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MouseStation 49 - Year of a Million Dreams Revisited

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Featured Topic

In this week's feature, Mike and Mark revisit the topic of their first MouseStation show, looking at their predictions for Year of a Million Dreams and seeing how accurate they were..


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Mike is not a big fan of the promotion. It's cool that they're giving away all of this stuff. But cast members are supposed to be doing this stuff every year, not just for the special promotion. The event draws away from the great things that cast members do every day.

Mark agrees to some extent. People don't know what the prizes are for and others are being disappointed when they don't manage to win anything. However, the number of spontaneous magic incidents has been dropping, and the push related to the promotion may help to get cast members thinking magically again.

We played a clip from the first show, where Mark talked about there being an increasing number of cast members who weren't willing to take that extra step, and perhaps this will serve to help bring the magic to the forefront, help more people come up with new magical moments and institutionalizing them. Mike disagreed, noting that cast members in the parks say that in-park magical moments are decreasing because of fear that it'll get confused with Year of a Million Dreams events. He also watched a Dream Squad member appearing to do things as if by schedule.

Mike feels that his contention in the first show is still accurate, and it's ruining the whole idea of Magical Moments, distracting from the magic in the park every day. Mark feels that, when Magical Moments are presented well, most guests don't realize that they have become rote for the cast member, and it's special for them.

Mark still feels that it has helped to boost the creation of magic in the parks, with creation of many new Magical Moments in the parks, the institutionalization of them, and the celebration of those moments in cast member publications.

Mike noted that Take Fives are the best magical moments, because they are more personalized. Also, resorts cast members have always been better at creating magical moments than parks cast members because they had more time available.

Mike discussed the difference between a Year of a Million Dreams prize, a Magical Moment and a Take Five. Mike placed much more importance on Take Fives than any other type of special moment, because it's personalized. Mike wants to see more personalized magic, rather than more staged moments.

Mark feels that cast members appear to be more engaged during this promotion than they had been before, because they had been slacking off in general in the recent past. He feels that cast members seem more attentive to guests' needs.

Mark thinks that, since Mike was a resorts cast member, he probably saw many more cast members making magic than Mark saw in the parks all of the time. He got Mike to agree that magic had been falling off in the parks, though he refused to concede that resorts were any less magical. Mark noted that this was probably because resorts cast members have more time with each guest than parks cast members, with the possible exception of custodial cast members.

Mike asked Mike how he would re-engage cast members without doing the Year of a Million Dreams. Mike suggested a program that encouraged cast members to do 1-3 Take Fives per day, logging the Take Fives, with points being awarded based on the creativity of the Take Fives to be awarded by supervisors. The success of the mandated Take Fives would help cast members become more excited about continuing to make magic.

Mark saw a problem with that, where the competitive nature of the program might cause cast members to focus on finding the most creative ways to invent Take Fives instead of perhaps doing a less-creative but more-needed Take Five. The free box of popcorn sometimes has more impact on a child than a spectacular moment that was devised for maximum creativity.

Mark feels that supporting people creating magic is good, but making it into a competition has too many inherent problems.

Do you have an idea on how to help cast members create more magic for guests? Share your ideas by sending an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278) and let us know what you think!

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(Send an email to MouseStation Crew)

The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).