Disney World is called “the most magical place on Earth” and a North Stonington dad is calling what happened on his vacation to Disney magical.
“It’s because of Lyla. Lyla made this happen. It was all her,” said Justin Gigliello about his young daughter.
Gigliello wrapped up lunch at the Grand Floridian with his family when 6-year-old Lyla passed a pianist and started dancing with her dad.
“He finished his song and she said, ‘My daddy plays piano.’ I said, ‘I sing more,’” Gigliello explained.
At the request of Lyla, and the accompaniment of the Grand Floridian pianist, Gigliello started singing Ave Maria. His voice resonated throughout the lobby.
“I really like him singing that song,” Lyla smiled.
It was an out-of-body experience for Gigliello who grew up going to Disney.
“We used to stay at the Polynesian right next door and we used to go over for the music,” Gigliello said. “Now I’m here with my daughter and I’m singing.”
“He sang it out loud and almost everyone took a video of him,” Lyla said proudly.
“People started stopping and at the end just hearing the applause and I just couldn’t believe it,” Gigliello added.
Next to him was his biggest fan. Wife Lauren was behind the camera phone.
She said the singing duo is often inseparable.
“As soon as I wake up, if I don’t hear him, I’ll hear her,” Lauren Gigliello said, adding Lyla requests her dad sing her a song before she goes to sleep every night.
Gigliello and his Lauren run an underwriting business, he’s a volunteer firefighter for North Stonington, and he also teaches voice and piano lessons locally.
So what happened after his impromptu performance at the Grand Floridian, Gigliello never expected, either.
The video he posted on his Facebook page for some of his former Boston Conservatory professors and friends to see has hundreds of thousands of views. That doesn’t count the thousands of shares onto other pages and groups, and more than 40 thousand views on Twitter.
“It’s beyond what I ever could have dreamed,” Gigliello said.
Now Lyla is dreaming of following his footsteps.
“It was just so cool,” she exclaimed.