It’s Thursday night, and time for our weekly feel good blog. This week’s story of kindness is all about our Big TMSM Meet Up, and the wonderful people who came out to see us last Saturday. As with any meet up we do big or small, I usually worry and plan way in advance, because I want things to go well and the goal is to ensure that people have a good time. We had a schedule planned for the day, so that Main Streeters could fit us in during their day, without feeling like they need to be at each place. The Park was packed on Saturday, and we were running a few minutes late. The plan was to meet at Memento Mori by the Haunted Mansion, as that was our first FastPass of the day. I wasn’t sure if anyone would be there so early, and had no expectations of who may be there or how many. To my shock, when we walked around the corner, there were at least 45 Main Streeters waiting for us by the store. Some decked out in TMSM gear! I can’t even begin to tell you how that felt. My first plan was to make sure I went around and talked to each person, and of course thank them and give them a hug. Once we visited for a few, our large group headed in to the Haunted Mansion. When we got into the stretching room, I looked around, and it was ALL Main Streeters. Since it was just us, the group was reciting the lines of the Ghost Host and cheering, the meet up was off to an awesome start. We even stopped for a pic after getting off of the ride.
After riding my favorite attraction, we took to group over to Adventureland where people stopped to get Dole Whip’s and then headed to our next FastPass, the Jungle Cruise. The group got in line, and we knew it would be tight getting us all into one boat. We were in luck, because a couple of the Jungle Cruise Cast Members were actually TMSM followers and they hooked us up! We fit 40 of us in one boat, and the rest in the boat behind us, thanks to the awesome CM’s. They kept us together and gave us our own boats, and it was a riot having everyone together, just like in the Mansion. We had a great time, and a big thank you to the Skippers who made sure we had a magical experience. Afterwards, the group headed over to Frontierland to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade. The day was going beautifully, and the staff and I were feeling pretty happy and relieved.
One of my big concerns in preparing for the meet up, was for when it came time to eat. I knew we’d have a large group, and I didn’t want people to have to sit in various places. After the parade, we went into Pecos Bill’s and spoke to a CM, who then got a Coordinator. As luck would have it, again, the CM’s at Bill’s were kind enough to open a private room for TMSM meet up goers so we could all sit together. It was really hot and crowded, so being able to cool off, have a late lunch, and all sit and socialize was so appreciated. Looking around, seeing our TMSM Staff and all the members having a nice time, enjoying each others company, just made my heart happy. Success so far!
So, late lunch was over….. what’s next? Arrrgghhhh….. Pirates of the Caribbean! Again, large group, could we possibly all stay together? Well of course we can, thanks to some MORE awesome Cast Members. I believe there were three boats full of Main Streeters, so again, it was a blast. After we visited Pirates, we headed into the Tiki Room to again cool off and relax. We had time before meeting others in front of the Castle, so we were trying to think of a place that would accommodate our group, even without FastPasses. The only logical place was the Carousel of Progress. Once again, it was just our group inside the attraction, and everyone was singing along together each time the scenes changed. Nothing better than hearing your peeps singing about A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow…. all together! It does the heart good!
After the Carousel, I realized that we needed to hurry up and get to the Castle, as it was group picture time. We had people in and out of the group all day long, so I was assuming that the whole gang would be back for 6:30. Once again to my shock, there were NEW people waiting for us too! The group of Main Streeters waiting at the Castle was overwhelming, I can’t even explain it. There were so many of us, I wasn’t sure how we were going to get everyone together for a pic and not disturb other guests. Luckily for us, we did have a few CM’s in our group to help with that. We were standing there, waiting for everyone to get ready for the photo, and I turned to look behind me at the crowd. My eyes filled with tears because the kindness and love that these people have shown us over the years is amazing to me. The fact that all these people came out throughout the day to see us is still hard to believe, but it sure is a blessing. I gave out lots of hugs, our staffers were sure to work the crowd too. We wanted each person to feel appreciated, it meant a lot to us. When I saw the photo of the group, I was so surprised and how big it looked. We lost count of how many people we met that day, but it was close to 150 or so. Incredible!
Once the picture and socializing was over, we decided to take a poll to see what people wanted to do, as we were out of FastPasses and the park was a mad house. Next on the list was the Monsters Inc Laugh Floor! There were a lot of us in there too, and as I said previously, I got picked to talk to a Monster, and it was just icing on the cake. So fun! That’s never happened before, so it was a fun surprise.
It was getting later in the evening, and people were hungry again. After all, it had been a long day and it was pretty hot and exhausting! The group then went over to Cosmic Rays for food and fun. Once dinner was over, we went and found a spot for Celebrate the Magic and Wishes. The group was much smaller at the end of the night, after being together for 13 hours, but we went on one final ride before leaving, it had to be the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! What a day!
All in all, the day was a complete success. I’m honored and humbled by all of you who came out to meet the TMSM Staffers and other people who we consider our Disney Ohana. We met Main Streeters from as far away as Scotland, England, across the various parts of the U.S. etc.. it was awesome. A special thank you also to our loyal staff who cared enough to come in for the meet up, as well as my friends from Michigan. I’m not sure what I did to get so lucky to have a wonderful staff and amazing friends, but I thank God for all of you. My family and I are grateful for the love and support, and we can’t thank you enough for making our day so special. The group size doubled from last year at Epcot, so I really look forward to see what the next year holds for TMSM. Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you! ~ The Atwoods
A huge thank you to all of our staff who help us each and every day. We love you! ~M