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Justin Muchoney's Dream CMO Job Report #1

Just who is the Dream CMO? | What's your story? | What was the process of becoming the CMO? | So, what qualifies you to be a Chief Magic Official? | What does a Chief Magic Official actually do? | You've become Chief Magic Official, What's Next?

Back to top | Just who is the Dream CMO?

I am Justin Muchoney from Seven Fields, PA and your CMO. I am so honored and humbled that you've found your way to this site and that you are interested in learning more about my adventures as the first Chief Magic Official for the Disney Parks! As often as I can I will provide updates, photos, and neat little sneak peeks into my experiences. Hopefully we will soon have an email address set up so that you can directly email me your questions and I can tailor some of my posts directly to what the inquiring Disney fans minds want to know.

Before we delve into a series of posts about my first 'official' responsibilities as CMO, I thought it might be helpful to answer some of my most frequently asked questions:

Back to top | What's your story?

I'm a 29 year-old musician / educator / leader / dreamer from Pennsylvania. My background is in music education and I have spent time teaching at both the high school and elementary school levels. I currently serve as the Director of Music and Fine Arts at a large suburban United Methodist church north of Pittsburgh. I lead a dynamic group of volunteers who help to create musical and dramatic experiences that draw people closer together and into a true sense of community. It's a richly rewarding endeavor.

I was blessed to have parents who encouraged my creative ventures and daydreams. We traveled as much as possible and I had the chance to see and experience parts of the country and the world that profoundly shaped me as a person. Our trips together to Walt Disney World made me into a lifelong fan.

Having the magical opportunity to visit this amazing world as a five-year-old boy whose head was full of dashing dreams and daring adventures was more than I ever could have imagined. Seeing Cinderella Castle, hearing Walt's train smelling the Confectionery candy-all with my family!-filled me with a sense of awe and wonder that has never left me.

Later, in high school, I marched in the parade at Walt Disney World with both my marching band and chorus as a part of Disney's Magic Music Days program. After graduating from college my first job was as a high school band director and I was fortunate to be able to take 160 students from Pennsylvania to Walt Disney World to march in the Magic Kingdom and learn from some of the creative master teachers and Cast Members. It is difficult to describe the feeling of taking my experience and multiplying it times 160. For some students who had never been out of their home county, this was the experience of a lifetime.

I've long dreamed of working for Disney, and even came close once to moving south to become a Cast Member myself. CareerBuilder.com made it easier for me to take the first step by hosting the CMO contest. Earning this position as Chief Magic Official is truly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream and the culmination of so many seemingly unconnected hopes, ideas, experiences, and life lessons.

Back to top | What was the process of becoming the CMO? How did this all unfold?

If you aren't familiar with the contest, please spend some time surfing around this website. The contest videos are still available from our trip in April and I think you'll find a lot of the information very interesting!

For me, the journey started in January when I received an email from my Dad with a newspaper article advertising the position. I filmed a 60-second application video that tried to show my energy and enthusiasm, filled out an online written application, and joined 1,300 other candidates in the waiting game. Early in February I learned that I had moved on to the round of 20. Following a telephone interview and a little more nervous waiting, I received word that I would be posted on DreamCMO.com as one of the top 10. Wow. At this point, some pretty incredible things started happening. I had the chance to connect with Disney fans all over the country. I quickly became friends with some of the other finalists and I learned just how creative, passionate, and talented Disney fans are the entire world over.

During the three weeks of voting, I experienced the process of rallying voters. This allowed me drive all my loved ones and to reconnect with family, friends, classmates, and students that I had lost touch with. Already, felt like this was an experience that was changing my life. You just couldn't talk with people, share stories, hopes, and dreams, and receive notes of support from all of the country without it humbling you and reminding you what a blessing it is to be alive.

Near the end of March I was notified that Tripp West, David Hawley, and I were the top three finalists for this coveted position. We traveled, along with family and friends, to Walt Disney World in mid-April to compete, laugh, dream, and attempt to show our enthusiasm to all of the online voters. One final week of voting led to a special ceremony in the Magic Kingdom early in the morning of April 22nd. The rest, as they say, is history!

Back to top | So, what qualifies you to be a Chief Magic Official?

Really . . . it's simple. I'm a dreamer. I always have been and always will be. I believe in people and in the power of helping others achieve things they've only imagined. I have a passion for life and I hope that my enthusiasm is sometimes contagious (in a good way!) I love being around people of all ages and I believe that every interaction I have has the potential to profoundly change me.

That's it. I have no special skills or magical tricks. People must have seen a fraction of my passion in the video I submitted.

Since becoming the CMO I have gained some solid skills. Shortly after the CMO ceremony, I found myself sitting in Walt Disney World's Traditions. I completed all the official paperwork so that I could become an official Cast Member. I've even received some media training to make me more effective at communicating. These are all important, but my passion for Disney and for people are the main things I bring to the table.

Back to top | What does a Chief Magic Official actually do?

Here is where we start into the incredibly exciting next chapter of the story. The CMO is a new position and we are all still exploring the seemingly endless possibilities. My version of the job description goes something like this: the Chief Magic Official is a goodwill representative for the Disney Parks, a dreamer and maker of magical moments, a partner with the incredible Dream Squad members, and one of the faces of "The Year of a Million Dreams". Over the course of the next 11 months or so I will have the chance to travel, share my story, hear the stories of so many others, and hopefully make more than a few people smile along the way.

Back to top | You've become Chief Magic Official, What's Next?

I have so much more to tell you. Please keep coming back weekly to DreamCMO.com to see more pictures and hear more about my journeys as the first ever Chief Magic Official for the Disney Parks. In my next post, I'll start sharing the details of my first 'official' trip! From May 13th to the 16th I spent four magical days in Walt Disney World participating in the press event for the brand new Toy Story Mania attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios and gaining first hand magic making experience from the Dream Squad. I can't wait to share it all with you!

Justin Muchoney Disney Parks Chief Magic Official

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Order your FREE Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD. Click here. Learn more about The Year of a Million Dreams celebration Search for Disney jobs on CareerBuilder.com

Meet the Top 3 Dream CMO Finalists!

Ronald West (Tripp) | Justin Vance Muchoney | David H. Hawley


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