Saturday, May 28, 2011

Passing on a Disney tradition

I started working down at Disney when I was 22 years old. I worked as an intern in Magic Kingdom in Liberty Square. I used to do a lot of pin trading with guests. The pin trading was getting more popular at the time. It felt like every few minutes I was showing a guest my lanyard that was around my neck. On the lanyard there where pins that they could trade with one of theirs pins for. I asked the guests about their pins, why they collected them and which ones where more popular. After about three months working down tat Disney, I bought my first pin. It was Slinky the dog from Toy Story. I just loved the way it was made to bend like a slinky. Then my collection grew from there and by the time I had left Disney I had fifty or more pins. I started to read up on Disney pins, which ones where more popular, limited edition ones, mystery pins and so on. I now have way over 200 pins to my collection and each one is very unique. I have a special one from a friend who bought me an Ariel on that was from the Cruise Ship, Artist Choice, which when I looked it up was worth over $100.00 now. I get so excited about trading pins when going down to Disney that I wanted to pass my love of Disney pins on to my stepson.
We went down as a family a two years ago. He was almost eight. I bought him a lanyard with some starting pins. He then bought a few he liked when we would see a pin rack at the parks. I then told him that he could pin trade with cast members. First he was nervous. He didn't want to approach anyone at first. I went up to a cast member myself at Downtown Disney and asked if she would pin trade with my stepson. She talked with him for a few minutes as he looked at her pins. He landed up switching one of his starter pins with her. His eyes lit up and he got excited. He had a new pin!!! So then he went up to the next cast member he found and then the next and then the next...he was a pin trading machine! He loved it! We then got him a pin book to hold all his pins in to show them. He has already brought them to school twice f or show n' tell. He can't wait to go back down in a year or so to do some pin trading! And the new Disney tradition has begun....
 Here is the picture of my stepson trading a pin with the first cast member we meet. She had a green lanyard which was just for kids to trade pins from. He loved pin trading that this moment! The person in green on the other side...was a happy me while watching him trade!

Monday, May 23, 2011

sharing the magic

I work at a elementary school with many students of all ages. One day I had a little girl, about seven, who was having a tough day. She seemed to be getting into a lot of trouble with her teacher and any other adult she came in contact with. She ended up in my care after school while waiting for her mom. She was crying and complaining. I talked with her for a bit to calm her down. She then asked me about my lanyard I was wearing around my neck. the lanyard had Tinkerbell on it. I told her I had got it at Disney World. Her face lit up. She told me how she had always wanted to go but her mom could not afford it and she didn't see her dad so he couldn't take her. My heart felt for her. Sometimes I wish I could take all the children that I worked with to Disney. Every child should have their moment with their favorite character and see Mickey Mouse.
After we talked about Disney for awhile, her mom came to pick her up. The little girl left happy and talking about Disney with her mom, who seemed to busy on the phone to hear anything her daughter was saying. The next day I brought her in a little gift. She was excited to open it. I told her it was from Walt Disney World. She ripped opened the gift to find Tinkerbell items! She was thrilled! She loved Tinkerbell. She thanked me with a hug and told me that she hoped to someday meet Tinkerbell. I hope she gets to meet Tinkerbell someday too!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A magical moment outside of Disney...with a Disney touch!

