We recently returned from the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 and what a celebration it was. This year the celebration was held 3 days at Walt Disney World and 3 days aboard the Disney Cruise Line Disney Dream Ship. It was incredible and as I go through my pictures and videos I am so excited to share some of my favorite memories, some new and exciting Disney news, and what I learned about myself on this incredible journey.
Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 for a discounted fee. During the conference we we’re gifted items. All opinions are honest and my own.
There were so many amazing experiences during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 that I couldn’t wait to share them. Then my family got sick and we had a snow storm that knocked out our power for 16 hours. That is one way to get back to reality!
The good thing is it gave me an opportunity to sit down and reflect on what I learned and loved from the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018. There are so many things that stood out to me looking back and being a part of the Disney Family is a dream come true.
One of my favorite experiences during the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 was our private time at Pandora: The World of Avatar. Not only did Disney invite the bloggers to experience the attractions they also invited our families. This is a family moment we will never forget.
We have watched and followed the creating and building of Pandora and to see it all come together was incredible. We arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 6:00 am. Very early but worth every minute. I didn’t realize that the reason for the early arrival was to enjoy a sunrise breakfast and experience Pandora in the dark. Every attention to detail was amazing. The lights and plant life through out the land was amazing.
Pandora has two attractions for you to enjoy. The first is Na’vi River Journey, a boat ride attraction that all ages will enjoy. Take in the songs, sounds, and colors of the Avatar world. This ride has one of the best animatronics currently at any park and one you don’t want to miss.
The second attraction is Avatar Flight of Passage. Flight of Passage takes you into the world of Avatar as you ride a Banshee. You feel as if you are part of the story and it is incredible. There is a 44inches height limit for this attraction and they do offer Rider Switch. (Rider Switch allows an adult to ride with the older children while one waits with the younger one. Then you may switch to ride again. When you arrive at the attraction tell the Cast Member you would like this option and they will give you directions.)
During our private experience at Pandora we rode Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage as well as enjoyed an amazing breakfast buffet. We were so grateful for this time because as we were exiting Pandora Land the lines for the attractions were already well over an hour and this was at 8:00am. If you want to enjoy Pandora be sure to book a FastPass as soon as possible! Learn more about how to book FastPass here.
During our time at Walt Disney World we had special themed family dinners hosted by the conference sponsors. I was blown away by the awesome theme and fun the sponsors had in store for us. We ate breakfast with Chewbecca and Kylo Ren, had dinner at PizzeRizzo sponsored by GoGoSqueeZ, and had a morning with the Disney Junior characters sponsored by Alamo. The best part was our family was included in the fun.
We love Pixar movies and characters in our house and one of our favorite dinners was the Pixar themed dinner sponsored by BabyBel. We were ushered to the dinner by the Toy Story Green Army Men and then enjoyed a meal along with some of our favorite Pixar characters. We met Woody & Buzz, Joy & Sadness, Mike & Sully, and my favorite Mr. & Mrs. Incredible. They also had a Pixar dance party! This was an amazing way to start our time at the conference.
Since day one of this blog it has always been my intention to stay true to myself. With my storytelling here on the blog to my social media accounts. I have always wanted to share the real moments of travel and family life. The reason I started this, or my why, was to inspire and help others create quality time with their family. This is through helping plan your next Disney vacation, planning your next family road trip, or having fun with a movie night at home. I want to inspire you to create your own family story.
During the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 you are surrounded by a lot of talented bloggers. It is easy to fall into the comparison game but at Disney I found it impossible. We are all there because of our unique voice and Disney celebrates that. Throughout the speakers each one shared the importance of finding your why and letting that drive your story. It is an amazing message and I will keep it with me as I continue on this adventure.
Find your why and stick with it. Keep your eye on your own path. Each person has a unique voice and story and when you stay true to that voice you will find success.
I am almost embarrassed to share this but we have never stayed to watch the Happily Ever After castle projection and fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. It is one of those things I always say I am going to do and then we end up missing it. This time I was determined to make it happen. We did dinner at the resort and took the bus to Magic Kingdom at 7:00pm to catch the show.
Happily Ever After did not disappoint. I found myself laughing and crying as the music and Disney characters lit up the night. The best was seeing my kids faces as I watched the show. Hearing them shout out their favorite characters on Cinderella’s castle was a magical and incredible way to end a fun day at the Walt Disney World.
We first visited Walt Disney World as a family in 2013. At the time my kids were all under 5. Now they are all over 5 and visiting Walt Disney World is very different. This visit we had a visit of firsts. My youngest is now tall enough to ride almost all the rides at Disney and he was also brave enough!! We had our first ride on Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest as a family. All my kids had an opportunity to participate in Jedi Training. If you read my post about it you know on our last visit he was 2 weeks shy of being old enough. (You can read the Jedi Training post here.) It was magical to be together experiencing these rides and attractions.
