Real Turtle Talk

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My wife and I recently visited Disneyland with our daughter, her husband, and her two children: son (age 8) and daughter (age 6). Our two grandchildren had not been to the Parks since they were respectively 4 and 2, and barely remembered anything of their first visit, so it was almost like them being there for the first time. While in the Animation Studio in Disney California Adventure we decided to do Turtle Talk. We all sat in the very back, but as the show started, we sent our granddaughter down front with the other little ones, and sure enough, she was the first one Crush chose to talk to. She had a delightful little conversation with him, he gave her a nickname, and then he spoke with our son-in-law. Crush asked him some questions and they “shared a moment.” Then Crush let others ask questions, and we noticed that our granddaughter kept raising her hand trying to ask a question, but time ran out and Crush said goodbye and swam away. As guests began to leave, our granddaughter came running up to the back, eyes streaming with tears, saying, “I didn’t get to ask him my question!”

A cast member standing by the exit overheard her distress, and stepped in almost immediately, saying that perhaps he could help. He had us stay behind as the other guests made their exit. He then told us that sometimes they could use the hydrophone to call Crush back, although he usually went out and surfed after each show. My granddaughter stopped crying and looked cautiously hopeful. The cast member then escorted us all down front, and explained the situation to the show’s cast member host. She made a call, but then turned to us and said it looked like Crush couldn’t be reached, but that because they spent so much time with Crush that perhaps they could answer the question.

My granddaughter had just opened her mouth to talk when Crush came swimming back into view! He greeted my granddaughter with her nickname, and she was able to ask Crush her question: “What do you eat?” He explained that he ate sea grass and kelp, and said that was why he was green. He then asked her what she liked to eat and she said, “Pizza and lasagna!” Crush asked her, “Then why aren’t you orange?” which got a good laugh out of all of us. Crush then said goodbye and swam away. To our little granddaughter, it was very special, but for the rest of us who witnessed the true caring of cast members and the extra effort of a big, green sea turtle it was truly Disney magic! We could never thank them enough for making our visit extraordinary and for making a little girl’s day!

- Mel Broberg, 60, Orem, UT

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