100 Acre Personality Quiz

29 July 2006

Pixie Dust

So I will be at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground for the next few days with my family. I am taking Dani, her friend Christine, Sami and Mom for a little vacation before schools starts back next Tuesday.

It will be nice to get away for a bit and just relax - yes, running around inside the Magic Kingdom until 2 am is relaxing to me. There is a saying at work when you get a little down and upset over things - go get some pixie dust. I think after the past few days I could really use some.

There is just something about watching all the families there that don't have the priviledge mine does of being able to go to the park whenever they want. On average, people save for about five years in order to come and see us. The magic in a kid's face when they walk through the gates for the first time is priceless. To see the joy in the parent's faces as they watch their little one in awe of their surrounds is enough to bring me to tears. The best part is - I made it possible. These people called in and asked for someone to help them make their family dreams come true.

I had a guy on the phone who wanted a room for tonight and tomorrow night. My initial reaction is to be sweet but turn him over fast because you don't get revenue for same day bookings. In speaking with the guy I found out that he is going to propose to his girlfriend tonight. I got him a room at Disney's Contemporary Resort and noted that it he was going to propose and to have a Magic Kingdom view room if possible. I also booked him dinner at the California Grill, located on the 15th floor of the resort, during the time the firworks are going to be going off over the Magic Kingdom. I noted on his reservation that he proposed to his girlfriend so they will be sure to do something a little special - like dessert or champagne.

I also had a single mom on the phone who went to an unofficial Disney site and got ripped off with a 'package deal' of staying for three nights and getting two days of tickets for free. The catch was that her tickets weren't going to be issued until she was on her way home. She wanted to get in to the parks so her son could see the characters just once - it was her birthday present to him. Not only did I get her into the parks, I got her a character supper at the Crystal Palace and called the location to make sure that they knew how special this birthday was for him. He didn't know that his vacation was "ruined" - he was just a little boy who couldn't wait to see Winnie The Pooh.

They probably will never know that I do these little things for them and that is okay with me. I know that she will never forget a minute of her proposal weekend. That single mom will finally smile when she walks up to her specially decorated table while watching her son play with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore who will make a fuss over his birthday.

These little things are what makes up pixie dust. Faith. Trust. These are things that make great cast members even better. Sure, if you look at it - I book vacations. To me, I make magic... maybe I don't need to go to the parks now. Maybe I just needed to remember what exactly it is that I do... and that is magical in and of itself.

Mars - 08/27/06

Since this won't happen again between 5,000 and 60,000 years... might be worth a look now.

I'm sure some of you already know and are watching for this phenomenon, but if you aren't - here's your chance. Mars, The Red Planet, is about to be spectacular! This month the Earth is catching up with Mars in an encounter that will culminate in the closest approach between the two planets in recorded history. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287. Due to the way Jupiter's gravity tugs on Mars and perturbs its orbit, astronomers can only be certain that Mars has not come this close to Earth in the last 5,000 years, but it may be as long as 60,000 years before it happens again.

The encounter will culminate on August 27th when Mars comes to within 34,649,589 miles of Earth and will be (next to the moon) the brightest object in the night sky. It will attain a magnitude of -2.9 and will appear 25.11 arc seconds wide. At a modest 75-power magnification, Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.

Mars will be easy to spot. At the beginning of August it will rise in the east at 10 p.m. and reach its azimuth at about 3 a.m. By the end of August when the two planets are closest, Mars will rise at nightfall and reach its highest point in the sky at 12:30 a.m. That's pretty convenient to see something that no human being has seen in recorded history. So, mark your calendar at the beginning of August to see Mars grow progressively brighter and brighter throughout the month.

Share this with your children and grandchildren.


Happy Saturday!

I think Family Circus is just too funny some times. The kids say and do things that either remind me of my brother and myself growing up or my own kids. I thought I would share this one since it sounds like something Dani would have said when she was little.

Happy Saturday! Posted by Picasa

28 July 2006

Let Your Concience Be Your Guide

So I have this guest call in tonight to find out about rates for a specific time period in August for Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. I go through the standard steps to find out the information I need to get him the most accurate quote possible and have it ready to book for him in case he would like it.

