DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: A Magical Day of Learning

Great Company!

 

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
A Magical Day of Learning

Our conference day started out with a fabulous breakfast at Citricos, one of the Signature restaurants on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I had never eaten there before so I was pretty excited. There was a fabulous buffet breakfast set up for us and everything was delish! I also got to sit with Lou Mongello of WDW Radio, Chris Brogan, and Cindy who writes Mom Maven! Very fun!

After breakfast, we headed over to the Convention Center. We were welcomed to the conference by Meg Crofton, President of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is always so sweet and excited to see us all.

Our first speaker of the day was Matt Jacobson, the Head of Market Development for Facebook. He offered some helpful suggestions to make Facebook work better for you by using available social plug-ins on your blog, advertising effectively by targeting the right audience, and separating your personal page from your business page. He also pointed out that there are 500 million Facebook users and 1 million users are added daily. He reminded us that “the world is stunningly small when we are all connected.” Makes sense to me!

Next, we had the pleasure of meeting Rene Syler of Good Enough Mother. She was amazing from the first moment she took over the stage. She talked about parenting and how none of us are perfect, we just do the best we can. She spoke to us about how she found her voice through the use of social media. She made us all laugh by saying she is an over-achiever because she was fired from a job not once, but twice. She brought tears to our eyes with her personal story of surviving breast cancer and how she made the decision to have her breasts removed. She was an inspiration and reminded us that “no one will ever believe in you as much as you believe in yourself” and “real growth hurts, you will not grow when you’re comfortable” and my favorite, “don’t spit fire with your message because your message will be lost.” She truly made me feel like it doesn’t matter how big or small of a blogger you are, YOU are important! You should really follow her on twitter at @ReneSyler and @goodenufmother.

Me with the lovely Rene Syler

Next up was Chris Brogan. I was thrilled when I learned that he would be returning this year because I loved his talk last year. If you go to Chris’s website, you’ll find that he uses video a lot, video of himself, so people can see and hear who he is. He’s very genuine and REAL. He told us that seeing someone is so much more important than simply putting your words out there. He thoroughly enjoys meeting each and every person he interacts with online. He even remembered me from last year and I was completely tickled!

Chris Brogan and I

Chris continued to give us all more pointers about blogging. He said that we need to “ask ourselves why a hell of a lot…how is easy to answer.” He told us to focus on the top three things that really matter, customer service, sales, and marketing. He reminded us that EVERYTHING is content when you are a blogger and that “you need to take care of you first…you can only do so much…the you will eventually turn into a community.” Most importantly, he said to figure out distribution, if you want to be remembered, do different things. Then he talked a little CRAP with us:

C = Connections
R = Referrals
A = Attention / Awareness
P = Presence

An important motto of his is “Always Be Connecting” and I strive to connect with more and more people each day. You live or die by your database! My very favorite take-away from Chris’s talk was when he talked about supporting each other. He talked about how the competition in the blogging world gets so ugly sometimes and recommended that everyone just come together and support each other. I personally have felt like a huge underdog in the blogging world, often wondering why anyone would care about what I have to say. I’ve often felt like I’m just repeating what other bloggers have already said in their blogs that are much bigger than mine. I’ve often not posted articles I’ve written just because I felt like it had already been said, just in a different way, by a different person. What I learned from Chris (and a couple of my dear blogging friends) is that everyone has their own take on everything and we all need to “raise each other up…give it in order to get it.” Think about how many Facebook “likes” we would have if we all just returned the favor! By the way, Chris said these “likes” are a great distribution tool, more powerful that re-tweets! He also told us that it took him eight years to get his first hundred readers!

Chris’s talk was broken in half around our fabulous lunch! We walked over to eat at Citricos again! Amazing! When we came back, Duffy was in the hallway waiting for us! I had never met him before so that was a real treat!

Meeting Duffy!

When we went back into the conference room, we all had a stuffed Duffy to take home with us and he was wearing a very fancy DisneySMMoms T-Shirt!

Surprise Duffy!

We were welcomed back from lunch and there were some raffle drawings for some VERY fun things. One of which, was a night’s stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite! You can read about my friend Amanda’s experience over on her blog.

