Friday, October 28, 2011

Freaking Out Friday

Today is freaking out Friday. I've termed it as such (lovingly of course), because I have been anxiously awaiting news from the big cheese himself. No, not my boss, DH or the big cheese in the sky, but the one that runs that Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Mickey Mouse.

Back in September I began yet another journey with the Disney Moms Panel. I've applied every year since its inception in 2008. With up to 20,000 applying, I've never made the cut to round two. But this year, the one year I didn't actually devote much time or energy to my application, I made it. Imagine my surprise when I got my congratulations email. Maybe I've been over thinking it all these years and not spending as much time on it allowed my real personality and passion to come through? Who knows. There I go over thinking that!

So after receiving my congratulatory email, I had to submit answers to a handful of questions, again, limiting my answers to 100 words each. If you know me, you know that isn't easy. First off, I am long-winded. Second, limiting my answer about something I love so dearly to 100 words, well is almost impossible, but I did it. We also had to produce a minute long video sharing our favorite Walt Disney World memory. My sister kindly helped me film using my iphone and then I edited the clips into a cohesive piece. I didn't do 100 takes, only four.

I think my video was pretty unique, at least the topic. I tried to stay away from what I thought most might share as a favorite memory, like meeting Cinderella. It's definitely a special memory for a lot of folks and I wanted mine to be different. Thankfully, one of my favorites is when Will met PUSH the talking trash can at the Magic Kingdom on the first day of our vacation last December. You see, he's obsessed with trash cans. Heck, I even wrote a post about it. So meeting a walking, talking trash can was amazing for him. PUSH even singled him out and sang Happy Birthday after seeing Will's birthday button. We even dressed William as a trash can for last Halloween!

William was wearing a Pooh bear t-shirt since we had breakfast plans at Crystal Palace that morning. PUSH told him, "You have some Pooh on your shirt." Hilarious PUSH!

So while filming my video, I surrounded myself with some of Will's favorite trash cans from his collection, just to give my video a unique background. Plus, I do get a little nervous, so having props helps.

I submitted my finished video and answers on October 14th, the day before we left for eight fabulous nights in the world. So for those next eight days, I didn't even think about it. I was too busy creating new memories at my favorite place. But as I returned to real life this past Monday and started visiting the forum threads, Facebook groups, watching tweets etc., I started to panic. The emails announcing who will advance to round three are supposed to be delivered this week. At first we all thought it might happen on Tuesday. Then we all held our collective breath on Wednesday. Nothing. Yesterday (Thursday), still nothing. By this point, I think some of my round two friends and I just might break the Internet with our constant posting, attempts to distract each other and burning up our email accounts. Open email, close eyes, hold breath, open eyes, heart drops, realize the Disney email is from Disney Movie Rewards.....not Disney Moms. I think this is the only time I am frustrated at the amount of Disney related email traffic I get. Disney shopping, Disney Interactive, Disney Movie Rewards, disboards, AllEars etc. Each time I hold my breath thinking it is THE email. Alas, it's not.

Not yet.

And so we wait. And wait. And wait some more.

So is today the day? We can't be sure, but we can hope.

The round two email stated that if selected to move on as a finalist, we would be contacted by email to schedule a phone interview the first week of November. Well next week is the first week of November. So here's hoping we hear today or tomorrow.

In the meantime I am trying to stay busy. I have a lot to keep busy with, William's day care party is today, his birthday party is tomorrow morning and my mom's Halloween party is tomorrow night. But I can't help myself from checking my email every five seconds, hoping I've been blessed enough to make it to the next step- phone interviews and continue on my journey to obtain the coveted pink Moms Panel jacket.

So why is being on this panel so important to me? The pink jacket? Sure. The training trip in early December? Definitely. But most of all, sharing my passion and love for planning the perfect Disney trip. I already do it for friends and family all of the time. Being able to do it almost daily for strangers? Fabulous! Doing it with the official support of the big cheese himself? Well, that would be totally awesome.

So here's hoping I don't develop a callus on my mouse clicking finger as I continue to constantly check email today. Sending pixie dust to all of my other friends awaiting news!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Royal Treatment- Disney World 2011

We're back!!! We just returned from a magical eight nights at our favorite place on earth, Walt Disney World! It's been a whirlwind since we returned late Saturday night, catching up on work and life.

So I'll share some of the highlights of our special trip over a few posts. Our trip began on Friday, October 14th as we boarded an Air Tran flight to Atlanta, with a final stop in Orlando at 6:30pm that night. Our flight was delayed and we didn't make it in until almost 8pm. William was a complete angel on both flights. One woman behind us even commented on how he was the best behaved kid she had ever seen on a plane. Wow! She must not have seen him on our last two trips.