He starts off all kinds of pissy with me when I ask for his last name and zip code to look up his household. Then when I ask whom I am speaking with he says "Mr." and his last name. Now think of the Disney culture - if the CEO of the company walked in I wouldn't say "hello, Mr. Iger" - I would say "hello, Bob" because that is the way that Walt wanted our company to be... friendly and on a first name basis. If I could call Walt or Bob by their first names then why should this pompous fool think any differently?

I laugh and call him "Mr."whatever... anyway - I needed to know who would be traveling with him and if there were children, their ages. By this time the phone conversation is only about three minutes long (greeting takes forver: "Thank you for calling Walt Disney Reservations, where it is magic your way every day. My name is Louisa, how may I assist you?" Not recorded either at the moment since we got the new phone system put in.). He proceeds to tell me I am everything but good little white girl and why in the world couldn't I just give him a quote for the cheapest room at the Lodge. I apologize and he interupts with he has given me every minute possible, couldn't I just do this or am I basically afflicted in some form or fashion.

I launch into an anonymous household and proceed to give him what is ultimately inaccurate pricing. He wanted FL Resident rates - I was so tickled when the only thing I could offer him was the Royal Assantee Suite at three grand a night. He asked if that was the cheapest room I had - I said it was at the FL Res rate. If that didn't suite his needs I would be more than happy to look at another resort for him. He fussed at me until I am sure he was blue in the face then said thanks for nothing. I said in a surprising chipper voice that I managed to hold through the entire brow beating "Thank you for calling Disney" and he hung up on me.

Now the moral here is this - don't assume anything about anyone who you may talk to over the phone. I have an honors degree (Bachelors of Business Administration - 3.8 only because one class knocked out my 4.0) and work here for the simple fact that I love it. I was an Operations Manager, a Front Office Manager and a few other managerial positions - HATED IT!! I decided that if I have to spend the majority of my waking hours working then I wanted to do something that I truly enjoyed and was good at - that being Disney.

Being over the phone doesn't allow the caller to verbally beat up another person just because something didn't go right for them - be it something the person did or not. So please, when you call a place of business, for whatever reason, just remember how you would like for them to talk to you and be sweet to them, no matter what. You just might make their day. Posted by Picasa

My Buddy and Hers

This is my best friend from high school. We have known each other for (deep breath) twenty years. She has always been one of the sweetest people I know - even went to go and see New Kids On The Block with me... true friendship right there!

This picture was taken on her wedding day - they got married and went hiking.. gotta love surprises. I just thought the entire world would love to know what my childhood friend, who has her own blog - http://betty-mcarthur.blogspot.com/ - looks like and is up to these days.

Just a little something to celebrate because it's Friday - friendship! Posted by Picasa

Friday Treat!

Alright, I know I said I would do this on Wish On A Star Wednesdays but since I will be playing in the parks that day I thought I would do it a little early. So, by special request I have posted the wallpaper today.

Aurora is very special to my family. For years she has been the coveted princess of our house. My daughter Dani loved her from the beginning. When I went in to interview for Disney back in 2004, this movie was playing in the TinkerBell conference room while I waited my turn. I knew I had the job before the interview because of this - silly but it's true. Our love of her carried over into the naming of Dani's little sister. Sami's middle name is Rose, a compromise since the first name out of Dani's mouth was Aurora. We went with Rose from Briar Rose - her name while she is in the forest with Flora, Fauna and Merriweather.

And there you have it! Would you like a little piece of trivia - "Cinderella's Castle" in the Magic Kingdom is not really named that... it is actually called "King Stephan's Castle" after Aurora's father since he was Walt's favorite character.

Enjoy and have a happy Friday. If you have any special requests for future wallpaper, just let me know - I have hundreds! Posted by Picasa

27 July 2006

Brought to you by the letter "M"

So at Disney we have monthly reviews - they are called Dashboards. They consist of several things: Revenue, Presenteeism, Hyperquality and Qualitative Leader Ratings. Some of these words may not be familiar to you so I will break it down.

Revenue is the amount of money you book, with deposit, per hour. There is a set goal that each community must book per hour in order to "make revenue".

Presenteeism is the amount of time you have been out sick or late - just like any other job.

Hyperquality is a review of your calls. Each agent gets three hyperqualities a month and there are certain attributes you must hit in order to get 100% and they fluctuate according to the type of call that it is (dining, modifications, shops and bookings). Some calls have as many as 13 and some calls have as few as 6.

