Tag Archive | Disney

A review of ME!

Another week of exams – CONQUERED! Now on to…the last week of classes? Well, kinda. Some of our classes are seven weeks and this week marks the last week of our first seven-week term. My classmates and I will be trading statistics, economics and marketing for finance, organizations and operations (accounting spans across the 14 weeks).

I can’t believe we are almost into our finals week! But, that’s a post for another day. Since this week seems to be pretty mild and relaxed, I wanted to take a few moments and tell you a little bit more about me!

My name is Jessica Reynolds, but all my friends call me Jess. I am 23 years old and I am a MBA Candidate of 2014 (don’t you love that title?! I always feel so incredibly fancy when I see that on my business cards!). I graduated from OSU in 2011 and couldn’t love being a buckeye more. Coming from the Cincinnati area, I am full of Ohio pride!

After graduating from Ohio State I traveled down to Orlando, Florida to participate in the Walt Disney World College Program. I was in Florida for about nine months and worked in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Toy Story Midway Mania! and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show! So, it goes without being said, I am a huge ¬†Disney fan and if you need any help planning a Disney vacation, I’m your girl ūüôā

Working at Disney was¬†an¬†amazing adventure and I would¬†recommend¬†the college program to everyone. I learned so¬†much¬†about myself, the true meaning of¬†hard-work¬†and how to truly live a brand. But, my heart is in Ohio and I returned from this incredible adventure at the end of February, 2012. I worked in the Arena District and started to focus on grad school applications. After a few interviews, tons of GMAT practice and some great guidance from Fisher’s Admission Team – here I am! Talk about a whirlwind, but what’s life without excitement and adventures?

That’s one of the best things about going to school at FCOB ¬†– everyone here has a unique story. People come from across the state, across the country and across the world to attend Fisher. We have a variety of work backgrounds and new perspectives on everything. I love chatting with classmates and hearing more about their hometowns, backgrounds and different holidays/religions. No matter what, I learn something every day, both inside and outside the classroom.

Talk to you guys again soon!

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a little personal growth every month

Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends – Walt Disney

I stumbled across this quote while I was working in Orlando. One of my managers had some famous Disney quotes taped to the wall next to her desk and I loved seeing the focus Walt Disney put on quality service. Even during my  College Program the Disney Basics and the 4 Keys were taught, practiced and reinforced.

One great thing about my new job is the incredible room for personal growth. While I am learning my way around a “big-girl job” and slowly figuring out life as a college-grad, I am realizing what values are important to me – both personally¬†and professionally. To help with my professional development, I am beginning to read one self-help book a month.

Not a huge commitment Рbut putting forth a small effort to (in a very inexpensive way) better myself.

April’s book is: Zingerman’s¬†Guide to Giving Great Service¬†by Ari Weinzweig.

Even though I’m just a few chapters in, the book is phenomenal! It is a written in a way that is easy to understand, and even more imporatant, easy to understand. What is the point of a self-help book outlining the way to interact with customers, handle complaints and reward employees for outstanding service if it’s full of theories and written in a way that takes forever to read? This book is highly accessible and written in a way that transports you from your house to a deli in Ann Arbor.

I am reading about the five elements on the Zingerman’s approach to service and three steps of great service. What has really struck a chord with me is the fact that company proudly empowers and¬†rewards their employees for practicing great service. BUT Zingerman’s guide avoids the rut that some companies seem to fall victim – they define good service and reward it both formally and informally.

This book reinforces my belief that¬†many small actions lead to great service. It isn’t hard to give¬†customers¬†or guest with outstanding service, but companies¬†need to teach their employees, lead by example¬†and they reward outstanding¬†service.

Being positive, approaching guests with a¬†smile¬†and¬†making sure that all guests’ needs are met¬†(before they even can ask) are my three easy tips for great, Disney Princess service. And I think Mr. Zingerman himself would be proud.

More self-help/professional developement book reviews coming later!

a chapter ends: packing the magic and moving to Ohio

17 hours. Just shy of 20 hours is what it took for me and my boyfriend to make the drive from Orlando to Ohio. Through Florida, Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky, I felt like I forgot a small piece of my heart in Florida.

As I look back on my Disney College Experience I can’t begin to count the memories of happiness, laughter, finding new friends who became my family and personal strength I never knew. I learned how to handle difficult¬†guest situations – and I learned that this Disney Princess is a little tougher than she looks.

  • 80 hour work week? check
  • Angry parents and screaming children? check
  • Multi-tasking to the extreme while handling 5,000 guests and their issues with a smile? Check
  • Parking 300 strollers? Check

my goodbye dinner - great looking Disney family

So the time came for me to return to Ohio for another incredible job opportunity (stay tuned about that!) and I packed my clothes and pretty much all my worldly possessions in the my trusty civic, cried while saying goodbyes and began the journey up 75 North.

