Magic and Inspiration ~ 2012 DisneySMMoms Day 2

Magic and Inspiration ~ 2012 DisneySMMoms Day 2

I saw that the dates were announced last week for the 2013 DisneySMMoms Celebration and I’ve been thinking about the magical time I had at last year’s Celebration. Disney has continued to inspire me year after year with the fantastic speakers they always have lined up for this event. So, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to tell you all that I came to the realization TODAY that I never did post my recap of the conference day! So, without further ado, here we go…

We heard from Amy Jo Martin of Digital Royalty. She told her story of how she colors outside the lines to achieve results and how she’s helped celebrities do the same. One of the most important messages I got from Amy was that humans connect with humans, not logos. I love connecting with all of you on every social media outlet I can think of and I agree with Amy Jo that it’s really important for businesses to do the same. She’s written a great book, Renegades Write the Rules, that you’ll definitely want to check out to find out more! Give her a follow on twitter @AmyJoMartin.

Next up was Ramon DeLeon with Domino’s Pizza. He calls himself a “pizza guy who gets it” and I call him an amazing social media and customer service GURU! This guy knows how it’s done. It’s very simple, take care of your customers and if you make a mistake, own it! Apologize to the customer when necessary…in public even. Ramon is the marketing mind behind six Chicago-area Domino’s locations and I’m wishing he was in charge of marketing for ALL of them around the nation. Like Amy Jo, Ramon talked to us about the importance of connecting with our audience/customers. Follow him on twitter at @Ramon_DeLeon.

Peter Shankman was up next and he talked to us about how we need to be a weed because weeds know how to survive no matter what is done to try to kill them…they survive anything and everything! He also reminded us that nothing great ever happens when we remain in our comfort zone. Hmmm…seems like I’ve heard that a time or two! Follow Peter on twitter at @petershankman.

Next up was Lisa Druxman, President of Stroller Strides. Lisa started her company to help moms get back in shape after having a baby. Stroller Strides is a great fitness program that moms can do with their babies. Check out her site and follow her on twitter @LisaDruxman.

Our last speaker was Chris Brogan. Chris has spoken at all three of the DisneySMMoms Celebrations and I always look forward to hearing what new information he’s got to share with us. This time, he gave us some great pointers on how to freshen up our blogs and make them mobile device friendly. You can find out more about Chris’s work on his website Human Business Works. You can also follow him on twitter @ChrisBrogan.

I was able to attend the first DisneySMMoms On The Road in the fall of last year as sort of a mid-year refresher course, and again, Disney did not disappoint! It was really awesome to re-connect mid-year with some of the ‘Moms’ from the past year’s events. Sending a GIANT thank you to Mom Select, Resourceful Mommy Media, Mom Bloggers Club, and 5 Minutes for Mom for all of their hard work every year!

I thought I’d leave you with some of the ambiance of last year’s conference room including some magical touches that you’ll only find at a Disney conference…like a GIANT Castle on the stage!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

Happy 57th Birthday to the Mickey Mouse Club!

Photo Courtesy: The Walt Disney Company

Happy 57th Birthday to the Mickey Mouse Club!

I was excited to learn this morning that today is the 57th Anniversary of the Mickey Mouse Club because it reminded me that I needed to share a very fun experience I had in the spring at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.

At breakfast on the last day of our sessions, we were treated to a very special performance by one of the original Mouseketeers, Cubby O’Brien! It was awesome to see him on stage playing those drums like he did on the original show. We listened to Sherry Alberoni, also one of the original Mouseketeers, speak about the show and about Walt Disney himself. It was truly wonderful to hear the passion in her voice as she spoke about her experiences with Walt. Cubby and Sherry are front and center in the picture above. Now, I didn’t watch the show as a child, but my mom sure did…and boy did she love it! I was really wishing that she was there to enjoy the experience with me.

I was so excited to have had such fun entertainment during breakfast when all-of-a-sudden, I was asked if I’d like to attend a special meet and greet. Without hesitation, I said I’d absolutely love to! Little did I know what was in store. I was asked to meet at the entrance of another one of the conference rooms and headed right over to wait with just three other bloggers. We were so excited that we could hardly stand it and we didn’t even know what was about to happen!

