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Living in Seattle, we have our fair share of gray skies and drizzly days. And while I love all the green that results from our well moistened environment, occasionally I desperately crave to be bathed in the warm rays of some good old fashioned sunshine. The need to break out the sunglasses is a welcome treat to the meteorological monotony that can sometimes occur in the Great Northwest.
In many ways, Disney is the emotional sunshine to the gray days of life’s routines. The constant responsibilities of work, school, and every day life produce important character growth in our family, but how I love the escape that Disney provides when we need a little blue sky get away.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a social media conference put on by Disney and BSM Media called the “Disney Social Media Moms Celebration – On the Road Event”. The event took place in Bellevue, WA (Seattle) and was a wonderful experience. Don’t you just love that Disney calls their conference a celebration? That is so totally Disney!
You know my family has a love affair with all things Disney. My husband teases me that my life isn’t complete unless I am planning a Disney vacation. And while there is a lot of truth behind his jest, unfortunately, there is no Disney vacation currently on the calendar, so this event was just what I needed.
I could totally feel the Disney magic when I walked into the room. Disney music was playing, there were cute Monster’s University plush toys in the center of each table, colorful Mickey balloons were all around the room, and the best part…a chocolate covered Mickey Mouse rice crispy treat at everyone’s table. I wish I could tell you that I got a photo of the Mickey goodness, but some things have to be swiftly savored…I opened that little Mickey munchie and ate it as soon as I got in my car to go home. What can I say, I have a weakness for Disney treats! They make me happy in the tummy, and happy in the heart!
In addition to the wonderful decorations and tasty treats, they also had outstanding speakers. I’m not going to lie…I got just a little excited when I realized Erin Glover from the Disney Parks Blog was at the event. While a less refined, mere casual observer may categorize my adoration as borderline stalking, I am really just a big fan who reads the Disney Parks Blog…every day. I will even admit to gushing after the event and telling her how much I loved the Disney Parks blog, and how I thought she had the best job ever! But it was all very controlled and proper. Erin was a sweet and genuine person. I was secretly hoping she would tell me her job wasn’t as fabulous as I imagined it to be, so I wouldn’t have “Disney job envy”, however, she pretty much said it was as amazing as I thought. She gets to go out into Disneyland “whenever necessary”…all for the sake of work. I have a feeling if I were to substitute for her, “whenever necessary” would result in an exhaustive list of visits to the park. “Sorry honey, I have to work late again this week.” Tough job, huh?
Erin filled us in on all the new happenings at both Disneyland and Disney World. Here is a peek at some of the most recent developments at the Disney parks.
At Disney World the newly expanded Fantasyland is now open in the Magic Kingdom. There are now 2 of the beloved Dumbo rides, a new “Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid” ride and the one place that I can’t wait to eat at…the new Be Our Guest restaurant. They are also working hard at completing the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. My family is really looking forward to this one.
Another magical addition is the fact that they have added themed rooms at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. These colorful rooms are themed around Disney & Pixar movies like Finding Nemo, Cars and more. This hotel would be a great choice for families with small children. Some rooms even sleep up to 6, which is great news for those of us with bigger families.
At Disneyland, California Adventure has the new Cars Land. The newly themed Cars Land is amazing, and Radiator Springs Racers is so much fun to ride, especially at night when the whole land lights up. You have to do both, because riding during the day and riding during the night is almost like two different rides. Trust me, the night time ride is worth the line time.
Also, Mickey and the Magical Map is a new live musical show that takes you to fun and exciting worlds of imagination!
The keynote speaker at the event was Mindee Doney, the brains behind the ever popular Boogie Wipes and currently the owner of Juicebox Consulting. Mindee shared her personal ups and downs of owning a business while trying to juggle her family life. One thing I really enjoyed was that her story wasn’t all “magical rainbows and fairy tale happy endings”. While in the end she developed important perspectives that have fueled her success in different ways than she originally imagined, she had to learn from a few of her mistakes and she shared them openly with all of us. It was refreshing to hear someone reveal some of the bumps and bruises that accompany every honest success story.
Here are some of the key points that I took away from her message:
- A guilt trip is usually a gut check – I need to listen to those times I feel guilty, I am usually feeling that way for a reason.
- Do something scary at least once a year – We aren’t talking skydiving here! Rather, its about stepping out of our comfort zone. We often grow when we are trying new things that scare us, so we need to stretch ourselves.
- It’s okay to ask for help – We can’t do everything alone. And when you get the help you asked for, let people help “their” way (It doesn’t do any good to ask for help and then nit pic and make sure it is done “your” way.)
- Schedules are sacred – I love this one! There are times that we guard as our special “family times” and those times are sacred to me.
All in all, I am thrilled that I got to participate in this event and soak in a little of the Disney social media magic. If you want to stay up-to-date on the latest, I recommend checking out the Disney Parks Blog (Say “hi” to Erin for me).
Can’t get enough Disney? You may also want to check out some of my Disney themed posts:
- Save Money when Dining at Disney – See how my husband and I were able to eat for 2 days and spend less than $30 out of pocket.
- View some photos of our most recent family trip to Disneyland
- Figure out when is the best time for you and your family to visit a Disney Park.
- See how I took a pocket photo album and turned it into a Disney Autograph Book
- Check out one of my favorite Disney memories