It wasn't all that long ago I was on Twitter and something caught my eye. Disney Social Media Moms. My first thought was, "What IS that?!" I wasn't sure, but I knew it would be something I would love. Something I could relate to. Something I NEEDED to be part of. I just had to find out how!
For a couple of years now, I've religiously followed all things Disney Social Media Moms on social networks like twitter and Facebook. I participated in endless twitter parties.
Then in May, I received a very welcome surprise in my email box. An invitation to the Disney Social Media Moms on the Road Celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! I don't think I have ever rsvp'd to something faster! I was just SO incredibly excited to be included in this magical event.
To say the event blew my expectations away, would be an understatement. Disney sure does know how to have a good time!
The event was held at the Crown Plaza in King Prussia, PA. I decided to spend the night there with Jared, Lincoln, and Avery. We made a little mini-vacation out of the event! While I got up bright and early for the celebration, the boys slept in and enjoyed breakfast in bed.
I was super excited....and mayyyybe even a little nervous when I entered the registration area. There were SO many people! Everyone was so friendly, though, so my nerves quickly disappeared. I was so excited once I was all checked in with my badge. It made it all the more official! I was a Disney Social Media Mom!!
I made my way to a table with Mary from Mad Hatter Adventures. We decided on the "Pixie Dust" table...how fun!
Naturally, awaiting for us on the tables were Mickey shaped Rice Krispy treats! I tucked mine away for a special surprise for Lincoln.
We were served breakfast...AND COFFEE...and then the event kicked off with some pin trading! A handful of pins were scattered across the tables, we all grabbed one, and then the trading began!
I actually stuck with the pin I started out with because...TINK!!
Surprisingly enough, we've actually never done pin trading on our Disney vacations. I think I'm going to introduce Lincoln to it though for our upcoming trip in September. I have a feeling he'll just love it!
Jamie Langdon, Walt Disney World Public Relations and Social Media Manager, kicked off the event.
We also heard from Gary Buchanan, Disney's Social Media Managing Editor. He told us about all the new and exciting things happening in Disney World! He REALLY got me pumped for our upcoming trip! Gary seriously has the most amazing job...and I would LOVE to witness him having a conversation with my 4 year old!
Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager for Disney Parks blog, shared a touching story about Toby the Bear. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room! It just shows you how Disney creates that special magic.
HP's Noah Lomax had a surprise waiting for us....our Disney Side photo printed out on beautiful HP paper! Thank you, HP!!
We had a short break, and when we came back to our tables, a Disney Vinylmation was waiting for us! I have seen these several times in the parks, but have never purchased one. I definitely see more of these in my future though, Lincoln was quite the fan!
Victoria Lim, Managing Editor for Walt Disney World Public Relations, took the stage, and wowed us with her knowledge of all things mobile photo & video. She is seriously a genius, and I learned so much from her!
Next we heard from Mompreneurs Amy Bradley, Kristi Gorinas, and Jen Groover. The panel was moderated by Maria Bailey from Mom Talk Radio.
I think the most brilliant take-away from the event came from Maria Bailey. She told us to "look at the whites of your child's eyes when you're talking to them. That's how they will know you're really listening." Wow. She really hit the nail on the head with that one. That is a piece of knowledgeable advice that I plan on really listening to.
We were quickly served a delicious sugar cookie treat....
...which ironically enough, was right before Debi Silber The Mojo Coach took the stage and told us to get rid of toxic relationships! Debi is truly such an inspiration. She told us that "your belief system is no more than the repetition from someone you trust." How true is that?
The amount of positive energy that was in the atmosphere throughout the whole event, was something only Disney could produce! I really had a magical time, and hope to be invited next year!
OH, but wait. We also had a surprise guest!!!
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E ! ! !
So you know what I did. I sent Jared an urgent text to get the boys down to the conference room! Lincoln and Avery NEEDED to have their picture taken with Mickey!
Lincoln has met Mickey several times, and was just thrilled to see him again. Avery didn't really know what to think. He just kept staring at him!
We finally got a nice shot when Jared got his attention. This photo needs to be on a canvas on my wall!!
It was then time to leave, but first Lincoln was able to score himself a balloon! And he posed for me in front of the registration sign :)
We headed back home...which took 6.5 hours, rather than the 3.5 it should have taken, thanks to construction and traffic! But...it was all worth it. Every bit.
And check out my swag!
So much fun stuff! Thank you to the entire Disney Social Media Moms team for a truly magical event. See ya real soon!