Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I love Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida because of the details. The extraordinary details of every experience within those walls. Yes, I understand that it is a created world. Yes, I will still visit Europe even though I've been to Epcot and yes, I get the part about the crowds, prices and merchandising. Still, I love it.
For example, I was there for the weekend and wanted to ride Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom. Got there early and headed for "Asia" to get my fastpass (sweet). Imagine my surprise when I crossed the bridge, looked to my right and there was "Everest" rising up above the river. Everyone stopped to look and snap photos. No, it was not even close to the size and grandeur of the real Mount Everest but that's not what it's intended to be. I love Disney because I take it for what it is. A themed experience. A recreated wonderland of sights and sounds. An appetizer and a dessert and sometimes the main dish. Now that I saw the mountain, I couldn't wait to ride the ride and wasn't disappointed. From the fantastic Tibetan queue line scenery to the exciting runaway train premise that pushed us back in our seats to avoid the Yeti, this coaster experience delivered.
So many attractions and tourist offerings fall short for me because the details are missing. They just go part of the way with just a little theming or a mediocre program. Lackluster staff or dirty grounds. You can tell when effort is made and that's one of the ways Disney stands out for me. They make the effort every day.
My highlights for this trip included Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, Tower of Terror at MGM, Test Track at Epcot and of course, the Food and Wine Festival. This is my third year at the festival and I enjoy it every time. Started with pomegranate kirs and escargot in France and finished with sushi and Kirin Ichiban's in Japan. It's fun to speak to the staff from the native countries represented but I was baffled by Oklahoma this year. The whole staff was from Michigan! Go figure. Even Disney can miss the details once in awhile. More photos of my Disney adventure at Flickr.
Another great visit to Walt Disney World because I paced myself and took the time to explore. Hope you get a chance to visit the Food and Wine Festival before it ends. I can't recommend the lamb chops but I can suggest the 12th anniversary Sam Adams Lager. Good stuff. See you in Orlando.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Shuttle Discovery launched from the Kennedy Space Center complex at 11:38 and was a sight to behold! Up, up, up into the burning blue. A beautiful white trail with a little fire at the end and she was out of sight.
Don't forget that the Shuttle is soon to retire. Get it while it's hot. I got an email from KSC last week saying they still had a few viewing spaces available for today's launch, just a week out. That's good news if you want to see one of these modern marvels of technology before it's too late. Here's the latest from NASA
One small step...
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
It was my first experience at becoming another character, assuming another identity for just a little while. No, I didn't just put on a costume. I became that character. My early memories are vague and fuzzy. A hobo, a devil, a clown. As I got older the costumes became more sophisticated...more realistic. Now, I portray historical characters year round but Halloween holds a special place in my heart. Walpurgisnacht...All Hallows Eve...Samhain. Here is a roundup in one convenient location of our haunted tours and attractions at Trusted Tours. Enjoy!
Atlanta Segway Ghosts and Legends Tour
Boston Ghosts and Gravestones
Salem Witch Museum
Plymouth Historic Cemetery Tour
Plymouth Twilight Ghost Tour
Charleston Ghost and Legends
Charleston Historic Homes Tour
Chicago Colombian Exposition Tour (the White City)
Key West Ghost Tour
Key West Ghosts and Legends
Key West Ripley's Museum
Key West Harry S. Truman Little White House
Key West Ernest Hemingway Home
Key West Shipwreck Historeum
Las Vegas Hoover Dam Jeep Tour
Las Vegas Eldorado Canyon and Gold Mine Tour
Las Vegas Madam Tussuad's Wax Museum
Hollywood Behind the Scenes Tour
Los Angeles Go Card (Queen Mary. Really creepy)
Memphis Haunted Pub Crawl (Many Spirits)
Memphis Ghost Tour
Miami Go Card (Coral Castle, Vizcaya, Deering Estate)
New Orleans Voodoo Tour
New Orleans Vampire Tour (nice)
New Orleans Ghost Tour
New Orleans Cemetery Tour
New Orleans Cemetery and Gris Gris Tour
New Orleans Ghost and Spirits Tour
New Orleans Bayou and Swamp Adventure
New Orleans Garden District Ghosts and Legends
New York Madame Tussuad's Wax Museum (I think it's creepy. Good haunted trail here,too!)
New York City Pass
Niagara Falls Tour
Orlando Go Card (Ripley's Odditorium, Haunted Grimm House)
Philadelphia City Pass
San Diego Haunted Ghost Tour
San Diego Haunted Old Town
San Diego USS Midway
San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf Wax Museum
San Francisco Alcatraz Cruise
San Francisco Muir Woods/Sausalito
Savannah Ghosts and Gravestones
Savannah Owens Thomas House
Savannah Sorrel-Weed House
Savannah Telfair Academy
Savannah Ghosts Tour
Savannah Sorrel-Weed Candlelight Tour
Savannah Historic Homes Tour
St. Augustine Ghosts and Gravestones
St Augustine Old Jail
St. Augustine Lightner Museum
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight
Washington DC Madam Tussuad's Wax Museum
Washington DC Georgetown Ghost Tour
Washington DC Segway Night Tour
Washington DC Mount Vernon Tour
Happy Halloween. See you in the Cemetery...
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
(Image by way of Seth Godin and Purple Cow. One of my favorite books.)
Nice post at communityguy.com by Jake McKee about respecting your customers. Turns out that when he worked at Lego sometimes folks there thought that passionate customers who bought huge quantities of Lego's were odd. His point is that all of us are odd and we should respect those differences.
I work with Creatives every day and think this analogy extends internally as well as externally for people in the tourism business. You should never have disdain for your guests or customers since we all have our parlor tricks and don't be so quick to dismiss your co-workers as "weird", "strange" or "odd" either.
I remember my 8th grade yearbook filled with comments about me like, "you're not like anyone else I know" or "you're the strangest person I have ever met". At the time, I wasn't sure how to take these remarks but now I get it. Of course, I was different. These critical differences have led to my success today. I managed to nuture my interesting qualities and navigate the real world at the same time. (I thank my family and friends for encouraging that process!)
I often think of the creatives I work with as the Island of Misfit Toys and born out of that stew of different viewpoints, backgrounds and approaches comes massive creativity. I'm often surprised, astonished and delighted at the ideas, fresh approaches and unattainable visions that come from these sessions which lead to real, measurable, outstanding tours, performances and presentations. Most days it's like herding cats. That scares some people.
Where would we be if everyone looked, thought and acted the same way? Pretty boring! We spend so much time with people in this business that it is easy to get jaded and look for the worst. So the next time you are quick to judge someone who isn't like you, take a moment and be thankful. What a wonderful world we live in filled with interesting people. Vive la difference...