The 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Conference will be held May 7th – May 10th at Walt Disney World Resort and is by invitation only.
In 2011 all the planets and stars aligned and I was on my way to my very first conference that just happened to be at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Social Media Moms! Not only the happiest place on earth, but my all time favoritest place on earth! Even more exciting? Disney Social Media Moms was scheduled during the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, an event I’d always wanted to experience.
We took the opportunity to leave the kids (and dogs) with my parents, sorry kids, thanks mom and dad, and make it a trip for just my husband and myself. I admit I felt a little guilty, but it was wonderful! We hadn’t taken a real vacation alone since our oldest daughter was 4 months old, some 20-something years ago. I do feel guilty enough to make sure I take the kids (not the dogs, sorry mom and dad) with us if lightning ever strikes twice and I find myself invited to Disney Social Media Moms this year.
Disney Social Media Moms Platinum Wedding Soiree
I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts from the conference since we got home. So much fun and learning was jam-packed in those 2 days and I want to share it in the best possible way. On our first evening we attended the Platinum Wedding Soiree at the beautiful Grand Floridian Wedding Pavilion.
I’ve been married for longer than weddings have been offered at Walt Disney World, but that hasn’t stopped me from dreaming about the opportunity to renew our vows there. I never really imagined that I would actually get close to it, never mind see inside.
Upon our arrival, we were greeted by glasses of champagne.
What a cute idea for a wedding and my children are still eating the candy that I brought back with me.
Here I am finally meeting some other mom bloggers. From the left is Kate from The Guavalicious Life, me(at that moment I’m thinking that I still can’t believe I am actually here!) Natalie from Twiniversity, and Melissa from Sippy Cup Mom. Sissy loves the bridal veil Minnie ears. She wanted a pair on our last trip, but I was a mean mom and told her no.
Then we were ushered inside. It was so lovely and just about the most perfect place for a wedding.
There have been 40,000 weddings at Walt Disney World since they started 20 years ago.
Then we were introduced to Michael Shettel. He leads the design team at Alfred Angelo. He was there to introduce their new line of Disney Fairy Tale Wedding attire. Besides bridal gowns, they will offer attire for bridesmaids and flower girls also. There is an entire wedding collection.
This is the Cinderella Platinum Anniversary Gown. It was just gorgeous. Who wouldn’t feel like a princess in this beautiful gown?
This is Carley Roney from TheKnot.com. I would have been all over that website if it had been available when I planned my wedding back in the stone age. According to her website, Walt Disney World Resort is the number one honeymoon destination in the continental USA. That I can believe!
Then we were treated to the energetic David Tuterra from WEtv’s My Fair Wedding.
A vow renewal of this cute couple, Kristen and Greg, topped off the event. They were married 2 years ago at Walt Disney World. (It will be our 28th wedding anniversary this year, so if Disney Weddings is looking for a couple to renew their vows, we are available. Just sayin’)
After they left in their coach, we all walked over to the beach between the Wedding Pavilion and the hotel and had an incredible dinner on the shores of Bay Lake.
Yes, that is Space Mountain in the background!
Somehow I missed taking pictures of our dinner, but I didn’t miss the dessert table.
Disney Social Media Moms 2011 Day 2
I woke up early on day 2 of the conference and sat out on the deck for a few minutes drinking my Diet Coke. It was quiet at that hour and a little chilly, but such a beautiful view. I never imagined I would be lucky enough to stay at the Grand Floridian, never mind have in a room with a view of the Magic Kingdom. Dreams really do come true!
I left my sleeping husband and headed to Citrico’s for an amazing breakfast buffet. Then it was time for my very first conference ever.
We were welcomed to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference by Meg Crofton, the President of Walt Disney World.
The first conference speaker was Matt Jacobson. He is the head of Market Development at Facebook and was the eighth employee hired there. He gave a lot of great advice on using Facebook to enhance your blog. One of the tips was to use the insight tools on Facebook to better understand your audience. I admit, I didn’t even realize there were insight tools. Go figure.
The next speaker was the wonderful, amazing Rene Syler from Good Enough Mother. Really, she was amazing. She spoke of losing her job as an anchor of the CBS Early Show 2 weeks after having a double mastectomy. She came up with the idea of Good Enough Mother and told us it was “okay to take yourself off the bottom of the to-do list” and that “real growth hurts” and “follow your passion, you will never go wrong”. She was funny, touching and inspiring. The standing ovation she got at the end of her talk was spontaneous and heartfelt. Go check out her blog.
