Cinderella Story Chapter 3 – Happy is What Happens, When All Your Dreams Come True

photo by Joan Marcus

photo by Joan Marcus

Ok, so I’m stepping outside of the Disney box here and using a Wicked reference for my title, but I couldn’t help it. After finding out I made the 2010 Disney Moms Panel, that line from the hit Broadway musical is all that kept popping into my head. It seemed fitting too, because as the song says, “There’s a kind of a sort of a…cost…” which of course is the fact that my amazing husband is still on the hunt for a new job. So my joy and happiness was a little dampened by that hardship we still have to conquer. I have no doubt that we will, it is just hard to forget about the reality at hand, even while you feel as if one part of you is walking in a dream.

In the same vein, I felt strange writing about it as I was and still am in such a haze of disbelief and awe. Things have been quite busy at home with the kids and all and I fell behind on my updating. Thank you to all of you that nudged me to come back to ZannaLand! I couldn’t leave you all hanging knowing the end of the Cinderella story but no details, right? So here is what happened on Tuesday, November 10:

There was a lot of buzz on Twitter and the message boards as we all thought the 10th was the day we’d hear one was or another if we’d made the panel. I had played over in my head again and again the sound of whomever was making my call saying, “We want to thank you for applying but unfortunately we don’t have a place for you this year…” I really thought I had flubbed my phone interview, so I was certain I would get a sad call and not a happy call.

A week earlier when my phone rang at 12:16, I was full of confidence and excitement to answer the questions the callers on the other line had for me. However the minute the first question was asked, my brain froze up and I just started talking too much and too fast, so much so that I sounded like I was about to cry because I was losing my breath. GREAT impression to be making, I thought. It’s so scary too, to be on a conference call like that and not really know when you should stop talking, if what you said caused eye-rolling or nods of understanding, or if the real you was coming across.Worrying about all of that made my nerves, voice, and answers even worse.

I don’t want to share the questions we were asked, as part of the process is to be able to answer them from the heart as you would if talking to someone in person, but I feel okay sharing this bit because I think I was the only one asked it. After answering the planned questions, the callers were asked if they had any other questions for me. I am not sure if anyone else was given additional questions like that, but I was also the very first interview in the entire set of interviews, so time may have been at a premium after my call as they had so many others to get to.

Anyway, I was asked to share which Disney character I most identified with, and why. It was an easy question for me, because I’ve always identified with Tinker Bell. She is my favorite character and I am ever seen buying Disney merchandise, chances are Tink is on there somewhere. So I shared that it’s always been Tink for me and that’s because even though she was a sweet fairy with pixie dust and all, she also had a feisty side and wasn’t going to just let things go if she felt strongly about someone or something…and…I just kept talking and talking and I’m pretty sure by the end I must’ve convinced them that I had rage issues, an attitude problem, and didn’t want to do things if I disagreed with something…but oh, she still gives it her all and helps other people out and stuff…so…yeah. Tinker Bell.

After I thanked them for the opportunity and was told about the housekeeping issues involved in the panel (training dates, contracts/paperwork in the mail, etc.) I hung up the phone and was certain I sounded like the craziest person on the planet and was pretty sure I’d not only talked my way out of a position on the panel, but possibly alerted authorities to ban me from entering the parks again!


I spent the next week replaying the phone call in my head, commiserating with fellow finalists and getting support from my family and friends (online and off) assuring me that I was over-analyzing and they were sure I’d done just fine. I remained unconvinced. I tried to distract myself and of course that Thursday we got the news about J’s job so that provided quite the distraction.

Tuesday morning as mentioned, Twitter was all abuzz with speculation about the panel’s news that day. One of the Moms let me know that calls of this nature usually don’t come until mid-afternoon at the earliest. I decided to put it from my mind. We were about to make lunch when the phone rang, I saw the caller id and lept at the phone. It was only 12:03 and they were calling! That had to be bad news, right?

castlexmasI answered cheerfully and waited for the voice on the other end of the line to speak, so I could hear the tone of voice and instantly analyze for myself whether it would be a happy or sad call. Yes, even on the call, I was still psyching myself out. She started out by thanking me for my interest in participating this far…and I thought for sure I was doomed. Then she said she’d like to offer me a position on the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel…and would I like to accept that? Um. YES. Yes, I’ll take it! She then went over again about the training dates and that things would be coming in the mail. She said she looked forward to meeting me at training and I told her I was VERY excited!

And that was that. Exactly 2 months and 2 hours from embarking on the 2010 Disney Moms Panel journey, it had ended – but only just begun.

Since then like I said, I’ve been in pretty much a haze of wonder. I watched the current Moms for so long on Twitter and Facebook and I really thought even with all my goals and hopes, that I’d never be among them, actually one of the Moms myself. I wish I could go into more details about what’s happened since then, but really I don’t know too much more than when I got that wonderful phone call. We are still waiting on paperwork and know a little bit about the training, but not very much. I promise to write about as much as I can and share the amazing training that I know is in store for me in 2 weeks. The other panelists and I have been getting to know each other and the current Moms online and are all so looking forward to meeting in person.

One thing I do know, once I learned a little bit about the other panelists, I began to feel like a very small fish in a huge pond with all the unbelievable people they chose. In addition to all the wonderful 2008 and 2009 panelists – this new panel will be absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all of us.

Once I could share my good news – we were asked to wait until after 2:30pm – I was once again overwhelmed with the support on Twitter, Facebook and the message boards. I literally could not keep up with the tweets rolling in and my inbox was flooded. It was an amazing feeling to know so many were so happy for me. At the end of the day, I really am *just a mom*. I didn’t go into this with a million followers of my blog or twitter, I built up what I had in less than 6 months. I did not have a background in social media or marketing (ok I did major in Public Relations for a semester but that was not on my application! 😉 ). I’m just a mom, married to her high school sweetheart, with 2 amazing older kids and an adorable baby. That is why this was always a dream…a dream that out of 20,000 people, they decided that I belonged on that panel. I will never take that for granted and will cherish the honor forever – I hope to make Disney proud.





About Suzannah Otis

Boston girl living and blogging in Walt Disney World's backyard. Wife, Mom of 3, coffee addict, lover of travel and adventure.