DisneySMMoms 2012 ~ Gearing Up!

Social-Media-Moms

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!}

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Private Party Along the Shores of The Grand Floridian

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Private Party
Along the Shores of The Grand Floridian

 

Have you ever been riding the monorail and noticed that sandy beach area next to the Wedding Pavilion just before the Grand Floridian stop? Well, that is where our dinner party took place on the first night of Disney Social Media Moms. If I tell you it was amazing, that wouldn’t even begin to describe it!

Disney had a sand sculptor make a sculpture of the DisneySMMoms logo! How cool is that?

The food was amazing! They had these great little salads served in cones and they had watermelon in them! YUM-O!

Since this event was not only for the conference attendees, but the families as well, of course there was lots for the kids to do! There was a carnival set up on the other end of the beach with games and characters roaming around in their carnival attire. My kids both won a bucket load of prizes including a fabulous sandcastle-shaped bucket with a matching shovel! They had so much fun!

There was also live music!

My daughter was very chatty with the musicians and HAD to have her picture taken with them. She really enjoyed listening to them!

The people of Main Street were there too, having a great time chatting with everyone.

We had plenty of casual time to walk around and connect with some of the bloggers we’d interacted with prior to the celebration. I was really excited to meet Ashley, Lori, Amanda, and many more of my tweeps! It was so much fun to not be rushed and our kids were having the time of their lives with the characters and games. What a wonderful experience!

We could have gone to a park after that evening’s festivities but we decided to watch the fireworks from the shore and just soak in everything the Grand Floridian had to offer us that evening. It was amazing.

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.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons Platinum Soiree {Part 2 The Candy Buffet}

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company


DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event
Disney’s Fairytale
Weddings & Honeymoons
Platinum Soiree {Part 2 The Candy Buffet}

 

Yes! A candy buffet! I never imagined anything like this before and walking up to it was so fun! I felt like a 5-year old suddenly! The table-scapes were absolutely gorgeous from the HUGE lollipops to the beautiful flowers and colorful paper lanterns hanging from the ceilings!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

I am always so impressed with all of the detail work that goes into everything that Disney does. This soiree was no different. You know that when they throw a party, it’s going to be good great! Just look at how every glass bowl has a beautiful ribbon tied in a bow around it and even the tags describing what each candy is has ribbon. The colors were vibrant, it was great fun!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

We got to pick from all different colors of take-out boxes (that can be labeled however you’d like) and fill them up with all sorts of retro sweets like rock candy, whirly pops, candy ribbon, salt-water taffy, candy buttons, and jelly beans while champagne and sparkling cider was being passed around! Cheers!

My Take-Home Box ~ Bridal Ears and All!

For people like me who have been married for many years, it will be 18 next month, I’m thinking this would be a really fun way of kicking off a vow renewal or even just having a candy reception for 20 or so of my closest friends! I never would have known that this was even an option if I wasn’t a part of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration! Just remember, almost anything is possible when you’re dealing with the Magic Makers at Disney!

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.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event – Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons Platinum Soiree {Part 1}

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event
Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons
Platinum Soiree {Part 1}

After getting settled into our room, my husband and the kids decided to go for a swim while I headed over toward Disney’s Wedding Pavilion for our Platinum Soiree!

We were greeted with Bridal Ears for the “brides” and Mickey Ear Top Hats for the “grooms”! There were also some cute buttons available!

We were treated to an unbelievable candy buffet. Yes, you read that right! I’ll show you pictures of it in my next post because it was so amazing that it deserves its own post. Next, we had the privilege of touring Franck’s Bridal Studio. What a treat that was!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

There were a few cake options there for us to drool over…

This is just barely the beginning of what was in store for us at the Wedding Pavilion that afternoon! If you know anyone looking to plan a wedding, I can’t think of a more wonderful place to do it!

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.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011

grand-floridian-hotel-001

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011

Wow! What a weekend I just had! I just returned from my second DisneySMMoms Celebration at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL and it was incredible!

