Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Farewell for Now?

Today I'm moving from heartache to a little PO'd, just a spoiler in case you want to skip this post. I told myself I would write with total honesty about the process and my feelings, by tomorrow I'll have my Mickey Mojo back, but today I'm trying to get it out.

What to do when your blog is about the process, and you are rejected? Just pick up all the little pieces of your broken heart, stop the blog, move on? How easy to write that, how hard to put it action. Yesterday after reading the rejection, and yes, no matter how they try to pixie dust the response, it is still a rejection.  The consolation prize has never really appealed to me. I've never even gotten the cute stuff everyone else seems to get. You'd think they could figure out a database that could handle a mailing list, I know I'm not the only one that never gets the goodies. The special events sound like fun, but hello I live in New Mexico! Who gets to attend? Moms who live local. What I would give to live local!!!!!!! Dream come true. I read the newsletter once, but I want to be a WDW planner, I don't want to read tips, I want to be giving them.

My heart ached all day, I didn't tell my family until today, because I didn't want to cry and have their hearts break for me. Today I feel sad, but a little annoyed, both at myself and Disney. I look at people who I know are moving on and can't figure out what they have that I don't have. I think that is what drives me crazy about this whole process is that I might not even fit a demographic that will ever lead to an opportunity to be on the DMP.  If someone could tell me that living 1800 miles from Disney or being too old, or having kids that aren't little anymore, or not photogenic enough, it would keep me from attempting this again. I could just forget about it! But I look at those possible negatives as reasons I'd be great!
  • Every trip to WDW,  we look at as a "once in a lifetime trip", costs a fortune anymore to fly from NM, so we stay at least 8-9 days, sometimes two weeks, because it might be our last trip, with the economy you just never know! So even though 1800 miles away seems like a long way away to truly experience WDW, we've been a dozen times, makes us truly Disney fanatics to everyone we know.
  • Come on, 49 is the new 39! I have more time and energy now than 10 years ago when my kids were little!
  • My girls are teenagers, so it's true they aren't little and adorable anymore, many days big and annoying, but growing up with an annual WDW trip has given me experience with toddlers to teens. I would think that would be a huge positive, unlike applicants that only have little people.
  • I'm sure I would have looked way cuter with professional lighting and makeup people! I have potential:)
I just would like someone to step up and say, you really need to live on the East coast or Midwest(UK or Canada), truthfully NM is never going to be represented on the DMP. I can't figure out why it would matter, but the geographic breakdown on the past boards and the current round three applicants, points to a bias, I can answer questions via the computer from anywhere! Maybe they want "moms" who can drive down and be a representative at events, there's a 4 hour non-stop Albuquerque-Orlando flight! Really I can get there as fast as the drivers! If I knew, I would save myself this pain, but I'm sure such things are never said out loud, probably some discrimination issues.

Annoyed at myself for getting carried away again, even after the dumb video, I still thought I had a chance. I think I am smart, funny, hard working and have tons of Disney experience and the time to give to the job. I have always been a high achiever, I've gotten every job I wanted! That's probably why this drives me crazy, I just can't figure out what they want!

I can hear the dialogue in my head telling me to not apply next year(sounds a whole lot like the voices I heard last year!), and then the voices will dim and then change to "apply, apply,apply". I probably will apply next year,but I have to stay off of the Dis, ok maybe an occasional peak, but it just gets me all wound up and overly invested. Somehow I need to send myself a note next September telling me to take it easy, just apply like a job and wait for the emails. Not check the computer constantly for a month! Get a life! It's so funny that with the exception of this one thing, I am the organized type-A person that everybody in every aspect of my life counts on.

I guess I need to reevaluate the blog, hmmmmmmm. This is the last blog on the DMP process, at least until next year:)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Arggh! Another Day

Arggh! Pirate speak for COME ON! Not another sleepless night. I know at times I've said that "no news is good news', now I know that was crap. Just put me out of my misery. I know that I really want to do this, really really! But the process is driving me crazy, I thought last year was bad and I didn't even make it past round one. Yes, I want them to pick the very best, me (confidently she said!) so I suppose the effort being made to do that takes a lot of time. I actually thought it was going to be Tuesday afternoon anyway, just got caught up in the Twittering(is that a word?).

