Not all the great personalities of Walt Disney World are "characters" in the animated sense. If you were lucky when you visited the Beach Club (or passed through the lobby often enough) you could meet Art. I met him several times - either when we were staying at DVC at Beach Club Villas or "just passing through". This picture was taken in December last year. Art was great fun and really nice to me - but I think he was really nice to everybody. I know lots of our friends have also told us how much they enjoyed meeting him.
Now the Disney Parks Blog reports that Art is to retire. Mickey Mouse never looks any older but even in Walt Disney World humans (apart from Peter Pan) have to grow up.
Disney likes to think of its jobs as acting roles and they call their staff "cast members". However, the best are often those who depart a little from the script and allow their own individuality to make things extra special for the people they meet. I suspect this can take more courage than Disney like to admit (that's just how it is in large corporations). Over the years, we've met a few of these special people. They are definitely in our list of top memorable experiences and I think I should mention more in future posts on my Blog (Neil - first met at Mama Melrose and most recently seen at Tusker House is probably top of the list). Today, however, is Art's day. My humans and I wish him all the joy he brought us and others.