If you’ve browsed around the Disney website, you’ve probably seen mention of the Disney Moms Panel. This group of individuals volunteers their time with Disney to answer questions from guests planning their Disney vacation. In addition to this planning service, Disney hosts a large conference each year call the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Usually held in Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort, this past year the Disney folks switched things up and took the conference to the other coast to Disneyland Resort. Being an invite only event, the conference is a “must do” bucket list event for many bloggers in the Disney community. Disney offers another twist on their larger conference. Disney Social Media Moms On The Road events are held in several cities across the country and about 100 moms (and dads too!) are invited to attend from the pool of applicants. Having applied for the Disney Moms Panel every year since it started back in 2008, these conferences have been on my “must do” list for a few years now.
Seeing the pixie dusted email saying you’ve been selected to attend must be the same feeling Peter Pan has when he’s flying. I felt on top of the world. My heart was sad for those who’d applied but didn’t get an invitation, but I was also over the moon to be able to attend. Of the three cities offered this year, I selected to attend the On The Road event in Chicago. After spending Father’s Day weekend at Walt Disney World, we had planned to travel to Chicago then on to Michigan to visit family and friends. Various bumps in the road derailed those plans so I had to adapt our travel plans to make everything work.
Not wanting to loose a second at Disney World, we stayed until Sunday afternoon only leaving me a few hours to pack everything I needed for the conference before having to fall into bed from my post-Disney vacation hangover. I tried hard to concentrate at work during the day but hit the door running at quitting time so I could make my flight to Chicago for the event. I would have much preferred Dumbo taking me, but I settled for a couple of flights across the country in some less than ideal conditions but I knew the pixie dust waiting at the end would be totally worth it.
Spending just under 72 hours in Disney World then about seven hours travel to Chicago after working a full eight hour day left this girl worn out. Popping out of bed well before dawn was about as easy as getting up to head to the Magic Kingdom for the morning. Once it was time for the magic to begin, I remember saying out loud “this is just like rope drop at the Magic Kingdom!”.
Those few hours with some of the Disney Dream Team listening to how to do better each and every day really resonated with me that morning. Each of us has the power to make dreams come true (especially our own!) if we just work hard. Yes it’s cliche but it’s so true. Cinderella scrubbed a lot of floors before she met her prince.
My fairy tale ending came when Mickey Mouse himself appeared and we had the opportunity to get a few pictures with him. Not gonna lie – I teared up standing there waiting for my own few minutes with Mickey before I had to hop aboard a plane and back to reality. Disney isn’t just for “kids” – it’s for each and every one of us who believe in magic and happily ever after.