I did not notice the email when it arrived that Tuesday evening. In this junk-mail infested era, the subject line “Congratulations!” simply did not grab my attention. It was not until Wednesday afternoon, during a routine “social network” check, that I saw congratulatory messages to those advancing to the second round of the Disney Moms Panel search.
My heart sank. How could I not even make it past the first round?!
Usually, I am able to acknowledge the superior knowledge, dedication, and passion of other Disney fans. Deep down, I knew that there were thousands of applicants who were, most likely, more qualified to serve as members of the Moms Panel. But at that moment–a moment defined by pure selfishness–I thought the Moms Panel Selection Committee had made a huge mistake by failing to choose me.
Regaining my composure, I checked my in box once again. And, there it was! I had made it to the second round of the selection process for the 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel.
I was euphoric, but I soon realized that advancing further would be no easy feat. The application required a 100 word essay, the upload of a vacation “planning tool,” and a 60 second video describing my favorite Walt Disney World memory. Yikes!
The more I prepared my submissions, the more uneasy I felt. I was confounded by the request for the planning tool (did “planning tool” equal itinerary?), but what really concerned me was the video. I did not mind revealing my “inner mouse” to the Moms Panel selection people. What I could not grasp was how to reduce a lifetime of Disney memories to what would amount to a one minute sound bite.
After my initial, first round submission, I felt very relaxed. After all, there was little chance of advancing to round two, let alone actually being selected. For me, the process started as a kind of lark. But, when I advanced one step closer to selection, I felt sick with nervousness.
With a huge assist from my family, I completed the application tasks including, for better or worse, the video. Like hundreds of others, I waited impatiently.
Recently, I found out my journey had ended. I was not among the select few who would be receiving a telephone interview and, therefore, would not be a member of the 2011 Disney Moms Panel.
Despite my surprisingly deep initial disappointment, I have reached a state of acceptance (I worked through the seven stages of grief pretty quickly). I realize now that the quest to be on the Moms Panel should not be a goal unto itself, just a way to celebrate and share a love of Disney with others. Would being selected have validated my obsessive Disney lifestyle? Probably, yes.
But there are other, equally gratifying, ways to celebrate and share my love of Disney: I will continue to help others plan their Disney vacations; I will continue to contribute to this blog and extol the virtues of Disney Vacation Club ownership; and I will continue to laugh out loud when I spot “Hidden Mickeys” in my every day, Disney Driven life.
Contributed by: John M. (NDD #172). John is our resident DVC expert.