If you have ever been to either Disney World in Florida, or Disneyland in California you know that Disney truly is a magical place. If you haven’t been yet — you definitely need to try to make it at least once in your lifetime. There really is no place like it, and the fun-loving adventurous spirit that comes out to play when you let loose your Disney Side is truly remarkable and magical.
This year I had the privilege of attending the Disney Social Media Moms celebration held at Disneyland, and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I cannot begin to tell you how magical the experience was, but I can say that when Disney welcomes guests there is always a bit of extra magic waiting to be had.
Photo Credit: Josh Hallett @hyku
Highlights of our #DisneySMMoms experience
One of the highlights of our experience was right away at check-in. We were greeted with smiling faces and of course some extra Disney perks. One of those perks was getting a family photo taken that was then added to a magazine style cover. I thought this was so adorable that I decided to have it printed and mounted so we can remember it forever!
Photo Credit: ESPN Gameday Photos
Throughout the rest of our four days experiencing Disneyland we would not be let down. In fact each day just got better and better. Some of my favorite things from our time at the event are highlighted below — and be sure to keep checking back over the next few weeks and months as I continue to fill you in on all the Disney magic we experienced while visiting, and as I reflect on the amazing inspirational stories I heard at the conference!
Summary of #DisneySMMoms 2014 magic highlights for me:
Listening to all the amazing speakers at the conference. Disney Social Media Moms is really a celebration disguised as a conference, because only at Disney can you make so many wonderful memories with your family while at the same time be incredibly inspired. Sure we got to meet a few characters and enjoy all that Disneyland has to offer, but I also had the opportunity to make new friends (and meet some old ones in person), listen to some wonderful speakers who talked about things that were relevant to me, and of course find out all about the magic, hard work, and dedication that goes into all things Disney!
A few of the amazing speakers we heard from:
- Donald Driver, who spoke candidly about his life.
- Pixar Creative Director, Jay Ward who talked about Cars Land — then experiencing Cars Land for the first time myself and realizing how awesome it is.
- Gary Buchanan, Social Media Manager of Disney Parks, who made us all laugh over and over again. Laughter is good for the soul and I realized just how much I have been needing to laugh lately. Thanks Gary!
- Watching just how excited and delighted the entire Disney team is to be a part of this amazing organization called Disney. It truly is inspiring to see such enthusiasm and dedication.
Watching the runners come in for the final leg of the Disney Fun Run. I was a tad disappointed that I missed registration — note to self, you must register in advance — but it was a treat to see everyone at the finish line.
These are just a few of the experiences that stood out, but there were so many more!
Highlights for our family
Meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse — my daughter was thrilled. Last time we went to Disney World the only thing she wanted to do was meet Mickey, but we never got around to it. This time she got to see Mickey, Minnie, Lightning, Red, Mater, Chip & Dale, Jake, and more! She was so excited after meeting Minnie and said, “Minnie kissed me!” Awww 🙂
Downtown Disney and the Lego store. The kids were dying to pick out their own personal bucket of legos. Why not. 🙂
Finding their favorite rides…and doing them again and again and again with the magical fast pass lanyard provided to us by Disney. My son and I are both thrill seekers so at least I have one family member not afraid to go one all the really good stuff with me, and my son made sure we went on the Tower of Terror about as many times as we could muster – and fit into our schedule. He probably could have stayed to ride over and over again had we not encouraged him to experience more of what the park had to offer.
Letting my kids stay up past their bedtime. Way way past their bedtime. My son and I closed down the park at midnight (2 AM back home for those keeping track). He hung in there and even convinced me to ride splash mountain over and over since there were no lines that late — I mean which crazy cats want to ride a water ride when it is about 60 degrees out? These crazy cats — or anyone else from Wisconsin I suppose!
The best part… watching my husband just relax, unwind, and let the Disney Magic take over so we could all have some amazing quality family time…. like when he took the kids on Splash Mountain while I was back at the conference. Yes, that is my crazy husband in the second picture. 😛
The invitation to take part in this celebration was truly a gift and I can’t thank the Disney Social Media Moms team enough for extending me the invitation to attend, as well as for all the great experiences they provided to us and the other attendees. It was truly an honor to be invited, and a privilege to have been in the company of a such a great group of bloggers and dreamers.
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the DisneySMMom Celebration. I paid my own conference fees and received gifts during the conference. The DisneySMMom sponsors provided product and helped make the magic happen. All opinions magical or otherwise are my own.
Additional updates to come…stay tuned!