Go cook dinner and let it go for the night. I know that nothing is going to happen tonight, but I know I'll be back on email, just in case they work late to get it done. Craziness is back.

How to Explain?

With all the "Twitters" busy, tempting us with little tweets about the Mom's Panel on Friday, it is almost certain that today will be the day the round 3 announcements will go out. It is too early, I imagine it will be sometime this afternoon, I don't remember there ever being an announcement before noon mountain time(my time!). Instead of sitting here at the computer for the next four hours, relentlessly refreshing, refreshing .......
I'm not going to begin the now familiar waiting game until 1:00 pm MT. Plenty to do to occupy the time, after a hectic weekend both the house and I am a mess. A quick reflection on my feelings and then off to workout and clean(surely the refreshing would be more fun!)

How to explain this DMP phenomenon? I can only try to understand my own feelings and reasons for attempting this "job" opportunity, but I do ponder the motivation of many of the other applicants. Many are parents of very young children, some babies and toddlers. I know that at that point in my life, I had very little energy or desire to take on this commitment. I wouldn't have been ready. Now as my girls are teenagers, I have plenty of time to do this job well.

Having "replied" to several of the Moms Panel questions, primarily as a way to kill time while waiting, I can honestly judge the extent of this work. Some questions may take only 10 minutes, some may take as long as an hour. Why so long? Even 10 minutes may seem like too long to handle a simple question. The answer is simple, the response to the question is only part of the response. Your answers need to be factual, but also warm, inviting and  friendly in the Disney way. Writing the facts may be quick, phrasing them in an interesting manner takes more effort.  Time is required to check out the facts, although I have been to WDW a dozen time, I would never presume to just start typing without checking to make sure the facts as I believe them are true. Whether that entails grabbing a guidebook, logging onto http://www.disney/....... or checking another reputable online source, time is involved.  The commitment of 25 responses a week should take the average "mom" at least 10 hours a week. I suppose you could just pick the easy answers, but somebody has to answer the people who want to know the best parks to go to if you can only go to three. You really have to spell out options on that type of question.

So how to explain this phenomenon? Why would 20,000 people want to work this hard for no real pay? Yes there is a trip to WDW as compensation, but no paycheck will be coming. I know there are many fully qualified "moms" out there that didn't make the round 2 cuts, who would be a great asset to the DMP, but I think there are many that did it as a whim and would have been shocked to learn the work involved. Back to the why for the many who understand exactly what they are getting into. Disney has a way of working itself into your heart, WDW in specific makes you feel like your real world has just vanished, at least for the short time you are there. We as a family are better people, we either behave better, or we really are these better people underneath the stress of our daily lives. I hope it is the latter, Disney just gives us a place to be who we really are. I think if you feel that, you just want to share that joy with others. Some will get it, many won't. You have to let that feeling into your heart(I think that might be a line from Scrooged!), and for many, letting go of the outside world is for them just impossible. We who truly "get it", need a place to share. I know I do. New Mexico is not close to WDW, for many this far west, it may be a once in a lifetime trip. Maybe if I lived within a days drive to WDW, where most families will take a WDW trip, my Disney planning needs could be met by helping plan trips all the time. I'm not sure though, this idea of "working" for Disney calls to me. My family all knows that my retirement days are planned as a cast member, preferably at Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror(love the crabby, spooky acting job, plus the ToT costumes call to me!). This way I get to be a cast member twenty years ahead of schedule.

Anybody reading this post, leave a comment about any reasons you may have for wanting this "moms" job. I know I'd love to hear your feelings.

Off to work! I'll post later on the new results and the aftermath.;)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Worn Out

The video is done, actually everything is done. Just waiting for my husband to come home and make sure the video is in a correct format and such, he is the techie, I'm too nervous to just do it myself. What if after all the effort I screwed it up! Just be patient and wait. Still over 7 hours til the deadline. I haven't been having any of the technical difficulties logging in the the website that many are having, so I'm not really worried.

