Friday, April 25, 2008

Examining the Magic

My first trip to the Magic Kingdom was in 1978. I'm sure that there was some magic (maybe my dad will leave a comment sharing some of his memories), and I do remember not being able to sleep the night before we left, just like the kids (and parents!) in the commercial, but other than that my thirty-seven-year-old brain hasn't retained anything else from that eight-year-old's experience.

Most people would not expect a Press/PR trip to be magical. We met with over twenty Disney employees, while experiencing little bites of what Disney has to offer throughout the weekend. The Disney employees (or cast members as they are called) embody the spirit of Disney. They are what makes Disney magical. Whether it was the director of food and beverages for the whole park, the affordability expert, or the Epcot employees who used their red flashy light sabers to escort us to our VIP deck to view the Epcot Illuminations Reflections of Earth fireworks show, they were all proud of the work they were doing and staunch supporters of the mission and purpose of Disney as a whole.

Here are a few examples:

  • One of the other blogging moms observed that even those who performed crowd control at the parade did so with a smile on their faces.
  • While in the park, I observed our hosts and other employees, regardless of job description, picking up any trash that they saw while they were in the park. Cleanliness makes for a magic vacation.
  • Two of our moms had a hard time finding their way back to the hotel when they were leaving Epcot (since we were escorted around, we never really gained our bearings). A cast member walked them out. As they walked, they found out they he was a Dream Maker. That's a coveted role, and especially now in the Year of a Million Dreams. It's his job to surprise random guests with dreams come true--little and big. Disney World has employees whose job it is to lavish special surprises on their paying guests--how amazing is that?

Joyce and Michelle did an awesome job of sharing the magic with us.

When you see a magician's show, the slight of hand keeps you guessing. It's a marvel that you don't really want to deconstruct, because when you understand what's behind it, the magic disappears and the fun is lost. I spent three days hearing the stories of those who are most passionate about Disney--the employees--and after doing so, I'm convinced that the magic isn't an illusion.

Disney World IS magic.

Click HERE to read about others' magical experiences with Disney World.


Lauren@Baseballs&Bows said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I think it is so neat that you got an inside look at the magic!

Katrina said...

I didn't know about Dream Makers -- that is totally cool.

Camden did a school report on Walt Disney this year, and it was neat to read about all his dreams/plans for the park -- his heart was really in making a wonderful, magic-filled place, and he succeeded. (And keeping things litter-free was one of his key things, right from the beginning, and yes, a clean park certainly adds to the enjoyment.)

Dana said...

You know I believe Disney World is truely magic, and even though my 2 yr old will not remember her first experiences at Disney I always will!

Dianne said...

It's neat to hear about the behind the scenes stuff. Sounds like a great trip!

Jen @ Small World Big Heart said...

I've enjoyed reading the experiences of the Disney World Mixer.

We just recently attended the onsite Disney College of Knowledge for Travel Agents and got to tour a lot of resorts. It is definitely a unique experience visiting WDW from that perspective vs that of a vacationer. It was wonderful being able to see all the little details that you may miss just trying to get to the attractions. However, there was one time that they took us "backstage" and I kept wanting to cover my eyes. It just isn't the same!

Thanks for sharing your experiences.