When the doors were opened and we were shown in, there stood Sherry and Cubby along with just a couple of Cast Members!! It was the most amazing experience on the planet to have one on one time with them! They chatted with us all as if we’d known each other for years, and I have to say, I was pretty star-struck!

I was flying high for the rest of the day after that. I just loved how they spent time chatting with us and getting to know us a little bit. It was so cozy. My blogging friend, Connie, also attended the special meet and greet. Read about her experience here.

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

The First Disney On The Road with DisneySMMoms ~ My Experience in Charlotte, NC

The First Disney On The Road with DisneySMMoms
My Experience in Charlotte, NC

I’ve been very fortunate to have attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebrations held down at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL for the past few years. I was so excited to learn that the fabulous folks at Mom Talk Radio and Disney Parks were going “on the road” this fall to sprinkle some Pixie Dust across the country! I was even more excited when I found out that one of their chosen locations was Charlotte, NC…just a 4-hour drive from home!

One of my fellow blogging buddies lives in Charlotte and she very graciously opened up her home to me so I didn’t have to pay for a hotel room. We headed out to the event first thing in the morning and the magic started the instant we arrived! There were so many familiar faces and lots of new ones too! Lots of hugs from great friends before breakfast was served is my idea of a fantastic way to start any day! When we walked into the conference room, each table had a Disney-themed centerpiece…so fun!

We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and we were given lots of time before our first keynote speaker to mingle…really fun because at that point, I’d already hugged and chatted with everyone I recognized! I wandered around the room introducing myself and exchanging business cards with fellow bloggers. Y’all know I love to chat, so…let’s just say it was awesome to have that extra “mingle time”!

Maria Bailey of Mom Talk Radio took the stage to welcome us all and spoke a bit about the power of moms. Did you know that moms are the largest group of consumers contributing an estimated 1.7 billion dollars to the economy each year? Wow! Another astonishing figure she shared with us is that 8.5 million women are business owners with 5.5 million of them being moms! Women-owned businesses have grown by 54% in the past fifteen years…awesome! She advised us that if we’ve ever gotten a bad pitch, don’t ignore it! Pitch them back and let them know what you can do for them, never write off any possible contact, you never know when you’ll be able to turn a bad pitch into an awesome opportunity! She also spoke about how demonstrating hard work through your actions as a mom can show your children that loving what you do can give you wings and make your dreams come true!

Our first speaker of the morning was Shannon Miller, seven-time Olympic Medalist, cancer survivor, health & fitness advocate, wife, and mom! I thought it was really fun that she started out her speech telling us about her admiration of Sara Blakely, the inventor of Spanx, and, not-to-mention, a mom! She spoke to us about being passionate about what we do and how just like she didn’t stumble onto being an Olympic Gold Medalist, you don’t just stumble into a successful career…you must work hard! She also touched on something I’ve heard so many times about how when you’re passionate about something you do, it doesn’t feel like work, and when you channel that passion into a business, you can’t help but be successful. I remember watching the Olympics back in 1996 when Shannon won her gold and it’s amazing how times have changed. The opening ceremonies of this year’s Olympics had 9.5 million tweets! Pretty awesome how social media has changed the way we watch, report, and interact around not only the Olympic Games, but everything else too.

Shannon left us with some important things to consider. One of my favorites was this: “there are no do-overs in social media”. This is something that I have taken to heart ever since the first day, many years ago, when I accepted my very first friend request from a person I had only ever interacted with online by reading THEIR blog. It was way back then that I learned when I put something online, in my Facebook status, on my twitter account, on a forum, on SOMEONE ELSE’S blog, or on my blog, that anyone would be able to see it, including potential employers and/or business partners. Make sure what you put out there represents you and your brand. Lastly, she reminded us all that life is like a balance beam, you’re going to fall, just get back up and keep going!

