Watching as New Core Memories are Created
There’s no denying that I LOVE going to Disney; there are fantastically themed resorts, sights that transport me back to my childhood, delicious snacks, and amazing Cast Members who make a Disney trip unforgettable. Yet I have to say that one of my favorite types of Disney trips is being able to travel with my fellow Team Members on their first DVCR Research Trip!
You may be wondering what exactly is a DVCR Research Trip? That’s when our Team Members at David’s Vacation Club Rentals visit Walt Disney World to have the same experiences that our guests can encounter during their vacations. We explore all of the Disney Vacation Club resorts, visit the theme parks, use the different modes of Disney transportation, and try out the amenities, like making a giant splash as I exit the pool’s waterslide (I’m not graceful, yet it’s memorable).
Here’s a quick look at a few photos from previous DVCR Team Member trips.
I’m thrilled to say that this week, we’re in the midst of another Team Member trip, and I LOVE seeing WDW through their eyes!
All of these trips start the same; it’s the planning phase. This is when the Team Members are told that they’ll be going to WDW and are asked a series of questions. For example, are they thrill-ride people, or would they prefer the attractions that are more laid back? Dining preferences also get brought up. For instance, what table-service and which quick-service restaurants would they be most eager to try?
This phase is best categorized as the excitement phase. Oftentimes (and this trip was no exception), Team Members have a hard time narrowing their answers down because the reality is that they want to see and do it all!
From lounging at a resort’s pool to staying at a park from open to close, all options are brought forth, and as each Team Member shares their interest, a plan is crafted on how we can best achieve something for everyone.
The next phase in the journey is the hardest part, and that is the waiting phase. Once the stays have been booked and the dining reservations have been made, there’s a block of time where it feels like time has stopped and the trip to the most magical place on earth is taking forever to arrive.
It’s during this phase that we tap into the experience of fellow Team Members who have traveled on previous trips, and we listen to their tips and tricks on how to ensure a knowledge-filled trip is still a fun trip.
Some common pieces of advice that are shared during this time are;
- Start walking. Even if you think you do a lot of steps at home, be prepared to do more walking than you’re used to when you’re at WDW.
- If you’re stopping at the resort for a quick refresh, change your socks. New socks can make it feel like a new day.
- When choosing your clothes for Disney, it’s functionality over fashion. Select clothes that are lightweight and will be as comfortable at the end of night when you’re watching fireworks in the Magic Kingdom as they were when you put them on in the morning.
- Have at least two pairs of shoes that you can walk in. If it rains and your shoes get wet, you’ll want to have a second pair to wear while the first ones dry.
The last phase in the pre-trip process is travel day. It begins in the early morning as we meet at our office to head to the airport and fly to WDW. This day is filled with enthusiasm, sometimes a little nervousness about the unknown, and most importantly, anticipation. While Team Members sit at their flight’s gate and wait to board the plane, their energy builds. It’s something that I can see happening amongst them, and once we land in Orlando, that excitement starts bursting out of them. From seeing their first palm tree to deciding to count the number of WDW signs as we drive to the resort, travel day is when the trip shifts from planning for something that will happen in the future to an experience that’s happening now, and they’re stepping into the magic.
Personally, what I enjoy most about travel day, is seeing them react to opening the door to their rooms. It never fails; the biggest smiles from travel day happen when they tap their magic bands to unlock the door, and they see their rooms for the first time. This is the moment when all of the knowledge they’ve been learning comes full circle; they’re standing in their first DVC room, and what was information learned through training is now being experienced firsthand.
I enjoy many aspects of my role, and being able to share in the experiences of a Team Member’s first research trip is no exception.
I’m grateful to be standing next to them as new core memories are created. It’s an opportunity to see the magic with fresh eyes, and I can’t help but smile as I see another person fall in love with the magic of Disney!