Disclosure: While I did pay my conference admission and airfare to Disney Social Media Moms, we received discounts and freebies. All opinions are my own.
I couldn’t control my excitement when I received my invitation to the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I’d been the past two years and it was the highlight of each year. Although my family is blessed to have traveled to Walt Disney World frequently, the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is something special. We just returned late Sunday night, and once again we had an amazing experience.
Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2013
Our experience started right at check-in, when we were upgraded to a tower room (I’d expected and would have been totally happy with a garden wing room) at the Contemporary Resort. We checked in with the conference, popped into our room to quickly change into shorts, and headed down to visit Tigger and learn about the new Winnie the Pooh Wonder and Wander app.
We spent a few hours at the Magic Kingdom before getting ready for the welcome reception and dinner at Epcot. Our surprise guest at the reception was Chris Powell from Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, who encouraged us to make promises to ourselves about fitness and well being, and then use the same personal integrity we use for others in our fitness quest. It made a big impact on me. At the dinner, my children loved visiting with some of the hero characters like Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz, and they recorded a fun little video that was shown at the Mother’s Day breakfast on Sunday. After dinner (which was sponsored by the Magic of Healthy Living), we headed to our viewing location for a dessert party and Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
Friday morning, I got up at the bright and early hour of 5am to complete a 2 mile run with runDisney and the Biggest Loser’s Ali Vincent. I hadn’t run 2 miles in a while, but we used the Jeff Galloway run/walk method and I probably could have done 5 miles. Although 5am was a tough wake up call (especially after waking up at 4am the day before for our flight), I’m so glad I did the run because I felt great for the rest of the day.
Friday was our conference day, so I headed to the conference room while my husband took the kids to Hollywood Studios. I enjoyed the conference, and always love connecting with the bloggers that I talk to everyday on social media.
On Friday night, we went to Hollywood Studios for a Red Carpet Social on the Lights, Motor, Action set. The kids had their caricatures done and my daughter even had the chance to wear the DJ’s headphones for a bit and listen to the music. We also watched Gary jump from atop one of the buildings – I’m surprised my daughter didn’t want to follow him.
Saturday morning was a special treat – the opportunity to attend Merida’s coronation ceremony at the Magic Kingdom. She was joined by Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas as well as the rest of the Disney Princesses. Merida’s my daughter’s favorite, so she especially enjoyed this.
We spent much of Saturday at the Magic Kingdom again, before going back to the hotel for lunch. Then, we boarded buses to see Disney/Pixar’s newest film, Monsters University. All I can say is that it was absolutely worth taking a few hours out of our day – and definitely worth seeing! The whole family loved it. Then, we went right to our last dinner, again hosted by the Magic of Healthy Living, at Fantasia Garden’s Mini Golf course. The entertainment was my kids’ favorite radio station – Radio Disney, so they really loved it.
On Sunday morning, we said goodbye to the conference at a lovely Mother’s Day breakfast, where we were treated to a surprise keynote speaker – Soleil Moon Frye. Then, we headed out to Epcot for an afternoon of fun before flying back home in the evening.
It was a jam-packed four days, but I can’t believe it’s over. Next year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration will take place at Disneyland, and the bloggers invited will have a great time. I can only imagine the logistics involved in planning an event of this scale, but this one went off without a hitch. Leanne, Gary, Jen, Maria, and everyone else involved obviously worked tirelessly before and during (and I’m sure after) the celebration, and my family owes them a huge thank you. We had a fabulous time.