This article is a guest post written by (Cassie’s dad!), Rob Kifer:
In life, sometimes you have to prepare for the rain.
I have just returned to the great white north that is my home in Western Pennsylvania. I recently visited Orlando, Florida where I attended the 8th Annual Creativity Conference for Pastors. You see, I’m the head of a Methodist church and I enrolled in this program to learn to adapt Disney’s world-famous models of creativity, hospitality and guest services to a church setting. The first two days of the workshop were held classroom-style in Winter Park. Then it was off to Walt Disney World for the main event: A behind-the-scenes tour and other insights from Disney “cast members” and staff.
My wife and I planned one day at the Magic Kingdom and one day at Epcot to get the complete Disney experience. Though the weather was nice and sunny for the indoor days of our conference, the forecast showed back to back rain for our trip to the park. And let me tell you, the forecast was spot-on!
On the first day, it was raining so hard while we drove to the park that we considered going to Downtown Disney instead of wasting a day of paid park admission. But the rain subsided, so we committed to our trip to the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, by the time our ferryboat arrived at the main gate, the rain had resumed.
But then, right before our eyes, Disney mobilized.
There was a large table of raingear set up just inside the gate and the ponchos were flying off the table at a breakneck pace. Suddenly the speakers up and down Main Street started blaring the song “Singin’ in the Rain”. We looked up the street to see the crowd parting to the sides because of some kind of commotion — as we drew closer, we could make out a “Rainy Day Parade” banner and a troupe wearing brightly-colored rain slickers, boots, and rain caps dancing down Main Street. Caught up in the excitement, we all started singing along!
They radiated such joy, that we forgot that it was a miserable day, getting caught up in the “fun”. The rain didn’t spoil our day, because Disney had a plan and they executed it wonderfully.
This experience taught me that whether we run a business or a church or the world’s greatest theme park, we’ve got to look to the future and prepare for the rain. And I might add, the time to prepare is when the sun is shining. If you wait until the rain is falling… it’s too late!
Rob Kifer is a pastor at the Mill Run United Methodist Church in Pennsylvania. He writes sermons and the church newsletter every week, but this is his first travel-inspired article.
Do you have a travel story you would like to share with the Ever In Transit community? If so, contact us — we would love to publish it as a guest post!
Well said! Having a “rain” plan, whether it’s in place for real or metaphorical rain is an excellent strategy. And what an interesting program to adapt Disney’s models of creativity, hospitality and guest services to other settings. They really do have those things down. I’m sure you learned a lot. Enjoyed reading the post!
Cassie Kifer says
Thanks Tamara, I agree! I’ll pass this on to my dad 🙂