Disney Social Media Moms 2012

78 Comments

I spent the first three years of my blogging career not getting invited to a single exclusive event. I’d read about amazing opportunities other bloggers were privy to and wonder: why not me? Why didn’t I get the trips and the dinners and the swag? Why wasn’t I on anyone’s radar? Why was I stuck reading about everything thing at home instead of actually experiencing them? It wasn’t fair.

Because of this, I’m hesitant to discuss the last several days my family and I spent at Disney World as part of Disney Social Media Moms. I was beyond lucky to be invited to the conference and am very aware that every mom in social media couldn’t be included. I know it’s hard to read about these things and not be a part of them. Trust me, I know. I almost want to tell you that it wasn’t all that great and you didn’t miss a thing… but I can’t. The whole experience was actually kind of (forgive me for going there) magical.

First, there was the actual conference part. I confess to feeling like I usually don’t learn all that much from blogging conferences. It’s not that I think I know everything, but I often feel like I know as much as the chosen speakers. This was not the case at this conference. The speakers spoke on starting a business, staying motivated and customer service. I soaked up everything they had to say, especially wanting to kidnap Chris Brogan and Peter Shankman so I could pick their brains for a few hours. They are pioneers in this industry and their talks were inspiring and motivational and exactly what I needed to hear.

And then, there was the other stuff. I expected to have fun watching the kids have fun, but not really have much myself. Wrong again. The private parties at the Disney Yacht Club Hotel, Dinoland and The Art of Animation Resort were an absolute blast and we were spoiled rotten. The parks, every one of them, were so much better than I even remember. “It’s a Small World” holds a special place in my heart, but “Toy Mania” topped my ride list this year. I actually went on a roller coaster, twice, with the boys and didn’t even dry heave. It was truly monumental. I’m a sucker for fireworks and the evening events at Magic Kingdom were the perfect finale. Am I annoying you yet? Apologies.

Of course, we had moments of horrific meltdowns and scene causing tantrums and let’s not forget that 16 hour drive, but the trip really was a great success. Most of all, it was wonderful for the kids to really benefit from my blogging for a change. The line between work and fun is more blurred than ever and I love that.

Disney likes to say that they are in the “memory making” business and they simply excel at it. I’m going to have a hard time topping this one…

Pirate Party Ride
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Sleeping at Disney

.

We can’t wait to go back.

(Next time, however, we’ll consider flying.)

Participants in the Disney Social Media Moms Conference paid a conference fee which included hotel accommodations, park tickets, meals, admission to private parties, and more. We were not required or asked to write about the conference. 

Comments

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  1. 1

    Kelly {the Centsible Life} says

    It really was a magical experience! I’m glad I got to bump into you a few times and see your adorable kiddos in person. My only regret was that my family couldn’t attend with me, but I still managed to have a blast. It was truly a fantastic conference.

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  2. 2

    Arnebya says

    Wow. I just…wow. It looks/sounds like you had an amazing time and it’s something the kids will remember and treasure forever (even the 16 hour ride (the hell were you thinking?!)).

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  3. 3

    Fadra says

    I have to admit that I do feel a bit of envy (although timing would have been horrible for me anyway). It’s nice to be asked to the party even if you can’t attend.

    But there you go in your first paragraph all full of humility and that envies settles right back down. Disney is always magical!

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  4. 6

    amy says

    it’s cheaper to drive 16 hours than to fly, rent a car, have kids go through spaz attacks in the airport, the TSA Experience where your children are separated from you for a patdown of their own (do you have the pedophile list memorized?), and oh yes, pay for ALL their clothes and their stuffed animal and or blanket to come with too. because luggage ain’t free y’all.

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    • 7

      FunMom says

      We flew to Disney and my kids were with me the whole time, no individual pat downs etc. The airport employees, security are were all about keeping us together. No airport melt downs on my end. Kids will be kids, I guess we were extremely lucky for our kids to behave…

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    • 8

      zumpie says

      Maybe a little cheaper, but not much if you do it right!

      1) If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, take Magical Express (it’s free). You don’t even have to collect your bags—they do that, too.

      2) Fly SouthWest. Still no luggage fees for your first two checked bags. And low fares.

