Wondering what the heck Disney Social Media Moms is?
It’s an invite-only conference hosted by Walt Disney World Parks and it’s full of more magic than you might probably experience on a typical trip with Disney.
If you’re a social media influencer-type, I’ve got you covered. I’m bringing you a video diary that shows you my chronological experience for all 5 days of the conference (which took place February 7-12, 2017).
If you’re a Disney enthusiast, there’s something here for you too. Not only did we get to hear from a wide variety of Disney insiders but we also got to peek at a lot of some of the upcoming goodness at Disney Parks.
This year’s conference was a little different as it was a Land & Sea celebration! We spent a few days on land (at the parks) and the rest of the time aboard the Disney Wonder, part of the Disney Cruise Lines.
But before I dive in too deep, let me give you a quick overview of what Day 1 of the celebration was like. (And if you don’t feel like reading, just skip to the bottom and watch everything on my Day 1 Video Diary!)
Getting to the Most Magical Place on Earth
If you’ve been to Disney, you know that getting there isn’t easy. We were well-packed (and loving our Star Wars themed carry-on luggage provided by American Tourister) and left early in the morning to make sure we were all tired and cranky by the time we got to Florida.
For the first time, we checked our luggage all the way to our hotel, Port Orleans – Riverside, as part of the Magical Express transportation service. I had my doubts about whether or not our bags would show up but absolutely no problem.
Once we made it to our resort, we did a little check-in with Hanes, one of the sponsors, where we got a personal tour of their lineup. Yes, I got excited about socks, underwear, and their new line of workout pants.
Next stop was meeting the Disney IT Team who planned to set up our devices for dedicated wifi onboard the ship. Once all of the logistics were taken care of, it was off to our first event!
First Stop: Animal Kingdom
One of the most underrated parks at Disney is Animal Kingdom, which is my second favorite park right after Epcot. Our event started at 6pm with a welcome reception in the newly designed Festival of the Lion King Theater followed by a buffet dinner sponsored by GoGoSqueez.
We decided to head to the park early and hop on one of my favorite rides, Kilimanjaro Safari. Although it was late in the day and the animals were heading for cover with the impending rain storm, we saw an amazing view of the male lion perched atop a rock surveying his kingdom (a la Lion King) and his lioness lounging nearby.
As we clicked away with our photos, we saw a rainbow appear in the sky just above them.
Sometimes Disney magic is unplanned.
A Glimpse at Upcoming Changes at Animal Kingdom
One thing I’ve never liked about Animal Kingdom is how early it closes. I always want more time there. It seems that Disney knows that.
Soon, they’ll be opening the huge undertaking of opening Pandora: The World of Avatar. Even Avatar director James Cameron was amazed at what Disney Imagineers have been able to recreate.
Wanna see a picture? Yeah, me too. We’ll have to wait until May 27th when it’s slated to open. But in the meantime, maybe you can zoom in on this scale model.
We also got the inside scoop on the nighttime show Rivers of Light. And we didn’t just get a scoop, we got to watch the beautiful water projection and light show before it opens! Look for it as a regular fixture starting on February 21st.
How to End a Long Day
And then we went to bed.
You guys. You have to pace yourself at Disney or you’ll end up exhausted. Stay tuned for the rest of my video diary and you’ll see exactly what I mean. In the meantime, please enjoy my first installment.