The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is full of surprises. We really didn’t know what to expect. The organizers keep it pretty secret up until the very end–speakers, sponsors, and special events included. That’s what makes this conference so different from others.
Early Friday morning, we started the celebration with an attendee-only breakfast sponsored by Hanes. Hanes set up shop just outside the Grand Ballroom and let us pick and choose several of their new items. It was a great way to break the ice and get to know someone quickly by what type and which color undies they were stuffing in their bag!
After breakfast, we started the general sessions with Leanne Jakubowski kicking off the exciting event. Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney World, was up first. He gave us a sneak peek of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I’m already planning our next trip to Walt Disney World just for the Mine Train.
Next was Jay Ward, from Pixar, and Kathy Magnum, from Disney Imagineering. Both speakers made me fall in love with Cars Land all over again. I didn’t even know that was possible. Whenever I visit Cars Land, it’s like Radiator Springs comes to life. This part of the park is incredibly well done and will be hard for Disney to top with any new lands.
— Cam Bowman (@CamBowman) April 11, 2014
Thomas Smith gave us a peak into the Disney Blog’s social media strategy. He let us know the Disney Park Blog is paying attention to fans. They’re putting out at least seven stories every day. The blog readers love new experiences, and want to be the first to know. Behind-the-scenes stories and clips attract lots of people to the blog.
Keeping with the Disney theme, Erin Glover asked a Social Media panel about their successes and challenges. Grumpy Cat was amongst the panel. There wasn’t a single person in the room that didn’t want to take Grumpy Cat home with them.
It didn’t take long to figure out what was next. We had a FROZEN-themed luncheon, and some very special guests joined us. My children will never forget that their mother had her picture taken with Elsa and Anna. I wish they could have met them, but we only had a few minutes before our next session began.
Donald Driver, from the Green Bay Packers, was front and center on stage. He is larger than life, and had a story beyond belief. There were few dry eyes in the room. He has a rags to riches story, fulfilling a dream of providing better opportunities for children. He is now writing children’s books.
Former Build-a-Bear Chief Executive Maxine Clark was beyond inspirational. Her success has been based on imagination and living a dream. If you have both, you will be successful in your endeavors. She made clear how important it is to turn “not so great” moments into wonderful experiences. But, most importantly, leave the world a better place than you found it.
Of course they saved the best speaker for last! And I’m not just saying that because Doug Bowman, Creative Director at Twitter, is my husband. :-) I really thought he nailed it when he spoke about “A voice for everyone.” He not only showed us a few new tips, but he told a story that made us really appreciate Twitter. He was able to reaffirm my love for Twitter and made me realize just how big the platform really is.
Finishing out the day was Gary Buchanan, Social Media Manager at WDW. Gary showed us a behind-the-scenes look at how things are created. He says, “It doesn’t matter where you take it from, it matters where you take it to.” It’s important to use your creativity to get you to the next level. He also reminded us that “if you are having fun and playing, then your mind is free.” Thanks Gary; that will be my new motto.
It’s hard to believe that was all packed into one amazing day. I can only hope I’ll be part of the magic again next year when they move the celebration back to Walt Disney World. Thank you to all of the wonderful, inspiring speakers, the Disney Social Media team, and all other attendees for making this an unforgettable event.
I was invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration conference. I was provided compensation or product for review. All opinions are my own. Thank you to Josh Hallett for taking photos throughout the event.