passed away from a heart attack. Brooklyn was then 6 years old and clung to her Toby bear for comfort, each night pressing the bear’s paw to hear her father’s “I love you” message.

In January 2014, the Andrews family again returned to the Walt Disney World Resort – with Toby in tow – as Brooklyn, now 14, competed in the Disney Family Fun Run 5K and Mickey Mile. Upon returning home, the family was hit with the awful realization that the treasured bear had somehow been left behind. Marsha called Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to see if the bear could be located, but Toby hadn’t been turned in at the Lost & Found. So, Marsha turned to social media and the story of the lost bear spread quickly – eventually to the ears of Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa General Manager Sonya Deese-Byrnes.

“We went out to the building where the family had stayed. A housekeeper had found [Toby] and turned him in to a satellite office. We touched the paw and heard the message, and knew this was definitely the bear,” said Sonya.

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The resort’s cast then sprang into action to make some additional magic for the family, taking Toby on a whirlwind tour of the Walt Disney World Resort. When he arrived safely back at the Andrews family home, the family also received a photo album stocked with pictures of Toby’s adventures at the Walt Disney World Resort. Be sure to click through the images above to see some of Toby’s highlights, which included meeting Disney “bears”, visiting the Country Bear Jamboree, and much more.

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Filed: Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

37 Comments 1 Reply

1

Stephanie on February 20th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I’m so glad Toby made it back to his family and had some fun along the way. Bravo Disney cast members.

2

Tammy on February 20th, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Disney magic at its best!

3

Sandra from FL on February 20th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Awe! This story brought tears to my eyes!

 

Jennifer Fickley-Baker on February 20th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

:)

4

Brittany on February 20th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

That is such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing that! :) Disney Cast Members are so wonderful! I love that they care enough about people to take the time and find that special bear and give Brooklyn an album of her bear’s adventures. She probably felt so bad about leaving that bear behind, I’m sure the photo album and the care they took made her feel a little better about the situation! :)

5

Bob on February 20th, 2014 at 2:56 pm

And that is why I love Disney so much. You always go the extra step for your guests. Well done!

6

Erica on February 20th, 2014 at 2:57 pm

How wonderful that Toby was found and returned, that’s some great Disney magic!

7

Tammy on February 20th, 2014 at 3:29 pm

That is awesome! Disney goes out of its way to create magic for everyone and why we love them!

We took our grand daughter to Disney for the first time 2 yrs ago. We bought her a big Minnie Mouse her first day. She carried it all afternoon holding on tight. Eventually she got sleepy and fell asleep in her stroller holding tight to her Minnie.

A couple hrs later when she awoke, we realized Minnie had fallen out of her stroller. We looked every where, asking all the stores if one had been turned in. It hadn’t been. We finally went to guest services in hopes someone had found it and turned it in. No one had…. Our grand baby was so sad… But her tears soon turned to smiles. We had taken a picture of her and her Minnie earlier… Using that picture the awesome people had guest services got her a new one that looked exactly like the one lost.

Our grand baby’s tears stopped and in their place were squeals of joy and happiness. They didn’t have to do that… But because they did a little girl experienced some true Disney magic.

8

Jon on February 20th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Oof. Right in the feels.

9

Ryan on February 20th, 2014 at 5:35 pm

When I was little, I too left my teddy bear behind at WDW. I freaked out when we got home and I didn’t have him. My mom called the Contemporary Resort and they looked and found him and shipped him back to us. I was told that Teddy wanted to stay at Disney for a few extra days but would be back soon. I’ve always been thankful for what the Contemporary staff did and am glad to see Cast and Crew still going out of their way to help out :)

10

Stacey from MA on February 20th, 2014 at 6:23 pm

omg this is why I love Disney and go back every year. I can’t believe that I actually cried reading this story! WTG Disney!

11

Daniel on February 20th, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I love the WDW staff and how much they care about guests. Our trip this summer at the Pop Century resort was made extra fun for us by our maid Martha and the special touches she left for us each day. In our room.

12

Lorel on February 20th, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Above and Beyond…..these are the words to describe what Disney cast members do and what sets them and Disney apart from others. A very Well Done! I have been a Disney fan my whole life and now a DVC Member……I am so blessed! Disney is a family of families for families from 1 to INFINITY AND BEYOND :)

13

Alicia on February 20th, 2014 at 11:27 pm

Literally sobbing while reading this. Thank you SO much for sharing, and I am so glad this teddy bear was retrieved!

14

Deb on February 21st, 2014 at 6:41 am

and THIS is why I am a Disney fan for life.

15

Peter on February 21st, 2014 at 7:05 am

This is a perfect example of why I want to work at Disney, specifically the resorts and parks. That’s where the joy lives.

16

Leslie on February 21st, 2014 at 9:01 am

I saw this story on facebook as it was posted so people could try and find the bear. I was so happy when I read he had been found!