This story is very special to me. It was a magical moment, not at Disney, but helped me create magical moments for Disney later on. The person I am going to write about passed away a few years ago but was very dear to my heart. His name was Stoney and he was the owner of Storyland in Glen NH. This park is a magical place all its own and I had worked there when I was younger for 13 years. He loved the way Disney ran their parks as well and he would run his park like Disney ran theirs. When I was 17 years old is when I had gain more respect for this man then ever before! Here is my story...
I was running Doctor Geyser Remarkable Raft Ride that day when this magical moment happened. We started the ride as we normally do, the water from the middle of the ride drains to fill the path with the tubes. This day some baby ducks got stuck in the middle. They were crying for their mom. Their mother was in the pond near by and she was crying to them. She would fly over and then fly back trying to get her babies to follower her. Sadly her babies couldn't fly. I really wanted to stop the ride and get them out, but we had people on it already. I saw a maintenance person and asked if we could shut the ride down but he said we couldn't. I then saw a coordinator and asked them if we could get the babies out but this person also let me down. I was heart broken for these little creatures. I couldn't see them get sucked up in the pumps that where near by. Every once in a while you would see one go in and come back out still o.k. Their mom just kept crying for them! I then started to shed some tears. I then hoped for a magical moment, that someone who would have the power to shut down the ride and get those babies out. Then a shadow came up from behind me. Stoney was standing by the gate and he asked, "Why are you crying?" I told him about the ducks and how no one would help them. He said, "Don't worry any longer." He left, he then talked to the front loader and stopped the people from getting on the ride. When no one was left on, he closed the ride and jumped down into the ride himself. He was knee high in water, and tried to gather the babies up. Then another person joined him and then another. The people who wouldn't stop the ride for me where now in the ride chasing these birds around. After about 20 minutes, these baby ducks were back with their mother and we started the ride back up. When Stoney came back over to me I said, "Thanks so much. I just couldn't watch them cry anymore. Their mother must be so happy." He then said something that I'll never forget, " All families no matter what they are should get to enjoy their day at the park together." It touched me! It was a magical moment. I brought that feeling and memory to Disney when I worked there. Every family no matter who they are should get to be able to enjoy all their moments together! I'll never forget you Stoney and all you taught me over the years! You are forever missed by many!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Goals to Disney!!!

 My wonderful step son loves Disney. I took him to Disney in 2009 when he was 7 years old. He loved everything about Disney and ever since we got back has been collecting change from everyone he knows to go back there. He wants to pay for his own tickets to get into the Parks. So the deal is...When he reaches $300.00 I will step up another Disney trip. It is now May 2011 and he just checked to see what he has $240.00 dollars. He is getting close, which means soon I'll be looking into setting up at trip which is very exciting!..Plus I have been helping him collect change for I can't wait to go back with him soon! Collecting change brings back memories of when I was little and my parents collected quarters to save for Disney. My sister and I both helped collect the quarters. We were excited when we had reached our goal and went to Disney back in 1992!
I am sure other people find ways to work toward trips like Disney. Getting the kids involved to make it more exciting when the goal is reached and its time to get on that plane! I can't wait to see my stepson's sparkle in his eyes when he knows his hard work has payed off and Disney is just around the corner! I can't wait too...there is already sparkles in my eyes and we haven't made the goal yet! LOL

Monday, May 16, 2011

My stepson's hair surprise!

When I took my stepson down to Disney, I wanted him to have an experience like no other! It was his first time and he was seven years old! He was excited, full of energy and ready for all the excitement and rides! There is a section on Main Street that hides a Barber Shop. I asked him if he would like to get his hair cut at Disney. He loved the idea! So, we went into the shop and after waiting about 30 minutes, it was his turn. The man asked him what color he would like to have in his stepson said he liked blue! After he hair was done...color in it and everything...the man through pixie dust in his hair! My stepson's eyes got so big! He was shocked...only girls get glitter in their hair according to him! He was nervous to leave the place because other people could see him with glitter in his hair....but after awhile, he got over it! I think it was all the compliments he got the rest of the day for everyone who saw his hair loved it!

This would be his cool aqua blue hair with glitter!:)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Guests make thier own Magical Moments

Disney World is own for their magical Moments. They happen everyday and all over the parks. My favorite magical moments are made my the guests. Working at Magic Kingdom I have met many guests and some shared stories of magical moments they made wile being done at Disney. Here are few wonderful stories of magical moments that I got to be apart of and shared with me.
One day while working in Liberty Square, a family came up to me and asked where they could get a drink. I noticed the wife was pregnant so I asked when she was due. She told me she was due in the next month...can't remember the date. I then asked if they knew what they were having and she said to me, "We just found out we are having a girl. Our daughter who is four got to open a box under that tree over there." She pointed a large tree by the bridge near the Liberty Square and the castle. Then she said, " We gave our doctor two bunnies. A pink one and a blue one. He put one in a box for our daughter to open down here to see what our family was going to have!" I loved the magical moment they had together as a family right at Magic Kingdom!
The second magical moment I got to help with. Two ladies came into the shop to order a beautiful ornament with words that read "Engaged". I also put the date and people's name. I looked at the ladies and said, "This date is today! so did this moment happen already?" And they said, "No, It's going to happen in a few moments at the castle but we know she is going to say yes." I smiled and made the ornament as beautiful as I could for the couple that was going to get engaged in a few moments. Happy I could make something beautiful for them to put on their tree very soon!
Magical moments happen as over...these two have always stayed with me through the years. I love how guests come down and made moments all over the parks which is why I enjoyed working so much down at WDW!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

