Friday, June 19, 2009

This S@*T Just Got Real

Sorry about the's from the movie Bad Boys and it's quoted a couple times in the movie Hot Fuzz.

Anyway, I was recently chatting with Matt from Just Another Disney Blog, about his upcoming trip to The World, and it got me thinking. When does it become real for you that you are headed to, or at Disney? Any of you who listen to Inside the Magic have probably heard Skipper Ben's segments about "Goosebump Moments." He has people write in and describe the moments when they get a little giddy about their upcoming trip. Some have included; making ADR's, receiving the Magical Express tags in the mail, and driving to a local airport to fly out.

For me, things really hit home when I get off the plane at Orlando International. It starts when I step off the plane, especially if I'm coming from a cold climate, and the warm air in the corridor hits me. Next, as I step onto the monorail type transport from one terminal to another, I know I've arrived. As I lay my eyes on the Disney Store and then take the escalator down to the lower level and get into line at the Magical Express counter, I know I'm almost home (to steal the DVC slogan.)

So how about you?? What does it for you?? When do you know it's for real??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Disney Movie Club

I just wanted to post a quick note on a recent experience I had with the Disney Movie Club.

When I saw that Pinocchio was being re-released on Blue Ray, I knew I had to jump at the opportunity. As soon as it was featured as part of the Disney Movie Club, I ordered it. The promotion they had at the time allowed me to buy any additional DVD's at 60% off, so in addition, I ordered "Walt Disney Treasures: On The Front Line" and "Walt: The Man Behind the Myth."

I got my e-mail confirmation, and then a couple weeks later the order finally arrived. I opened the box and found "On the Front Line" and "The Man Behind the Myth," but no Pinocchio. Instead I had a copy of Hannah Montana!?!?!?! The packing slip clearly stated "Pinocchio Blue Ray" but I was starting at Miley Cyrus.

My immediate thought was, "Great, I'm gonna have to send this back, pay for shipping, include a letter, and hope they figure it all out and send me the right thing and credit my account for the shipping charge." Then my wife chirped in and said, "why don't you call first?"

Well, it took me a little while to find a good phone number, but eventually I got someone who listened to my story, apologized for the inconvenience and then said she would have to transfer me to someone in that department. "Oh great, transferred, this never goes well." Wasn't I surprised when someone picked up right away. I again explained my situation and I got another apology for the inconvenience, and the woman advised they would send out Pinocchio right away. "But what about Hannah Montana?" I asked. "Should I mail that back and you'll credit my account for the shipping??" "No Sir, due to your inconvenience you can keep that free of charge."

WOW!!! I know I shouldn't be surprised with Disney, but still....WOW!!!

I want everyone to know, that I wasn't rude or hostile. I was very polite, told them that I was very happy with the Disney Movie Club and that after ordering approximately 20-30 titles, this is the very first mistake I have seen. I wasn't trying to get anything free out of this, I just wanted to get what I had already paid for. Disney really handled this well. I couldn't have asked for more.

As I thought about it, there was really no way for me to prove to them that I had not received Pinocchio. They just took my word for it. I guess that's why I'm a Disney fan.

Please don't use this information to try to pull-one-over on the Disney Movie Club. I share this information with my fellow Disney fans to prove that the great customer service we have come to know and love is still present.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The "Best You" Challenge

Before I get into the "Best You" challenge this week, I want to briefly comment on the cancelling of Mousefest '09. To put it simply...I'm bummed out. Just a few days prior to the announcement of the cancellation, I booked my resort stay for what was to be my first Mousefest. I'm hoping that some kind of underground movement will surface and some semblance of a spin off will survive. Does anyone know what that 16 year old kid is doing now that the EPCOT anniversary is over?? I nominate him to lead the insurgence.

On a more positive topic...

The "Best You" challenge, this week for Team Voice had a couple of unique components. The first part was identifying what makes you the best you possible and incorporating that into your workout. For me, it's all about fun. Having fun while working out is very important. It's been a struggle lately. After the joy of running in "The World", the treadmill and elliptical just can't compete. I much more enjoy running outside, but it has been almost impossible with the snow and ice covered streets this time of year. In order to add some fun into my workout, I recently got the Nintendo Wii with Wii fit. My wife and I have been fighting over it at night, and it has really been a fun, competitive way to workout.

Another part of the challenge included participating in the fundraising for Team Voice by coming up with a creative way to put aside a few bucks for the cause. I knew I wanted to contribute some money, but I couldn't figure out what I was going to do differently this week to put aside a couple bucks. a sign from the heavens...the phone rings. I had been planning on going out to buy Turbo Tax so I could do my taxes this weekend. The phone call was from my mother, who said she had just bought it and just finished using it, so why not borrow hers. Needless to say, I did, and as a result saved myself $40.00. So that's gonna be my donation this week to Team Voice. I know it's not much, but it's something. I'll be sending an e-mail to Jonathan to find out how to get the money to him. This has also inspired me to come up with some creative ways to fund raise. I've got some ideas, but I'll save those for a future post.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I'm now all booked for a 7 day stay in "The World" in September. I'm really looking forward to this trip for a few reasons:

1) This will be my first stay at the Boardwalk (and we've got a Boardwalk view!!). I know this is a bit of a splurge, and some may even say a waste of DVC points, but I think it's really gonna be worth it. I'm looking forward to waking up in the morning and stepping out onto the balcony and looking down on the serene quiet of the Boardwalk, before everything gets going. Of course watching the fireworks from Illuminations and seeing Spaceship Earth lit up, from your room is pretty cool too.