17

Katie on February 21st, 2014 at 9:47 am

Disney magic at its very best! I’m so happy for the girl and her family.

18

Larry on February 21st, 2014 at 10:11 am

Jennifer, I’ve been a pass holder for years. People ask why I go to Disney so often. This is why. Thanks for sharing.

19

David on February 21st, 2014 at 11:25 am

Although it may seem like this is a very thoughtful and heart-warming story (which it most definitely is), I know I’m just preaching to the choir when I say this isn’t news. This isn’t something extra that the Disney cast members did. This is just the way they ARE! This is why we love them all so much. THIS is Disney!

20

Paige on February 21st, 2014 at 12:07 pm

What a wonderful story! I love hearing about the magic that is always being spread. People ask why I want to work at Disney….Cast Members like this are the reason why. I want to help keep the magic alive

21

Pamela on February 21st, 2014 at 4:00 pm

and THAT is the reason why I love Disney! Kudos as I know that bear was such a cherished memory and member of the family.

22

Keri from TX on February 21st, 2014 at 8:24 pm

What a beautiful story! Just another example of how Cast Members take spreading magic to heart. Thanks for sharing!!

23

Ann on February 21st, 2014 at 8:26 pm

What a beautiful heartfelt story about the bear Toby!! Loved the idea of the photo album — fantastic!!

24

Sharon from NH on February 21st, 2014 at 10:59 pm

This is why I love disney. They could have just sent back the bear but they went above and beyond and that is what makes me always want to go to disney

25

sue from ON on February 22nd, 2014 at 7:42 am

Thank you for this wonderful tale of a little bear’s adventure home. With tears in my eyes and glow in my heart, I loved this story of how wonderful these cast members were reuniting Toby and his buddy Brooklyn. The album idea was a generous thought showing Toby on his own trip to Disney. This is why I love going there. The cast members make it so special for everyone.

26

William on February 22nd, 2014 at 8:50 pm

This is a wonderful story ! a little girl loses her father way too early, but she had a precious gift from her father that will forever house his voice, it was tragic for her to think that Toby might be gone forever, but because of Disney Magic not only did she get Toby back, but in a way she got her father back as well. We all commend Disney Cast members for the Magic they spread everyday ! but we all have to remember we have the power to create Magic for others too. Imagine our world with people spreading magic to each other too !

27

Dinah on February 24th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

What a great story! I’m so glad the teddy bear was found. I can’t imagine how distressing it was for Brooklyn. And for the CMs to take these pictures with the bear I think just shows how much Disney will go above and beyond to make a guest’s experience a happy one (or, in this case, an eventual happy one).

28

Brian on February 24th, 2014 at 3:24 pm

That story is not only fantastic, but it is the perfect example of the “Disney Difference.” Thanks for sharing, and making me get teary-eyed :)

29

ANGELA from TX on February 24th, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Another reason why I love Disney so much and why this is our family vacation spot. There is nothing like the magic of Disney.

30

Beth from NC on February 25th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I was so excited to hear that Toby had been found and was blown over when he showed up at home with his own photo record of his “solo” time…what was left out of this story is that Tony suffered his heart attack while in the line of duty as a police officer. Many other survivor families held their breaths as the Disney staff looked diligently for Toby, we know how very precious and irreplaceable special things are after a death. Thank you to all who had a part in making this Disney magic happen!

31

Tiffani on February 25th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Tony was an amazing guy! Police Officer, National Guardsman, Father, Husband, Brother and Friend. I am so glad that Brooklyn was reunited with her bear. There is not a day that goes by that Tony is not missed. Thank you Disney for everything you did to get this bear back to Brooklyn.

32

Jennifer on February 27th, 2014 at 9:21 am

Disney, it’s not nice to make me cry first thing in the morning. ;-) So happy this story had such a magical ending!!!

33

Geri on March 1st, 2014 at 9:48 pm

This is an awesome story!!! Another reason Disney CM are fantastic and WDW is soo magical!!!

34

jolene on March 3rd, 2014 at 11:16 am

My daughter also lost her blankie and doggie when she was little, we were devastated as she took them everywhere. While on the trip we visited lost and found daily with no luck. once we were back home we stilled called weekly and she asked us daily if it was found. We thought all was lost. Disney sent a baby pluto to comfort her while they continued searching. Then 6 months later it showed up in the mail with a new collar that had pins of all his new friends and a story about how her doggie could not bear to leave disney yet so he stayed and played with all of his new friends. Disney really does go out of their way to make things magical!

35

Andrea from FL on March 5th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Anything is possible with a little Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust!! Way to go Disney!!!

36

Carla on April 5th, 2014 at 10:50 pm

Awesome story. Thanks for going the extra mile to make things right and sharing it w/ us. No wonder we’re all such devoted fans ;)

37

Ashley on June 20th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

Thank you for sharing this story with us at the #DisneySMMoms event. I wanted to cry! So special and heartwarming and seriously a perfect example of why I love Disney so much!

37 Comments