Fran Capo was next. She’s a fast talker, seriously, she is. My favorite quote from her is “Live every day like it’s your last and one day you will be right. You don’t want to be doing laundry on that day.” No, I really don’t.
Before I knew it, we were headed back to Citrico’s for another fabulous meal.
The food was delicious too, but the desserts? Out of this world!
When we got back from lunch, Duffy the Disney Bear was waiting for us. Yes, I kept him for myself. He’s sitting on top of the entertainment system in my bedroom.
Chris Brogan was the next speaker. My favorite tip from him was C.R.A.P., I do have a tendency to say that….. a lot.
C – Connecting; work on your network every day
R – Referrals
A – Attention or Awareness; be everywhere
P – Presence; be online, keep content moving all the time, blog often
I need to work on the P in C.R.A.P. more. I’ve fallen into the habit of only blogging a few times a week, sometimes less. More blog posts are my goal for this year.
He told us that “attention is a currency” and another favorite “Raise everybody up”. Oh, and another acronym A.B.C. – Always be connecting.
He had a lot of great points and information. I’ve read and re-read my notes a bunch of times since then to keep them fresh in my mind.
The conference was capped off by glasses of champagne and songs by Georgia Stitt and Susan Egan. Susan was the voice of Meg in Hercules. They both put on a fabulous show.
I headed back to our fabulous room, picked up my husband and we went to Hollywood Studios for the evening’s entertainment. We managed to ride Tower of Terror then strolled over to Lights Motor Action Stunt Show. Once we were let inside, we were treated to fabulous food, drinks and entertainment.
The theme that night was the new programming coming to Disney Junior.
Another fun-filled, informative day at the conference. Day 3 will be up this week. Then a few posts on the Grand Floridian (gorgeous) and the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (amazing)!
Disney Social Media Moms 2011 Day 3
Another beautiful sunny day in Florida for day three. I’m still waiting for any hint of nice weather here at home. I swear this year winter is the new spring!
Before the conference we were sent an email giving us a choice of activities for Saturday morning. Before I even got a chance to read my email the first two choices were full. I opted out of the third choice, a talk with a Disney Chef. It would have been fun and interesting if I could have brought my husband. He’s an incredible cook and would have really enjoyed it. The last option was to spend time in the parks with your family so we used this time to cross something off of my “Fun List”, no bucket lists for me, just a “Fun List”. I have wanted to take the “Around the World at Epcot” Segway tour for the longest time. Ever since I saw the Segway introduced on Good Morning America I have wanted one. Never mind that I have no place to ride it, I want one and if I ever win the lottery I am sooooo going to buy one for myself. Because, as we all know, winning the lottery and buying expensive things you don’t really need is the American way.
First we had to have Segway lessons. How to get on and off without falling, how to go backwards, turn, and go up and down inclines. It’s very intuitive and before you even realize it you aren’t even thinking about how to do it, you just are.
The instructors were awesome, as if they would be anything else at Disney? After everyone is comfortable and confident they lead you out of Innoventions and head towards the World Showcase. One of the best parts is that World Showcase wasn’t open yet so we were able to zoom around China, Italy and Morocco without worrying about running into anyone. Once it opened up, it did get more challenging to avoid all the people. That is why they only do the Segway tours in the early morning hours.
The tour lasts for approximately 2 hours and we both loved it. At the end they give you a special Segway pin and tell you not to trade it since the only way to get the pin is to take a Segway tour. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that will take another Segway tour on our next visit to Walt Disney World. They also offer off-road Segway tours at Fort Wilderness. I would love to try that one next. If you ever get the opportunity to take a Segway tour, don’t pass it up. They are a blast!
After spending the day in Epcot, we headed over to Canada and right between Canada and England is a large gate and behind that gate is this building and it’s where we had the last evening event. The theme for this night was “The Magic of Healthy Living”.
The dinner was delicious!
Alyson Stoner, from the Disney Channel,(you may know her as the voice of Isabella on Phineas & Ferb) was there announcing the names of children who had won an essay contest about the “Magic of Healthy Living” and a trip to Walt Disney World.
After the dinner we were all ushered out to a dessert party on the edge of World Showcase Lagoon for front row viewing of Illuminations and a dessert party.
All the little bite-size desserts were just incredible. My favorite was the flourless chocolate cake. Yum! Great ending to another perfect day!