I expected the video to be difficult. I'm a storyteller, I love to talk, especially about WDW, but to try to convey a good story in 60 is incredibly difficult. Plus I've never liked photos of myself, chubby round face, never flattering. So I just kept looking at the video thinking, do I really look like that or even worse do I sound like that, because it sounds like my MOTHER!!!!. Too bad the camera doesn't take off 10 pounds(20 would be great!). If Disney wanted perfect actresses, they could hire some, heck they have a bunch already working for them. Hoping it's heart they are looking for instead.

My cameraman was my daughter, who was also the subject of the video, she liked it, so I guess that is what is truly important.

Another two weeks of agonizing waiting. This is the round that I don't think I'll get past. My sample itinerary looks good, but I'm sure most of us use something very similar. The essay seemed a little fluffy, I mean we all love the panel or we wouldn't be participating. I think we'll all have great, again similar essays. So that just leaves the video. I'm a good writer and speaker, but the video was just not a great showcase. I look forward to the phone interview, if I make it that far, I feel pretty confident I can do very well. It's just this video. I'm going to try to think I'm out of it, great big surprise if I get to move on.

Think I'll try to take the focus off of the DMP for the next couple weeks, try to catch up on my real life(much of which has gone to the wayside!) and try to quit thinking about it all of the time.

Good Luck to the rest of my fellow round twoers, wish we all could make it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day One Again!

Still hasn't sunk in that I might actually have a chance, I've been telling myself for the past three weeks that there is just no way I could make the cut to round two when there are 20,000 applicants! Today feels like starting over, but now the stakes are much higher. The odds are better, probably not significantly, now something like ten of us will make it out of several hundred, I've heard 200, but then 500. Either number is still pretty daunting.

Do you think that this was all some semi-random draw from a hat? People are saying that on the Dis, I'm hoping that I actually exhibited some skills, or else the next round will end quickly for me.

Last year when I didn't make it beyond round one, I soooo wanted to read what a winning essay looked like. Nobody posted theirs, probably afraid the Disney police would find out and  they would be banned from DMP!  I believe in a kind and gentle Disney, so here are my responses:

Question One:

High school graduation is a time of intense emotions, both happy and sad, beginning and ending. Where to celebrate all of our mixed emotions? Go to our favorite place on earth, WDW of course! Three generations of family celebrated my eldest mouseketeer’s accomplishments with an 8 day WDW trip in May 2010.
I am an industry of one!   As a SAHM to two teens, except the envy of family and friends and increased hits to my blog, I have little potential impact either positively or negatively.
False. Beautiful 1.24 mile World Showcase Lagoon is home to eleven countries. Too easy!
Question Two:
A”veteran” of two trips to WDW in 1998, with a toddler, kindergartner and grandmother, I felt confident dispensing advice to a mom in my daughter’s class! Ten trips later my advice would still be the same:
Stay at WDW resorts to take advantage of the many perks available to guests.
Arrive at parks 1/2 hour before opening with a basic plan of “must see” in place.  This will ensure the most enjoyment, least frustration on even the busiest day.
Relax during the busy times. Enjoy the magic. It’s everywhere!  Slow down and look around.
Remember, wishes do come true!

Question Three:
Information is the key to a successful WDW trip. Sources include:
Information from the heart.  Experiences from our multigenerational annual trips provide a unique perspective on many trip planning questions.
 Information from the web.   Extensive, diverse online resources including official websites, travel agents, fan-based forums, Facebook, commercial and personal blogs, Twitter, etc. are available at the touch of a key.
Information from literature.  An avid reader, I own over 25 current guidebooks. All are well loved and used, covering the facts, but also the fun.
Information from Cast Members:  A well trained professional is only a call away at 1-407-WDISNEY.

