One thing you may not know about me is that a long time ago, I was a member of the Disney Family. I was a bonafide Cast Member who was part of preparing for an opening of a Disney retail store in our local mall. After the interview process and weeks of training, I was so proud to pin my nametag to my sweater & when opening our doors, ready to greet our guests. Yes, in the Disney language, you are not a customer; you are a guest. For one year, I learned life-long lessons in customer service, worked side by side with amazing people and loved every second of it. Working for Disney was fun and I look back on that time in my life always with a smile.
When I was invited to the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Conference, I did not know what exactly what was in store, but I knew whatever was planned would be done so with precise detail and filled with magic. You see, Disney sets the bar at Best and then raises it to be BETTER. That is what I love about the world that Walt created; it is always striving to be outstanding in every possible way.
I invited my friends Nicole, Holly & Jen, who I first met back in 2011 while at a conference in San Diego. We have been to more conferences through the years, but have had such limited time to connect for any great length of time, so I thought this would be a perfect way to really nurture our friendships. I learned through this long weekend that our paths crossed in 2011 for a reason. Each of these women are successful in their own right, beautiful, smart, funny and I am so incredibly blessed to have them in my life. They have supported me at every turn, both personally and professionally but it is the friend in each of them that I cherish the most.
Right from the beginning of this trip, laughter was front and center. We rushed to get sunglasses as Holly & I both forgot our shades, we lunched at a wonderful Irish Pub, and had our one and only non-friendly experience – word of caution- do not perform surveys as guests are walking out of the restaurant on a hot day & rushing to our hotel- it puts us in a bad mood. We made it to The Contemporary Resort Hotel with just enough time to drop our bags and catch the bus to dinner at Epcot.
We were welcomed with champagne & delicious appetizers of lobster & crab, pork nachos (which were deemed the favorite of the night) & veggie bites. This was time set aside for the attendees to mingle & I wish we had more time as I was barely able to make it across the room. I was feeling incredibly anti-social, for some reason- which is so NOT like me (I later found out that I was really under the weather) that I stuck with my roomies for the most part.
Families were invited to join us for dinner and the room was buzzing with energy. We grabbed a table and here I was introduced to Taylor of The Happy Girl Experiment. She broke the ice by sharing that she was once kissed by the dreamy George Clooney and I was thrilled to learn he is a true gentleman. Taylor and I ran into each other here and there throughout the weekend. I wish we had more time to really talk one on one as she is just lovely and hope that we will have another opportunity sometime soon!
We enjoyed live entertainment and dancing with a special guest appearance of the Main Mouse who can still bust and move!
After dinner, we decided to get some air before heading over to the dessert buffet set under the fireworks. By this time, my throat was on fire and I was in desperate search for hot tea. Thankfully, the Disney planners thought of everything and hot tea & coffee was available at the dessert party.
Heading back to the bus, I snapped a picture of Tic-Toc croc, a piece of the Flower & Garden show magic and sent to my nephews who are huge Jake & the Neverland Pirate fans. When back at the hotel, we dipped our feet into the pool and hot tub, talked and relaxed. It was a full and wonderful first day.
I loved working for Disney but I really appreciated being on the other side of the fence as a guest. There is so much to share about this conference experience that it would be completely impossible to write about it in one post; the connection with friends, both old and new, the over-the-top pampering, the late night talks, the amazing food and the inspiring stories that have made me feel even more determined to make this blog the best it can be and then make it BETTER. That’s what happens when you welcome the Disney magic!
This is the first of a multi-post series about the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Conference. Check back next week for more on the amazing conference held in Orlando, FL.
In the meantime, the fantastic team behind Disney Social Media Moms is taking their talents #DisneyOntheRoad and bringing a little bit of the magic to New York, California, Maryland and Washington! Be sure to apply for the Disney Social Media Moms On-the-Road to fill your day with learning from the best of the best on how to take your business to the next level, motivate you and have fun in the process! It will fill your day with magic for sure!