Tag Archive: Walt Disney World

Sep 05 2008

Making Things Me

So it is finally September and fall appears to be here as I was so reminded at my morning Starbucks run when they changed their menu to add the “fall” drinks on the menu like the Pumpkin Spice and Carmel Apple Spice.  September is also my one year mark with Walt Disney World® Ticketing. Work has been busy for me as I have been working with several projects that involve not just Walt Disney World® Resort but also Disneyland® Resort. This has been a nice change for me and gives me a chance to expand my network to another state and business unit in the company.

Today is finally a day off with no real plans. The last two weeks I had several meet and greets set-up with various leaders in the Transportation Line of Business about possible leadership opportunities there for the future. I guess one can say I am keeping my options open. As for the day off, with Hanna around off the coast, it is a nice rainy, windy and cloudy day. Only thing really on the docket is going to Epcot® to pick up my music for Candlelight which starts rehearsal next week. Yes, Christmas in September.

Home is going well too. I have finally gotten to the point where I am officially making my condo mine. After a year here, I am finally getting pictures hung on the wall and personalizing things more and making the place mine. I even had my first dinner party with friends the other night with Luke and Casey coming over. Though, getting settled in aside, this is the first year that I have been here with several major storms coming our way. Fay and Hanna seem to be non-issues here but, Ike is still coming this way. I guess there is a good reason to be living inland instead of on the coast.

Looking forward to October as well. Dad will be coming down in the first week and I am also looking at a long weekend to Naples and a weekend at Eckerd again. Till then though, I’m heading back to the morning coffee and The West Wing on Bravo.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2008/09/making-things-me/

Oct 01 2007

Happy Birthday EPCOT Center


Today officially marks not only the 36th Birthday of the Walt Disney World Resort but also the 25th Birthday of something unique that is truely one of a kind, EPCOT Center. Walt Disney described EPCOT as:

But the most exciting and by far the most important part of our Florida Project…in fact, the heart of everything we’ll be doing in Disney World…will be our Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow! We call it EPCOT.

It’s like the city of tomorrow ought to be. A city that caters to the people as a service function. It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities.

EPCOT will be an experimental prototype community of tomorrow that will take its cue from the new ideas and new technologies that are now emerging from the creative centers of American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that will never be completed, but will always be introducing and testing and demonstrating new materials and systems. And EPCOT will always be a showcase to the world for the ingenuity and imagination of American free enterprise.

While the Epcot that is today may not be exactly what Walt had envisioned, it is still very much an international community with a focus on new discoverys and technology and a World’s Fair with International Showcase. Here’s to another 25 years!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2007/10/happy-birthday-epcot-center/

Aug 28 2007

Goodbye Magic Kingdom Update

Ok, I finally have a free moment that I can update everyone on what has been going on since I got back from France. First off, I have been working non-stop since I got back. Due to me moving a few days off for the trip, I ended up having to work almost two full weeks before my day off. It was ok though. I got some great shifts and even had the opportunity to award a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite.

This past Saturday though marked the end though to my time at the Magic Kingdom. As some of you know, I had interviewed for a position with Walt Disney World Ticketing earlier this summer. I had taken the amazing role with the Dream Squad for a hold over but still was looking forward at My Disney Career. After three years, I will no longer be working in a theme park. This week, I officially moved over to Walt Disney World Ticketing as the Ticket Fulfillment Coordinator and will be based out of an office in Celebration, FL.

After the first two days, I am really excited about the direction my career is going. I am moving to an area that seems very good on cast retention and one that will offer me lots of ways to grow and develop myself more with the company. My exact role is pretty flexible but the basics are that I will be the coordinator for all the production of tickets from physically producing them to designing them at the Walt Disney World Resort and will also help support some of the production for Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland. Like I said, I am really excited.

