As part of our on-going "5 Minutes With" series, every month we’ll introduce you to a new member of our Disney Meetings team at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii. Whether they work in our Disney Convention Resorts, Theme Park Operations, Catering and Convention Services, Sales, Entertainment or dozens of other event-support areas, these Cast Members and their teams are responsible for creating magical experiences and unforgettable events for meeting and event industry professionals, and their important attendees and guests, every single day.
Let’s meet Anna Ulloa-Cantos, Assistant Sales Director at the Disneyland Resort:
Hi, Anna. How do you and your team work with meeting and event planners?
It’s about showcasing and demonstrating the “Disney Difference” at every touchpoint – how can we actively, and proactively, express the selecting of the Disneyland Resort as offering that “X” factor they are seeking and the attendance they are expecting for success. We start with the discovery process, understanding the client’s need and vision, and partner with them to solve for what they are trying to achieve. The latter covers a range of engagement opportunities after gaining insight; from telephone and emails, up to and after a contract is signed, to in person on-site visits and meetings. Planners can look forward to working with a consultant, a counselor, and a solution partner from every bowl of soup to each tray of nuts (literally!).
Can you describe one of your best Disney memories related to your position assisting a convention/meeting group?
It was seeing the holiday party last year for a return client at the Disneyland Hotel. I was a few months into my role and to witness a large-scale event like that come alive after all the hard work and creativity from the combined effort of our teams was mind-bending and emotionally-charged at the same time. Everyone worked so hard to animate the client’s vision. From the “pitch” – three options presented with themed desserts and décor – to the execution of their pick of a Haunted Mansion direction, they all communicated how choosing Disney truly makes a gathering more magical, memorable, and remarkable compared to any other site on the planet.
What is one of the greatest Disney Differences for attendees meeting at a Disney destination?
We go above and beyond in ways clients and meeting planners don’t expect. We deliver on what they do, such as the attentive service, the high-quality facilities, and the brand fun. It’s those additive moments that take them by surprise, which I think jars their expectation and stays embedded in memory. It’s the kind of touch we hear often at Disney. There was a recent convention at the Disneyland Resort where one of the organizing executives made a small mention of having tired feet from all the walking to and from sessions and breakouts. Well, someone on our team heard that. And, wouldn’t you know, that team member figured out a way to get a pair of those enormous Mickey Mouse yellow plush slippers and a basket of spa items to her room. The client walked out onstage the next morning at their plenary gathering with those slippers on and started her opening with how great Disney is and how they look forward to coming back. (This was their first time here.) It was one of those magical moments which also had positive business potential packed right in.
What are some of the latest, most innovative meeting trends you are seeing in the industry? How do you incorporate these trends into your client’s meeting?
The technology leaps in sharing and transmitting content have been astounding and exciting to see! During a recent showcase by our PSAV partner, they displayed and demonstrated the latest in AV – how to bring meetings more vividly to life for those at the conference and connecting to it remotely, no matter the size of the event. In a wonderful way, by making the meeting even more accessible to those who can’t be there, the seed is planted to make sure attendees are present the next time (at a Disney destination) so they don’t miss out on the learning, the experience, and the fun! It’s another reason meetings and events held at a Disney site tend to see a higher attendance.
What is your favorite part of your role?
The people. Our clients – whether they are here for a business meeting or have chosen us for their milestone celebrations (90th birthdays, high school proms, wedding anniversaries, and the like). And our Cast. I’m wowed every day by what our teams can do for the meetings and events we host. And it’s not just in the final execution; I enjoy seeing how our Sales, Services, Banquets, AV, DEG (and more) teams come together to create those true special moments for our Guests. I always want to tell our clients the brainpower, time, effort and countless hallway conversations that happen all for them. (Of course, I don’t – I want them to continue to believe it’s just pure, perfect, Disney magic powering their experience!)
What can attendees look forward to when meeting at a Disney destination?
I like to think we take things to exceedingly new and unimaginable heights – pushing creative boundaries – when you host a meeting, function or social event with us. The client can look forward to finding the answer to their question of how things can be done differently, or be more special and unique, when they select the Disneyland Resort (or any Disney destination) as their venue partner!
We're eager to help you create the perfect meeting or private event for any size group, theme and objective. To speak with a Disney Meetings representative about our pricing and options available at our Disney Parks & Resorts destinations in Florida, California, Hawaii, or at our international destinations, please Contact Us or Submit a Request for Proposal. Or, Sign Up to stay in touch and continue learning more about Disney meetings and events.