Last week, I had the honor of attending Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration at Walt Disney World. This amazing event is an invitation only conference for bloggers and social media moms, and I was so excited to be invited this year! Disney designs this conference as a family event and attendees are encouraged to bring their families along. I chose to bring my oldest daughter with me as part of a graduation gift as well as some very special mother and daughter time.
I would like to share some of the highlights from the weekend with you. The conference was held at the beautiful Yacht Club, which is one of my favorite resorts at Disney World. We were greeted by our favorite character, Mickey Mouse!
The event began with a fabulous welcome reception held at Epcot that included fabulous food, music and character greets for kids. The food was so creative, and I mean that in a good way! Where else would you find cheeseburger egg rolls and smoking popcorn? My daughter and I took pictures with Rapunzel, Sorcerer Mickey and Baymax and Hiro. It was a very fun kick off for the weekend!
The social media celebration was one full day of sessions held at the Yacht Resort Conference center. We were treated to some delicious meals and snacks, as well as some amazing speakers that inspired everyone!
Our first speaker was George A. Kalagridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort. He shared with us upcoming expansion news including Animal Kingdom and Avatar World. He told us about DisneyGrants for 2015 (#2015DisneyGrants). And he gave sneak peeks at the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration that begins May 22!!
We then heard from Eva Smith, Head of Marcom and Insights at Pinterest. She shared great insight on Pinterest use for our blogs and how to reach a wider audience. It is amazing to see what a large reach Pinterest has and how much it has grown over the years. Pinterest is one of my favorite places on the web!
Next, we heard from Jonas Rivera, Producer of the upcoming Pixar film Inside Out. He shared with us the process of their storytelling and development for the exciting new film that is opening in theaters June 19th. They have been working on this film for five years! My kids can’t wait to see it.
Disney Social Media reminded us that Star Wars weekends were starting the following weekend, and we were surprised with Storm Troopers in the conference! As a Star Wars fan, it was very exciting!!
Our next speaker was Janice Baldemino, Director Global Brand Marketing for Disney Infinity! We got the inside scoop on the upcoming release of Disney Infinity 3.0! My family loves Disney Infinity so I was so excited to learn that in the summer, they will be releasing Star Wars characters – three sets, with the new 3.0 as well as Inside Out characters! And the newest characters coming are Mickey and Minnie! They gifted all the attendees with these classic characters! Check out the new 3.0 characters coming soon!
The most inspiring moment of the day was hearing from Vivienne Harr, Chief Executive Officer at Stand. She is 11 years old. She started a campaign selling lemonade to help end child slavery around the world, and her small idea grew into a huge movement! She has started the company Stand, to unite people for causes around the world. Check out her site at stand.tc
One of the main sponsors of this amazing event is Alamo. Megan Maguire, Brand Publicity Manager, spoke to us about their new Twitter presence and their new social media team of Chief Travel Moms who blog about traveling with kids. Check them out on twitter @Alamo.
Chris Brogan, CEO of Owner Media Group and bestselling author of eight books, spoke to us about developing a newsletter and developing content for our readers. He had amazing insight for everyone!
Next, we were so lucky to have Jeffry Epstein, Manager of the official Disney fan club, D23! He talked with us about the upcoming D23 Expo that will be held August 14-16 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is a biyearly event and it is filled with entertainment, celebrity and talent visits, special exhibits, new Disney announcements and sneak peeks, special merchandise and a fan costume contest that is fantastic! To check out all the info, visit D23Expo.com. If you are interested in membership into the fan club, there are different price levels including a free level!
Disney Imagicademy spoke to us about their new line of kids apps, which we have featured on our blog including Mickey’s Magical Math World and Mickey’s Art World. Dr. Tanya Altmann shared with us that their next amazing kids app is coming this summer and it will be Frozen: Early Science. What they showed us looks awesome and it may be one of our favorites!
We ended our conference with a speech from retired NFL Wide Receiver Donald Driver. He was inspiring and funny, and the best end to a wonderful day. He shared parts of his life story and how he overcame the challenges in his life. But he also shared a story about experiencing harsh and cruel words through social media, and how he dealt with it. He inspired us to give purpose to the words we write. “Stars do not struggle to shine. Rivers do not struggle to flow. It’s all about the power of your passion!” -Donald Driver
After all our sessions, we got to have a special Mickey’s Beach Bash on the beach in front of the Beach and Yacht Club. Mickey and friends joined up for the fun, and we enjoyed live music and delicious Disney cuisine!
My favorite decoration of the night was a hand crafted sandcastle made just for us!
The next day, we were given the opportunity to see a sneak peek of the new Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out! We were shuttled to the AMC Theater in Downtown Disney and treated to a light breakfast while we watched the movie. We also got to see the first 12 minutes of the new Disney movie Tomorrowland.
First, Inside Out is awesome! We didn’t get to see the end because the finishing touches are still being put together, but the part we saw was fantastic! Kids will love it! It is really clever and funny. The preview for Tomorrowland was awesome too! It looks like a unique and intriguing movie. Inside Out will be in theaters June 19th and Tomorrowland opens this weekend, starting May 22nd.
There was plenty of park time for us as well, as we were able to enjoy some of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival which was beautiful. I will share some of our photos of the festival in another post. The next day was Mother’s Day, and Disney treated all the Social Media Moms to a delicious breakfast as well as some music from the a capella group Voice Play. It was an awesome show!
My daughter and I had a great time and I had the most amazing experience learning and meeting other bloggers. The social media moms were a diverse group of bloggers and vloggers. I was truly honored to be included in their group!
Disney gave us lots of great gifts as well as treated us so special. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of the celebration. My daughter and I had a great mother and daughter trip too – something that can be rare in a family of four kids.
I hope we are given the opportunity to be part of Disney’s Social Media Moms celebration again. Disney is an amazing leader in the social media world and they really know how the reach their audience. This was a wonderful weekend!
Disclaimer: Preschoolears is a personal blog and all opinions, ideas and content are my own. We did receive gifts from sponsors as well as discounts on Disney accommodations, park passes and park perks for attending this conference.