So on Tuesday, I was scheduled to work at the teacups. This is where Alice and her friends hang out. So that means I got to attend FOUR characters at one time...this is quite a big feat for me, by the way...and I was petrified. So anywho, I got to work bright and early, but before I headed to the tea cups, my schedule told me to go to town square, which is where the train station is located right in front of the park. Funny, I thought, that I was being advised to go there, when my location was way far away from here. So anyways, I reach town square and they explain to me that before the characters reach their meet-and-greet locations that they all welcome the first visitors on the steam train in a big show before the park opens. Turns out, there’s a big ta-dah show welcoming all the guests to the park (who knew, right?). So anyways, they ask me, since I’ve never seen the show before, If I’d like to stand on the balcony of the train station with the characters since I’ve never seen this show to which I replied, “um, YES!” So the opening show starts, the dancers, who are dressed in early 20th century attire, come out and welcome the guests in dance and song, and here comes the train! Everyone from Mickey, to Aladdin, to Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum was on the train. It was the most fun and exciting thing getting to watch this from the train station balcony and getting to see the kids’ faces when their favorite characters arrived at the station! I had goosebumps the whole time, wanting to pinch myself because I still can’t believe that I am even a tiny part of this whole exciting place! Which kind of brings me to the topic of my blog and that is the true secret to creating magic for our guests.
So, when I started my job here a couple of weeks ago (yes, wow, its already been a couple of weeks!) I felt a little bit discouraged. I felt as if what I was doing meant absolutely NOTHING in the scheme of things that is Walt Disney World. I mean, really, all I do is walk around with a character, have him take pictures with guests and then crush peoples dreams when I have to say, “sorry, Alice will not be with us again today, she has gone to paint the roses red” or “Buzz Lightyear has a dinner date with Jessie this evening, we are no longer allowing guests in the line”. But I was reminded the other day just how influential my job is here. So this week, I was somewhat mistreated by a certain face character. She wasn’t very nice to me and didn’t even seem to be having fun with the children. But then I realized. When people leave the park, she was just that fictional character. She isn’t even real…all fantasy. But I am Stephani. They took more time in my line, listening to my instructions, they asking me for help and directions and having conversations with me about their lives, and their adventures in WDW than said character ever took with them to take a picture and sign an autograph. When those people leave the park, they know who I am. But these characteristics and this attitude are not my own. The Bible says in Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” My true job here, beyond being a character attendant is to glorify the Lord in my works and my actions. No matter what is going on around me, and no matter what attitudes I encounter, and no matter how anyone else treats a guest, I know that my job here is to be a light and to glorify God in all of my actions. And I know that this is more important than “Disney Magic”. In everything we do, whether in work or play, this is our commandment.
So anyways, to end this blog on a light note…
While keeping a line in order the other day, a foreign man came up to me. Here’s how our conversation went:
Foreign man: Yes, where is the Pink Panther?
Me: uh…I’m sorry, The Pink Panther is not a Disney Character, sir, but we have many other characters to meet!
Foreign man: I’m sorry, no English. I need the Pink Panther.
Me: No, no Pink Panther here.
Foreign Man: We need to see Pink Panther, we are leaving.
Me: Uh… (pull out map) Walk down this way, take left, Meet & Greet!
I really hope that he enjoyed meeting Winnie the Pooh.