All of a sudden, a lady from one of the back tables started talking very loudly and fast as she approached the stage! It took many of us a few minutes to figure out that she was part of the show! Her name is Fran Capo and she is the Guinness World Record Holder for the fastest talking female. I highly recommend that you check out her website and you’ll get a bit of a taste of her! She was hysterical, although she spoke too fast for me to take notes! LOL! You can follow her on twitter too, she’s lots of fun and full of great information…trust me, it’s much easier to read! LOL!

When I saw on the agenda that Georgia Stitt and Susan Egan were going to be there, I wasn’t really sure who they were exactly…shhh…don’t tell them. Well, they were truly amazing singers! I’m so glad to be able to share a video of Susan Egan singing “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from the movie Hercules, that a fellow blogger posted on YouTube…

The wonderful day ended with Susan singing “The Mom Song.” If you have never heard it before, you will laugh your head off! Even if you have, you will still laugh your head off. Promise. Susan Egan is amazing! Thanks to ThemeParkMom for sharing this video with us!

What a fun day!

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 ~ Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons Platinum Soiree {Part 4 The Speakers}

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

 

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons
Platinum Soiree {Part 4 The Speakers}

So, after filling our colorful take-out boxes with some amazing goodies and touring Franck’s beautiful studio, Franck himself announced that we should start making our way over to the Wedding Pavillion for some more surprises!

Let me tell you, it is beautiful in there! We were all seated and just looking around in awe at how gorgeous everything was. I’d never been inside there before, however; a friend of mine had her wedding there two years ago so I’d seen pictures, which don’t do it justice. It was so amazing that you could actually see Cinderella Castle right through the stained glass windows! Breathtaking!

We were treated to a great introduction from Korri McFann Spolar, who began her career with Disney in 1995. Korri has been working with Disney’s Fairytale Weddings and Honeymoons for the last 13 years.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

She gave us a sneak peak of the wedding and honeymoon options that would be offered in the fall of this year in Hawaii at the new Disney Vacation Club property, Aulani.

Next up was Michael Shettel, the Vice President of Alfred Angelo Designs.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

He gave us an inside look into the Disney Fairytale Wedding Collection as well as introduced the Cinderella Platinum Anniversary Gown! It was magnificent!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Before we saw this dress, the Sleeping Beauty inspired dress was my favorite. Now I have two favorites because this one is right up there!

I just love the way the Cinderella Platinum gown looks as though it has cascading waterfalls of ruffles while the Sleeping Beauty gown has whispy, feathery ruffles with that gorgeous rose on the hip and another one up by the left shoulder! Aaah! Just beautiful!

Ok, now on to our next speaker! Carley Roney of TheKnot.com came and talked to us about social media and how making your audience your obsession in giving them what they want will ignite their passion and they will keep coming back! Don’t forget to check out her two sister sites TheNest.com and TheBump.com.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

For our next surprise, David Tutera from My Fair Wedding was introduced! My friend Kristen was so excited to see him that she got up and hugged him on his way up! It was adorable!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Now, mind you, I’ve been married for nearly 18 years so even though I’d heard of his show, I’d never seen it before (shh…don’t tell). He talked to us about how he works hard to keep things trendy and is always looking ahead to see what color/style weddings are up and coming.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Next we were introduced to a lovely couple who had gotten married at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion just two years ago. Their story was shared with us and we were shown beautiful pictures of their wedding. Much to our surprise, they were about to renew their vows right before our eyes! They were whisked away by Franck and Edna to go get ready. All of a sudden, you would have thought that a dance party broke out right there! The bridesmaids came through the doors and danced down the aisle and they were shortly joined by the groomsmen while they danced together as couples down the aisle. Next, the bride came and she danced her way down the aisle! It was really cool! If you want to see the video of all this fun, click here!

We got to watch their beautiful vow renewal ceremony and then we went outside to watch the Cinderella Coach pull up to whisk them away to their happily ever after! But, not before there were fireworks! Ah-mazing!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Next up was our dinner party along the beautiful sandy shores of the Grand Floridian! I’ll tell you all about that in my next post!

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: Rocking Disney’s Wedding Pavillion!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
Rocking Disney’s Wedding Pavillion!

I’ve told some of you how the vow renewal we witnessed during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was my VERY FAVORITE and here, my friends, is a video of the entire thing! It’s incredible and FUN!

