There are a lot of stories out there about stars behaving badly. Pretty much anytime you turn on your computer or walk through the checkout line at the grocery store, you can read about someone cheating on their husband/ wife, getting arrested on a DUI, having sex with underage girls.
But our experience this summer with some TV stars was completely different. It was all positive and the young stars we met and got autographs from were absolutely wonderful and great examples to kids about how to live your life.
On the Disney cruise we were lucky enough to go on this summer there were several Disney TV stars on the boat with us. They came out at different organized activities and were the epitome of well behaved. The highlight was a concert given by Corbin Bleu, of High School Musical fame and the next day a meet and greet with the stars that included a Q & A session and a chance to get autographs and pictures with the stars.
Corbin Bleu came onstage on a very hot afternoon and was super cool. He talked about his family and how much fun he was having on the cruise. Then he sang several songs that everyone rocked out to. But the best part, THE BEST PART - my niece (my goddaughter, to be exact) and one of the biggest Corbin Bleu fans in Ohio, got pulled onto stage where Corbin sang her a song!!! It was truly a magical moment. I don't think her feet ever came back down onto the deck after that!
This is the video of Corbin pulling my 13 year old niece up on stage. Really cool and sweet! (He brings her onstage at about the 2:21 mark)
At the meet and greet session the staffers on the cruise passed out numbers for your order for autographs. We got there a little late and got in the second set of 250. (I think they had 500 numbers to pass out). My nieces were in the first set of 250.
The stars on our cruise were of course Corbin Bleu, Tiffany Thornton, Doug Brochu, and Brandon Mychal Smith, all from "Sonny With Chance", and Roshon Fegan from "Camp Rock". They were all really kind and engaging, talking to the kids as they came through. I encouraged my kids to say something to each of the stars, but I think Zoe might have been the only one to go through with it.
The Disney Cruise "handlers" were basically trying to run everyone through, barking out at the parents to take the picture "while they are signing the autograph!". The Disney stars figured this out and started encouraging the kids to step back by them while they signed the books and simultaneously looking up and smiling for the camera toting moms and dads. Corbin Bleu recognized my niece and talked to her for a few minutes. He asked her name and thanked her for coming on stage. She in turn thanked him for taking her on stage. And no matter how much barking the handlers did, my sister got a picture of her daughter with Corbin Bleu!
By the time my kids got up on stage for autographs, the handlers had settled down a bit and I had an easier time of getting pictures of my kids with the stars. Brandon Mychal Smith (Nico on SWAC) noticed that all my kids were related and pulled them all in for a single photo with him. Tiffany Thornton even got Ian to paste a big smile on his face when she told him, "Get over here, cutie!"
My kids were definitely thrilled with the experience. But the thing that capped it all off was on the last night of the cruise. Most of my family was in Studio Sea on Deck 4 singing or listening to others singing karaoke. Ian wanted a drink so I told him to go up to Deck 9 where the drinks are complimentary. When he came back several minutes later his face was filled with a smile and his body was jumping up and down. He made a beeline for me and said, "I was just in the elevator with Tiffany Thornton and Brandon Smith! And Tiffany is nothing like her character!" Brandon told Ian he liked his shirt and Tiffany asked him what he was drinking. Ian couldn't believe they talked to him! It made him feel pretty special. And the more I think about it the more I am impressed with these young people. They did not have to talk to him. But they did. With a few simple words they made my son's cruise experience extra special. And in turn, mine too.