Hey everyone, I'm new here but have been reading a lot lately. I just thought I'd let you all know of a great experience I had last Wednesday at DL. I had read on here that many people had requested rides on the Lilly Belle and had recieved them as part of the YOAMD. I've loved trains since I was little and thought I'd try on this trip to get on.
I told my aunt and girlfriend that it was not guaranteed we would get a ride, but we walked up to the Main St. Station at around 11am and proceeded up the stairs. In a feux-paus made by myself, I went to seek out the oldest male conducter I could find to talk to, assuming he would be buried deep in the station. We passed a nice, late-20's woman wearing a conductors uniform, and my aunt said I should ask her about it. Of course, as I said, I was seeking out an older CM but decided why not. She could tell we were trying to ask someone something and offered to help.
I said "Hi, is there any chance we could get on the Lilly Belle?"
Her answer was "The Lilly Belle? Sure! Come with me."
So we followed her in and I was ecstatic. She showed us the display that shows all the trains' location and said the Lilly Belle would be back in about 10 minutes. After about 5 minutes, an Australian family walked up and asked for the conducter we spoke to by name. Long story short, apparantely this family had had the Belle reserved for that trip. (I'm not sure, but the CMs all swarmed this family, taking pictures for them, giving them engineer hats, etc. so they must have been some sort of VIP)
The conductor then walked back to us with a slight frown on her face and told us the news, but said we could come back in 25 minutes and ride it then. That was fine by us, as we wanted to eat lunch anyway.
So, we sat on the benches out front of the train station people watching, waiting for 11:25 to roll around. At around 11:20 we walked back into the station and asked to see the woman, like she had told us to. The older gentleman working radioed for "Conductor 1" so I assume she has some seniority :-) Anyway, she was coming in on the train with the Lilly Belle.
The train pulled into the station and there was some confusion with another group of people that the conductor had to take care of. We were nervous, as the train was filled and ready to go. Another nice conductor came up to us and asked if we were ready. As she started to lead us to the door, the train whistle blew and we were all afraid it was going to leave without us :-(. We saw the wheels move and I thought we were done for. The train moved forward about 3 feet and stopped.
The conductor had put a stop on all trains just so we could have time to board the Lilly Belle!
She said "I put red lights up all around, so you're good to go!" to the conductor leading us out the door. You can't imagine the feeling of walking from the front of the train to the back, with NO other people boarding but us three. The engineer made an announcement that they had made an unscheduled stop, as we walked by. EVERYONE on the train watched us walk by and get into the Lilly Belle. I have never felt like such a VIP before! They STOPPED the train for us, then personally led us to the Lilly Belle. The three of us had the car completely to ourselves.
After the loop, which was INCREDIBLE in that car, the conductor met us at the door to the car. She said "Sorry you guys about having to wait!" And handed us three front-of-the-line passes for any ride we wanted! For having to wait 25 minutes for something she didn't even need to provide!
We went straight to City Hall and filled out a compliment form for her and the other female conductor who accompanied us.
Sorry for the long first post, but just wanted to share that experience.
THAT is why I want to be a Monorail Pilot in the WDWCP. To make people's days like that.
To "pay it forward," since there were only three of us using a 5 person front-of-line pass on the three rides, we pulled two people out of each line to come to the front with us. When the wait for Splash was 90 minutes at 10:30pm, I'm sure they appreciated it :-)