That’s the update in a nutshell folks. Hope to see updates more often.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2007/08/goodbye-magic-kingdom-update/

Jun 05 2007

We Keep Moving Forward…

Since I have been getting a lot of questions lately about the rumors of me leaving Main Street Operations, Here is the e-mail that I sent out to the Main Street Operations Team:

When asked about WED Enterprises, Walt Disney said, “Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” There are times in our lives that we need to make a move in order to keep ourselves motivated to keep moving on our careers.

I wanted to send out an e-mail to inform everyone that my last day with Main Street Ops will be Thursday, June 21. I have accepted an assignment with the Dream Squad here at the Magic Kingdom and will begin there on Sunday, June 24. I am still in the process of interviewing for a coordinator position with Walt Disney World Ticketing and have not given up my passion towards that side of our business.

My time on Main Street has been a great learning experience and one that is filled with lots of great memories and friends. It has been an honor to be a part of this team and I look forward to working with everyone again in the future. Thank you again.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2007/06/we-keep-moving-forward/

Dec 31 2006

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!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/12/auld-lang-syne/

Oct 09 2006

Heading Back Home

it is with a mixture of emotions that I announce my return to Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom. Effective this coming Sunday, I will be leaving my TA in Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and returning back to my home on Main Street, USA at the Magic Kingdom. Why am I giving up the job I have tried so hard to get for the last two years? As hard as it is to give it up, I have to move back to Magic Kingdom for financial reasons.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park hours a far shorter than Magic Kingdom and the average hours per week I was scheduled was about 32. Now, back at Magic Kingdom, I was on average getting 45-50 per week. Even with the pay raise that I received when I went over to Guest Relations, I was ending up making less money than I was before. I could not survive the remaining 4 months of my TA on 32 hours a week.

Aside from financial reasons, my long-term goal with the company is to move in to leadership as an Attractions Guest Service Manager. Moving back to Main Street, I will be a coordinator which I feel gives me more leverage for the Leadership Casting Call coming up in the next few weeks and in the spring. I will be going to the information sessions coming up and deciding if now is the time for me to post or if I should wait.

So that is what has been going on in my little world the last few weeks. Some tough decisions that I had to make. What may look like a step back, seems like it will in reality take me two or three steps forward in the long run. I will miss the Guest Relations role a lot but, Disney’s Animal Kingdom was just not the right park for me. Feel free to shoot me a message or a comment if you have any advice or feedback you wish to leave for me.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/10/heading-back-home/

Sep 30 2006

Long Time Coming

I know that I have not been as diligent on my updates as I once was. I wish there was more time for me to just sit down and write again. Since I have moved from attractions to Guest Relations, I am still in the process of learning a whole new role and a new park at the same time. I have left my comfort zone of the Magic Kingdom and entered in to the entirely new world of Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK).

DAK is a completely new experience. The attitude is so different than MK that I don’t know where to start. Things are so much more laid back in a sense but so much more strict in another. Where the Magic Kingdom is all about the world of Fantasy, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is much more about the real world with the animals taking the leading role in our park. This is evident in several policies in place. We do not allow balloons or stickers in the park and no where can you get a drink with a lid or a straw. It’s just strange to me to not see all those lovely Mickey stickers being given out.

My training though is finally complete. Aside from the training I will be getting just by doing my new role more, I just completed my global property tour. 21 people, 1 fun bus, 3 days and 49 square miles of property to travel and see. Yes folks, we went to every hotel, every park, every restaurant, and more in three days. A lot of review for a Disney Veteran like myself but I will be the first to admit that I did learn a thing or two. Plus, I had never been to Horticulture of Holiday Services before.

Speaking of Holiday Services, this place is crazy. In this hidden warehouse, is all the Christmas decorations for the entire property include Disney Cruise Line. They spend all year just maintaining all the decorations that will begin to show up on November 1. If you ever have a chance to go on Backstage Magic or see this operation, I recommend it.

Aside from tour and work, not much else going on. Candlelight Rehearsals have started again and I am diligently going to get my 10 in before the cut off. The nice part about working DAK is that I can get out of work by 6:30pm at the latest. Nice to reconnect with that social group after almost a year with out seeing some of them. I am also in the process of finalizing my plans to head to Disneyland in a few weeks. I’ll be out there with Joe, Jeff, and Brian October 24-30. I can’t wait to go back out and am looking forward to a much needed vacation considering my last REAL vacation was the same time last year.

