Disney Social Media Moms 2012

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. 

About the writer


What started as an innocent on-line baby book to chronicle Jill Smokler’s stay-at-home days with her children, quickly transformed into a vibrant community of parents, brought together by a common theme: Parenting doesn’t have to be perfect. Welcome to Scary Mommy!


Soon 3 years ago

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Bohemian Hijabi 4 years ago

Congrats on getting invited to the event! It looks like you guys had a great time. And are you the slim lady in the picture? You’ve been working hard at more than just blogging. I am experiencing jealousy on many levels. :-)

Sharon 4 years ago

My granddaughter went when she was 11 and didn’t enjoy it at all. I think the problem was that she didn’t have a friend along. All she wanted to do was stay at the hotel and swim in the pool, lol
Glad you and the family had a good time, loved the pictures.
I went when I was 19 and had a pretty darn good time, my brother’s were 9 and 12 they had a great time in CA’s Disneyland back in 1961.

Regina 4 years ago

How awesome that you got this experience! Sounds like it was a blast for everyone in your family.

After driving to FL from MI 2 years ago, we have decided to fly too. Meltdowns on the highway and kids taking off their seatbelts, makes for stressful driving. Plus I don’t trust my hubby’s driving, so I drove all of it myself. in 2 days….

zumpie 4 years ago

Very jealous and I’ll be there at Xmas time!

That said, I’m not surprised you loved it there—something most people don’t realize is that not only are the parks super fun (I love theme parks and really enjoy how EXTRA themed Disney’s are), but the resort as a whole is amazing.

I say this as a former director level employee of a well known boutique chain. Disney really, really knows how to run their hotels and their system, particularly for one that services a ridiculous number of people is amazingly well planned. Their service is also truly, the best I’ve ever encountered and (depending on where you eat) their food is amazing.

It’s really my favorite vacation destination—and it wouldn’t be so if it were just about the parks. It’s the other things (nice restaurants, hotels, transportation, amenities) that make it such a complete pleasure to visit.

P.S. No, I don’t work for them—though I wish I did!

Sarah at The Stroller Ballet 4 years ago

This looked like an amazing conference – sounds like you had an incredible time. Your kiddos are so cute!!

tracy@sellabitmum 4 years ago

That looks incredible(and I admit to being a wee bit jealous…) I hope to take the kids someday soon.

Also, damn girl – you have amazing legs! xo

Galit Breen 4 years ago

Looks like such an amazing and -wait for it- magical time! Love!

T.Marie 4 years ago

You are inspiring us all. Why not make a dream come true!?!

Shirley@motivatedmommyoftwo 4 years ago

WOW!!! it sounds like you had an awesome time, the kids look like they had a good time too. I actually like to read about the conference my bloggy friends attend, I do wish that someday I will be able to attend one of them. Thanks for sharing

melissa 4 years ago

It is basically one of my blogging goals to be invited to this conference at some point. Among a million other goals, but that’s one of them. So glad you had a great time!! :)

Amber 4 years ago

I’m glad you had fun. You deserve it! I wish I could say “someday I’ll get invited too…” but I never will.

And I’m okay with that. Most of the time.


Kimberly 4 years ago

Looks like everyone had a blast :) And even got a little worn out!

Maggie 4 years ago

Self proclaimed Disney-whore riiiight here. So wonderful to have such great memories with your family. We go to Disney every year, sometimes every other year depending on schedules and finances. It’s our “happy place”. I don’t see myself ever NOT wanting to go!

Dani 4 years ago

You deserve to be pampered and go, show off about it! You’ve had a helluva year. Kids look exquisitely enthralled. Yay for all!

CC Jen 4 years ago

Awesome giveaway! I can’t wait to take my kids to Disney.

Bree @ The Mom with Moxie 4 years ago

Looks/sounds like so much fun! I love the pic, with Jake, from Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Cute!

Johanna 4 years ago

Funny, cause so often I feel like I want to strangle keynote speakers too. Glad they lined up some good ones and it looks like you had sooo much fun. No evidence of tantrums in sight!

Julia’s Child / Sarah P. 4 years ago

We just went there the week before you did, and the Toy Story ride really *is* pretty groovy. But my Disney enthusiasm was markedly more tempered after our two-day ticket to the parks set me back $688!
Still, a good time was had by all.