...And it all Started with a Mouse! all started with a mouse? Yep..Mickey Mouse! the most famous mouse in the world. Everyone knows his name and everyone wants to meet him. It's like meeting the president! We respect him, we are proud to know him and we all love him! As someone special lives on through him...
I remember when I first went to Magic Kingdom. I am sure everyone feels the same, you get all joyful, excited, overwhelmed by all the action around you! You look up at the train station at the start of the day and Mickey greets you! You get jumpy, like you want to jump out of your skin and just race to him! Say HI and tell him how much he means to you! Thinking saying it to him will magical get to Walt himself. It's as Mickey and Walt are one, and Mickey still can go visit him and send him our messages.
Someone once asked me "How I loved working for the Mouse?" I said, "I love working for such a great boss!" But it was Walt that had popped in my mind. Sometimes i wish I could have thanked him myself for making Disney! But instead I thank Mickey when I see him hoping that Walt is listening somewhere or Mickey will relay the message. it all started with a mouse...and the mouse is still and always will be around. He will live on forever making people smile, being joy to all ages. Walt then has ever gone, for he is Mickey. Lives on through Mickey. Wonder what I'll say next time I meet Mickey...

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Race to the Start of the Line!

Being a cast member at Disney was very exciting and fun. You got to see a different side of how things went on at each park. But my favorite part of working at Disney was watching the START of the day! Now where I worked near haunted mansion, I couldn't see the castle but I could hear the morning music. This is when the action started and we would hold our breaths. It was like hearing a stampede of wild animals and we all knew where most of the guests were headed. But watching them race each other to splash mountain was fun! Some had their children up on two wheels as they raced around corners just to cut off another guest to get to Splash Mountain first. We would call out, "Come to Haunted Mansion for there is no line here and no one to push you out of the way!" I mean it looked like life or death and I kept thinking "Isn't this the place where fantasy lives and everyone enjoys themselves. Take a load off and relax!" NOPE! I guess not! After a few minutes things always got more settled and guests would start enjoy the sites. They would start walking and relaxing! But, WOW, that race to the start of the line at Splash Mountain at the beginning of the day was crazy! lol

Meeting that Special Character

It's Back!

My favorite Character is Ariel. I have loved her since I was ten and my mom bought me her movie! When I was twelve I got to go to Disney World and meet her, but landed up sick down there. I never got to see her:(

Forward eleven years later to when I got to work down there! This was my chance to see Ariel and tel her how much she meant to me. I wanted in 90 degrees weather for what felt like forever! But when you want to meet someone you loved bad enough you would be anything! I remember when it was my turn to see her! I was smiling from ear to ear. I was so excited! I wanted to finally tell her how I loved her movie and all but I couldn't find any words. It was like being in front of someone famous...but this is a character from a movie! I got to sit next to her. She said, "Hi! how are you?" I froze..."I, Mmm...I am good! You are my favorite," I told her before I left! WOW! I got to finally meet her! What a joy! I framed our pic together in a Ariel frame and I get all excited thinking of when I get to meet her again!
It's great meeting your favorite character and I am sure we are all the same. Nervous, excited, happy, tough-tied and all the other emotions running through us! But it's something we never forget and always can't wait to do again!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Great stop at Downtown Disney