2) It will be my daughter's first visit. My daughter will turn 2 while we are down there and I think she is really going to love it. She really enjoys all of the Playhouse Disney shows and giggles uncontrollably every time she watches Finding Nemo. I know she probably won't remember the trip when she gets older, but I will. I can't wait to see how she does with the characters *biting nails*. I know it can really go either way with a kid her age. Will she love them or freak out?? We'll see. Mike Fess and his daughter opened my eyes to the experience that is, character meet and greets with young ones.

3) We are taking my parents with us. My parents have been to Disney World a few times, but they have only been during peak seasons, usually school vacation. My Father calls it "Stroller Hell" and they are used to touring commando style and dealing with huge crowds. I think they will enjoy the slower pace of the parks during September. Another cool thing my wife and I are doing, is surprising them with the accommodations. They have no idea that we bought into DVC and they are under the impression that we are staying at Pop Century. The only time they ever stayed on property was at All Star Sports, so I think they are in for a big surprise.

A little over 200 days until the trip, and it can't come soon enough!! For anyone on the fence about purchasing it if you can afford it. You won't regret it. While we're on the topic...Congrats to Jeff W. and his family who recently bought in!! Welcome Home!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


February is off to a slow start...but I've got a really good excuse. I'll try to keep this short, but the story is a bit complicated.

It begins with two friends who were going through a very difficult time. This couple is very close to my wife and I. She has actually known the husband since high school, and all four of us went to college together. We've all been great friends ever since, even though they live 3 hours away.

Anyway, a couple years ago, they found out that the wife couldn't physically carry a child to full term, and as a result, they would need a gestational carrier in order for them to have a child that was biologically theirs. That's when my wife makes the decision, that she wanted to step up to the plate and help them.

Without getting into detail...this past Saturday my wife gave birth to two beautiful babies, Samuel and Celia. Needless to say, our friends are elated. It's been quite a ride and an amazing sacrifice on the part of my wife. As a result of the pregnancy, she had to pass up on joining me in Disney World for marathon weekend. Fortunately for me, my buddy Bill stepped up and filled the void...well to an extent ;0)

Because of all this, the first couple days of the month were spent in the hospital, and now we are home, but I'm now responsible for keeping our 17 month old corralled and not bothering mommy. This has put a crimp in my training, but I'm hoping to get back to the gym in the next day or two. The plan is, late evening workouts. It's not something I've done in quite a while. The last time I worked out past 5:30ish is when I was working midnights and would workout at 10:30 before my shift. Now it looks like I'm going to be hitting the weight room at 8:00 or so. This will allow me to get my daughter all settled and in bed before taking off and leaving my wife to fend for herself. After a week or two, I should be able to get back to my regular pre-work, morning routine.

I know I've been away from the blogs for a while, but I've been reading and I'm trying to get caught up. It looks like everyone is doing great. Mike and Chris are battling injury, but god knows the rest of us need them to take some time off, so we can start to catch up!! Just kidding guys...hope you each have a speedy recovery.

On a closing's great to see how much Team Voice is growing. This is what the Team Voice community is really all about...spreading the love and the message of getting healthy together.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What's Next??

It's been 3 days now since the completion of the 2009 Walt Disney World Half-Marathon, and I'm still enjoying the post-race high. Now that I'm back home in chilly Massachusetts, it's fun to re-live the experience by sharing all the stories, pictures, and souvenirs with friends and family. I'll post more on the actual race and the week in general in a future post. The question I want to answer now is, "What's next?"

Jonathan announced some big news about his "What's Next." John Corigliano (sp?) announced his "What's Next." Rae, Deb, Chris, & Matt have all shared with my their plans for their "What's Next."

So what's next for me?? The short answer is...something. I don't have any specific plans for another race, but I know there will be one.

Before this past weekend I saw the Disney Half-Marathon as a finish line. An end goal to a long journey of self-betterment. But something changed during my week in "The World." I saw an amazing cross section of people challenging themselves to be better. Some were slim and fast, others were Pooh sized and slow moving. Some were young, some were old. Some were agile, others were dealing with injury. But everyone was doing it...and I was doing it!! Every time I crossed a mile marker along the way, I really felt a little euphoria at knowing that I was getting closer and closer to a goal I had been working toward for over a year, and when I crossed the finish line and saw all the other Team Voice members who had finished, I felt a true high. Now...I want more. I want that feeling again, and what's stopping me from getting it?? Nothing!! The line at the end of the half-marathon wasn't a finish was starting line.

Like I said, I don't have any immediate plans for another race, but I'm going to continue to train and continue to move towards a healthier me...and with Team Voice pushing me along through cyber space, there is nothing that can stop me.