Donna F. (NDGM#14) (12 Posts)

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?

Random Me: I love summer rain storms.

Contributed by: Donna F. (NDGM#14). Donna is our resident (NDGM#14). Donna is our resident Disney Institute expert for small businesses.

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