Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May Meet Means So Much More... a First Timer

A funny thing happened to me last weekend... I had an amazing time at Disney World. I know, shocker! BUT- it was a weekend enjoyed not as a solo, but as part of something greater. Many of us have been Tweeting, commenting, blogging and posting with each other for days, weeks, months, and even years. We share stories, thoughts, challenges, triumphs, and so many things Disney that bring us closer as a community. (OK, enough of the lists Steve and get to the point).

You know that smile you get when someone comments on something you said? Or, when you read a posting and think "exactly" and you become friends? Multiply that feeling to infinity and beyond and you will begin to know what it is like to be around Walt Disney World with these folks.

This is not a trip report of my weekend. I think of this as an expression of gratitude and appreciation for those I met along the way and the interactions we shared, both in person and virtually.

Besides the Tweets below, I know there are many more folks I met. If I didn't mention you by Twitter handle or by name... It's because I was so overwhelmed that I got lost in my Tweets and conversations. Well, that and I drove home on Sunday all day. Please, please, please feel free to comment to remind me so I am following/friending you. Heck, even if you weren't there I invite you to share your meet up thoughts. Have you done a meet before? Are you going to? Are you "unsure"? Again, my sincere thanks to my brothers and sisters in Disney for making this a Community of Tomorrow ;)


From my Twitter timeline's perspective:
Friday, May 21
My goals were to simply fly to Orlando and get to Studios on time to catch Fantasmic. It turned out to be a great first time meeting of new friends. Beci Mahnken and Matt Hochberg were streaming the Fantasmic 10:30 show and Doug Uhlig was right there with them. Through the magic of Twitter and their openness to meet someone new, I was honored to join them. Listening to Beci and Matt do a commentary of the show felt like this: I watch Glee on TV and love it, but I got to see it live and it was just as good if not better!

I have just touched down in Orlando and I hope I make some new Disney friends this weekend #confessfriday
7:40 PM May 21st via Osfoora from Southwest Orange, FL

Waiting for Fantasmic with @studiocentral @Beci_mousefan @wdwstevieb :)
10:21 PM May 21st via Osfoora

Being w/ @studiocentral @Beci_mousefan for the Ustream of Fantasmic was like seeing Glee live on stage. The show is great. In person-Magic!
11:30 PM May 21st via Osfoora

Saturday, May 22
My plans were to take advantage of EMH at Studios (Toy Story Midway Mania, Coaster, and Tower), go to AK and hit Everest, then back to DHS to enjoy the WDW Radio/Lou Mongello 24-hour broadcast May Meet of the Month, participate in the Studios Central ABC Commissary meet up, and then head over to Epcot for the Illuminations Dessert party to end the day. Nice right? It was so much more. I gained great friends (special early awakening thanks to Doug for the ride along company and the use of the iPhone charger), and lost a backpack. A personal thank you to everyone who was part of the search party, including Lou Mongello himself for trying to find it. (yeah, still no word). A full day of meeting friends and making connections.

Thanks for being my ride buddy! RT @WDWStevieB: Thanks for the EMH fun @disdug71 - see ya this afternoon!
10:12 AM May 22nd via Osfoora

@heavensent30 @WDWStevieB i'm on my way to see ya'll!
1:33 PM May 22nd via UberTwitter in reply to heavensent30

@wdwstevieb hey! You are on the box! I see you!!
3:42 PM May 22nd via txt

Just saw @marcmantoo & @WDWStevieB too! Very fun @LouMongello!!! :) Lovin this live from HS thing!!
3:44 PM May 22nd via TweetDeck

RT don't forget to score big! @Bixie23: The ever-awesome @WDWStevieB gave me & DD fastpasses for Toy Story Mania!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH!
3:51 PM May 22nd via Osfoora

@WDWStevieB Lous said a kid turned it in to studio catering company lost and found

@WDWStevieB Steve a little kid found it and brought it to lost and found before we could apprehend it.
4:30 PM May 22nd via TweetDeck

I want to thank @loumongello and everyone in and out of the "box" for helping with the elusive bag. Going to keep moving forward ;-)
5:50 PM May 22nd via Osfoora

Ditto RT @bigdsp: @wdwstevieb I hear you talking to Beci right now!
8:49 PM May 22nd via TweetDeck

Sunday May 23
The great $10 drive home (see previous blog post for details). Plan was to pick up the car, shop at Character Premiere, and hit the road. Well, I popped into the Beach Club Resort to see how the 24 hour folks were holding up. It was here I had more "OMG- It's you in real life moments" with NDM#1 JL, and Disney Mom @wifeandmomuniv Andi (thanks for the photo shoot to you and to Jorge). I saw Marc again and met the gentleman who dropped everything to go to the D23 Event last year, following seeing Lou's live coverage.