I would seriously consider having this “dance party” for my own wedding if I were to do it all over again…our 18-year wedding anniversary is next week! So much fun! What a fabulous memory to create of your wedding day! I just love the non-traditional feel of this.

Leave it to the fine folks at Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons to think of such a clever experience!

What are your thoughts on this? Would you ever step out of the box and have a non-traditional wedding like this?

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.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Photo Tour And My Thoughts

Photo Credit: Marc Lorenzo

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Photo Tour And My Thoughts

I have read many reviews on Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and I’ve heard that it is a wonderful place to stay for many reasons, one of the biggest is that it’s right on the monorail line. I have to be honest though, I have never been able to wrap my head around the rates there until now.

I recently had the opportunity to stay there, along with my husband and our 2 kids, ages 9 and 13, during the Social Media Moms Celebration. I must say that from the moment we checked in, we were all in awe of the amazingness that IS the Grand Floridian. It is a completely different feeling walking in there to check in as opposed to walking in for a dining reservation. Just look at how beautiful their check-in folders are!

We were given a room that was in between the main building and the convention center in the “Sago Cay” building. Our room wasn’t going to be ready for a while, but that was fine because we’d left all of our things in the car. One thing about parking at the Grand Floridian is that it’s a pretty good distance away. We were discussing how we’d get all of our things from the car when a Cast Member from Bell Services heard us and came over to say that they would be more than happy to take us to our car in one of their “golf carts” so we wouldn’t have to carry it all! How cool is that? We didn’t even have to ask!

Anyhoo, when we got the message that our room was ready, we were pretty excited! Well, let me re-phrase that just a little, I was EXTREMELY excited! I snapped a few shots of the beautiful details in our room the minute we walked in.

Gorgeous already right? That is some beautiful marble! Isn’t that flower on the top of the white porcelain tissue dispenser just beautiful? I love the little things, what can I say? Even the toilet paper wrap had a gold-colored logo on it!

We walked around the corner and there was this HUGE hidden Mickey on one of the beds. Just look at how thick those towels are!

I have to tell you, I never appreciated the towels at Disney’s Deluxe Resorts so much until I went from staying in a Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villa to the All Star Sports Resort. Wow.

This picture was on the wall, and I LOVE it! I would hang it right in my living room if given the opportunity. For real.

And this mirror would go beautifully in my bedroom!

Ok, I know shared our view with you already, but I must show you again because it was simply amazing.

A Room With A View!

Each night when we came back to our room, we had a “Kiss Goodnight” on our bed which consisted of a cute little card and a special Grand Floridian chocolate.

I have always adored the attention to detail at Walt Disney World and I found that the Grand Floridian is no exception. I spent more time in our room this time than I ever have before because it was so magical and beautiful with the monorail gliding by and hearing the whistle from the WDW Railroad…..ahhhh….until next time.

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.

Meet Mickey and Minnie – TOGETHER!

One of my most favorite character experiences was at last year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration when I got to meet Mickey and Minnie at the same time! I had never been able to have a picture taken with them together because I’d only seen them before at their respective houses in Toontown at Disneyland in California.

I’m so excited about this new character Meet and Greet with Mickey and Minnie together on Main Street at Walt Disney World! Have a look…

Wordless Wednesday…From the Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons Platinum Soiree(sort of)

Wordless Wednesday
From the Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons
Platinum Soiree!

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event – Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons Platinum Soiree {Part 3 The Gowns}

DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011: Our First Event
Disney’s Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons
Platinum Soiree {Part 3 The Gowns}

 

After the completely amazing candy buffet and tour of Franck’s Wedding Studio, we made our way over to the Wedding Pavilion. We were able to see the Disney Princess inspired wedding gowns by Alfred Angelo placed strategically (on mannequins) around the pavilion. They were gorgeous!

The Cinderella Platinum Anniversary Gown was revealed to us live for the 20th anniversary! It was breathtaking!

I bet you’re wondering about that handy little flash drive I talked about a couple posts ago? Well, below are some of the pictures we were given to share with you that showcase each of the gowns. My own pics of the REAL ones hardly do them justice, so, while I wait for the professional ones to come from Disney, I figured I’d share these with you instead of holding you in suspense! Remember, click on the pics to enlarge them.

Ariel

Aurora

Belle

Cinderella

Jasmine

Snow White

Tiana

Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite!

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.