Qualitative Leader Rating is a subjective score that your leader gives you based on your behavior and performance through out the month. Things such as initiative, professionalism, organization, time management and teamwork.

This final one is the one I want to talk about tonight. Ipull my dashboard every day at the beginning of my shift... but Monday (my Friday) was a different story. When I pulled it up on Monday I saw that my revenue is 135% making my score an E (exceeds expectations), my hyperquality total score is a C (clearly outstanding), my presenteeism is a pass but my Qualitative Leader Rating is only an M! My overall Dashboard grade is an E but still - an M?

Now Disney grading is interesting in that C is what you want to get. It goes from C to E to M to B to U. These are calculated by a numbering system and I know from previous experience that Disney's version of being middle of the road (an M) is what other organizations consider to be outstanding - hence the reason as to why we are the leaders in guest service.

This floored me since I have gone out of my way to be there for all of my team members - while in training and on the floor (I am a recent rehire which I am sure I will explain one day but for right now, let's stay focused). We were (re)hired on the 20th of May - our Traditions Day (again, another story for another time) and were immediately put into our training classes. Now, during this training class I spent most of the time assisting the trainers. Since I couldn't test out of it due to lack of available trainers, my trainers would place those in class who needed specialized instruction next to me so I could do just that. This kept the class on schedule and those special few up to pace. Once we hit the floor we are amazingly on the same team. We even received a new leader who came from the IP department (Itinerary Planning - they deal with all the recreation but not rooms and packages) so he was new as well. I have spent the better part of eight weeks helping these people, including my leader, with questions and assistance in any way possible.

We were having a "race around the castles" with the other Worldphile teams and each team needed to build a ballon for our race. Joe, my leader, sent out an email asking for volunteers to build this balloon since he is not crafty. I gave it a few days and when I found out that no one responded I volunteered (we won honorable mention). During this race we got extra points for 100% on our hyperqualities, call work and booking packages with dining and/or air. To get these points you filled out a fire cracker with the appropriate information and placed it in a bucket. I noticed one day that all the firecrackers had my name on it so I sent out an email to my team reminding them to place their firecrackers in the bucket... to which most of my team responded with something along the lines of "what's that?". If I have a team member within shouting distance of me - they are going to ask a question, irregardless of whether or not I am on the phone with a guest... and I always answer them without sacrificing my attention to my guest. I also received the first guest compliment of the team - my first day back on the floor to boot!!

Now, when I pulled my dashboard, which I do everyday to see how I am and where I am at, I noticed that my final score was available even though the month doesn't end until Saturday (fiscal month that is). So I pull it open and see that I have the afore mentioned E, C and pass.. and the M. I was very upset. To me it was insulting. Here I am doing everything possible and he gives me an M. Would you like to know the answer I received initially - "Don't worry so much, it isn't the end of the world".

Today I had an opportunity to sit with him and discuss the foul grade he gave me. His reasoning is that since we have only known each other for a month, he wanted to be fair across the board - everyone got an M!! I am not everyone, to say the least. I know that sounds horrible but when your entire team of 22 people looks up to you and comes to you for assistance and you have done all that I have for the team - I don't think I simply met his expectations.

Now, I need to know if I am out of line in this way of thinking. According to those whose opinions I hold very dear (fellow cast members along with family and friends) I am not but I am curious what others think... was I wrong in thinking that I would get an E or better?

26 July 2006

So You Think You Can Dance

I have to admit that I am addicted to this show now. I was just enjoying it before but Benji and Heidi are too phenomenal not to vote for every week! I kid you not, I just got done voting for Benji and I started counting my votes - I was over 100 before Mom told me just hand over the phone, he will be fine.

How do we know he will be fine? I have problems believing that when I don't have a problem getting in. The phone lines are never busy!! It makes me think that I am the only person in America voting for him... how can that be??

This is the sweetest man you will ever see on television. His cousin, the afore mentioned Heidi, is equally as sweet. And man can they DANCE! I really want both of them to win the competition but there can only be one so obviously I am going to vote for Benji every week.