I have no idea if they are really any good, and even if they are, next year they will change what they are looking for!
I've read people's post on the Dis that they have already taped their video, typed up everything and hit the submit button! That would be a whole lot easier, but there is no possibility that I could go that route. I couldn't even sleep last night, just kept waking up and thinking of what to say! So far today I have worried about my hair, my weight and the likelihood that the video camera works! Plus there is some question on which video formats are acceptable, what????? I know about WDW not MP4 vs.MPG(hey isn't that gas mileage?). I have at least worked up the required sample trip itinerary, looks really good, at least I am confident in my WDW planning abilities. Started working on the new essay, and am trying to pick from dozens of favorite memories for the video. At least the multiple choice questions were easy, I was always good at those ;). I will no doubt use up almost all of my allotted time, Friday night at 11:59 EST. I'm in the mountain time zone so I already lost 2 hours!

Better get to working! Thanks to everyone for the support!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Not so Done for the Day

Just when you give up for the day, everything changes in the click of the mouse. Of course I couldn't just stop looking at my email, even though Done for the Day did seem like that was my plan ;). Maybe just one more peak, why in the world they would send it out that late WDW time I don't know, but after refreshing 92 times today, what is one more time! Nope, no email from WDW, not even Disney Movie Club, which I get allllll the time.

I'll go check in at the Dis, share in the misery of waiting until tomorrow. As soon as I saw the page count since I last checked in, my heart sank, I couldn't breathe, it was all over. Dang it, reject again. My daughter was working on her computer, she doesn't know anything about the whole DMP, so I just held it together and started reading the posts. Sure enough the board was a buzz with happiness and sadness. Count me in the sadness. The odd thing was that so many of the active posters, who I assumed would be amongst the round twoers, weren't. Just plain weren't..........and a bunch of people who call themselves lurkers were moving on.  I kept thinking the emails might be coming out in waves, ok someone else came up with that, I just latched onto it like a life preserver. Keep refreshing emails, maybe there is still hope, nope.

This month has had one happy ending so far, my daughter is happy and healthy after her health scare, but it looks like I get two. I've always liked October! After reading one Dis poster say hers ended up in her junk mail, I grabbed on to that life preserver. Did I really think I was going to get a congratulations email? No, but I did!

Now this "thing" that I've wanted so badly, is frankly scaring me. I have to put together a video. A video? What happened to last years head shot? Yikes!

Back to the Dis, check on people I've come to admire, hope for junk mail for them.

Done for the Day

5:16 pm Orlando time. Done for the day. Feeling disappointed, wasted the bulk of the day, anxiety still really high. The idea of not having heard meaning I haven't been cut, has pretty much faded. I think I just want to know and move on, get my focus back.

Let's try a DMP question, get some good WDW vibes going!

Hi, We are visiting Epcot sometime from 22 - 31 October 2010 and wondered which restaurant gives the best view of the 9pm illuminations. Thanks

- Asked by Ju from Guernsey on 10/2/2010

There are only a couple of the World Showcase restaurants that have viewing of Illuminations, the Rose and Crown in the United Kingdom, and the new La Hacienda de San Angel. Both require ADRs(Advanced Dining Reservations), and the tables for Illuminations viewing go very quickly. Call Disney Dining at (407) 939-3463 as soon as possible to check for possible seating times available.

Having never gotten an ADR for Illuminations, I can tell you that there are many locations around the World Showcase Lagoon that provide perfect viewing of Illuminations. On most of our trips we position ourselves on the fence in front of the Mexican pavilion. On our last trip we actually ended up on the bridge between France and the United Kingdom and had a spectacular view.  Depending on the crowd level during your trip, you will want to stake out your spot approximately 8:15-8:30, to ensure front row viewing. Check out your spot for trees, as they can obscure the higher fireworks. Our family usually splits up, one half safe guarding our spot, while the other half go find food(excellent fish and chips at Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom!)

Have a wonderful trip to Epcot.

To See or not to See

Florida time it is now 2:21pm. This time last year the emails to the lucky ones had gone out. I've checked my email, nada, but am to nervous to go look at the Dis. Think I'll go have lunch first, why ruin perfectly good leftover Chinese?  This is the part of the process that drives me crazy, would it be too hard to have a definitive time when the announcement will be made? I know it is hard to know how long it will take to read the essays, well actually I imagine after this many years they actually do have a pretty good idea. The rest of us have deadlines at our jobs, seems like this someone(s) job, make a deadline! So, that's out of my system, not bad that I have made it this far without even a tiny meltdown! I'm so losing the Zen-like attitude I espoused  early in the process, probably in post #1. That day, sooooooo loooooong ago, I was in Happytown, I was going to be a better person. 

