Disney Institute – My First WOW!

I still vividly remember the day, it was January 22, our facilitator was Mark Matheis and the tour was Backstage Magic.  Why do I remember this day after all these years?   Because it was my first experience with the Disney WOW.

The tour was jam-packed with fun Disney facts and “secret” places.  Places that most people only dream of seeing, like the corridor under the Magic Kingdom,  the daunting holiday decoration warehouse and a special visit to the Disney Florist, to name a few.

During lunch at Mama Melrose (I highly recommend the wood fired grilled chicken with 4 cheese sauce), I overheard a fellow tour member and Mark discussing a Disney Institute workshop geared toward businesses.  Had I heard correctly?  Were they actually discussing  an educational door I was longing to walk through?

Upon completion of our day, I thanked Mark for the fascinating and informative tour and casually mentioned to him that today was my birthday.  I then looked for a place to relax and call home to tell my daughters all about the tour.  While on the phone, Mark came running up to me said, “Oh, I’m so happy you’re still here, I wanted to give you a little something for your birthday.”  He placed a Disney trading pin in my hand.  Not just any trading pin, it was a trading pin that he had a small part in helping create.

I began to quietly cry.  Outside of my husband, Mark was actually the first person to wish me happy birthday that day.  A relative stranger went out of  his way to wish ME happy birthday.  WOW!  WHY?

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible"

Have a wonder-filled day,

Donna Flanagin

Random Me: I took judo lessons as a small child

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow. What a cool story. Mark is an amazing Disney Historian. I look forward to your posts each day in my inbox.

    • Aw, same to you. You already know I check in most mornings for your blog too. I must be honest that mine will not be daily. B.B.B. = business before blogging 🙂

  2. So cool! I would love to take one of the tours someday. I have done one and will say that the “Behind the Seeds” tour, at The Land, is incredible, especially for the value – $12 at the time.

    We also had a great meal at Mama Melrose’s! Part of the Fantasmic Dining Package at the time.

    It’s funny how some pins grab a special place in your heart. My favorite one, that I have, has Cinderella Castle as a backdrop to the “Partners” statue.

    • Craig, at the very least try to find a way to do the Backstage Magic the next time you go. Once you do that one, you will be hooked. Make it a goal, you will do it. Just like the push-ups.

      Donna

  3. DO U STILL KNOW ANY JUDO MOVES? ALL MY PINS ARE SPECIAL PINS TO ME -BUT I DO LUV THE SAYING ON YOUR SPECIAL PIN!!! I REALLY AM GOING TO LUV YOUR DISNEY BLOGS (AND BULK MAIL ONES TOO 🙂

    • Yes, I remember some. Can’t physically do them though. Went by the way-side just like cartwheels, splits and head-stands.

  4. It’s cool that he did that. Kind people like Mark are the ones we always remember forever.


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