I can’t really say I look different – perhaps a little tanner and toned due running, but pretty much the same. I can’t say I act different – still singing country tunes in the car (sorry boyfriend) and stopping at Starbucks for an afternoon pick-me-up.

But I¬† feel different. Not to sound Disney “corny”, but I feel like some of the magic buzzing around Disney World made the trip to Ohio with me.

Go ahead and laugh. Just laugh and get it over with. Tell me that magic doesn’t exists and I am waaayy¬†to old to be pretending that a mouse and a castle have anything to do with magic. Ok…finished?

But … I feel the magic with me. Not the magic the includes pulling bunnies out of hats – but the type of magic the includes families¬†and memories. The magic I experienced in Disney allowed me to see that families come in all different shapes and sizes…and happy people create more happiness. Respect goes a long way and fireworks are a great way to end your day. You can find friends while waiting in line and people love to tell stories about their own journeys. THAT magic.

And now I am in Ohio: ready to move¬†back to Columbus and begin¬†my next adventure. I’m nervous about my this change but can’t wait to share what I learn and see how I grow. It was time for me to close my Disney chapter of my life and look towards the future. One part ended – but another path is right in front of me.

Watch out Columbus – I’m back. I’m¬†ready to rock it out at my new job and put my roots down in good ol’ Buckeye Nation. But want to know something even better? I have a little Disney magic with me.

continue the respect

In my last post I talked about respect individuals should show to those in the service industry. Theme parks, grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops РANYTHING Рthose you interact with should always be shown common courtesy.

Not really a hard concept in my opinion; say please and thank you.

However, respect also needs to be present when dealing with family members.¬†That’s right…respect should be extended towards both strangers and family.¬†Children to parents, adults to children, adults to the elderly, courtesy should flow across all ages.

Let me elaborate. One of the perks of my job is my ability to interact with thousands of guests daily. I am able to talk with couples and families from across the country and the world and hear their stories. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting the cutest families and hearing the most incredible stories from guests about their travels and Disney adventures.

I’ve seen the good, I’ve seen the bad, and I’ve seen the down-right UGLY.

I’ve seen children talk back to their parents and throw a temper tantrum when they didn’t get a dessert with lunch or get to see¬†Buzz and Woody before they left the park. I’ve seen moms and dads scream at one another when plans fell apart and when aching feet became too much to ignore. It’s disrespectful.

I completely understand that children are going to sometimes have attitudes when talking with mom/dad/sibling (trust me, ask my mother. I know I gave enough sass growing up, and even now, to last a lifetime). But there is a fine line between sass and disrespect.

What really makes me sad is when I see families talk disrespectful to everyone. I see one parents actually call one another names and lose their patience in front of their children, and I have to wonder what example that sets for their children.

Arguments happen and people fight, but family need to show one another respect. People shouldn’t yell and call one another names – for any reason.

So try some patience…and some respect. It’s a tall order for anyone (dealing with family members or strangers) but in the end the results are much better.

Disney creates spooky Halloween magic

In Florida, Ohio and everywhere in between, there are so many fun activities all around.

For example, I went to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with my roommate. The evening was full of characters in costume, trick-or-treating and the best parade I have ever seen. Held on select nights from September to November 1 at the Magic Kingdom, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party creates the perfect blend of spooky entertainment and adorable characters, along with pixie dust and fireworks, to create a night of fun for all ages.

While the entire night was incredible, from the Guests in costumes to the Grave Diggers in the parade, here are my top three memories of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.

1.) Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade! Without question, this is the best Disney parade EVER. Special Disney Characters, ranging from¬†your favorite Disney¬†Villains, characters from the 100 Acre Wood, Peter Pan and the¬†Lost¬†Boys to many more. The Headless Horseman¬†leads the parade while your favorite ghosts and spirits from the Haunted Mansion dance and sing their way along the route. Grave-diggers, dancing ghouls and fantastic music keep the¬†spooky fun alive throughout the night.

2.) Another great part of the Not-So-Scary Party are the fantastic characters such as Winnie the Pooh and his friends and classic Disney Villains to meet & greet. Within the span of a few hours my roommate and I had traveled across Magic Kingdom meeting Winnie the Pooh, Gaston, Maleficent, The 7 Dwarfs and many more. Disney does an incredible job of bringing in different characters to keep the Halloween spirit alive the entire month of October.

3.) Finally, the candy and firework show, Happy HalloWishes, brings the night to a spectacular end. Your Ghost Host and other scary ghouls light up the sky with autumn colors. Also, before taking a seat before the parade and fireworks grab a bag and head out into the park to trick-or-treat around Magic Kingdom. My roommate and I had our bags full before the parade and happily munched on our delicious goodies before the parade.

The ending of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party means one thing – Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is around the corner! Stay tuned for pictures and details in the coming months!

Thanks for reading

Magic is everywhere if you know where to look . . .

