JeniLynn Knopp (234 Posts)

JeniLynn was born and raised in South Florida. Being so close to Walt Disney World, she grew up regularly visiting the Mouse and developed a fascination with the creativity of Disney Parks. Noticing that her happiest moments seemed to always take place in Walt Disney World, JeniLynn began trying to recreate the magic of Disney in her everyday life beginning in her pre-teen years. Adulthood, sixteen years of marriage, and three children later, JeniLynn continues to lead a Disney Driven Life and diligently works to pass her love for Disney on to her husband and children. She has blogged for Touring Plans and been a contributing writer for The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and she currently co-hosts Orlando Attractions Magazine: The Show; however, her primary focus has always been with the community that has grown around her own site, The Disney Driven Life. Through these venues JeniLynn strives to help other Disney fans stay connected to the brand that has served as a keystone in her family’s life.

Andrea, the check-in host stationed at the hospitality table, is about to induct me into the privileged society of Disney Social Media Moms with her policies, procedures, and itinerary monologue.  My three World travelers are being watched over by my fellow NDMs, so I should be able to devote every Disney-daydreaming brain cell to this moment in time.  But over in the corner of the room, I catch a glimpse of three lovely ladies whom are smiling and guarding a horde of black bags with colorful contents.  What is that sea of sacks?  Am I about to become the recipient of actual, true, real, bonafide SWAG??!!

My gaze returns to Andrea.  When our eyes meet, I am painfully aware that she has been waiting patiently for me to fix my attention on her.  “Sorry,” I apologize and blush profusely, “I was just admiring all the bags over there.”  “That is OK,” she graciously extends, “I’ll show you all of that in just a minute.  First, though, I need to talk to you about your packet.”  Andrea begins pulling out resort maps, park information, event schedules and tearing through a barrage of instructions.  I am trying to hang on for dear life as she elaborates on the perks and privileges of my position, but my mind and eyes wander longingly towards the cute black bags that have the Disney Social Media Moms logo on them.

Suddenly, my ears catch a phrase that direct my focus back on the designated hospitality host.  “Hold up,” I assert, “Did you just say Media Fastpass?”  “Yes,” she giggles.  “Do you mind going over that again? I just want to make sure I fully understand what that is,” I petition.  “Sure,” Andrea replies, “We want to make sure that you are able to experience as much of Disney as you possibly can while you are here, and we understand that all of the events we have scheduled interfere some.  For this reason, we are giving you a Media Fastpass which gets you in the Fastpass lane immediately every time for the whole number in your party.”  “What?” I exclaim, “Seriously?  Are you saying that I don’t have to wait for my Fastpass time to come up? I just get a Fastpass and jump in line right then?”  She affirms, “That is what I am saying.”

I become speechless as my jaw drops to the floor.  No longer am I preoccupied with the thought of trivial trinkets in an attractive swag bag, I am envisioning my glorious entrance to Disney theme parks with the ultimate status symbol–A MEDIA FASTPASS!  This is the thing of which NDM dreams are made.

“This next thing is critical,” Andrea emphasizes to pull me out of my swooning state.  “These are your credentials,” she explains as she hands me lanyards with plastic IDs dangling at the end.  “There is one for you and one for each member in your party.  You cannot lose these.  You have to have them with you in order to get into the special social media events.  You or anyone with you will NOT be allowed in without them.  We cannot give you another one either.  Guard them above all else.”

I gingerly take the hallowed credentials in hand as if being handed the very essence of life itself.  I try to reassure Andrea that her emphatic instructions have not fallen on deaf ears, but I can’t when I realize that I have been holding my breath and cannot speak.  Instead I solemnly nod my head in compliance, press the credentials close to my beating breast and whisper a prayer of thanks to the fates for granting me the opportunity to be here.

“Now you are all ready,” Andrea prompts. “Just step right over there.  We’ll put a few little last minute additions into your bag, have you mingle in the other room while you gather some refreshments and send you on your way.” I obediently step towards the swag body guards, who I discover are actually participants with MomSelect, a proud sponsor of the event.  They are so friendly–albeit tired–as they hand me one of the bags that I have been drooling over.

I feel myself become a little light-headed. A Media Fastpass and swag . . . . I am considered important enough to be given these precious items. Not only one item, but I hold a jam-packed tote bag full.  Is it wrong for a thirty-something mother of three to be so giddy about free Disney loot?  I feel the room take on a surreal aura as I frolic to the refreshment side of the suite to rejoin my kiddos and mommy blogging friends for the next phase of this Disney dream.

*Photo taken by: Lynne R. (NDM#176)

5 thoughts on “SWAG IN THE BAG

  1. Do you know that you have put into words EXACTLY how I felt that morning!!!
    OMG – a media fastpast; media credentials (that were going to get me into places NOBODY else could get into-WooHoo); and Disney swag that other people were never going to get.
    Inside my little head was doing the happy dance and screaming, but outside I was the calm, cool, and collected 44 year old mother of two adult children. AAAGGGHHH!!!

  2. Whew! Glad to hear I was not the only one that was giddy. Most people there seemed cool, calm and collected about the event. Maybe I'm just too new to social media conferences, but I felt like I was going to burst with happiness.

  3. Whew! Glad to hear I was not the only one that was giddy. Most people there seemed cool, calm and collected about the event. Maybe I'm just too new to social media conferences, but I felt like I was going to burst with happiness.

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