Next up was Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager for Disney Destinations, the “Pink Princess” herself! I always love to see Laura because she is such a ball of Pixie Dust! When Laura took the stage, she made us all laugh by chatting about girdles and corsets, then she made us all cry by sharing a very touching story about how much she learned from her Grandmother and how we should never make the mistake of thinking we’re too good to learn from anyone. She explained how we had to go back to the “old school” to make business successful. Laura also reminded us that we need to do what we love, love what we do, and give it our all…our family, our kids, our business…money isn’t going to appear simply because we write a blog. We need to surround ourselves with people who give back, if you have something to give, give it and it will come back to you! She left us with a fantastic tidbit of extremely important information which is that we are very powerful and if we could work together, we wouldn’t need to change the world, it would already be a better place!

Next, we were treated to a Mompreneur panel discussion with three successful moms who shared their stories with us about how they turned their passions into successful businesses. On the panel were Katie Barnes-Harding of the South Charlotte Play Group, Marcelle Collins-Clyburn of the National Women’s Leadership Association, and Robyn Pallei of ViveVita. All offered valuable insight on their lives and how they became successful in business. Check out their sites for more information!

Our last speaker of the day was Tiffany Krumins, creator of Ava the Elephant, a medicine dispensor for children. If any of you watch ABC’s Shark Tank, you may remember seeing Tiffany make a deal with Barbara Corcoran during the show’s first season. She appeared on the show with zero sales and a hand-made “prototype” made of fabric and sponge…she brought the actual one for us to see! I remember that particular show well as I watched it live with my family that night. I seriously thought she would get eaten alive by the sharks because I’d seen what had happened to other hopefuls when they asked for a deal and had no sales to back up their product. Tiffany’s speech began with her Ava the Elephant success story and how she developed the product while being a nanny for a special needs little boy. She first shared how he was so afraid to get a haircut because he thought it would hurt. She was a very creative thinker and she decided that she would give his two favorite stuffed animals, Pooh and Tigger, tiny haircuts each day. She even gave herself a little haircut each day as well and the three of them did this for a period of time until the little boy decided that he wanted a turn too. Eventually, she was able to give him a full haircut! The next challenge would come when he needed to take anti-biotics. He didn’t want to take the medicine at all, so she put her thinking cap on once again and was inspired to create Ava the Elephant to give him medicine and it worked like a charm. You can now find Ava at CVS stores!!

Tiffany then shared with us her frightening battle with cancer. It was really hard to hold back the tears. She also shared with us her newest product, the thermometer sticker…you can see it on her daughter’s forehead in the pic above! Pretty cool! She talked with us about facing our fears as she’d faced hers, and had us write down what we fear the most. She challenged us to tackle it this weekend…I’m still working on that part! She’s holding us to it too…see her tweet here from earlier today!

The conference was a quick half-day, it was extremely inspirational, and I absolutely loved every minute of it! I can’t tell you how happy I am to have had this mid-year dose of DisneySMMoms Pixie Dust! In order to stretch it out a bit longer, I decided to postpone my drive a bit and head to lunch with some friends. We shared many laughs together over a great meal and a great time was had by all! I just had to get a pic with my Minnie-Eared friend before we headed off to lunch and also, here’s a pic of our group during lunch…

Disclosure: Disney On the Road was a free of charge event. I was not asked to post about this event, but I couldn’t wait to do it! All opinions are 100% my own.

“it’s a small world” by Basq ~ Review and Giveaway!

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“it’s a small world” by Basq ~ Review and Giveaway!

One of my favorite attractions at the Disneyland Resort is “it’s a small world.” My mom actually attended the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a small child and remembers seeing the ride there! It’s been one of her favorites ever since! The entire facade of the ride is so whimsical and magical, I just LOVE it.

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Anywhoo, when I first heard about the “it’s a small world” line of mom and child skin care products by Basq, I was pretty intrigued. I saw the packaging for the first time at this year’s DisneySMMoms Celebration at the Walt Disney World Resort when there was a surprise in my room one evening of their TOUCH Lavender Body Butter. I almost flipped my lid when I saw it because it was so beautiful!

