We are now past the two-month mark with the Meet Your Moms Panel series here on ZannaLand and today’s interviewee, Allison V. ushers us into week 9! These informal interviews are meant to be a jumping off point from the bios that appear on the DisneyWorldMoms.com site where you can learn about every panelist’s background and experience with Walt Disney World, and see their personal videos as well. Once you check them out there, you can get to know the panelists a little better here!

Walt Disney World Moms Panel
The Walt Disney World Moms Panel {image ©Disney}

I know I mentioned with Andi’s post that once we started to find out who ‘made it’ we all began to locate each other on facebook. Well, Allison definitely made an impression because her userpic at the time was her in a head-to-toe Tinker Bell costume. We definitely knew Disney had picked someone full of pixie dust when we saw her! We all begged her to bring the costume with her to training in December, but I don’t think it was the best outfit for the frigid temperatures we experienced! In any event, Allison was an absolute joy to meet in person. She was just so funny, she always had a little comment or quip to make us all giggle. She is also an amazing source of Disney trivia as she proved during our trip.

Another side to Allison though is the wonderful heart she possesses, as a mom, wife, and friend. As you can see on the group video for our panel, she can and will cry at the drop of a hat – and I think that’s a good thing. Allison truly knows what it means to be blessed and she is a living reminder to us all. When I was having a bad day a few weeks back, Allison reminded me to be grateful for the good things I had in my life, which I was. Her generosity and kindness is evident every time she speaks and like all my other panelists, I am so very thankful to know her! Now, it’s your turn to meet her —

How did you first get interested in the Disney parks?

I’ve been going to WDW since the year it opened. We would drive over from Daytona every year for the day. I immediately fell in love with it. I knew that it was a very special place and that wonderful things happened there. My mom still tells a story of me as a little girl back at the beach the day after one of our visits to Magic Kingdom. I was standing in front of the refrigerator (back then you got a full size refrigerator in your room) opening the door and waiving my arm then closing it. I’d stand there for a few seconds and then do it again. She asked me what in the world I was doing and I told her I was letting people on and off the monorail. Yep – my obsession started at a very young age for me.


Besides Disney, what are you most passionate about?

Trying to be a good Christian and a good mother. I’m also passionate about my family and friends. Oh and making people smile and laugh. It takes their minds off their worries if only for a second. I’ve got a lot of built in goofiness so it usually comes pretty easy for me – ha!

Allison V and Mickey
Allison meeting the Big Cheese, Mickey! photo ©Moms Panelist Kaylene J.

Tell us about your family – are they Disney fans too? What are some of your most memorable family experiences?

My boys are big Disney fans. I tell them that the day they stop loving Disney, they have to support themselves – only kidding. Their first visits were before they were a year old. I’m having so much fun watching them grow up Disney and see their interests change. Its fun to watch them become older and tall enough for the attractions. I really thought my little one would love Test Track the first time he road it at 4 ½ – he loves cars – but it scared him a little. That’s okay, he’ll grow to love it.

Seriously, I have celebrated everything at WDW – birthdays; holidays, our engagement; our honeymoon; anniversaries; announcing my pregnancy to the grandparents and both of my boys’ first haircuts at Harmony Barbershop. I have taken my friends on last minute trips to WDW in times of need to cheer them up – it’s the perfect cure! The biggest celebration for me was this past December. My son (8 years old) with cerebral palsy who after years of therapy was finally be able to walk unassisted down Main Street U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom. It truly is the most magical place on earth to celebrate! {You can read about that experience on the Disney Parks Blog, in a post written by the queen of all princesses, Laura Spencer, who was there with Allison, Reagan and family. I dare you not to cry tears of joy upon reading it. ~Z}

What is your dream job (you can answer at Disney, not Disney, both or neither!)

I’m already living it as a Disney Moms Panelist J I’m having so much fun!!!! But I also want to be a Disney Ambassador!! It would be an amazing rush and so much fun!!! When I retire from my current job, I’m heading to Orlando to work for Disney. I would love to be in PR or Guest Relations. I’d love to be a character too but I’m too claustrophobic now to wear a head and I’m too old to be a face character now – sigh. Wait – maybe I could be the Fairy Godmother – she’s cool! I’d also love to be voice a character in a Disney animated movie!

