Ok ya’ll. You know how much I LURVE Disney. A LOT. So when I was invited to the 2016 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I nearly freaked. I had been invited on the #DisneyKids press trip when Red was 3, and I knew that a Disney celebration means a LOT of work, but also earning mega rewards and plenty of fun surprises. I paid my own way to Walt Disney World twice earlier this year (Princess Half and the Star Wars races), so a third trip at a big discount was a total surprise and a SAY YES moment.
Each attendee was also given a beautiful bounty of awesomeness by Disney and the following generous sponsors. It ranged from a perfectly pixie dusted American Tourister luggage piece (not pictured) to Huggies Dory-themed swim diapers, Hanes bras, Disney Junior toys, Mickey himself and more. Thank you to Marvelous Mommy for the perfect photo!
I brought my Mom and Red with me to enjoy the fun at the parks while I was working, and to spend plenty of time dragging them around to my must-dos and riding Red’s favorite, The Mine Train, eleventy–billion times. And buddy, he loved it, too.
I can’t even begin to tell you everything that we saw, heard, or got to be a part of in a single post, so this will serve as my #DisneySMMC 2016 recap, with plenty more to come (accommodations, experiences, my favorite takeaways, etc). The first night in town, our family as well as the other attendees headed for the Animal Kingdom for an ethnic inspired African dinner, complete with some of the most fun entertainment I’ve ever seen. Trios of singing, instrument-playing women, male dancers and acrobats, and even some of our favorite friends from the Lion Guard! Red and I tried to give our best roars!
Our long conference day started out with a buffet breakfast with as much coffee as you could get (praise be, praise be!), and amazing speakers. I was most taken by what Star Wars show runner, Michael Roddy shared with us his life experience with the brand, his role with the company and gave us a deeper peek into the new attractions coming to Hollywood Studios. I can’t wait to see it in person one day.
Later that afternoon, I had the chance to catch up with friends I see every week, and some I haven’t seen in a long time! Seeing those smiling faces at a table is just what I need to start an early morning. I was over the moon to get peeks into upcoming attractions like the new Animal Kingdom’s Celebration of Nature parade, the exciting Rivers of Light nighttime show, as well as squeal like a child while the Sanderson sisters crooned their classics for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and I scrambled to video mode.
In the parks, our family was experiencing even more new fun (even as many times as I’ve been to Walt Disney World, I’m STILL finding new things to see, do and eat!). Red was given his favorite job of line-card holder, he rode Journey into Imagination with Figment for the first time, and we even tried a restaurant Mom hadn’t seen the inside of in over twenty years.
I got a 33 minute preview of Finding Dory clips, and I can’t WAIT to see the whole thing. I was told not to release any special information about the film, but I can tell you that it will pull on your heartstrings like only a Pixar film can, and it will be worth seeing more than once! The other film I was lucky enough to see was Alice Through the Looking Glass. This film is the sequel to Tim Burton’s first installment, Alice in Wonderland. Featuring both old and new characters, it pays homage to the original tale with better characterization, deeper plots and an overall sense of self that the first movie lacked. Being a HUGE Alice fan, I was so excited to see this film and have since completely redone my dining room in its honor!
In true personal fashion, I goofed off when I could. I took a hundred silly selfies with strange object, most of which you would have seen on my Instagram feed featuring #DisneySmmc as the hashtag. I hope I gave you a giggle or two, especially with my GoGoSqueeze Apple Guy. This picture made me laugh for the rest of the night.
One of my favorite moment almost wasn’t caught on film at all. At our Mother’s Day brunch, which rounded out the weekend, we celebrated the #DreamBigPrincess campaign and everything that is girl power and being whatever is true to your self. Red was so taken by the string of princesses and backgrounds, he insisted on standing in line to meet his “Beauty.” Just as our photographer got everything straight, Red took to one knee and slyly kissed Belle’s hand. (See his side eye?!) Red was so pleased with himself, he became a total blur on everyone’s camera, laughing, dancing and trying to impress her. It was adorable. A perfectly magical ending to our trip.
I have so much more to tell you, so please be on the lookout for another number of posts, which you will be able to find in my Disney column on the site. Is there anything you want to know about my 2016 #DisneySMMC trip? Please let me know! Hakuna Matata!