Well, even though it said it was for mother and baby, I thought “hmmm…I’m a mom and my babies are 10 and 14, so I qualify, right?” I think so! I opened up that jar and put it on my arms immediately…my skin gets so dry in that Central Florida climate and I don’t normally take the time down there to do anything about it, but we were at the Yacht Club and it was all about relaxing. The fragrance was simply wonderful and it felt so luxurious! Not too strong at all, just very mild and soothing. I really dislike skin care products with too much fragrance, but I don’t like the plain stuff either. I know…I’m difficult. Anyway, this was perfect and I was really wishing it had been around when my kiddos were babies!

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So, here’s the thing. I really wanted a mom and baby to try the products too and it just so happened that my nephew was just a few months old so I asked my sister-in-law to be my loyal subject and try out the rest of the products I was given to sample. She also has a friend with a baby who was just a little older than my nephew and here’s what they both had to say about the products:

She had this to say about the SHARE Lavender Calming Oil: “Baby loves this on his feet as the directions on the box suggest. He can be fussy, and I put it on his feet and he stops being fussy because he likes his little toes being massaged! I like it because it makes him smell wonderful without using scented lotions on his dry skin.”

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And this to say about the LOVE Nourishing Cleansing Bar: “This soap is nice to use for me. It lathers up nicely and feels luxurious on ~ I am guessing that is due to the coconut base in the ingredient list. However, even though it says it is for mom and baby, I would not use it on baby for two reasons. One, I typically use a liquid soap to make a bubble bath for baby and two, the box says to keep the product out of baby’s eyes. I prefer to use a tear-free soap on baby.”

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They both said the DREAM Sleep Mist “bottle is beautiful and sprays smoothly, smells wonderful when sprayed in the room”. I have to agree because I sprayed some in my bedroom before I handed it over and it was really light and lovely. I know that a beautifully smelling room always makes me feel more relaxed, imagine what it can do for your cranky little one?

I’m hoping that I’ve gotten you excited about these luxurious mom and baby products inspired by It’s A Small World! They’re really fabulous and I hope you’ll give them a try. I’ve also got some FANTASTIC news for all of you! I am hosting a giveaway for a SKIN ESSENTIALS KIT that includes the TOUCH Body Butter, DREAM Sleep Mist, and LOVE Cleansing Bar!! So, you could win these products and give them a try for free!! All you have to do to enter is follow the super fast rafflecopter entry below!

I’m also happy to tell you that all the products in the “it’s a small world” Line are hypoallergenic, sensitivity tested, and parabin free. One more thing…just in case you aren’t the lucky winner of my giveaway, I’ve got a 20% discount code for you to use on your next purchase from basqitsasmallworld.com or basqnyc.com! Just put in JMM20 during checkout and you’ll receive your discount! Please hurry, this code is only valid through 9/7/2012!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find more information about these fabulous products by becoming a fan of Basq Skin Care on Facebook and following @BasqNYC on twitter too!

Disclosure: This post carries a Level One Compensation.

Our First Day At DisneySMMoms!

My family was pretty excited when I told the Cast Member at the gate that we were checking in and even more ecstatic as we pulled up under the porte-cochere at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Any time we have ever gone to the Yacht Club, it was to have a late night sundae at Beaches and Cream with our dear friends. This time, we were sleeping there!! I immediately saw two familiar faces and practically jumped out of the car before I could get it in park! It was Amy and Valerie! Woo Hoo! And the fun started right that instant!

Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we had all sorts of free time to wander around the absolutely beautiful resort grounds while we waited since our first event wasn’t until 5:00 that afternoon. We were ready for breakfast, so we went over to the Captain’s Grille, which was FANTASTIC! I’ll tell you all about it in another post though. After breakfast, we followed the magical signs leading to the Convention Center to check in and get our credentials for the fabulous Social Media Moms Celebration!

There were some really cool turtles swimming around and a tiny little alligator so we stopped and watched them for almost an hour! The kids were loving the fact that we weren’t in any hurries!

So, I’m not sure how many of you watch ABC’s The Bachelor/ette, but I do, and I’ve been lucky enough to interact with one of the lovely ladies from a prior season! I was so excited to see Marissa behind the counter at the check-in desk, and the coolest thing? She was just as excited to see me!! Seriously you guys, she came around the counter and out to meet me with a giant hug! I was so incredibly tickled and it’s really my favorite thing ever when someone’s personality in real life is just how I imagined it from online interactions! So fun! You can find Marissa over at Disney’s InsidEARS site…she’s the Community Manager for the Walt Disney World side!