Do you know that it is so bad I have my mom call my cell phone and leave me a message as to who gets voted off on Thursdays! I work from 1:45pm until 10:15pm - being a queue cleaner means I stay until the very last guest is taken care of and completely satisfied. This means I don't get to see the final outcome of my efforts. I tried to run into the break room to see the results but I am always on the phone. One week I was lucky enough to have a guest on the phone who was watching the results show and he told me who got voted off!

I know, I know - it isn't on my company's station but what can I say... we don't have it so I have to go to the market that does. It isn't being disloyal - that would be going to the other people down I-4 when I have a day off. This is called showing Disney what they are missing out on. Between "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance", I am a happy camper in the reality show world - add "Survivor" and things are just perfect.

Now that I think about it, I don't watch a lot of the things on ABC. Most of my shows are on Fox or CBS. Fox has my dance shows and CBS has "NCIS", my other reality show, "Two and a Half Men"... most of the things I would watch if I didn't work nights. Okay, so I admit that I don't have TIVO but I do have a VCR (you remember, the thing where you put the really large cassette tape into the machine and push record and then couldn't watch anything else until it was over) and I tape the shows I miss. I used to record "Gilmore Girls" but lost interest right after Rorey stole the yacht. Plus, I love Lorilei and Luke but they need to get things together and stop teasing me. One saving grace is that "7th Heaven" is coming back!! The final episode drew so much attetion they decided that they had to bring it back. Makes me wonder if it was all a ruse to get the ratings up.

All in all I must say that working nights is not the best thing in the world for me, or my television addiction. I can't wait until January and the next shift bid comes up because I will be putting in for anything and everything that has me home by 8pm... don't care what my days off are as long as I can get home to watch my shows.

I need to go and put in a few more votes for Benji before they close the lines - only have two hours, you know...


I have this honorary sister - isn't she precious - and I took her to Disney for the first time a few weeks right after Sami was born. This is photographic proof that she is indeed a princess! I had to do it!! Love ya Jacq! Posted by Picasa

Wish On A Star Wednesday!

Each Wednesday I thought I would post a wallpaper for your computer! Just a little happy for visiting my blog. Simply click on the picture to open it in another window, then right click and save as wallpaper.

Remember, a dream is a wish your heart makes! Posted by Picasa

Exactly the Same - but Different

I have these two beautiful girls, as you can see, and I love them exactly the same - but different. I have one who is a ball of energy and one who is more gentle. One who will smile at everyone and one who stands behind me. One who knows no fear and one who is rather timid. One loves the other one unconditionally. The other one loves her on one condition - she doesn't need her diaper changed.

My eldest child is a gifted artist who follows most of the sterotypical artistic traits. She is quiet, willowy, has beautifully graceful hands and is just left of the norm. She quietly stands out in her own way. She is starting to find her own way in the world and has a plan as to what she wants to do when she grows up. She loves to spend hours drawing, either on her computer or with pencil and paper. She always has pencil markings all across the outside of her left hand - an endearing quality. My eldest has always been this way too. I would go through her back pack on Fridays to make sure everything was turned in and to get her set up for the next week. There would be crumpled up pieces of notebook paper with drawings on them. You wanted to praise her for being so talented but then again, she did use her notebook paper that was supposed to be used for taking notes. It got to the point that I bought her a little notebook to keep with her at all times for when "inspiration" struck.

The newest one is a completely different story. She is not quiet nor is she any other attribute of her sister. This little one has no fear and will do just about anything. She is a very affectionate little girl who hugs and kisses everything - even her cereal bowl when it is empty. Everything needs hugs and kisses and to be petted and hear her little "ohhh". She is very girly and loves her baby dolls and Barney. She walked up to Mickey and Minnie Mouse for hugs and kisses when she was 14 months old. This little girl believes that everyone in the world is good and loves her - and why shouldn't she! She "sings" with her movies and dances all day long. I have a feeling that she will be my little dancing queen.

There are some moms out there who are soccer moms. I am a mom to the arts. I love them both so much. I honestly didn't know if I would be able to love the newest one as much as I did my older baby. I feared that it would be different and they would be able to tell. I am happy to report that you do love your children exactly the same - but different. Posted by Picasa

25 July 2006

Where in the World #2

Alrighty, Betty got the first one! That piece of artwork is found at Disney's Contemporary Resort. It is out the back door to the left of the pool.

