Before any more time elapses, I HAVE to share a recap of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference (which may in fact be the longest post- ever! ;))! We experienced so much during the conference time and our trip afterward! As I shared back in April (when I announced our Disney World trip), this trip included a BUNCH of firsts for us! Most importantly, it was our first family trip to both Disney World and the Disney Social Media Moms Conference! Needless to say, there is SO much to share (way more than I can pack into just a couple of posts)! Many of you followed all of our adventures live via social media (I was sharing quite a bit via facebook, twitter, and instagram), but I’ve still gotten SO many questions afterward about everything. So, without further ado, here’s a glimpse into the magic of our Disney Social Media Moms experience…After getting the invitation in March (for which I was both elated & honored–yes I cried! 😉 ), two months of planning, super fun #DisneySMMoms clues & anticipation on twitter, and surprising the boys less than two weeks before, the day finally came and we were on our way! For us, that meant a cross-country red-eye flight (which actually went pretty well)!
Day 1 – Arrival & Opening Events
We arrived in Orlando and took the Magical Express (one of the many benefits to staying on property) to our first hotel – the Contemporary Resort (amazing & full review/details coming soon)! Once we arrived we headed straight to conference check-in (squeee). There, we got to check out some fun new products in Winnie the Pooh Corner, including the Winnie the Pooh Wonder Wander app (the boys LOVED this) and most importantly, the boys got to meet Tigger! 😉 The official conference festivities didn’t start until that evening, so we had the afternoon free. We walked (that’s an extra special feature of staying at the Contemporary) over to the Magic Kingdom, where we had lunch at the new Be Our Guest restaurant (so cool & review coming) and checked out some of the New Fantasyland! We did a few fun rides and then people started getting really sleepy after our red-eye flight. So, we headed back to the hotel for a bit of rest before getting ready for the evening kick-off festivities. Our kickoff event was in Epcot and what a cool event it was! We heard from the fabulous Leanne Jakubowski and I was inspired by Chris Powell’s talk about choices and transformation. Once our families joined us, we dined on some delicious healthy foods as part of the Disney Try It campaign in a great atmosphere, danced to music, had drinks with light-up ice cubes, and enjoyed meeting up with some incredible characters! 😉 We ended our evening watching IllumiNations at Epcot–what a spectacular way to end a busy, fun-filled day! Great fireworks and water show reminded us of World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure just a bit! 🙂
Day 2 – Conference Day & Hollywood Studios Dinner
What an amazing day!! For me it began at 5:00am with a runDisney event (more on that amazing experience to come) and ended at about 10:30pm with new friends watching the Electrical Water Pageant at our hotel! All the moments in between were filled with learning, inspiration, social media, great food, friends, family, and lots of pixie dust!Look at all those social media gurus and their technological devices! Love it! In that photo, we’re listening to our closing speaker, Dayna Steele, who gave us tips on being successful–really, being rockstars! We heard from some other rockstar speakers that day as well like Olympic Gold Medalist, Shannon Miller, marketing consultant and author, Jackie Huba, and former wrestler, Marc Mero. Our host for the day was the amazing Rene Syler of Good Enough Mother, who is both hilarious and inspiring. She was fantastic! Mixed in with all of that inspiration was lots of pixie dust and Disney news shared! I especially LOVED hearing from the Disney speakers and all the upcoming Disney fun! Some super exciting things are going on, which I can’t wait to share (like Disney Infinity an awesome interactive game coming this August)! But, the real stand-out with all the Disney speakers was their amazing energy and absolutely clear LOVE for their job! Gary Buchanan (PR & Social Media Manager with Disney) is absolutely incredible!! It was a joy to listen to these people talk about what they love! Inspiring!Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more magical or fun, R2D2 dropped in to say hi (like really, rolling through the conference hall making noises and all). Then, we were kicked out (for lunch) by a whole Imperial crew! How many people can say they’ve been escorted out of a room by a band of Stormtroopers?! Seriously, it was SO cool! And, for this mom (and wife) to some serious Star Wars-loving boys, all the Star Wars fun was amazing. Even though they didn’t get to see it, the boys think it’s pretty cool that mom has a photo with R2D2 and the Stormtroopers! We are SO going to Disney World for Star Wars Weekends some year! Then, near the end of our conference day time, something REALLY magical happened to my friend, Amy. She won the coveted grand prize giveaway at the conference…a night in Cinderella’s Castle!! Yes, THAT castle–the iconic one in the middle of the Magic Kingdom! Her name came up on the screen and I screamed! The gals at my table were so confused! 😉 What an amazing moment! If you’ve ever wondered what that experience might be like, be sure to check out her Cinderella Castle post on Disney Mentor Moms! What a day!