I almost had a Disney dream job in 2007 when careerbuilder.com sponsored a contest called the Disney Dream Cast Member Contest (or something close to that). There were 5 categories in which people could send in a video of themselves as a Cast Member that they would love to be: Parade Performer, Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Pirates and of course Princesses. Winners received a 4 day trip for 4 to Disneyland. While there, winners were given the chance to fulfill their dreams as Cast Members for a day in their category. I chose Haunted Mansion because it is my favorite ride. I had a lot of fun and was chosen as a finalist by the judges. From there, it went to an on-line vote. The competition was very “stiff” in the Haunted Mansion category and I was blown away by the special effects that people used in their videos. Me and my plain ole handy cam didn’t win . I even sucked it in and squeezed my pasty white jiggly body into my wedding dress for part of my video although I couldn’t get it zipped up by a long shot. Although it would have been super fun to win, I was honored to be among the finalists (they were awesome). However, being chosen as a member of the Disney World Moms Panel is way better. Check out the video if your mere mortal stomach can handle it – and please feel free to laugh!

What is your favorite Disney restaurant and why?

Super hard question. I love California Grill. You can’t beat the view for the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. I’m also a big fan of Narcoossee’s – yummy! Its fun to watch the fireworks from there too –great food and awesome fireworks next to water is a wonderful way to end a magical day. If my kids are with me, I love Chef Mickey’s or Crystal Palace – lots of fun to watch their faces light up when the characters are heading our way.

Allison Dorothy Maribel Amanda P Amanda A Diane G Andi
Standing l-r: Moms Panelists Allison, Maribel, Amanda A, Andi. Seated l-r: Dorothy, Amanda P, Diane G. Photo ©Moms Panelist Maribel

What is the first thing you do when you arrive at Disney visit? What is your MUST DO during each visit?

Get teary when I drive through the huge Walt Disney World sign on my way in. Then we head to Magic Kingdom and squeal when we go under the railroad track into Town Square. My must dos changes depending on who I’m traveling with. If its my kids, we have to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin for Reagan and the Tomorrowland Raceway for Jake. Of course I love ending the day snuggled up with them watching the fireworks. I have to enjoy that now – they won’t always think I’m the coolest person ever. We also have to visit our main man, Mickey. If I’m flying solo, I have to spend at least ½ day at Downtown Disney eating and shopping – my Disney Visa Rewards really come in handy then. I also enjoy hitting the parks solo too and take advantage of single rider lines. It’s a great way to meet other guests and spread some magic.


What do you wish there were more of at Disney? Less?

I love riding rides so the more rides the better. I love big rides with big thrills and would love to see more of those. As far as less goes, I’m sure most people would say crowds but a larger number of guests allows for avenues to create more magic. For those that do not like the large crowds I suggest buying Disney stock and then you’ll be happy you see the crowds and hope for a good return on your investment – ha!

What type of music are you into?

I like all types of music but it has to have a good beat to make you want to get up and dance – I need all the exercise I can get.


What’s the last book you read that you really enjoyed?

Well – we’ve read “Toy Story 2” about a dozen times this month and that was a good read – oh wait – if you’re talking about adult books I loved reading “Be Our Guest” which focuses on way to apply the Disney way of thinking to increase customer relations in any business – very interesting.


Describe YOUR perfect Disney vacation (could be solo, with family, friends anything, no limitations).

My perfect Disney vacation would be with my family – staying at the Contemporary Resort with a view of the Magic Kingdom. Of course I want perfect weather which for me is in the low to mid 80s. We’d alternate days between a park and relaxing at our resort. We’d take in all the extras – okay – I’ll just say I want to do it all every time – ha! I love trips with my extended family and friends too.

Feel free to share your little “interesting tid-bit” from training or some other surprising fact about you. (that you don’t mind the internet knowing!)

Interesting tid-bit, huh? Well before I had kids I was a thrill seeker – skydiving; bungee jumping (although once was enough for me); para-sailing – I would try anything once. Now that I have kids I have more of a need to take care of myself so that I can be here to take care of them. Once upon a time I got to be a dancer for a country music video. We danced for two days straight and you can only see me for about a millisecond in the video – ha! It was fun though. Unfortunately my friends’ careers never took off like we had hoped – they were being showcased at the same time Billy Ray Cyrus was so we know which one rose to the top of the charts – it broke their achy breaky hearts – LOL!

I was a cheerleader in middle school and high school and I still can’t get rid of my spirit fingers – hehe! I really want to go to Disney to watch the cheerleading contests sometime with one of my BFFs. We were always partners when doing stunts. There are still times when we’re together that we have fleeting thoughts that we could still probably do some of those things but fortunately stop ourselves before we try.

Thank you so much for sharing a bit more about you and your family, Allison! Remember to look for Allison. at the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, where you can ask her all of your Disney World vacation planning questions. You can also keep up with Allison on twitter @MamaDis. And just maybe you’ll see her the next time you visit Walt Disney World, too!