One cool thing about arriving so early was that there weren’t many people there yet. We actually got to sit with Jennifer Wilkes, one of the original Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, and she told us all about the fabulous events that were so carefully planned for us. I was practically bursting into Pixie Dust right there just hearing about all of the fabulous plans ahead! She went over everything with us and we were on our way, credentials in-hand! And my lanyard was pink!!

We spent the rest of the afternoon just hanging out by Stormalong Bay, having ice cream at Beaches and Cream, and being very leisurely in our absolutely GORGEOUS room! And I do mean gorgeous…wow! I’ll have my review up soon about Disney’s Yacht Club Resort…just lovely! Now just have a gander at these sundaes…

We don’t splurge on ice cream like this very often, but if you’re gonna do it, this is definitely the place!!! Yum to the O!! That’s a Fudge Mud Slide on the left and a No Way Jose on the right. Someone thought it would be funny to get some all over her cute little face!

I went back to our room to have a little nap afterwards then got ready to go to our “Passport to the World” reception sponsored by Adventures by Disney and Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. I did all sorts of vacation dreaming while chit chatting with my fellow bloggers and munching on some great appetizers.

We were sent home with a fabulous Vinylmation from Aulani as a reminder of the event!

Next, we headed back to our room for just a few to get ready for dinner on the beach…yes, ON THE BEACH!! It was time for the “Swashbuckler Soiree’ Dinner”! I really love being on the white sandy beach at Disney…especially at dusk when it’s not so crazy hot! We walked over to the lovely beach area and there was this fabulous entrance…

I just LOVE how it’s all Piratey! See that giant globe lantern? Those magically turned into lights as the sun went down! So cool! Let’s talk about the best backdrop EVER too…

All in all, it was an unbelievably gorgeous evening, the food was just fabulous, and we had the best time! The Soiree’ was sponsored by Disney Junior and they did an amazing job! Thank you for a great evening!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

May The Fourth Be With You!

I haven’t had 3.5 seconds yet to blog about the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I just came home from, but, considering today’s date, I just HAD to share this picture I quickly snapped of @Gary_Jerry in his Star Wars garb nodding at Darth Vader! Enjoy!

Also, for those of you who don’t already know about the fabulous Star Wars Weekends, here is some official info for you…

Star Wars Weekends returns to the Walt Disney World Resort during May and June 2012, as Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park celebrates the Star Wars film saga and the hit animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

The annual special event, included in regular theme park admission, will be held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 18-June 10, 2012.

The power of the Force and magic of Disney combine as more than 60 Star Wars characters – including Wookiees, droids, Rodians, Ewoks, bounty hunters and Jedi – roam the streets of Disney’s Hollywood Studios for meet-and-greet opportunities with guests.

Star Wars celebrities highlight the event, appearing in themed parades, talk shows, star conversations, behind-the-scenes presentations and autograph sessions. Here are the celebrities attending Star Wars Weekends 2012 (*subject to change):

Weekend I (May 18 – 20)

Ray Park – (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jerome Blake (Rune Haako/Mas Amedda – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Dee Bradley Baker (voice of Clone Captain Rex and Clone Commander Cody – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend II (May 25- 27)

Andy Secombe (Watto – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Ray Park (Darth Maul – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Tom Kane (voice of Yoda – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

Weekend III (June 1 -3)

Jake Lloyd (Anakin Skywalker – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Silas Carson (Nute Gunray/Ki-Adi-Mundi – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)

Weekend IV (June 8- 10)

Michonne Bourriague (Aurra Sing – Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace)
Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi)
Daniel Logan (Boba Fett – Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones)
Nika Futterman (voice of Asajj Ventress – Star Wars: The Clone Wars)

The centerpiece of the celebration is the spectacular 3-D attraction, “Star Tours – The Adventures Continue.” The attraction, which opened last year, uses eye-popping 3-D, a dramatic musical score and motion simulator-based technology to immerse guests in the Star Wars galaxy like never before on a theme park attraction.

