Thursday, September 26, 2013

Magic Moments: WDW 1993

My youth ministry Magic Moment countdown continues today on this Throwback Thursday with a trip back to 1993!  A large group of students and young adults from the youth ministry of Springfield Friends Meeting took a trip to Walt Disney World. We were there, staying on-site at the Caribbean Beach Resort (Aruuuuuuubabbaaaa!) and enjoying all the wonders of WDW for a full week.  There are many stories to tell from that week, and to read more just click the Magic Tour label at the bottom of this post. Both of the places mentioned are no longer around...but the memories remain!

After much planning and preparation (see The Magic Touch) I had arranged for the group to visit Pleasure Island and eat dinner at the The Fireworks Factory before visiting the The Comdey Warehouse. I was excited to have the group eat at the Factory (I was especially interested in seeing how the guys responded to the one-way window in the men's restroom.  While you stood at the urinal, you could watch people eat.  It was very odd...) for one of our pre-purchased meals together.  We arrived and were greeted and seated in a special area upstairs.  Our waiters and waitresses arrived quickly, and I told them we would all be using meal coupons.  They took one to the manager and got their instructions and came back to take our drink orders.  One of the students asked (almost jokingly) if virgin frozen drinks (about $7 each) were included.  To my shock and surprise, they said yes. We had used these coupons at EPCOT and other places and this had not been true, but I didn't argue.  So almost everyone got one...or three!  If the drinks had been alcoholic, I would have had to carry a lot of students out of there. And actually, I found out later that some of our legal young adults had been provided the real deals, also at no cost to us.  Next it was time to order appetizers, and our servers insisted that everyone get one. So everyone got their own appetizer.  That, by itself, was probably enough food to feed most of the group.  Then everyone got an entree (I am certain I had the catfish; it was my favorite dish there) of their own.  By the time we finished that part of the meal (and several more large frozen drinks!) most of us were stuffed.  But the servers were emphatic that everyone get a dessert- sharing would not be allowed!  It began to dawn on me what was going on.  These very bright waiters and waitresses had deduced that their tip was going to be 15% of the total of whatever the total cost of our meal was- and so the more they brought us, the more they made.  It was pure genius. (A side note: later on we discovered we consumed over $600 worth of drinks. The company we purchased the meal coupons from was NOT happy...)  So everyone got dessert, even though many could not eat theirs.  Ben Moran, however, ate his and then began to gather the extra desserts and eat them as well.  I thought he was going to explode (and he did!).  I ate more than one myself.  We had an amazing night, and even though dinner took a lot longer than expected, we left ready for a great time at The Comedy Warehouse.

Our Disney Guest Services escort (who had been receiving regular updates from me) was waiting for us when we came out of the restaurant at the back gate to Pleasure Island.  If you have ever spent much time at WDW, then you have probably seen a Guest Services representative.  They wear plaid vests, and are usually seen escorting celebrities or other Very Important People around the parks.  Not just anyone gets to walk around accompanied by a plaid vest.  But our group did!  She walked us through the gate (even though our passes allowed admission to P.I. we never had to show them) and across the area.  She took us behind our destination, The Comedy Warehouse, where we had to wait a few minutes because there was a show already in progress.  After this short wait, the back door to the club opened and she led us in.  As we entered, it was easy to see that we were the only ones in the building.  They seated us in the best seats in the house BEFORE they let anyone else in.  It was incredible.  We were ready for the show...or so we thought!

The Comedy Warehouse was an improv club, which means every show was different and that information from the audience was used to build the skits they do. They were famous for making fun of tourists and WDW itself.   What we didn't know yet was that for this one night, for this one show, it was going to be all about us.  When the performers hit the stage, they already knew that the Springfield Friends Meeting youth group from High Point, NC was in the crowd.  They knew we were seated down front.  They talked to our students to get what they needed for their skits.  I remember there was a phone located in the audience and they called one of our girls and talked to them about our group, and it was hysterical.  They asked group members for words and numbers that were used on stage.  They made fun of us being from NC and of our accents.  I remember very few details of what they did or said; I do remember laughing hysterically the entire performance and feeling like a celebrity.  I know the entire group felt the same way.

When the show ended, we were again escorted out the back and to an exit from Pleasure Island.  Everyone was giddy about the night, but I felt a special sense of accomplishment.  I had dreamed of making the trip unique, memorable and special.  I had made phone calls, asked never before asked questions of WDW suits, and pushed the boundaries of what we could do.  But in my wildest dreams I had not imagined a night as spectacular as the one we had just completed.  In a week full of great adventures, that night was the one that would stick with us.  That was one of the nights, after my 28 years of student ministry were done, that I could point to and say with great passion, "THAT...WAS AWESOME!!!"  I thank God for all such days and nights and pray that even in such "worldly" events we brought glory to His name.

Because of Jesus,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading,and thanks for your comment!