Marceline tourism has been a part of my life since I can remember. Before there was a museum, (which opened in 2001) the visiting tourists would be guided around town by Marceline students. This was a highly sought after position, so auditions were held every spring. Once you were in the fourth grade, you were of age to try out. That's when I began. Our group leader was none other, than Kaye Malins, we were taught by the best!
Elementary and middle school students were in charge of giving tours of the Walt Disney Elementary. High School students were in charge of the uptown sites. I worked as a tour guide until high school graduation in 2003. Shortly after, Kaye became increasingly busy with the success of the new Walt Disney Hometown Museum, and the student tourism program ended.
During my career as a Marceline Tour Guide, I had many exceptional opportunities and experiences.
One year Kaye took all of us kids on a trip to Disneyland in California, she arranged for us to perform our Marceline tour to the employees of Disneyland. We used a powerpoint presentation to transport our attendees to Marceline, and gave them the same tour experience that all our visitors would get. Giving our presentation was only a small part of the trip, other highlights were: getting to tour Walt's apartment above the firehouse, signing the guest book reserved for the most important park visitors, and entering the park before open to have 1 attraction all to ourselves for a special ride, the ride we chose...Indiana Jones, of course! Our off-location tour was apparently a success, because a couple years later we were invited back to do it all over again!
In 1998, Marceline hosted the Spirit of Mickey premiere, and Disney characters flew in for the celebration. As tour guides, we were tasked with accompanying the Disney characters, to help with the meet and greets at multiple stations around the park. So essentially, we all got to spend the entire day with the beloved characters, while everyone else got only a few seconds.
After graduation, while some of my other peers were eager to leave this small town, I knew Marceline was were I wanted to stay. I've spent only a few months of my life, living outside of Marceline, while I completed my cosmetology training in Columbia, Missouri.
We opened DayBreak Salon in 2005. Although I maintain my cosmetology license, I rarely spend time on the styling floor. My passion is in team management. My greatest gratification comes from watching my team succeed. My career high as an entrepreneur was in 2020, when I was offered the opportunity for a mini-doc sponsored by Disney Visa.
Also in 2020, was the ending of a family business of ours, a traveling carnival, that had been operating in the Midwest since 1960. I had spent every summer, helping my husband on the midway; while he was in charge of the rides and games, I operated the company concession stands and quite loved it! With the closing of that chapter, I ended up with a lot more spare time.
Nowadays, I enjoy spending my free time volunteering at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum and sharing my love for Marceline with anyone who cares to Walk With Me!