Employees at a Disney park–who are known as "cast members" in Disney parlance–go out of their way to ensure all the guests at the park have a magical day.
Even though the role is not without its challenges, one cast member successfully turned an intense situation into a positive one–proving the Disney experience can still be as magical for every guest as the Mouse House strives.
The cast member who was berated during his shift at Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, was Ryan Kelly, a stand-up comedian from St. Loui, Missouri.
The jokester who–keeps it clean due to his self-described looks as a youth pastor–recounted his interaction with the irate mother that unexpectedly led to a heartfelt moment for her 4-year-old son.
In the touching TikTok video, Kelly said he was on a shift as a host at a Princess Storybook Dining experience, in which characters interact with the guests, and was confronted by a mother who admonished him for not speaking the same language.
"She starts speaking a language that I don’t understand — which, spoiler alert, is all but one language — and then she starts yelling at me for not speaking Spanish."
"That’s the only thing that I can make out about this language.”
He joked that because his nametag indicated he was from the state of Missouri the woman should be thankful he can speak English.
Kelly then enlisted the help of a coworker from El Salvador to help translate but could tell he was pretty confused right out the gate. When he asked his friend what the woman said, he told Kelly she was "mad at you for not speaking Spanish."
When Kelly said, "yeah I got that, but what language was she speaking," his friend replied:
"Don’t worry. Not your fault. It was Portuguese."
The comedian clarified for emphasis he was yelled at in Portuguese for not being able to speak Spanish.
Later, his shift supervisor–or "lead"–asked Kelly if he would be interested in playing Spider-Man for a meet and greet, to which he enthusiastically said, "heck yeah, I wanna get outta here."
As he was donning his Spidey suit, Kelly said "Portuguese" was still on his mind after being berated by the mother. He began Googling Portuguese phrases because "I never want that to happen again."
When he went out on his set as Spider-Man, lo-and-behold, the woman who chewed him out earlier was first in line, eager to have her son meet the Marvel character.
“The woman who just yelled at me in Portuguese is [in] front of my line, and I'm like, 'whoa-ho-ho, how the turn, tables have!'" he remarked.
"And then she goes and gets her 4-year-old son, who’s just so excited to meet Spider-Man."
However, Kelly could tell the boy was nervous. The woman who was completely unaware they met earlier, told Kelly in Spanish that her son didn't speak English.
“I realized in that moment why he’s nervous is because he doesn’t speak English, and he doesn’t know how to talk to Spider-Man,” said Kelly.
“And I know exactly what that just felt like."
"So I go, ‘no problem.’ And I drop down to one knee, and I go, ‘boa tarde, tudo bem,’ and he lights up because Spider-Man speaks what he speaks.”
What Kelly told the boy in his native language was “good afternoon,” and “it’s all right.”
He may be in the funny business outside the park gates, but Kelly mananaged to make hearts melt online with his "wholesome" anecdote.
"Now I'd love to tell you what he told me in Portuguese, but I have no idea," he said humbly, adding, "all I know is we got a picture and he left thinking that Spider-Man cared enough to learn what he learned."
Kelly concluded the video with gratitude, saying:
"So, in the end, I was really glad that I got yelled at in Portuguese."
People continued praising the unassuming hero in the superhero costume.
Thanks to Kelly, that little boy will always remember the time when the iconic web slinger greeted him in Portuguese.