Now, this piece is a little more difficult since it is brand new. I will tell you that it is located at one of the resorts as well. We actually just received it about a month or so ago. It has about five or six hidden Mickeys in it - one of my favorite games to play while on property.

Happy hunting! Posted by Picasa

Chain Emails - What's the Point?

Very rarely do I receive a normal letter any more... it's all forwarded chain mail junk. I admit, some of it is very funny but let's face it - I don't think that I am going to be smited because of all the letters I deleted.

I have one family member who I thoroughly believe has lost the ability to form an orginial thought and place "fingers to keyboard" (we no longer do pen to paper so I guess this would be the modern equivalent). I have tried on several occassions to initiate real genuine conversation about her family and life. The response that I get is usually about a line or two for every paragraph I thoughtfully and lovingly typed. For those of you who know me rather well, I do tend to bloviate in my emails... hence the need for my blog, but I digress.

After a bit of research (translation: asking my mom) I found that this "illness" could be genetic!! It seems as though this person's mother has the same challenge. My mother will spend hours (okay, not hours but a good thirty minutes or so) writing letters to her sister. When she is done she will go about her day in hopes that she will receive a heartfelt reply. A few days will pass and when she does have her reply it consists of about three lines. It is at this time when I remind her that I have given up on the thought of actually receiving a message from a family member.

Now, friends are an entirely different story. We, my little circle of friends and I, manage to hold conversations that span years through one email thread. I have a girlfriend who sends nothing but forwards so it has gotten to the point where I read the title and if it says "FWD:blah blah blah" then half the time I don't even bother. My honorary sister is a completely different affair all together. If I haven't written to her in the appropriate amount of time (ten minutes after she has written me) then she will ring my phone and ask what is wrong. We discuss clothing for the next day, issues of the day, things from years ago and it all ties together. To top it off, we will take a break from the daily emails to actually speak on the phone too. She and I shop together even though we are 920 miles away!

So I guess the moral of the moment is that you can only hold conversations with people who are not gentically linked to you - all of those people get your forwarded junk mail. Only friends get the information that is important in your life... so to all of my friends - I love you and hope all is well. You know you can expect a letter from me soon. To all of my family members - see your forwarded message below started by the family member mentioned earlier...

"Resignation" Chain Email from my Cousin
I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of an 8 year-old again. I want to go to McDonald's and think that it's a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make a sidewalk with rocks. I want to think M&Ms are better than money because you can eat them. I want to lie under a big oak tree and run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day. I want to return to a time when life was simple, when all you knew were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother you, because you didn't know what you didn't know and you didn't care. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset. I want to think the world is fair. That everyone is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible. I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again. I want to live simple again. I don't want my day to consist of computer crashes, mountains of paperwork, depressing news, how to survive more days in the month than there is money in the bank, doctor bills, gossip, illness, and loss of loved ones. I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, a kind word, truth, justice, peace, dreams, the imagination, mankind, and making angels in the snow. So . . . here's my checkbook and my car keys, my credit card bills and my 401K statements. I am officially resigning from adulthood. And if you want to discuss this further, you'll have to catch me first, 'cause............."Tag! You're it."

24 July 2006

Where In The World

So, I was thinking it would be fun to play a little game.

Periodically I will post a picture and you can tell me where in Walt Disney World you think it is located. Depending on how quickly you are able to answer will depend on how difficult the next posting will be, okay? I thought I would start out with something easy for the first one. And don't be shy to ask for a hint - I can be pretty creative when it comes to them!

The Birth of My Blog

So I was sitting here reading about my fellow cast members, Bob and Dick, and had the overwhelming urge to start my own blog. I have no idea what roads this will turn down or what paths we may venture off to but it should be an interesting ride.

I guess one should start something like this with an introduction as to who this "blogger" is so you have a better understanding. I am a single mother of two (ages 13 and 1) who works for the greatest company in the universe - Disney. My life consists of making magic for others and my own family on daily basis. Do I have the most glam-filled job in the universe - nope. Do I get paid huge amounts of money to do what I do - not even close considering I had to move back in with my parents. Do I thoroughly enjoy what I do irregardless of all that - you betcha!

So, with that being said, please keep arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. Place small children in the center of the seat and we are clear to go - BEEP BEEP!