I love to adventure around Downtown Disney. Every time I walk around, there is always so much to look at and I find that my wallet gets empty fast! When it comes to a meal, sometimes I don't like to spend as much., but I still want an amazing meal. This is when I head over to Earl of Sandwich! They have great sandwiches and they aren't that expensive! Plus they have terrific service. When I first stepped into the place, I was bummed out by the line that made an S. It looked long and I was hungry. At Earl of Sandwich they have a person who stands at the end and hands out menus and helps you find what you are looking for, so when you get to the cashier you know what you want. Then you can pick out other items along the way while they your sandwich. Salads, pasta, desserts, drinks of all types! I remember when I was waiting in line, I man came over to the counter and told the cashier that it was the best sandwich he ever had! So I couldn't wait to have mine!  I loved it! It was warm still, for they toasted it. The sauce they put in the sandwich is great! It was delicious! I love to go to Earl of Sandwich, great food and doesn't burn a hole in my pocket!:)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Moment in Time

Everyone has a moment in time where the world stands still, you know that this moment will probably happen once in a lifetime. I had my moment, a quiet, peaceful, beautiful moment where the my world stood still....
I was working late at Magic Kingdom one night, I was crossing over the by the castle. It was dark and all the guests had left the park. As I was walking by the castle, I stopped. I gazed up at the castle which was flashing in blues, pinks and whites. It was beautiful. I just stopped and sat. A few cast members walked by, but then I noticed that I was completely alone. Just me and the castle. No one in front of me. It felt as if I was in another world. I turned and looked down Main Street USA and noticed now beautiful it was. It was lit up in lights and so quiet. It was a moment in time that I knew I was probably never going to get again. Just me and my castle. Plus it was on the week that I knew I was leaving for home. I sat for awhile...not wanting to leave. Not even a picture could do the castle justice that night. It was amazingly beautiful!  And for a moment in time..I didn't have to share it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Getting into a Disney Parade!

I never knew you could get into a Disney Parade. I know sometimes I saw normal people waving to the crowds onto of a float but never knew how they got into the parade. I just assumed they were specially picked or won it somehow. Then one trip down to Disney I found out how easy it was to get into a Parade at Disney.
My friends and I were walking into Animal Kingdom, taking pictures of the animals, and seeing the sites when we were approached in the bridge by a cast member. She asked "How would you three girls like to be in the Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade?" I was excited and before anyone could say anything I shouted out, "YES! YES! I want to be in it!" I was not sure how my friends were taking the excitement but I was ready for some parade action! "Good," the cast member stated, "Be at the back of the park by the Safari ride at one o'clock!"
I was so excited and when one o'clock came around, we ran over to Safari ride. We were put on a float with Mickey ears safari hat and a colorful Disney vest. One of the cast member took your picture with a disposable camera and then gave it to us. In about few minutes the parade was going to start and  we were ready! the music started, the doors opened and our smiles were bigger then ever!
I started waving to the crowds, singing a long to the song that was playing throughout the parade! I loved every minute! All three of us felt like stars! Time just flew...never noticed that it was about a 45 minute parade! When it was over, I didn't want to get off...I wanted to do it all over again!! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Magical Moment

At Disney there are many Magical Moments that happen throughout the day. Guests enjoy the parks all day and leave with smiles on their faces. Being at Magic Kingdom I got to help spread the MAGIC all over. I loved it. One day when I was working a small girl gave me a Magical Moment. I left that day with a huge smile on my face and love in my heart.
An older lady asked me to help a small girl find her parents that she had lost. This young girl was around 7 or 8. She was smiling holding the lady's hand. I told her we should bring her back to where she became lost. Come to find out that was on the other side of the park. By the time we got over to where she became lost, her parents were long gone. So I took her back to the section I was working which was Liberty Square. The young girl was still holding my hand, smiling and loving life. She was scared at all. I was told that her parents were looking all over the park for her and that I needed to head to Main Street. Off we went, hand in hand...
The young girl started swinging her hand and looked at me with Big Wide Eyes saying "I am having the best day ever! This is a Magical Place!" I smiled and said "I am glad you are, I am sure your parents are worried!"
She just smiled back. Talked about her favorite rides, what she wanted to do next.
When I got her to Main Street, she was greeted with a smile. The girl had been lost from her parents for two hours. But with smiles on their faces, they all went on their way. Happy to have seen a Magical Moment and got to be a part of it! :)
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