      Sixteen hours is a long drive—and would probably require a motel stay and many meals. In my case I have to fly (I’m on the West Coast), but I still would much rather fly in the scenario you presented

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  5. 10

    Heather says

    Looks like an amazing time! You don’t need to apologize for getting invited to something like that– you paid your dues, are an amazing blogger & mom and deserve the opportunities you’re getting. Soak it up girl! Can’t wait to take my kids to Disney in a few years!

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  6. 14

    JCat McGack says

    Just there last month as a family trip. I can’t say I was as spoiled. But the magic? Yep. That place is damn amazing. Something about the kids, the characters, the music, lights, fireworks, damn they know how to pull at every emotion and make it amazing.

    Thanks for sharing. Loved the pictures, and the story <3 And congrats on being able to go!

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  7. 15

    Marta says

    I am terribly jealous of every single one who attended. Not because of the conference part (though that would be nice; I’ve started to accept I’m not going to be asked to do those things) but the Disney part. We went in January with my in laws and despite the in laws part it was as you said magical. So truly magical. Reading everyone’s tweets/pictures has me pining to go back again. I loved it. Perhaps even more than my children.

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  8. 16

    april says

    what an amazing experience jill. im so glad you were a part of it. your kids look out-of-this-world happy and i couldnt be any happier for you and your family. xoxo

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  9. 17

    lori Anne says

    I am personally glad that you were recognized, and that you were able to enjoy time with your kids and great conference for yourself. Its important to be recognized for what we do. I am so glad you were given the recognition, and even more glad that you are humble, I would like to recognize that in you, for you. Im now a true reader as just this one post, helps e to understand your values as a human being, and although My parenting has turned into grand parenting, I will for once actually reccoment a blog for my daughter to read, shes a beautiful person too!

    ~Namaste

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  10. 18

    Mom says

    As the designated long distance driver and part time child watcher, I agree that it was beyond wonderful. I loved every minute of it (ok, there were some minutes not to love but that wasn’t due to Disney World)!

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  11. 20

    Autherine says

    I am thrilled for you! Enjoy your success and all its perks without apologies. I live in Orlando so I know how magical Disney truly is. I will be in DC this weekend but thankfully without the 16 hour drive.

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  12. 21

    Dawn Meyers says

    LOL I can’t hate you for posting this…because how can you hate someone who obviously isn’t in their right mind. I spent 10 days in Disney this past November and all I can say is Disney sucks. Honestly..magical?? what drugs were you on because I wish I had had them with me on our trip. I’m not saying the trip was hellish because our three kids were ill behaved (they weren’t) or because we had to budget (we didn’t) or even because the flight was horrible (business class and quite the contrary). It was hellish because the crowds were ridiculous to the point of making me want to shoot someone, and not just on the weekends. The characters don’t just wander around anymore, you have to line up to meet them, get autographs and take pics (which just annihilates the thrill you used to get by turning a corner and seeing Minnie standing there). Finally , it’s just a horrible example of the disgusting gluttony, greed and plasticism that is the image of the USA. I hated every moment in the parks, but relished the time I had with my kids at the fabulous house we had rented. Goes to show the depth of so many people thinking that “magical” time with your kids requires thousands of dollars spent and a pair of crummy plastic ears. To each their own I suppose.

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    • 22

      zumpie says

      You would’ve possibly had a better time had you:

      Either planned out your strategy or resigned yourself to the waits (and just not obsessed over them). November is generally a fairly slow time to be at Disney—and I’ve had successful, delightful visits doing everything I wanted at the Magic Kingdom on July 4th.

      The wait part is about accepting it. Also, while you will have to wait for autographs, the lines aren’t generally THAT long. And yes, we’ve found characters roaming who posed for pictures etc, with us at many parks. And again, during a much busier time.

      While you enjoyed your rental house—staying off property can also add to the stress of the visit. You need to drive everywhere, you have to pay for parking AND you’ll be in much farther away lots.

      Lastly, the “crass materialism” comment. A) EVERY company is that way—it’s called capitalism. B) if you do see things that way (and trust me, I get the argument and am a green person), why would you then choose WDW for a vacation? While I adore it there, I do get that plenty of people don’t.

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