I have so much information to share with you all and I’m working to get it posted for you. I am making a commitment, right here in black and white, that it will NOT take me until next year to tell you all about it!

We were treated like royalty while we were there from staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to private parties on ride sets and such!

The time I had there was magical. The friends I made there are irreplaceable. The things I learned there are phenomenal. I am inspired!

Stay tuned!

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.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: Private Party at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It was our final night at the DisneySMMoms Celebration and we were heading to another private party! I’m sure you can only imagine how excited we all were! This time, we were heading over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We weren’t sure how the wonderful planners were going to pull this off as it was absolutely pouring down rain and freezing cold!

So, here’s the cool part. The bus took us through a backstage entrance because it was so nasty outside! How cool is that? The Park was already closed for the evening too! We came in right next to the Backlot and went right inside where there were tables upon tables of fabulous food choices set up for us. The big group of us moseyed toward the very back where we heard the music and there was a DJ!

Before too long, Mickey and Minnie showed up to dance and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! I had never, EVER seen them together before!! What a treat…seriously…I was sooo excited!!! We all decided that we just HAD to get our pic taken together!

Some of us decided to dance like crazy and Amanda Tinney of DisneyEveryDay.com got some great footage of JL dancing with her oldest! Check out the video below…if you dare!

Here’s a couple of still shots I took of the fun!

After dessert…best cupcakes ever…we headed over to Toy Story Midway Mania! that was open that night JUST FOR US!!! Holy cow, I never thought in a million years that this could ever happen! After all, this was only my third trip to Walt Disney World, I had NO idea what they were capable of doing!

We had so much fun riding and playing! Maria even agreed to go on it with me a THIRD time even though her hand was killing her! She had pity on me since I’d only ever ridden it twice. Yay! Thanks, Maria!

Lynne and I couldn’t wait to go stand on Andy’s bed and have our picture taken with Buzz and Woody, Rex and Hamm! I really dislike this picture of me; however, I just get all tickled when I see it and think about how much fun we had that evening!

I can’t wait for DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: A Magical Day of Learning

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010:
A Magical Day of Learning

 

I was so excited for what this day would bring! We got up and going pretty early, hopped on the monorail and did the loop over to Disney’s Contemporary Resort where we would be spending the day.

We walked into the conference room and it was just beautiful! The backdrop up on stage was the most beautiful Pixie Dusted Cinderella Castle I’ve ever seen!

We had a wonderful breakfast and we were entertained by the @TweeterSisterz while we ate. They came around to all of the tables with their silly antics! It was a really fun way to kick off the morning! Honestly, they reminded me of the evil stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia. They were just that funny!

Amanda, Allison, Traci and JL

Debbie & Jen

I was really looking forward to meeting Shellie Ross after following her family’s story for several months. I was really excited that I would get to actually meet her in person. I just HAD to hug her.

Shellie and I

There was a beautiful Princess Build-A-Bear on each table and we learned later on that the one lucky person from each table who had a special sticker on the bottom of their chair would get to take home the bear! Here are the pics I took of them:

PrincessBuildABears

I feel like my pictures hardly do these “bears” justice. They were absolutely gorgeous! I’m pretty sure you can imagine our excitement when we found out that one of us would get to take one home!

There were also special Disney Parks vases on each table with a gorgeous Gerber Daisy in each one…those happen to be my VERY FAVORITE flower! The vases were special because they were plastic so we were able to take them home in our suitcases on the plane! So thoughtful of Disney to do that for us!

Our first speaker of the day was Maxine Clark of Build-A-Bear. She is really an amazing woman and I’m so happy that I was able to chat with her one-on-one for a few minutes! She’s a true dream chaser!

Maxine Clark and I

Marissa Jaret Winokur spoke to us about balancing work and parenthood and finding the humor in it all. She was inspiring! I was very excited hear her story and to meet her!

Marissa Jaret Winokur and I

We had a surprise visit from Cinderella and her Prince who were giving away a one-night stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite for that very evening! What a special treat that was for the mommy-blogger who was picked!

