Everyone who has a love of Disney has a story. I’ve had the honor of being invited to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration for three consecutive years. Something I never dreamed would happen. Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is something that so many people wish to attend. It is something to treasure. For me, there is a connection I want to share. What Disney Social Media Moms Celebration means to me.
It brings me back to a place in my life that I miss every day. It brings me back to my childhood. It brings me back to my dreams and makes them come true all over again. It makes me want to be a storyteller.
What Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Means to Me
Let’s Rewind a Bit
In 2001, my family took me on my first Walt Disney World trip. My mom had a conference to attend, so she built a family vacation around it. If we rewind to my childhood of singing the ‘Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers’ theme song on the fireplace or staying up eating banana splits with my Poppop to watch ‘Vault Disney’ reruns, Disney was something I had always dreamed to be a part of. I even grew up telling everyone I would work “there” one day. The 2001 Walt Disney World trip lead right to that dream.
You see, I was determined. I dragged my poor father several blocks from the then ‘Downtown Disney’ to the Casting Building after asking information where I could find out how to work at Disney. Mind you, I was 15 years old at the time.
Yes, I walked into Casting and marched straight up the hallways to the front desk. I remember seeing the paintings of Walt Disney and many characters on the walls. They pretty much were singing right along with me to make this happen.
At the front desk, the Cast Member gave me a bit of a look as I reached the top. I was asked how they could help me and I quickly stated, “How do I work here?”. The look on the Cast Member’s face was priceless.
“How old are you?” asked the Cast Member.
“Fifteen! … I know I’m not old enough yet, but I will be soon!”
“Hmmm…well…you are in the right place for more information. Have you heard of the Walt Disney World College Program?”
The Next Few Years
The Cast Member gave me handouts and information about the Walt Disney World College Program, spoke to me for a bit about the program and sent me on my way. My poor dad just wanted to get to Typhoon Lagoon, I think. Thanks, Dad, for hanging in there with me! Your patience helped lead me where I am today.
For the next few years, I clung to that information the Cast Member gave me. I had an informational card that I cherished until it fell to bits.
In 2005, you can be pretty sure what I did. I once again made my way several blocks (okay, several miles) to a community college in Bellevue, WA. This was the closest interview location for the Walt Disney World College Program to us. I interviewed and when asked why I wanted to work at Disney…my answer?
“Because those glass slippers are mine…”
Yes, I said that. And guess what? It got me hired on the spot! Off I went, at the age of 19, from Washington State to Florida. I was fulfilling a lifelong dream.
I worked as an Attractions Hostess at the American Adventure Pavilion of World Showcase, Epcot. I can count only on one hand the days that might have been troublesome. All the others were perfect. It was honestly the most amazing time of my life. My “best day ever” list goes my marriage, birth of my kids, Disney!
While I could sit here and tell you about every amazing detail of working at Walt Disney World, I think I’d have to write a book. The magical moment did come to an end, after my program. I returned home to Washington with some reluctance. I was dating my now husband, so there was a reason behind coming home. However, a piece of me was left behind. Honestly, it hurt and still does to this day.
After the Walt Disney World College Program, I did as much as I could to keep up with Disney. We went on a handful of trips. I worked for Radio Disney AM1250 Seattle, for some time. I was always looking for ways to connect back to the magic. It was sort of my “looking-glass”.
My husband even proposed to me in front of Cinderella Castle.
We also honeymooned at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for two weeks. That was a dream. Disney was always connected to me.
Then in 2011, I was laid off while expecting our daughter. I was devastated. Still, the determined fifteen-year-old wasn’t gone out of me yet. I created Brought to You by Mom. While I wasn’t sure how everything would come together, I see today how it did in a big way. This path led me right back to where I needed to be in Disney. The one place that always encourages me to “just keep swimming”.
That’s Where Disney Social Media Moms Celebration Comes In
In 2015, I was invited to my very first Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Orlando, Florida. Then in 2016, I was invited back again. Every year just got better and better. I was back in my groove with many other bloggers who felt the same.
Then in 2017, I was invited to Disney Social Media Moms Land and Sea Celebration. While I was solo the first two years, our entire family got to come along this time! Our son and daughter’s very first Disney trip and our first cruise.
It’s funny how the circle continues that my first Walt Disney World trip was during a conference that my mom had. Now, my kids had the chance to have their first Walt Disney World trip all thanks to Disney Social Media Moms. We even extended a few nights at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which just so happens to be the first resort my family stayed in on my first trip.
Disney Social Media Moms brought me back to the place I was in 2005 as a Disney Cast Member. It brought me back to 1990, having banana splits with my Poppop and watching Walt Disney on the television.
It brought me back to 2001, being 15 years old and climbing the hallways to the front desk of Casting. It brought me back to the place and people I always want to be with. People who make magic happen. Where everyone has a story to tell about how Disney has affected their life for the better. The laughter of families enjoying the things that we often forget as we grow up.
While I have so much to give to my audience in Disney news and fun from Disney Social Media Moms, I have to take a moment to thank the Special Events team and Leanne Jakubowski O’Regan for these past three years.
You have brought back the magic in my life in so many ways possible. I have made so many amazing connections with people who each have an amazing story of their own to tell. I even got to thank and befriend Sarah Mock, from Savoring the Good, whose blog helped me out of a rough spot when I was laid off. The reason we do this. The best part is that it all circles back to a place that is filled with so much energy to grow, dream and be whoever you want to be.
Disney has always been a part of my life. From family memories to learning to fly on my own far away from home. As crazy as it might sound to some, I am who I am because of Disney. I’m thankful for my journey to inspire and create happiness (Be a part of Walt’s Dream!) didn’t stop with the Walt Disney World College Program. It lives on in Disney Social Media Moms.
It has honestly been an adventure of a lifetime to be invited to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I’ll admit that a piece of me is crying after this trip knowing it might be some time before receiving that magical invite again.
However, I hope that everyone has a chance to experience this magical moment. We each have something that Disney has brought us to, and Disney Social Media Moms Celebration only enhances that path.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the next couple of weeks about all of the wonderful things Disney has shared with us to give to you. Disney is so much more to many than just characters and fun rides. It has intertwined us together with friends, family, and opportunities. Again, my heartfelt thank you to every one of Disney Social Media Moms. Because of you, my dreams continue.
Have you received an invite to Disney Social Media Moms Celebration? Check out How To Take Full Advantage of Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. This is one experience you won’t want to miss.