Friday, February 11, 2011

life in orlando lately

So, as much as I wish I could blog every single day, and about every single detail, I guess I’m aiming for a blog a week. This past week, like every other week has been a whirlwind, full of blessings, fun surprises, and lots of fun times with my furry character friends.

There is a whole lot going on here at the Magic Kingdom where I am stationed. For instance, the MVP of the Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers was just here in the traditional day-after-super-bowl-parade! (by the way, anyone else see the half time show with the black eyed peas? WOOF! My ears are still bleeding. And don’t even get me started on Christina Agiuellera) Anyways, I got filmed by ESPN that day along with my Wonderland friends, so I’m famous now! Yay! Watching the parade was awfully exciting. After all, my favorite part of the Super Bowl is when they say “I’m going to Disney World!!” ah! Goose bumps!!

Along with the Super Bowl, the Chilean Miners were here with their families, and I got to meet a few of them as well. Allowing the Miners’ children to meet some of their favorite characters was such a thrill and treat! Everyone was so kind and so sweet… After such a rough year, a trip to Disney was just what they needed!

In other news…Toon Town has officially closed its doors today on February 11, 2011. This, to me, is bittersweet. I kind of grew up in Toon Town and my first day ever working at Walt Disney World took place there in the Hall of Fame, but Disney is always looking to progress and move on to bigger and better things. Being a part of the biggest expansion in Magic Kingdom history has been such a fun time! I am so excited to see what the imagineers have thought up actually come to life each and every day!!

Besides working all week, I (along with 600 other girls) attended the Disney Face Auditions. This audition is to see if any of use college program chickadees resemble any of the princesses or fairies. Just a quick look into a face audition: You get measured and receive a number, and the judges (who, coincidentally enough, were the exact same judges I performed for in Austin) take you into a room to observe you. If you can, imagine it like being a piece of produce at the grocery store: They look you up and down, check out every single detail, study you, check to see if your eyes are too narrow, too wide, check your body type, check your height and in the end, turn all but 2 away. That is a Disney face audition. Needless to say, I was not one of the lucky two this past Wednesday morning, but my life as a character attendant is far to fun to pass up anyway!! So in the end, all is well!

So with a day to kill after the morning audition, I ventured by myself to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Most people might find that depressing, but I really see it as a way to clear my mind and spend some time with me. Privacy is a bit hard to come by these days. Walking through the park, doing every single thing on my time, people watching, and riding in the single rider line on rock’n roller coaster over and over again (yay, no lines!) are just some of the perks to roaming alone here at the parks. I did, however, make a pit stop to enjoy some fresh fruit and came across a couple from the U.K. The man began to ask me about my college program, so I answered the routine questions. And he repeatedly told me how fortunate I was to live here, but then we got into deeper conversation about how he and his wife were married here and how he even splurged to have his wife arrive in a pumpkin carriage. He told me that it was the happiest day of his life. They come back to the states each and every year just to visit WDW and are obviously head over heels ga-ga for each other. They have been married for over 20 years. The next day, I assisted a Make-A-Wish family with meeting Princess Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella. The young girl, dressed in a beautiful Belle gown, and hair just sprinkled with pixie dust, was lying down in her wheelchair. Although she couldn’t move, I could just feel her excitement when she came into the room. I asked her family if they enjoyed their visit and they couldn’t even speak. All the little girl said was “They made ME feel like a princess”. I could have melted right then and there. I think the biggest blessing for me as a character attendant is the ability to witness these moments, talk with the guests and see how much these interactions and experiences truly mean to them. It’s these moments that give me one more reason to wake up and get on the hour long, bumpy, hot, stuffy bus ride to work.

People really love this place. They call it magical. But in reality, this place is just a place. A very expensive place. Just a location with fun rides, and cool stuff to look at. What really makes the difference is the people. From custodial, to quick food and beverage, to the ticket sellers, to the hotel staff, to Cinderella, to the President of the corporation itself, we are all such a vital role here at the Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, I have to use a Walt Disney quote here because he said it best: "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality." And the longer I am here, the more often I witness that this is the truth. Going above and beyond is definitely something we as cast members strive for. However, I believe my role here, and everywhere, goes farther than just that. The most important impact I hope to make with my time at Walt Disney World is not just to serve others, but to serve my Lord by serving others! I was reading Matthew 5:16 earlier which says "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” I have officially been here a month and I don’t want to waste another minute without

living out this verse fully and completely. My goal as a cast member is to make their experience

truly unforgettable by each and every action I make. What better way to make an impact in the

Magic Kingdom than to spread the love of God’s kingdom? That, my friend, is far more powerful

than pixie dust.

Until next time!

1 comment:

  1. Love your blogs Stephani, I look forward to reading them! Mimi