Well, that is the last month in a nutshell. Look for more regular updates to return soon.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/09/long-time-coming/

Aug 21 2006

Re-Post: Greetings and Updates from Florida

For those that haven’t checked your e-mail or did not recieve my update, here is my latest quarterly update:

I want to first off apologize for my lack of e-mail messages and updates over the past several of months. I have been working very hard here at the Magic Kingdom and Main Street Operations. Since I last wrote, I became a relief or substitute coordinator (lead staff) for the area. What does this mean? Some days I am up front at turnstiles where I am responsible for not only our Cast but ensuring that all 50 turnstiles at the Magic Kingdom are up and running and that our Guests have a seamless experience while entering the Magic Kingdom. I also do coordinating on Main Street, USA. While on Main Street, USA, I am again responsible for our Cast but also ensuring the safe operation and efficiency for our Steam Trains and the safety of our Guests at parade time.

Along with coordinating, I am also an area trainer for Be Our Guest (new hire Guest Service training, Turnstiles and Steam Trains. As some of you know, I was a lifeguard training instructor for several years and it is nice to get back to training. Main Street Operations has been the most rewarding area I have worked here at the Walt Disney World Resort and has a great team of Cast Members. It is on that note that I move to my next bit of news.

After almost two and a half years, I will be leaving the Magic Kingdom. No, I am not leaving the Walt Disney World Resort. After over a year of hard work, and six-months of waiting, I have accepted a role in Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. My last official day at the Magic Kingdom will be on Saturday, August 26 and moving to Animal Kingdom on Sunday, August 27. This is an exciting time for me and I am looking forward to the change in pace and the role that I have been working so hard to get in to since I started. It will be hard to let go of a great area like Main Street Operations but, I know that I am finally moving on path upwards in the company, no part of which would not of been possible with out the great support my leaders on Main Street have provided.

Aside from the change in location, I am signed up to participate in the Candlelight Processional Cast Choir again at Epcot for the Holidays Around The World, which will begin in late November. This will be my third year in the choir and it will be great to be a part of the exprience again. For those that are coming to visit, try and come for a show that is narrated by Marlee Matlin. She is by-far one of the best speakers I have met and seen. I am also in the process of planning my trip back to Disneyland in October with several of my friends from Epcot.

That’s all the update I have for now. Look for more updates by visiting http://www.webbyaquatics.com . From there, you can access my blog and current photo collections. Please feel free to come down and visit anytime or drop me a line.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/08/re-post-greetings-and-updates-from-florida/

Aug 08 2006

Goodbye Magic Kingdom

Effective Saturday, August 26, I will no longer be with Main Street Operations at the Magic Kingdom Park. I have been at Magic Kingdom Park since May 2004 in both merchandise and operations. After nearly two and a half years, I will be leaving the Magic Kingdom to accept a new role in Guest Relations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye to my home away from home at Magic Kingdom but for those that know me, this is something I have been waiting for for over a year. Starting Sunday, August 27, I will be at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Stop on in and say hi.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/08/goodbye-magic-kingdom/

Jun 18 2006

A Year of a Million Dreams – Coming Soon

From an overnight stay inside Cinderella Castle to a Golden FASTPASS, dreams big and small will come true at Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts during Disney’s “Year of a Million Dreams,” a first-of-its-kind celebration of the individual dreams of Disney Parks Guests.

The year-long celebration, beginning Oct. 1, 2006, at Disneyland Resort in California and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, will feature the debut of an incredible lineup of new attractions and entertainment at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World resorts, plus new technologies that allow Guests to customize their Disney park experience.

For more information about the “Year of a Million Dreams” celebration and the “Disney Dreams Giveaway” promotion, visit www.mydisneyparks.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.webbyaquatics.com/archives/2006/06/a-year-of-a-million-dreams-coming-soon/