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Counting down...

Planning leads to anticipation. Anticipation leads to excitement. Excitement builds to the crescendo that is your next trip to Disney. Seeing as how I am in full-on countdown mode for my short May 21-23 weekend at the Studios and Epcot, I thought I would put it out there to see what others do in anticipation of their trip.

I am going as a solo to the May Meet of the Month with the WDW Radio 24-hour broadcast hosted by the man who would be king, Lou Mongello. Then, I will enjoy the viewing party for Illuminations at the Dream Team event Saturday night. As an excited single traveler with a ton of enthusiasm about this, I need an outlet. Like many others who have Tweeted before me, I am going to share my countdown with my Disney brothers and sisters on Twitter (and to a muted extent, on Facebook). Yes, I am going to be one of those Tweeting about my “days to go” and “who’s with me” and “I’m going to do…” You know you do it too. In addition, I have a widget counting down on my Mac desktop, a widget in my iGoogle home page, and an icon on my iPhone reminding me of my arrival Friday evening at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

I am curious about what others do to anticipate their trips. Families? Couples? Other solos or singles? Please feel free to share!

OH- and if you are going to be there, this is my first real “meet up” and I invite you to feel free to comment or follow/mention to me on Twitter too :)

See you real soon!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Want to meet your neighbors? FedEx wants to help.

How close are you with your neighbors? Do you have community cookouts together? Do you share each other’s tools? Do you hope they never want to make eye contact? Are you still holding a grudge from 2007 about the mysterious dog poop that was left in your yard and was never cleaned up? By the way, if it is more the latter, unless you did a stool sample and hired the folks at CSI to analyze it (or saw it happen with your own eyes) clean up that lump of coal already. Sorry, got off on a tangent. No matter how you feel about your neighbors, my FedEx delivery person apparently wants to promote social networking even if it isn’t wanted.

I ordered a MacBook from the Apple Store (online) and FedEx is the shipper that they use. Unfortunately, I am not home this week to sign for the package (working with a customer onsite this week) so I anticipated having to defer delivery or pick it up from FedEx’s station later this week. Sure, I have anticipated my first Mac product with child-like excitement, but I need to earn a paycheck to feed my Disney/gadget appetite. I signed up for FedEx’s free email notification service as soon as I received the tracking number in the mail, so I knew where my little Mac was at all times. Around 6pm, I received an email that the package was delivered and signed for at the residence. Wha?!? Unless my cats learned how to hold a pen (they are smarties, but), I live alone and it wasn’t me.

FedEx initially told me that I signed for it. Well the geographical distance (and biology of my arms) limits that statement from being true. Then, FedEx told me (and Apple) that a neighbor was willing to sign for it. I have only lived at my address for about 10 months, and I didn’t recognize the name or signature. I panicked, rushed home and found the famous ‘sorry we missed you slip’ telling me they would try delivery tomorrow. Yeah, contradiction there, but here is the end of the story. I went door-to-door looking for who had my beloved MacBook. Someone that I didn’t really know at all signed for it. Thank goodness he was a good neighbor (in all sense of that term). He told me that the FedEx driver asked him to sign for it on my behalf. YEAH! He was recruited to be my delivery receiver by the deliverer.

Moral of the story:
1. FedEx is now part of the social experiment. If the driver thinks you want to have your delivery badly, they will leave it with some random person nearby knowing you will go retrieve it. Thank goodness there was not an ongoing “borrowed tools” or “keep your dog on your own lawn” issue there, or that my neighbor (or I) am not a crazed serial killer.

2. Hey FedEx, photo ID matched to the name or address of the recipient would be a smart practice. If I asked you to pick who I wanted to receive my delivery on my behalf, I would have chosen a police officer, politician, teacher, Disney fan… My choice!

3. I’m on a horse.

Now I am free to experience the joys of Mac ownership and become an Apple Fanboy! To my friends who have Macs, be prepared I will be soliciting your assistance in my transition : )

Until again!