While I was busy will all these conference events, Mr. Mom Endeavors was busy being an amazing daddy, rocking it solo at the Magic Kingdom all day with all three boys! Even with Baby Brother in tow they managed to spend hours at the park, go on a bunch of rides, and even take pictures! Love these of my four favorite boys!! After my “work” was done, the boys met me back at the hotel for some swimming time before our evening festivities. So many Disney Social Media Moms families took advantage of some pool time at the Contemporary Resort during that down time, which was so fun. Then, we headed off to Hollywood Studios for our evening event, which was incredible– a special red carpet dinner on the set of the Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show! How awesome is that?! We ate great food, danced, saw some of our favorite characters, and enjoyed the company of some of our new friends. We sat with “Clueless Mama” and her adorable family (her husband is a Nebraska fan so that was an immediate connection. Mr. Mom Endeavors was in heaven talking Nebraska football! 😉 ) and with “The Football Wife’s” family (Big Brother made fast friends with her oldest little girl! So cute!). It was a great night!We got back to the Contemporary just in time to watch Magic Kingdom’s fireworks show from the parking lot. Then, as we walked back with our new friends, we stumbled upon the Electrical Water Pageant (another benefit of staying on property)! Magical! A perfect ending to one of the best days ever!
Day 3 – Merida’s Coronation & Fantasia Gardens
After a fairly early alarm and a quick breakfast, Saturday started in amazing fashion too. We had VIP passes to see Merida officially welcomed into the Disney Princess Royal Court. This was such a special occasion, that I’ve already shared a full post with lots of pictures and video of this! Just click the link to read all about celebrating Princess Merida! After all that amazing pageantry, we had time to enjoy the Magic Kingdom as a family. We spent time with some of our new friends, met characters, did lots of rides, and really enjoyed time in Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. We even got to experience an amazing Florida thunderstorm! It was quite impressive to us desert dwellers! And, we got one of my new favorite family photos that morning! It’s already framed and on a shelf in the house! That evening, we had a super fun family dinner focused on Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living initiative. Did you know that Disney World has a whole mini-golf course?! It’s called Fantasia Gardens and it was the scene of our final dinner! After the rain, the weather was gorgeous and it was an absolutely fabulous night! We had SO much fun! After a delicious dinner, there were all kinds of game options, plus a fun DJ and dancing! The Radio Disney crew kept everyone having fun. Big Brother is my little dancer and he had SO much fun with his new friend, Ellie! It was SO super cute!! We even had a special guest that was SO cool! Goofy surprised us all with some mad percussion skills and rocked out with the JAMMitors! This former percussion player loved every second! The boys also discovered a little beach area and absolutely loved playing in the white sand. It was Baby Brother’s first experience with sand “on the beach” and they all enjoyed every minute of it! How I love these boys and these pictures!
A truly awesome night!
Day 4- Mother’s Day Breakfast – a magical end!
And, if everything so far wasn’t proof that the Disney Social Media Moms team thought of absolutely everything to make the event completely magical, then the ending to the conference certainly was! They put together the most wonderful Mother’s Day garden party breakfast! What an amazing Mother’s Day gift!While this wasn’t the end of our first Disney World experience, it was the end of our Disney Social Media Moms conference time. And, clearly, it was beyond fabulous! I’m so thankful to have been invited and am so very appreciative to the many amazing people & sponsors (Rayovac, Hanes, H2o+, and GoGoSqueeZ) who had a hand in making this weekend a spectacular Disney experience! It’s so amazing to think that all of this “started with a dream and a mouse”! Thank you, Walt Disney!
Whew! If you’ve made it through this über-long post, but just can’t get enough, be sure to check out a few more great posts recapping the events from some other conference attendees:
And, stay tuned right here on Mom Endeavors for more Disney fun to come! In the meantime, if you’re interested in more information about the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and their upcoming “On-The-Road” events, be sure to check out the #DisneySMMoms website!
Disclosure: My family was invited to the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I paid a conference fee to attend and received discounted & complimentary items from Walt Disney World as part of the experience. I was not asked to write about our experiences at the conference or our family trip. All opinions and experiences are entirely my own