We rented a car and made the short 20 minute drive to our home for the next eight nights, Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort, our Disney Vacation Club (DVC) home. We used online check in and were in our room quickly.

We were starving, so we headed to the Contempo Cafe for a late dinner. Had our groceries delivered and received a special box from a special online disboard friend who sent us her leftover juice, water and more from her stay the week prior. Thanks Kimberly in NY!!

We settled in for a good night's sleep. Saturday, October 15th began our actual fun! We were greeted with a beautiful sunrise from our balcony!

We were up early to hit Disney's Hollywood Studios for extra magic hour (EMH) at 8am. We ran a little late, but managed to get a fastpass for the ever popular Toy Story Mania and then William experienced his first ride on Tower of Terror. This kid is so brave! He was scared once it started dropping, but we had prepped him by watching a youtube video, so he knew what to expect. On the ride, he was scared and had us both in a death grip, but once we got off, he said it was the "funnest elevator ever."

We then got in line to meet some of his favorite characters, Phineas and Ferb! We also took a ride on the new Star Wars ride and then we visited Pooh and some other friends. William loved the Disney Jr. show featuring Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Jake and the Neverland Pirates- two of his all time favorite shows. He watches episodes online often with his daddy at home on the computer.

We visited the Muppets store and I found this adorable kermit hat that I had been searching for on previous trips. They also had animal and beeker! William loves this hat and wore it even when it was warm out. He got so many compliments on it from guests and cast members alike. I mean, who doesn't like Kermit?

We enjoyed a great lunch on the patio at Toy Story Pizza Planet and then headed back to Bay Lake Tower (BLT) for a break and nap.

That night, we ventured out for a special royal meal. I was able to book the hard to get Cinderella's Royal Table meal in the castle. William dressed up in his knight costume to meet his princess. We had a great dinner in the castle and managed to see Ariel, Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. The food was actually much better than I anticipated too. William was quite shy once the princesses actually visited our table. Cinderella asked him how many dragons he had slayed. He was given a special sword and participate in the wishing ceremony with his wishing star.

After our brush with royalty, we hit a few rides in the Magic Kingdom. But given it was a Saturday night and the park was closing early (7pm) many nights during the week for the Halloween party, it was packed. Folks were taking advantage of the late night hours offered on Saturday. We only hit a few rides before bailing due to the crazy crowds. We had a whole week ahead of us, including less crowded weekdays. We did hit the Haunted Mansion on the way out- William's absolute favorite ride. While in line, one of the cast members had everyone sing him happy birthday! He was wearing his birthday button, so he got special treatment all week long and this was just the beginning. If you are celebrating anything while at the world, be sure and ask for a button! Here is William checking out the new cemetery at Haunted Mansion.

We ended our great night hearing the Electrical Water Pageant (now celebrating 40 years!) going on right outside our window. We sat on the balcony and enjoyed this classic light parade on the water.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

And we're off

Tomorrow am, we are heading back to my happy place! 8 nights, 9 days at our Disney Vacation Club home, Bay Lake Tower. Cannot wait to get back to this! We are celebrating William's 4th birthday while there. We have a lot of special things planned for him, including getting turned into a pirate at the Pirate League, eating with Cinderella in the castle, breakfast with Mickey, breakfast with Pooh, a special Pirates cruise to see fireworks and meet his favorites- Hook, Peter Pan and Mr. Smee. Plus the famous Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween party.

So off we go tomorrow, see you in a week! I'll tell Mickey you said hi!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

They say never give up and for once, it paid off for me. After applying for the Disney Moms Panel for four years (since its inception), I finally made it to round two!

The Disney Moms Panel is a collection of moms (and dads, aunts, etc.) who share their passion for Disney by answering questions online for guests planning a trip. While the position is unpaid, there are lots of perks, free trip(s), goodies and just sharing your love for Disney.

Close to 20,000 applicants are allowed, not sure how many there were actually and I have no idea how many make it to round two. It could be 200, 500, who knows.

But tonight, I work on my four essay questions of 100 words or less. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not short with my words. I also have to submit a 60 second video about my favorite memory at the parks. My sister is helping me film that tonight.

All submissions are due on Friday, which also happens to be the day we leave for Walt Disney World! Talk about good timing. So wish me luck! I am hopeful, but also realistic. We aren't sure how many panelists they are taking, since some from last year will probably stay on another year and others selected might be part time, serving only certain months of the year.

Whoever is selected is to proceed to the final round (phone interview) will be contacted probably in less than two weeks. So send some pixie dust my way as I attempt to get a gig spreading some myself!