My Disney Dream Come True!

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My Thoughts On The Disney Limited Time Magic Campaign

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My Thoughts On The Disney
Limited Time Magic Campaign

I’ve been holding off on writing about Limited Time Magic for a while because I wanted to experience some of the magic before forming my own opinion on it. You see, I’m the type of person who will wait to form judgement until I’ve personally experienced something, despite what the majority thinks or says. I’ve read so many articles since the Limited Time Magic campaign was announced. It always continues to amaze me how many people judge things before they’ve experienced them just simply because they don’t think it’s a good idea.

You all know that I’m a huge Disney fan, but there’s more to it than just that. I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “Jackie would never say anything bad about Disney”, right? Well, here’s the thing…we all have choices about how we’re going to view things. I’ve read about how people were so excited about Limited Time Magic and CHOSE to set their expectations very high. You see what I did there…THEY made the CHOICE to set such high expectations and that was THEIR choice. It’s magic, people! There was no promise made of how big or small the magic would be…only that there would be magic! Stop being disappointed and simply enjoy it already, would ya? Do you all remember Syndrome, the “bad guy” from The Incredibles? Remember when he said “when everyone’s super, no one is”? This sort of falls into the same guidelines for me, if EVERYTHING was spectacular, then NOTHING would be. Let’s just go back to the basics here and enjoy it for what it is. Sometimes you’ll get a Strawberry Ear Hat, sometimes you’ll get Long Lost Friends. Disney even let their fans help choose next year’s logo by letting us vote on it! When have they EVER done that? The way I see it, you can’t please everyone all of the time, but if you are able to please most people most of the time, you’re doing pretty darn good!

I also feel that the folks at Disney have a pretty smart marketing team with all of us extreme planners out there. I’m the first one to admit that I am a lot more confident about our vacation when we have a plan. Here’s the thing about that though, when something unplanned and unexpected would happen right before our eyes, there was no feeling in the world that could top that! We felt like the luckiest family on the planet when our daughter got to draw her very own Stitch with a broom and water along with a little help from a Custodian Cast Member at Magic Kingdom Park. If you’ve never seen this amazing artwork before, check out Thomas Smith’s article on the Disney Parks Blog about it. It wouldn’t have been quite the same if we’d had an appointment to do that. Think about this for a second, can you imagine the line that would form if Guests knew ahead of time that this was going to happen? That’s why I think that Disney had a real good plan when they decided that they weren’t going to announce all of the Limited Time Magic for the entire year, because then it wouldn’t be quite as special. Random Pixie Dust is super fun, I promise!

So, all that being said, I was fortunate enough to be on vacation with my family at Walt Disney World during “True Love Week” and since my husband and I are celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary this year, it was pretty special for us! We even got to attend the special Disney Parks Blog Meet-up that was held on Valentine’s Day! We really enjoyed seeing Disney Character Couples around the Park and we had a fabulous experience. I just loved having our picture taken with my parents right in front of Cinderella’s Carriage along the new walls surrounding the entrance to New Fantasyland during broad daylight!

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Now, I’m not saying that you’re not entitled to have your own opinions and state them…good, bad, or indifferent. I’m just merely suggesting that you keep an open heart and an open mind. Allow yourself to be surprised by what magic you might find while you’re on a Disney vacation! With a little bit of Pixie Dust and imagination, anything is possible!

My MOST Magical Moment!!!

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My MOST Magical Moment!!!

 

It was 3:16 in the afternoon on Friday, November 9, 2012 when my phone rang displaying a 407 area code [the MOST magical area code on earth, by the way]!!! I had been wondering what was happening because my phone had been making all sorts of noises for the past half hour or so prior to it ringing. See, I was teaching an online class at the time so I was really focused on what I was doing. So, here’s the thing, when I answered my phone, it was Leanne Jakobowski from Walt Disney World on the line and hearing her voice made my heart skip a beat!!! She was sort of thinking that I might know calls were going out and it was fun, because while I wasn’t sure exactly what was going on with my phone, I knew there weren’t any emergencies because there are special tones for that!

So, we chatted for a few moments and Leanne let me know that her and her team had made their final decisions for the 2013 Moms Panel and I think my heart skipped another beat!!!!!! The next thing she said was that she’d like to invite me to be a 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panelist and to come down for training next month!!!!!!! I tried really really hard not to blow her eardrums out with my excitement!!!!!!

You guys, I’m seriously over the moon with excitement!!!!!! I have been chasing this dream for so many years and the thought of running down Main Street with a giant butterfly net above my head was looking sort of comical so I just couldn’t be happier to announce to you all that I am officially a 2013 Walt Disney World Moms Panelist!!!!!!!!!!

All of your tweets and Facebook messages since my official announcement last night at 8:03 PM EST absolutely mean the world to me!!!! You must know that I appreciate each and every one of your messages!!! Thank you so very much and I’m going to do my absolute very best to make you all proud!!!!!

P.S. I took the picture above from an ad in the Sunday newspaper two weeks ago!!! I had just started subscribing to it and I just about fell off my chair when I saw that OPI had an actual Pixie Dusted color named “It’s MY Year”!!!!!!! I’m in search for it now because OPI says it’s been discontinued and it REALLY IS my year, so I MUST have it!!!! #AAACK

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.

Disney Vacation Club Surprise Welcome!

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Can you imagine what this little boy is thinking when he opened the door to his Resort room? Just have a look at those cheek bones and feel the warmth of his smile! I can only imagine how I’d be feeling if it was me!! Wow!!

The Dream Makers are constantly thinking up new ways for guests to add magical experiences to their vacations and this one really takes the cake…or, cookies in this case! Those Mickey footprints you see on the floor leading the way over to Mickey and Pluto? They are actually mouse pads that you can use at home to remind you of that very moment you stepped into your room…and there are plenty for the whole family!

As if owning Disney Vacation Club and knowing that you have guaranteed vacations year after year to The Place Where Dreams Come True wasn’t enough already, you can now add some extra special Pixie Dust to the next time you hear the words “Welcome Home” by getting in touch with a Dream Maker over at the Walt Disney World Florist.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Company

My favorite part about this fabulous In-Room Celebration is that beautiful banner you see hanging on the wall next to the bed. You can get that personalized with the year that your family became Disney Vacation Club Members! I don’t know about you, but I’d definitely bring that on every Disney vacation and display it proudly! Be sure to check out all of the great items included in the DVC Welcome Celebration and plan on it for your next trip Home!