I think the title of this post says it all – magic is everywhere. And at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, the magic is tangible. You see it when families see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time, hug Mickey Mouse, scream on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or buy their own Minnie Mouse at Mouse Gear in EPCOT.

Want to know something even better? Magic happens for Guests, as well as Cast Members. When you are surrounded by so much happiness and smilies – how cannot you not believe and feel a bit of Tinker Bell’s pixie dust of your own?

Ok, an example of my own Magical Moment! This is such a hard example to give because I have so many to choose from! While this moment may seem small to others, this little girl touched my heart and will always be remembered.

We all know the heat of Florida. Like it or not, it’s there and it likes to make it’s presence known. However, in my opinion, the more water you drink the more smiles you give, the quicker the heat disappears. While I was greeting Guests and preparing to begin seating for a show, I noticed a family of four waiting in line. The little boy had a Lightening McQueen shirt and the older sister couldn’t have looked cuter in her princess gear She had Jasmine on her shirt and was even carrying around a small tiger around.

I went over¬†to talk to this family and learned they were from the midwest like me. They had experienced some rain a few days earlier and were finally back in the park after talking their son to the doctor due to an ear infection. What a start to a vacation – rain and sickness! However, after seeing their¬†positive attitudes and listening to the children’s tales of seeing characters and riding all the “grown-up rides”, I knew I wanted to do anything I could to add some extra pixie dust to this family.

After some quick conversations with other Cast Members around me, I knew the perfect plan. I told the family to look for me once they entered the grandstand and waited excitedly for their arrival. When I saw my family heading my way after we started escorting Guests to their seats, I lead my family (all five of us with huge smilies) to our four seats in front, and center, of the stage. While all of our seats are fantastic, these seats are in their own compartment and have a slightly different style.

The family LOVED the show!! They even stopped by afterwards to thank me for making their¬†day so memorable and magical! How could I not feel the magic in the air? This family kept their own magic, and I couldn’t help but feed off of them.

So remember, come rain or shine, the magic lives on.

Disney lights up the night

Please remember – this blog consists of my thoughts and opinions only. My ‘thoughts, my ‘tude.

Walt Disney World is full of magic, both day and night. However, with multiple parades, fireworks and shows throughout the park, it can become slightly overwhelming. Disney night shows are my absolute favorite Рso here is an easy layout of my favorite magical shows for October 2011.

Here is the schedule for Disney night shows that list specific times and days Рplease note that some evenings shows are held twice, it has been my experience that the later show is considerably less crowded. All shows times are subject to change.

Magic Kingdom Park 

Wishes Nighttime Spectacular – see schedulefor specific times & dates

  • Put this firework show on your must-see list! Wishes Nighttime Spectacular is the biggest, most beautiful fireworks show ever. Jiminy¬†Cricket is the narrator through the show that is synched¬†with brilliant¬†music. The show can be¬†seen throughout the park, but to see Tinker Bell fly to Cinderella’s Castle, I would recommend sitting¬†on Main Street, USA or near the front of the park.

Main Street Electrical Parade – see schedule for specific times & dates

  • Floats, lights and pixie dust! This parade is full of sparkly floats and magical music that travels throughout the park. You can see all the seven dwarfs as they head off to work and a great salute to America. The best part? Tinker Bell leads the parade in a beautiful and magical float. Make sure you¬†find a great seat to catch all the magic.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

Fantasmic! – 8:00 p.m. in October with two shows at 8 and 9:30 p.m. on Sundays

  • Fantasmic! is one of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World! Running about 25 minutes, this night show combines fireworks with a water show, tying classic Disney pals¬†with exciting music.¬† Make sure you stop by Disney’s Hollywood Studios to see how Mickey overcomes the Evil Queen and other villains to save his dreams from their scary nightmares.

Epcot

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth Р9:00 p.m. every evening

  • Again, Disney combines the beauty and power of fireworks, water and lasers in the celebration¬†the world and the diversity of¬†all the¬†nations. IllumniNations: Reflections of Earth runs about 15 minutes and is centered¬†from the World Showcase Lagoon. How can you not feel chills as¬†you celebrate¬†the magic of our world?¬†Grab some food from another country and be ready¬†to stand in awe at this breathtaking nighttime spectacular.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade – 3:45 p.m.

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes at 5 p.m. every day, so there isn’t a nighttime parade. However, the Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade is 15 minutes of high-energy fun. Moving throughout Africa, Discovery Island and Asia. Come feel the animals’ spirits in this colorful and musical parade. Also, Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goody ride along¬†in jeeps that fit their personality perfectly. Which one is your favorite?

a few Disney Princess tips for night shows:
Plan your day and arrive EARLY! The biggest thing I’ve found while living in Florida and going to see fireworks and parades is that the perfect spot makes the experience even better. Grab a delicious snack and snag your spot early.
– Sometimes people take 1000 photos! Don’t be afraid to put down your camera and enjoy the parade and magic!

What are your favorite memories and parades at Disney? Please share with me!

Always believe in the magic