TweeterSisterz and Cinderella with her Prince

After an amazingly delicious lunch, Kathie Ireland spoke to us about finding our passion and never giving up. She was so inspiring as well.

Kathie Ireland

Christopher Brogan gave us his perspective about online marketing. He was just the sweetest guy you ever want to meet.

Chris Brogan and I

I had no idea that Thomas Smith, the Disney Parks Social Media Director who posts often on the Disney Parks Blog, would be there and I was so excited to have the honor of meeting him as well!

Thomas Smith and I

To end a fabulous day of speakers, we had some stand-up entertainment from MaryEllen Hooper and if you have never heard of her, I would strongly recommend that you check her out because she is one of the funniest comedians I have ever had the pleasure of listening to!

We couldn’t have been treated to more relevant speakers. This was simply an amazing day for me and it changed my entire way of thinking about the world of social media.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: Private Party, Joe Jonas, & Demi Lovato

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010:
Private Party, Joe Jonas, & Demi Lovato

 

We were having such a great day that we just couldn’t believe it could get any better! Our itinerary said that we had a “private dinner and live entertainment at Epcot. This will be a mix-in with the media in attendance for the day’s big events”. What we did know for sure was that Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato would be performing. I loved how we could see the tables that were set up for us as well as the back of the stage! This was our view from where we were waiting to get in:

We had also caught a glimpse of Chef Robert Irvine so many of us thought he was the one preparing our dinner for that evening. It turned out that he was not, but it was sure fun thinking that for a little while anyway! He was running around like crazy just like we’ve all seen him do on “Dinner Impossible”. It was pretty cool!

The food was really fun also because it was served in cute little individual-sized portions. Desserts were yummy too! Especially the teeny tiny push-up cheesecakes! I felt so special to be at EPCOT for a private party, it was really amazing!

We had our own private concert that evening and it was just awesome! I’ve never been to an event like this before and it was very surreal for me.

What a magical evening!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: France, Friends, & Podcast

DSC00193

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010
France, Friends, & Podcast

 

Continuing on with my story from the 2010 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, here goes…

After getting over our disappointment of missing the dis-mantling of the can structure, we realized that we were footloose and fancy-free until our private party at 6:00pm! What were we to do with all our free time and so many of us?

Well, it just so happened that Lou Mongello was walking through World Showcase ALL ALONE at the same place we were when our paths crossed. We were all pretty excited to see him! So, we stood around chatting for a little bit and then he said that he was going to park it somewhere and record a podcast for WDW Radio and asked if we’d like to join him and pipe in with our experience thus far! Of course, we were all thrilled to hobnob with Lou! What Disney fanatic wouldn’t be?

First, we had to take a group photo…

From left to right there was Lynne, Aurora, Amanda, Traci, Jen, Lou, me, JL, Maria, Debbie, and Squirrel!

We proceeded to walk over to the France Pavilion where we went all the way into the back and tucked into a corner around a table and talked Disney!

Amanda, JL, Traci, and Lou

Sorry the pic is blurred…it was the only one I had at the table! It was truly one of the many highlights of this trip! If you’d like to listen to the podcast we recorded that day, click here.

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010: Friends & Parades

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2010
Friends & Parades

 

After lunch, we started to head back over to Epcot’s World Showplace to help with dis-assembling the can structure and packing the cans into boxes to be donated. When we got there, we were shocked to find out that there were so many volunteers that day that all the work had been done already. We could only stand outside of the gates and see that there was some very important filming going on. We were all pretty crushed…but…we persevere! The gates were blocked by this very fun truck!

There was a crowd gathering so we decided that it might be a good idea to stay put. There was a whole big group of us hanging out. It appeared as though something fun was about to happen and sure enough, Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade started heading out! By golly, it was a parade!

This parade was adorable! It lasted for all of about 10 minutes. I loved it! Nothing beats a Disney parade. Nothing! Well, maybe fireworks…or Cinderella Castle….or….oh, who am I kidding? It’s all wonderful!