I will be the first to admit I never thought we would go on a family cruise. My husband and I cruised once before we had kids but I never really thought it was practical for a family…until now. From the minute we boarded the Disney Dream I realized I was so wrong.
The Disney Cruise Line takes every little detail and makes sure it creates the best for your family. From the on ship entertainment to the dining options, everything is tailor made for children and families. The biggest surprise for me was the Oceaneer Club.
The Oceaneer Club and Lab is the onboard kids-only area. I was hesitant at first to drop my kids off but was blown away with the activities and safety. When you arrive at port your child is given a magic band for the duration of your cruise. This connects their picture with yours and can tell you where on the ship your child is at any given moment. My kids loved visiting the Oceaneer Club and it was one of the highlights of their trip.
On the Disney Dream they have kiosks to play the Midship Detective Agency game. There are two games: Muppets and Villains. We didn’t have time to do both games but did have a chance to play the Muppets one. It was so fun. You sign up and receive your badge then work your way around the ship to different paintings that come to life and give you clues in a “Who Did It? Mystery” I won’t spoil that surprise but we had fun trying to guess the suspects. Tip: You don’t have to finish the game in one sitting. You can start and then take a break if needed. Keep your badge and pick back up at a painting.
During my sessions at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 I had the privilege of previewing some amazing entertainment from the Walt Disney Company that will be coming to theaters or television soon. Disney is part of our family. We watch the movies and television shows and love enjoying the Disney magic outside the parks.
Here are a few of the coming soon entertainment I am excited for:
Muppet Babies is another way Disney is bringing that Disney magic into your home and I am so excited. Muppet Babies from the 1980’s is being reimagined and will debut March 23, 2018 on Disney Junior. I am so excited to watch this with my kids. Muppet Babies was part of my childhood. I grew up watching the Muppets and Muppet Babies with my family and it is amazing to have that opportunity to share it with my family.
We had the opportunity to learn more from the producer Tom Warburton and preview the first episode. Your kids are going to love this and keep an eye out for familiar favorites and new characters for your family to enjoy.
Disney is always growing and changing. That is what Walt Disney himself wanted. In the next few years Walt Disney World and the parks across the globe will continue to add new and exciting attractions.
There is something amazing when an idea turns into a reality and you can share it with the people you love the most. This idea of starting the blog was a small idea that I have put my heart into. I love sharing stories to inspire you to create your own experiences with your family.
Disney understands that it really is all about the moments with your family and the celebration goes above and beyond by including your family. Being able to show my kids and husband what I have worked so passionately about and sharing that with them is an experience I will never forget.
You know you are at a Disney conference when there are so many moments built in to enjoy with your family. One of the biggest concerns we had about the conference is how much family time would be built into the schedule. I was so happy that the Disney team made family time a priority. It is a conference and there were sessions and blogger only times but the family time far out weighed the sessions and it made a big difference in our experience.
As I mentioned earlier we love Wreck-It Ralph and I was so excited to learn that aboard the Disney Dream you could enjoy a sweet treat from Venellope’s Treat Shop. They offer macaroons and other sweet treats but we decided to go for the Ralph Family Challenge. This is a trophy size ice cream sundae with your choice of 6 ice cream flavors and 6 toppings.
This was more then we could really eat but we did manage to finish a little over half of it. When you are finished you take it back for a surprise. They will also clean out the trophy so you can take it home.
Blogging can feel like an isolated world. Most connections are made online and some of your best blogging friends live across the country and you have never met them. During the conference I was able to connect in real life with some of these people and it was awesome. Spending time with people that are in the same business as you is such an incredible experience. They understand you need to take pictures of your food and no one is offended when you are on your phone. They understand you and are your people!
Before I left I did so much research on what to expect. I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to enjoy every minute and soak up everything the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration offered. I am happy to say I did. I fully enjoyed every experience and opportunity we had, but there is one thing I do regret during the conference that I will know better for next time.
I wish I would have spent more time introducing myself to people. I was not a wall flower but I had no idea how to translate the relationships I made online to the real world. When I returned home and was talking to people on instagram I realized I missed out on talking to them in real life.
I wasn’t shy or afraid to approach them, and they certainly weren’t cold or mean, but the conference is such a whirlwind and I found myself moving quickly through it. Thankfully social media does exist and I was able to connect and build friendships online until we meet again!
Being invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2018 was a dream come true. For a Disney fan like me being able to hear more about the parks and what goes on behind the scenes was pure magic. Sharing it with my family and meeting new friends made for an experience I will never forget.
If you liked the mouse ears and shirts my daughter I wore during the trip and in the above photos check out Mouse Life Ears and Rustic & Ritzy. I was so happy with the high quality and comfort during our trip!!