Thursday, April 2, 2009
WDW Mom's training 193
Our buffet was so yummy and we got to meet Duncan, who had been a part of the interview process and like Leanne, it was so great to finally get to meet him. We had a great laugh with all of his adventures and again it just felt like we were talking to an old friend instead of a big cheese for Mr. Mickey Mouse.
After breakfast we headed out to our bus and met up with Angel, who was going to take us on a private tour of multiple resorts at WDW. AFter our fun and informative tour, we said good bye to Angel and headed over to lunch at The Wave. We were led back to a nice private room-which would be perfect for a large magical gathering party and had a yummy lunch. We shared some lettuce wraps-delicious and a little spicy- and I had the chicken sandwich. The desserts here were yummy and came as trio sampler. I had the sorbets and they were light and fruity. I was told by the choco-holics that the chocolate sampler was delicious.
After lunch we had a little free time. The plan was to take the bus back to CSR and relax before heading out to DHS-however we were at WDW and rides were a callin so the 16 of us decided rest would come later and we all jumped on the monorail to head over to Epcot. We all ventured over to Test Track and got in line with these really cool media fast passes they had given us. After that we did a little shopping and then it was time to grab a Disney bus (gasp-we have to take a regular bus-don't you know we are VIPs-LOL-) back to CSR.
On a side note-the 16 panelists had decided to give a few gift baskets to Leanne, Laura and our other fearless leaders. We had all brought items that were known to be from our home cities or states and were gathering in one of the rooms to put together our goodies. It was so cool to see all the neat ideas and items we had come up with and the baskets turned out awesome.
After some secret agent basket assembly-we grabbed the shuttle over to DHS. Using our back door entry method we were magically whisked to the starting spot for the Osbourne lights and arrived with about three minutes to the lighting. What perfect timing. I love the lights at DHS as I too am a Christmas light junkie-but it was really great to be there woth many of the panelists who had never seen the show before. We attempted to venture down the street to have a group picture taken but it was soooooo crowded-so we skipped the picture and headed over to TSMM-using our fastpasses that Laura magically made appear-we rode together for some shootin fun. (Love this ride by the way). After fighting out who had the best score we ventured over to the front of the new American Idol attraction where we finally found our photographer and had some group shots taken then we had about 30 minutes to dinner-so what is a goup to do but run as fast as we can to ToT. After narrowly escaping from the doomed Hollywood Hotel we scurried to HBD for dinner-only a minute or two late.
Now there had been a huge debate going on as our schedule listed dinner with a special guest. Since the taping of the Christmas parade had been going on that day we had all sorts of wild ideas of who was joining us...names like Miley Cyrus to Regis and Kelly were being thought. So we waited anxiously for our special guest..and we waited and we waited and uh-oh whispering that the guest is here...there goes Leanne to escort him or her and drumroll please it is no other than ....Gary. Ummm excuse me Gary? Who is that? Thought you said this was a special guest. someone imporatnt-maybe someone we would know? Who is this person?
Well Gary handles most of the PR events for Disney. For example he had spent the day with Miley and Billy Ray handling the taping and press stuff for her for the Christmas parade taping. Now you might think we were disappointed that this guest was not who we were expecting...I must tell you Gary was one of the funniest, most entertaining and interesting persons I have ever met. He had us in stitches with his jokes and stories and we were having so much fun that we did not notice had late it had become. At one point in the evening a cake suddenly appeared as it happened to be Gary's birthday-or was it? and what was his name again...for some reason half the table thought it was Jerry. So funny that here we sat with a Disney Cast Member hanging on his every word and yet we weren't sure of his name or even what his exact title was for Disney.
The restaraunt had long since closed while we sat enjoying our time with Gary or Jerry. When we finally got booted out of Brown Derby and headed back into DHS, we got another surprise. Gary was one of the leads on the opening of the American Idol project and we had been given the green light to sneak into.... uh I mean go into the American Idol stage. No pictures were allowed but we spent a long time walking thru the stage, the back rooms and Gary explained the process to us (with a lot of stories and laughter thrown in for fun). The weekend had so many highlights but the time spent with Gary was truly at the top of that list. Disney is very lucky to have someone like him as a Cast Member. He quickly became one of my, if not all of the Moms Panel's, favorites and we hoped that we would see him again very soon.
We were way past closing time and our faithful bus driver Vinnie had been waiting for hours for us (blame our lateness on Gary) so we said our good-byes and headed back to CSR very late. We tied up some loose ends on the bus, said our good-nights and headed back for some much needed rest or so we thought. I was greeted when I opened my room door by an amazing in room celebration and my own giant Mickey Mouse.
What an amazing day-we learned some great info about the resorts and updates being made, my first time dining at the Wave, a fantastic dinner with one of the coolest guys I have ever met (Hey Gary), a sneak peak at American Idol and Mickey waiting for me in my room AND we still have two days left.