Pre-Pre-Trip Report: Not Quite a Mom on the Disney Moms Panel
This is the how I spent November 10, 2010. You see November 10th was the proposed day that all of the 3rd round finalists of the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel search would find out whether they were a “chosen one” or not. Given the fact that I had bumbled through my telephone interview (in my opinion) – I had settled in my heart that I had not made it to the panel. I was okay with that because I did have a lot of fun in the process making the video and answering the essay questions. Even the interview was fun in retrospect thinking of how my voice cracked and piqued as I tried to convey my passion for Disney.
To console myself, pre-call on Nov. 10, I threw myself headlong into my community volunteer activities all morning long with my mom. It was an exceptionally great day with my friends and we accomplished a lot. At noon, I returned home and my father suggested that we go to COSTCO – for lunch and a little shopping. Yaayy! For some reason, nothing brightens my day better than a lunch in that warehouse! It kind of reminds me of Disney World counter services meals, but the prices are much more economical! Where else can you get a hot dog with all the trimmings (done your way) & a soda for $1.50? Well, this day I decided to go for the berry smoothie and a slice of everything pizza – yummy and quite comforting!
Well, on our drive, my dad changed his mind and headed for the Mall instead. So, I soon found myself in the food court with even more choices! Instead of pizza, mom & I had Arthur Treachur’s Fish & Chips! Dad had Chinese. Now this British treat totally reminds me of Epcot! Well, remember I was trying hard to forget that today was D-day for finding out who made it to the Disney Moms Panel – but everything kept reminding me of Disney! Little kids in the mall wearing Disney shirts and walking past the place where the Disney Store used to be, ugh! I couldn’t escape it!
After a nice shopping experience at the mall (mainly window shopping) we did go to Costco and pick-up some bulk items for the pantry. Eventually, we returned home and to soften the blow, I went online first to a couple of websites that I monitored as a lurker to see how other panelist had faired. Plus I check in here at Intercot to see how our other finalist did. To my dismay, there were only rejections and no celebrations. Some of the ones who were sadly discussing that they did not make it, seemed like shoe-ins to me. I knew that I did not have the blog experience or the other great Disney (big kids or small children) well-roundedness that many others had. Not wanting to delay the inevitable, I nervously checked my answering machine and yup, there it was a missed call from the 407 area code!
I took a deep breath and called the return number left on my machine. Well, unfortunately I got an answering machine too! When the voice said, “leave a message at the beep”, my brain went south – I tried to identify myself calmly and leave a call-back number, but by mistake, I left the number of my answering service, not my return number – yikes! Then I said oops, don’t call that number try: XXX-XXXX instead which was my house number, not my home office number – which was where I was nervously making this call. Then, I really got flustered and said, “Never mind that number, just call my cell” and gave that number. When I hung up I laughed thinking that if they were even slightly considering me, that call would ruin everything! I could not even get my own phone number right, how could I be expected to answer questions about Disney correctly???
Not too long after that, the phone rang and it was from the 407 area code! I calmly waited for the second ring (yeah right – I was not calm – I was anxious)! I picked-up the phone and nervously said, “Hello – Johnetta speaking.” On the other end was Laura. She commented on how many phone numbers I had – I said, “I know – I’m sorry about that” and we laughed. Then she told me that I should be very proud about making it this far in the selection process and that they were impressed by my entries. I thanked her very much. She then told me that they had been making calls all day to the finalist and asked me if I wanted to know their decision concerning me. In a little voice I said, “I do”. Laura paused dramatically and then said, “Well, I’d like to congratulate you and welcome you to the 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel!” I don’t remember too much at this point except I was screaming a loud shriek in happiness into the phone. Then thought about how horribly deafening that must have been for Laura. I apologized for yelling in her ear. Laura said, “It is okay, it has been happening all day!” Laura told me that I was a first, which is the first non-parent on the Panel. I was glad to be able to blaze a new trail for the panel! I thanked her over and over again. We talked a little more about what would happen next and soon the call was over.
Since I was asked not to say anything online until after 8:00 pm eastern time, I bounded through the house to tell my parents. They were happy for me! I burned up the phone line to tell my sister and brother. My siblings were delighted. My nieces & nephews told me that I can bring them to Walt Disney World again – like right away! I called my extended family in Florida. They said that they hoped that meant I would be spending more time in the area with them. Then I sat tight, and watched the clock until 8:00 pm. I wanted to console the other finalist who didn’t make it to the panel – and put out a little note to let you know that indeed another Intercoter made it to the Moms Panel (LottaLubes did so a year before me).
I didn’t want to sound like a braggart or anything, I just wanted to encourage everyone to continue each year to try to make the Panel, it is challenging, interesting and fun! This was my fourth try and I’m glad that I kept putting forth the effort. Let me assure you that I have never “won” any contests except for occasional concert tickets from the radio station. I credit that with the fact that they were last minute and no one else wanted them, LOL! I really like being a Disney Moms panelist because; you get to help a lot of people have wonderful vacation experiences in Walt Disney World. Best of all you get to be a part of some of this most passionate and dedicated group who truly “give back”. I feel so happy to be a part of the “Moms Panel family” just like I love being a part of Intercot!