Desiree 4 years ago

Maybe someday I’ll be invited to an event. I’m envious (in a good way) for all of the moms who got to go to Disney Social Media Moms! Everyone looked like they had a wonderful time. It looks like you had a blast well. :)

Sweety Darlin 4 years ago

I am glad you got to go, and that you had a great time. I promise not to be jealous until I have blogged for 2 years. at least

Liz 4 years ago

I had the pleasure of hearing Adam Shankman speak at a PRSA conference in 2008 on the future of social media and, let me tell you, every single prediction he made has been dead on. He’s brilliant!

Jack@TheJackB 4 years ago

My kids keep asking me to take them to Disneyworld. Been to Disneyland more than a few times now, but that is an “easy” 40 miles trip south of us.

Sounds like it was fun.

    Julia’s Child / Sarah P. 4 years ago

    Jack, if you’re 40 miles from Disneyland, your kids will just have to forgive you for avoiding that circle of hell that is Orlando.
    Girl who went all the way to Tokyo Disneyland (I’m not making this up!) only to find that the droids on the Star Wars ride there speak Japanese. Go figure.

Flannery 4 years ago

I wouldn’t feel guilty one iota! You put in your blog time, lots of hours of work, you earned it.

Looks like a blast!!!

Corey Feldman 4 years ago

I don’t think you should feel guilty about blogging it at all. Not everyone can be invited. Its its nice to hear about the experiences and hopefully share some of the knowledge. Glad you had fun!

Taryn 4 years ago

i’ve lived in south florida for over 10 years now… and we are so used to being able to hop in the car and go to Disney whenever we want. I haven’t been in a few years, and I can’t wait for my kids to get just a little bit older so I can take them there for the first time! :-) Glad you guys had a blast!

Susan 4 years ago

Not being a social media mom, just a mom, it looks like you had a fantastic time. My favorite pic is the one at the end. I’m glad you were invited so I could read about it and see the pictures.

Jen @ Mommy Tries 4 years ago

What a fabulous trip, Jill! And very well-earned, I should say, with all your recent hard work on the book (not to mention the longer-haul work of the blog itself, of course). Glad you all had a great time.

Lynn from For Love or Funny 4 years ago

I’m so glad you had fun at Disney!

Vanessa Jubis 4 years ago

Very cool, Jill! Sounds like you had a total ‘magical’ experience and that is NEVER a bad thing 😉


Elaine 4 years ago

Yeah, you cannot help getting swept up in the Magic there, now can you?? I’m so glad the kids and YOU had a great time, I’m sure you needed a break from signing all those books! 😀

Susan 4 years ago

You deserve every second of fun you had. You’ve worked your ass off for it.

Stephanie 4 years ago

Yes, I do hate you a little (not really), mostly because I love Disney beyond words. I am confident that someday, hopefully soon, someone will invite me somewhere, because, hell, I’m fun to be around. I’m a sucker for fireworks, too. Especially the ones over Cinderella’s Castle. *Sigh* But the pictures are fantastic, and that’s as close as I can get right now, so it’s a-ok with me. Glad you had a good time. And I’d say fly next time. The flight is so short. It’s so worth it.

Andrea 4 years ago

Sounds like it was a great experience all around. I love it when good learnings happen at the same time as fun. I was at a conference a few years ago and Chris Brogan spoke and I just thought he had some really amazing points and was really just an interesting person.

Mayor Gia 4 years ago

I LOVE these pictures. Awesome.

Rebeccah 4 years ago

Gurl whatEVAH. You have paid your dues and then some. I’m so glad you and the fam were able to have such an awesome experience at Disney World. Fabulous!

Andrea @ Savings Lifestyle 4 years ago

It was great to meet you in person even though it took me a half a day to realize you were YOU at our table! It was a great event!

Loukia 4 years ago

Oh, I so badly wish I could get involved with Disney Social Media Moms! Put in a good word for me, will ya? 😉 Sounds and looks like an incredible experience, truly. I love your pictures, Jill! xo

Mod Mom Beyond IndieDom 4 years ago

Your pics are so cute – especially the Mickey Mouse one.
Glad you and your family had such a wonderful time – you deserve it! The drive sounds brutal. We drove from Jersey to Disney with our then 3 year old who only melted down once, but when he did, he pelted every toy in the back seat at us. Why didn’t we take a portable DVD player with us? lol

Cassie 4 years ago

Maybe by the time my little guy is old enough to really enjoy it, I will be on the exclusive list too! Dream big, right!?! It looks like you had a great time. I’m so happy that you all survived the drive! You are brave!!

Nicole @MTDLBlog 4 years ago

I saw a lot of great faces in my various feeds at that conference – looked amazing! So glad you had a great time! Definitely fly next time. 😉

Kathy V. 4 years ago

Yeah, okay, a little jealous. BUT. Your good fortune has given all of us little bloggers something to hope for! Maybe someday we, too, can have grown-up blogs that people actually read, and we’ll get invited to Disney! That would be suh-weeeeeeeet.