Limited-edition and event-exclusive merchandise is offered each year, and the ever-popular “Hyperspace Hoopla” ends each Star Wars Weekends day with a show filled with comedy, dancing and high-energy music.

For more information and future updates, go online to disneyparks.com/blog (keyword search: “Star Wars Weekends”) disneyworld.com/starwarsweekends or starwars.com.

DisneySMMoms 2012 ~ Gearing Up!

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DisneySMMoms 2012 ~ Gearing Up!

Some of you may have heard about the fabulous Disney Social Media Moms Celebration that has taken place the last two years at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, FL. Well, I have been lucky enough to attend the first two events and I’m so excited that today is the day we’ll be heading down for the third annual DisneySMMoms Celebration! If you’re interested in reading about my previous adventures, you can check out my 2010 articles here and 2011 here. The first year, I went by myself since I flew in from Seattle, but since we moved to the east coast in 2009, I’ve gotten to bring the hubby and kiddos with me since we drive down and they’re crazy excited again for this year’s event!

Each year, we’ve gotten to hear from fantastic speakers who really know their way around the world of Social Media. I have learned so much valuable information and have been able to grow my little blog in different ways after each session! After having a peak at this year’s speakers, I’m once again looking forward to bringing back more great tips and growing professionally online. I’ll be sharing all the fun things I learn with you all in future blog posts, so stay tuned!

One of the things that makes this Celebration so special for us is that it is family-friendly. It’s really so awesome that the fantastic Social Media Team at Walt Disney World works so hard to make this event such a great experience. We are truly honored to be a part of such a great experience!

In the meantime, I have all sorts of last minute packing to do before we take off later today, so I will keep you guys posted when the party gets started!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.

{This article was supposed to go live last night at 11:58pm but it did not because my site was down…sorry friends!}

A Special Visit to the Disney Events Group

I was driving down to Walt Disney World when I got a text message from my friend Kristen over at DVC Mom. She had some Pixie Dust sprinkled on her and wanted to share it with me!! An invitation was extended to her for an exclusive private tour of the Disney Events Group, the wonderful place where the Walt Disney World Florist is located! As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be a part of such a fabulous experience!

Well, my friends, when we walked through the doors of the Disney Events Group, the magic started immediately! Jean Volante ~ Manager of Dream Making, was there to great us along with Jeff Hurst, Ken Malquest, and Terrone Carpenter. They had a magnificent floral arrangement in the front lobby of their building that was actually created to match the colors on Kristen’s blog! It was unbelievable…my picture DOES NOT do it justice at all, but you can get an idea of the amazing things the Dream Makers can create!

We were then guided into the Imagination Room where Tinkerbell was hovering above the table to oversee all of the creativity floating around! It was in this room that we learned of the endless possibilities that could be created for guests of all ages. All of a sudden, a gorgeous, Fairy Godmother wearing pink came into the room and entertained us! She was so magical and beautiful! Her name was Ivana Dream! She appointed Kristen and I as Honorary Deputy Fairy Godmothers with our own Blogity Blogity Blog spell! It was so much fun!!

I suddenly felt like a 5-year old who just had my dream come true with a beautiful pink princess who came all the way from her “land” just to see me!!! How did she know that pink is my very favorite color? It was the most magical thing that has happened to me in a long time and I was just completely beside myself! What a special treat! Would you believe that guests can arrange for these special appearances as well? The sky is the limit!

We continued to learn about all of the magic that could be created here. One of my favorite things about the florist was that not only could you have some of these fun things delivered to your Walt Disney World Resort room, but you could have them delivered to on-site dining locations and even some off-site hotels! And don’t we all want to bring a piece of the magic home with us? Here’s one amazing thing about the floral arrangement above. That huge Castle? It’s flat and can be packed in-between clothes in your suitcase!! Yes, Disney thinks of everything!

We spent an hour and a half touring this unbelievable facility where tons of magic is created every day. We saw beautiful creations being assembled from floral arrangements for weddings to eerie designs for a special private party that was taking place at the Haunted Mansion that evening. We even saw most of the In-Room Celebrations that are available, and I’m telling you, they are GORGEOUS! Keep your eye on the Walt Disney World Florist site for upcoming designs that you will flip for!