Stress? Maybe a little chocolate for lunch instead of leftovers, who am I kidding, a lot of chocolate.

If you are reading me and already know you are on to round two, a big congratulations!! Of course if that is the case, you're not reading me, you're excited and freaking out about how to answer your next three totally inadequately sized questions.  I'm hoping they just haven't sent out the announcements yet. On to the chocolate.


No email yet, but nobody has gotten one, so I can keep hoping. After checking email, I was almost too nervous to go check with the Dis. What if everybody got a positive 2nd round announcement and I didn't? It seems like last year the yes, went out before the no. It would be great if they could just hit the send button at the same time! Don't they know they are driving us all crazy?

In lieu of spending the entire day glued to my computer, I am going to go get on the treadmill and put this nerve racking energy to some use. So no looking at emails for at least an hour! Good thing my phone doesn't have data services or I'd be running and trying to read emails. Must find an outlet for this craziness!

Good luck to anyone reading me from the same boat!

It's Time!

I think today is the day we will hear if we are moving on to the 2nd round of the DMP. I really believed that last Friday was "the day", seemed like with the reduced entry time period, there would be fewer applicants, therefore  taking less time to read.  I still think there had to be fewer applicants, a lot of people procrastinate, just get busy, life gets in their way and 5 days would have just slipped away before they realized. Hopefully that just means more time is being spent reading the responses. I think that will benefit the real WDW fans, hopefully our knowledge will be obvious.

So what I am feeling? First I'm happy that it wasn't Friday, I didn't even think about writing my thoughts that day, I just rushed to email and the Disboards. Now I have the opportunity to reflect, this blogging is brand new to me, I'm more of a go rushing in kinda girl. Taking a moment to breathe and think is actually very calming, I'm enjoying the process.

That said, why have I taken two weeks to write. My college freshman was sick when I last posted, it went seriously downhill  after that afternoon. She has the stomach flu, not that big of a problem, unless you are diabetic. She has had type 1 diabetes since she was 11, but this was our first crisis. If you know about diabetes is is all about the food, eat, take insulin. Oddly when diabetics get stomach bugs it doesn't matter that they aren't eating, their blood sugar skyrockets. Very hard to get a handle on, at home with mom monitoring we've always managed to make it through the episodes, but first time at college, it all got away from her and she ended up in the ER. Followed by an airlift to a larger hospital, and ending up in ICU. Anyway, happy ending, she is back at school, already caught up and studying for mid-terms. For the blogger, life got in my way(not that I haven't been religiously checking email and Dis) and I haven't had the time to write.

So what am I feeling today?  Absolutely not confident, I'm still not convinced that they received my responses, just too much effort getting the system to accept it, kept telling me too many characters, no I didn't cut and paste ;). That has been in the back of my head the whole time telling me not to get too confident, they may not even have a chance to read my witty, informative, well written 100 word gems. Last year I was my first year to apply, and I was devastated not to move to Round 2, this year I am better prepared for the possibility. At least I think that I am, we'll have to see what reality truly is. Do I still want this? Yes!!!, absolutely, however watching my kid lay in the ICU, may have gained me a whole lot of perspective on priorities. I'll just try again and again until I get on the panel. It doesn't have to be this year, patience is a virtue, one I've never really practiced, but I am a quick study!

Let's go check those emails. WDW claims they won't necessarily tell you if you are a "reject", I know, I know,  we're all winners, except that in truth we aren't! I just know that is how I felt last year, and probably will again this year. The difference this year is that I can handle being a reject better, and can be happier for those moving on. I feel certain I will still be envious, just not angry like I felt last year. But I hope they do send out the email, with the thanks but no thanks, at least then you know for sure. Hopefully Disney ironed out some of the problems that occurred last year, a lot of unhappiness resulted from some negligence on their part. Too easy to be already disappointed, then get caught up in a negative reaction.

All right, here we go................