Life with Kaishon 4 years ago

I am SO thrilled you got to go! You work so hard at your blog. You deserve a break! It looks like a super fun time. I vote for flying for sure. I hate driving… : ) I hate flying too but driving just stresses me out to the max.

Happy Tuesday night! Love, Becky

shoops 4 years ago

Good for you for enjoying Disney. I am a native Floridian, been there more times than I can remember, and these days we natives won’t go unless the passes are free because we know someone who works there…lol… It’s easy to be cynical about it, we certainly are that way on occasion around here, but it is a pretty wonderful place though. There’s so much to see and do – hardly possible in one week-long visit. If you hit it at the off-season, crowds are more minimal and it’s much easier to get around and enjoy. I will suggest you return (without children) for the lovely season of September through November for the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Roam the park with a bunch of other lit fools and sample DELICIOUS (albeit overpriced) goodies from around the world. Instant weight-gain via divine pastries and cakes can be found at the French bakery, ooh-la-feaking-la!! ;o)

jodifur 4 years ago

It was so great to see you. You were the conference participant I ran into the most, which was funny, since we live so close to each and never see each other. It really was magical!

Amanda 4 years ago

It looks like y’all had an amazing time! I am jealous, but we’re planning on taking our boys next year. I will be riding ALL of the roller coasters with them!! I can’t wait!

xlmic 4 years ago

How cool! That last photo of your son with Mickey is the sweetest :)

Debbie Weiner 4 years ago

How exciting! We took the kids to Disney for the first time (first time for me too!) over Passover break last month. We have a 16 year old son and three daughters ages 9, 7 and 4. Actually, we flew down on our 4 year old’s birthday. Happy birthday to her!! Every single one of them had a good time. We were pleasantly surprised at how much our 4 year old enjoyed herself. Seeing your photos makes me miss it and I hope that we get to go back!

Ronda Doherty 4 years ago

Totally thrilled for you! I want to take my kids to Disney one day but I am torn on when we should take them. Ages 8,6,4 and 10mo. Bringing a stroller to Disney sounds like hell but I don’t want my oldest to be too old when we decide to go. Advice anyone?

Michelle 4 years ago

Jealous…..but happy for you! Thanks for sharing.

Becca – Our Crazy Boys 4 years ago

It really was amazing, and something we need could have given the kids ourselves. It was wonderful to finally meet you!

Brittany 4 years ago

I am so happy you had such a magical time! We go often and love Disney but I am a little envious of getting to see so many wonderful people in that magical setting. I always wish we were there with people. And…the speakers…oh the speakers!

My kids are jealous of meeting Captain Hook and Mr. Smee. We have tried 4 times and had no luck catching them in the parks. They are 2 of just a few autographs they don’t have.

I am hopeful for someday at this conference :)

Again, so glad you had such a great time. The pics are awesome!

Boingerhead 4 years ago

I don’t like you anymore. :)

Michelle 4 years ago

Looks like an amazing time and you deserve it!! Love the pics thanks for sharing

Dawn Meyers 4 years ago

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.

    zumpie 4 years ago

    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.

Autherine 4 years ago

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.

Lisa 4 years ago

I am experiencing a little blog envy at the moment.

Mom 4 years ago

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)!

lori Anne 4 years ago

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!


april 4 years ago

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

Marta 4 years ago

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.

JCat McGack 4 years ago

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!

Kimberly Graham 4 years ago

Brag away!! You deserve it!!! As a single mom of three I bragged about bringing my kids to disney last summer!! It was amazing!

Motherhood on the Rocks 4 years ago

Yeah I officially hate you know! j/k Glad you had a magical experience! Your pics are gorgeous! 😉

Missy 4 years ago

You have worked hard to be where you are Jill. I’m glad you got to have this magical experience with your family.

Heather 4 years ago

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!

Christina 4 years ago

One day…maybe that will be me…sigh….! :)

amy 4 years ago

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.

    FunMom 4 years ago

    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…

    zumpie 4 years ago

    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

Jen 4 years ago

I am honestly glad you had a good time.

But I also can’t help but wish that maybe next time, it will be and my family. Yeah, Disney. :-)

Jenn 4 years ago

Wow colour me jealous! It looks like a fantastic time. So glad you got to enjoy it too.

Fadra 4 years ago

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!

Arnebya 4 years ago

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?!)).

Kelly {the Centsible Life} 4 years ago

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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