I’m also excited to tell you about a fun Disney Vacation Club Member Perk I learned about when exploring the DVC Member site: “Learn how to take regular flowers and design a Disney-themed keepsake arrangement during this one-hour class which takes place exclusively at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa Community Hall. Members receive a 10% discount on the $50 retail price. All ages are welcome (with adult supervision for ages 10 and under). Classes are offered on Wednesdays, 2:30 – 3:30 pm. Please call 407-WDW-PLAY to register.† Walk-ins are welcome when space is available.”

We were presented with a couple of fun and special mementos of this wonderful morning. One of my favorites was this fabulous Tinkerbell in a beautiful little cinch bag with shimmering Pixie Dust inside! I have it hanging right here on the edge of my laptop for good luck!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: A Day of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living ~ Part Two

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
A Day of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living ~ Part Two

After spending a fabulous afternoon playing at EPCOT, we headed over to World Showplace for a special Magic of Healthy Living press event and dinner. I also had the privilege of attending an informative question and answer session with some of the Disney Channel Stars as well as some other folks involved with the MOHL campaign.

While there, we learned that Walt Disney World has fed over 440,000 guests that have a food intolerance of some sort. We also learned that WDW is changing their options in restaurants to offer more healthy choices to guests. Alyson Stoner joked around saying that cake is an important part of a healthy diet. Then on a more serious note, explained that health is not an appearance but a lifestyle, rather than a fad.

There was also a young lady on the stage named Katie Stagliano who had lots to tell us about gardening at home. She was literally a book of knowledge about growing your own vegetables, entertaining kids while teaching them to eat healthy, and using food as a vehicle to talk about history, science, and culture. I had a chance to speak with her after the session and she was truly an amazing girl. She donates a lot of the vegetables she grows to local food kitchens. She even has her own website called Katie’s Krops! You should really check out her site and read her story!

In between the press conference and dinner, we had a chance to mingle with the celebrities. Our kids have been HUGE Wizards of Waverly Place fans for years and they were INSANELY excited to meet and have a picture with Jennifer Stone, who plays Harper on the very popular series. You can tell how excited Zach is simply by his smile, teeth showing and all!

Next, we met Daniel Curtis Lee, who plays Kojo on The Disney Channel’s Zeke and Luther! Sorry about the blurry/dark pics! They were taken on my blackberry with no flash, but, you get the idea!

The tables for dinner looked so beautiful and each had a gorgeous flower bouquet in the center.

This was our menu for dinner:

Heirloom Tomato Water with Basil Essence and White Balsamic

Fregola, Lentils, Quinoa, and Burgundy Amaranth

Watermelon Radish, Rainbow Carrot, and Quick Pickled Cucumber Summer Roll with Ponzu Sauce

Pan-Seared Poulet Rouge Breast with Heirloom Beans

Paired With

Slow Poached US Wild Caught Striped Bass with Preserved Lemon and “EPCOT The Land” Harvested Greens

Mickey Mouse Polenta with Toasted Flaxseed

House Made Multigrain Baguette with Edamame Hummus

I have to admit, when I saw this, I was a bit scared. I didn’t really *get* what most of it was.

Our kids ate the Mickey Mouse Polenta and their carrots but that was about it. My hubby and I picked at some of it, but it wasn’t really our cup of tea. So, we went and grabbed a quick service meal at La Cantina De San Angel on our way out to the Illuminations Dessert Party location, but not before Mickey and his friends came out to play with the Disney Channel Stars for a bit!

After all of the dancing was finished and people were starting to head outside, Molly spotted Kenton Duty who plays Gunther from The Disney Channel’s Shake It Up and made a new buddy for the rest of the evening!

We were excited to go to the special Illuminations Dessert Party where they had all sorts of healthy choices that were really good! Every time I looked for Molly, she was standing in the middle of a group of the Disney Channel Stars, but RIGHT next to Gunther always!

We have always enjoyed Illuminations at EPCOT and this night was especially wonderful! What a great way to end another fabulous Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!

Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.