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Old 05-12-2012, 06:25 PM   #1
sayhello
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My Adventures with ABD!!!

Try number 3... my posts keep getting eaten!

So when we went on the DIS Exclusive Knights & Lights trip last year, we had an ABD exec on the trip with us. Fred was such a sweet guy, and I and several other people on the trip have kept in touch with him. So when I knew I was going to be in LA for a couple of days to visit family & friends on my way to Maui, Fred & I made plans to meet up for lunch while I was there. When we finally worked out that I would meet him at his office to go to lunch from there, he told me if I came by early, I could check out ABD Headquarters! Plus, "Josh wants to meet you." As in Josh D'Amaro, VP of ABD!!

So I arrived at the building, got signed in, and went up to see their offices and meet Josh. Josh was such a nice, enthusiastic guy! If you guys wondered if they know about us there, or if they're listening to us, they do, and they are! Josh seems really committed to things like improving the experience for return guests! I didn't get much in the way of specifics (mostly "Stay tuned" with a smile) but I do think there are some good things on the horizon for ABD and for us! I only got one secret, which I can't share (but you should know soon), but I think the "Insiders" will love it! As I said, most other questions were met with a wink and a "Wait and see".

And if you want a crazy experience, Fred took me around to meet a bunch of the folks there, and I kept getting met with "Oh! You're Sayhello! Nice to finally meet you." And I mean that literally. They were all aware of my existence as Sayhello here on the DISboards; they had read my trip reports, etc. I felt like a celebrity! It was a bit surreal, but in a really good way!

They have nice offices up in a high-rise, and the coolest "conference room" area I've ever seen. (Very homey & comfortable). I had a really great time there. Thanks to everyone I met, and thanks so much, Fred, for arranging it!!!

I had a lovely lunch with Fred (we walked to this great place, and the food was delish, and the weather gorgeous!)

Here's me & Fred with the new Guide's sign:



And here's a photo of me & Josh and another exec (whose name I'm spacing on. Bad Sayhello!!!!) Sorry that it's a bit blurry... ETA: The exec is Craig Hodges, Director of Operations. Thanks, Fred!



What a cool day!!! But man, I forgot to petition for my job with ABD!!!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

Last edited by sayhello; 05-19-2012 at 02:16 AM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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Tobi, that is awesome! I don't suppose we can talk you into revealing the secret.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
sayhello
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
Tobi, that is awesome! I don't suppose we can talk you into revealing the secret.
My lips are sealed! But I will say a couple of folks mentioned you by name, too!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:14 PM   #4
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Very cool SayHello! From what you heard...does it seem like the ABD add-ons for the cruise line are working out and will stay?

Meanwhile...Scotland! Yet another wrinkle in our travel plans--! (and on that topic--how will the Insiders be notified re booking etc--on line?)
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
Bobo912
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
My lips are sealed! But I will say a couple of folks mentioned you by name, too!

Sayhello
Hmmm...I wish I had put some thought into selecting a display name. I posted a question before my first ABD, and I thought that would be my last post.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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Sounds like you had a great day Tobi! Love the pictures!
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
jlou
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Wow! What a neat experience!

Well, I'll be interested in hearing more about further loyalty perks. We are going on our second ABD now, and I keep thinking that this is it, as our kids are getting older and I'd like to do some exploring on our own.

But then they keep introducing these awesome trips to locales that I wouldn't be comfortable doing on our own.

Keep us posted!
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:34 AM   #8
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Cool! Cool! Cool!!!
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #9
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Social media is where it's at, and message boards ( especially reviews) are a huge driving force in many industries, none more than travel. Say Hello, dont underestimate your worth...you should have lobbied for that job Thanks for your review of your ABD hQ tour and for all you do keeping our discourse fair and polite!
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:07 PM   #10
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How exciting. I got to meet Josh D'Amaro on the dvc members cruise in September. (he and Claire Bilby were on board). I was sitting reading on deck 4 and he ran laps and laps... Lol. I met him at the abd presentation and it was funny, he remembered running past me the day before. He was really nice and friendly. Gave me some insight that the Mediterranean add on would be back next year. Still havent decided if we will add it, as much as I want to. We'll see.
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Old 05-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #11
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Way way cool! The organization has scored big points with me lately with the gifts, the newest itineraries, the early booking for repeat customers - and now this! Giving a tour of their headquarters to one of their travelers & hooking her up with a meeting with the VP. So awesome- and so Disney!

Thanks for sharing, Sayhello. I'll forgive you now for not posting Part 7 of the Knights & Lights review
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:09 PM   #12
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How fun SayHello! That must have been a very fun experience. You do a great job monitoring these boards - I'd say you are quite the celebrity indeed
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:29 PM   #13
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Very cool! I'm so glad they follow you - I've always admired how you balance enthusiasm with real, helpful info. If ABD is paying attention to your posts, our "community" of travelers is being well represented!

I hope you have a wonderful, exciting, and relaxing time in Hawaii. Can't wait to read all about it!
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:47 PM   #14
sayhello
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeLoveABD View Post
Very cool SayHello! From what you heard...does it seem like the ABD add-ons for the cruise line are working out and will stay?

Meanwhile...Scotland! Yet another wrinkle in our travel plans--! (and on that topic--how will the Insiders be notified re booking etc--on line?)
Thanks! And 'yes' re: the add-ons. Especially the Med ones. They've had some issues withh the Alaska one, but I get the impression that's due to the diminished shore time this year more than anything.

And Scotland sounds cool!

Sayhello
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Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)

Last edited by sayhello; 06-01-2012 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:49 PM   #15
sayhello
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo912 View Post
Hmmm...I wish I had put some thought into selecting a display name. I posted a question before my first ABD, and I thought that would be my last post.


Sayhello
__________________
Check out my Southwest Splendors Trip Report! (2008). 5 parts, full of pics & details & impressions!
My Taming the Last Frontier ABD Alaska Trip Report! (2009)! 7 parts, pictures, stories, & more impressions!
Also check out my ABD/DCL Mediterranean Magic Trip Report! (2010)
NOW POSTING! My DIS Unplugged London/Paris/Disneyland Paris Trip Report! (2011)
Now posting my Greek Odyssey Trip Report (2013)
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