Dec 31 2006

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Auld Lang Syne

As 2006 comes to an end, I thought I would shar year end update that went out in an e-mail to friends and family:

This year started off with me completing engineer training for the Walt Disney World Railroad. That’s right, for those that remember little Tommy Webster being in the trains as a child, well guess what, he now drives a real turn of the century steam powered locomotive on a “Grand Circle Tour” of the Magic Kingdom. Like people, each of our four trains on the WDW RR have their own personality and I have learned a lot about adjusting my skills to fit the train. Continuing on with work, I became an area trainer on Main Street, USA where I trained Park Greeters, Conductors and also facilitated Guest Service Training for new hires.

It was in August that I left my home for two years at the Magic Kingdom to move to a role that I had been trying so hard for over a year to get, Guest Relations. I moved to Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park where I got the chance to work with an amazing group of people and learned a lot about carrying on the traditions and quality standards set forth by our company’s namesake, Walt Disney. Guest Relations was a great opportunity for me and really gave me the tools I needed to make sure that each and every one of our guests had the most wonderful time of their lives.

Fast forward to November, I have returned back to my home on Main Street, USA now though as an Area Coordinator where I oversee the operation and cast for Turnstiles, Steam Trains, Vehicles, and Parade. On any given day, I am responsible for not only 250 Cast Members but, our many thousand guests who visit our park every day and ensuring that they have a smooth and care-free transition to our world of fantasy. This is my next big step on my path to a full-time leadership role with the Walt Disney Company.

Leaving work aside for now (I know it’s hard considering I work a lot), I did have some great travel experiences this year ranging from quick visits to Naples, FL to see family and even the surprise visit home from Grandpa Don’s Birthday. October also brought along what is beginning to look like an annual trip out the the original theme park, Disneyland and Southern California. There is something about the original that draws me back.

This holiday season will also mark my third year with the Candlelight Processional Cast Choir at Epcot. Candlelight is a tradition started at Disneyland in 1957 that tells the Christmas story with traditional scripture and song with a different celebrity narrator each night. It is truly a moving experience and if you get the chance, come and see the show.

So as we end 2006, Happy New Year and best wishes for 2007!

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