Oregon couple Larry and Kelcie Ragsdale had the wedding of their dreams at the Disneyland Resort last week. The young couple’s lives changed in an instant when Larry’s car was hit by a drunk driver the night he was going to propose to Kelcie. He survived the crash but was left with severe head trauma that requires him to use a wheelchair. Thanks to their generous community, the couple was wed in a beautiful Disney Fairytale Wedding. The bride- and groom-to-be were transported like royalty to the ceremony in Cinderella’s crystal coach, thanks in part to the cast members who make up the CastABLE diversity resource group (DRG).
As you may have read in a recent Disney Parks Blog post about our military DRG, SALUTE, these groups serve as resources to the company and our cast by sharing the unique perspectives and contributions that diverse communities can offer. Cast members in CastABLE often work with Disney designers and technicians to ensure accessibility for guests with mobility disabilities. These cast members also worked with the Disneyland Resort Entertainment, Safety and Disney Fairytale Weddings teams to customize Cinderella’s crystal coach to allow for a portable lift system to transfer a person with mobility disabilities into the coach.
The team not only looked at safety requirements with the design of the ramp, transference and familiarization with the horses drawing the carriage, but also focused on staging the coach and beautifying the railings to ensure that the experience adds to each couple’s special day.
“They had already done a really good job of modifying the coach,” said CastABLE’s Michelle Beausoliel-Smith, part of the testing team. “We helped them better understand how a person with mobility issues would use the system. It is truly gratifying as a cast member and to be able to participate in those feedback sessions, and know that in a small way I’ve helped someone’s wedding dream come true.”