Monday, February 15, 2010

Where I've Been

To tell you the truth, I think I somehow got on the wrong list.

When I first received the invitation back in October for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I didn’t even know what “Social Media Mom” meant exactly. I figured maybe because I’ve given birth a few times and successfully uploaded an avatar to Twitter I could fake my way in and pretend I belonged.

And I’m so glad it worked.

Because what we experienced this weekend was simply incredible.

We arrived on Wednesday late afternoon after I took a wrong turn at the Contemporary and got lost. Seriously, you’d think that I couldn’t miss the giant Epcot ball as a landmark, but I did and the GPS kept yelling, “You are such a moron I can’t even help you.”

So we were a bit late checking in to the Polynesian, but did make our first event on time: a trip to the newly refurbished Wide World of Sports.

The kids played basketball and football while I sat in my first presentation about all of the new things going on at Disney (more on that later) and then we regrouped at a party in the Josten’s Center which had delicious tailgate food and visits from Team Mickey. (Goofy is a dog, btw. Stevie asked.)

And why these pictures are particularly awful? See Figure 1--you are late and a moron who left her camera in the car.

The next morning had me up early and over to Epcot to eat (a tasty recurring theme over the three days) breakfast and hear Guy Kawasaki speak. Amazing. He told me all of the things I’m doing wrong on Twitter but he was funny about it so I can’t even be mad.

Afterward, we walked over to the press event that Ty Pennington just happened to host honoring some of the families who have participated in Disney’s Give A Day, Get a Disney Day initiative. His big reveal was the largest canned food structure which was later dismantled and sent off to food banks in Florida and Georgia. They estimate it will be about 70,000 meals.

We got to play around the park for the rest of the afternoon. The big boys headed to Hollywood Studios and the little ones and I strolled in the frigid temps at Epcot. It was kind of nice doing the countries at a leisurely pace without, well, doing the countries at all and not Test Track all day.

But it was that evening we were in store for a special treat. Little did we know that as we were strolling through the Japanese Pavilion buying Pokemon and Hello Kitty, Robert Irvine from the Food Network’s Dinner: Impossible was also running around Epcot collecting inspiration from Disney Princesses to put on our dinner for the evening.


The show will air in April.

Oh yes, and if that wasn’t entertainment enough, we then got a private concert from Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato.

Yes, the awesomeness of this cannot quite be captured here.

Friday was supposed to be our “work” day. There were speakers lined up in between our catered meals including Chris Brogan, Maxine Clark (Build-A-Bear CEO) and Kathy Ireland. I think this was the media part, and I was not being too social of a mom stuffing my face with salami and cocktails. There were dozens of giveaways including a night in Cinderella’s Castle.

I didn’t win that. If I had, you would have heard me screaming from a turret.

But that was okay, because the party that night was at Hollywood Studios after it closed and we got to ride Toy Story Mania over and over until we got carpal tunnel syndrome finding all of the hidden scoring opportunities.

Saturday was departure day which meant my brood and I wore the letters off of our Media Fast Pass which took us to the front of every line. And while my boys haven’t read a single word of anything I’ve ever written, this single gift may just have made me cool for a minute in their eyes.

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Disney. I just appreciate the amount of effort they put into everything they do to maximize the guest experience no matter if it’s a trip to their stores or a week long family vacation in the most luxurious resort. They are the best at what they do, and every single time I think I’ve seen all of the tricks in their magic bag, they exceed my expectations. Every. Single. Time.

This weekend was pretty spectacular. Although I didn’t get to meet a whole lot of new folks, I did meet a few and reconnected with some old friends. I learned a lot and got to talk shop--a shop I didn’t even know I had--with some pretty gifted women.

And best of all I got to share this entire experience with my family.

And that is the most magical part of all.

(P.S. Full disclosure--although this trip was worth far more than I paid, I did pay actual cash money for this conference and was sponsored by no one.)


Holly said...

Sounds fun! Our family has an Animal Lodge timshare booked for the second week in October. As in eight months away October. Caroline, I kid you not, started packing last night...she is really excited!

Blessings, Holly

Tracey said...

The AK Lodge is something to be excited about! You will all love it!