Day 3 was the last day of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. It was another packed day of activities and family fun, concluding at the brand new Art of Animation resort.
We started off in the morning with a breakfast for the attendees. After breakfast we heard from Jean Volante, from DisneyFlorist.com. She gave a presentation about all the cool things Disney Florists can do to commemorate special occasions. Guests can have anything from welcome baskets to their children from a favorite character, to floral arrangements for every occasion under the sun–all delivered to their rooms any time during their stay. Ms. Volante also spoke briefly about Disney Signature Dreams, which is where guests can have extremely customized private experiences that are truly once in a lifetime. I can’t even imagine how amazing those would be (check out the video on their site)!
The next presentation was a real treat. One of the original Mouseketeers, Cubby O’Brien, spoke to us about his memories of The Mickey Mouse Club. It was fascinating to hear his stories about being recruited, his memories of Walt, and other “Memoirs of a Mouseketeer” (that’s the name of his book). Then he introduced us to Sherry Alberoni, another original Mouseketeer. Cubby and Sherry dated as teenagers and their banter together is adorable. I think everyone in the room was fascinated with their presentation, everyone could feel the “original Disney magic”
After the breakfast and presentations we were released to the morning sessions. Even though I went on the Fantasyland tour the day before, I was able to sign up for an additional session if I wanted to. And of course, I wanted to! I left Marc with the kids again for a little bit so I could attend the Disney Dining session.
We met at the Martha’s Vineyard lounge at the next-door Beach Club resort. We heard from a couple of chefs and then had a cooking presentation of a very yummy dessert:
The lead chef for the Beach Club resort, Lorene, headed up most of the presentation and she mentioned a few things that stuck with me. The first, was in her points about why she loves working for Disney–Chefs love to travel. They love to move around to new areas, learn new cuisines and generally not sit still. Disney offers that ability to try all varieties of food prep (counter service to sit down, theme park to resort, etc.) and various cuisines, all without moving her family. I thought that was very neat. Also, there was a lot of discussion about the way Disney caters to people with special dietary needs. (This was actually point #2 in why Lorene said she loves working for Disney, the chefs really take pride in customizing meals for every possible guest request–I never realized there were so many special food allergies out there.) The last thing that stood out to me was knowing that Disney follows very strict food safety guidelines. Disney follows HACCP guidelines for testing food, monitoring temperatures and continually evaluating their vendors. I never thought much about food safety before, but it was comforting to know that Disney goes to such an extreme level of caution for their guests!
After the Dining segment, I met up with the family and we had some park time at Magic Kingdom. That afternoon we had an appointment for Rayna to have a princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Castle! I am going to write a separate post on this, because it was just adorable and definitely worth doing if you have a young daughter! I was on the fence about it (would it be too “Toddlers and Tiaras”? Since she is a toddler and would be wearing a tiara, but it wasn’t…it was sweet and fun and one of Rayna’s best memories for sure!)
Once we had a bona fide Princess in our family (“How does everyone know that I’m a princess?!” she asked ) we got back to the Yacht Club just in the nick of time to hop on the bus to the new Art of Animation resort. Our last DSMM function was our family dinner by the pool. The first phase of the resort opens at the end of this month (May 31) so we were touring a completely vacant Disney resort, it was wild! (hence the geekery in my photo up top) The Animation theme focuses around 4 films, Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is in the “value” category (resorts are either value, moderate or deluxe) and what really sets this one apart are the family suites. The Nemo, Cars, and Lion King rooms are all family suites (Little Mermaid = standard rooms) that have 2 bathrooms, living rooms and beds galore (ok, there’s a master bed, a pullout couch bed, and a cool Murphy bed that is a dining table by day and a bed at night). The other big selling feature for families is the amazing Finding Nemo pool. In addition to the giant pool is a pool bar and a kid’s splash play area.
It was really fun to see this new hotel completely empty. (I love that sort of thing! Have I said that 100 times?) We also got to walk through the rooms and they were really nice, with fancy bathrooms and 2 flat screen tvs (I guess there really isn’t any other kind nowadays, but you know what I mean). Then the kids had some fun playing in the arcade, where I swear baby Marc pretty much learned to walk! He was taking a few steps at home, but here he was so motivated by all the colors that he was walking all around!
I was so sad that the Celebration had come to a close. It was such a wonderful time, to be a “VIP” at my absolute favorite place on earth! A HUGE thank you to everyone involved in this, because it was truly an amazing experience for my family. The entire time we were well aware of how blessed we were to be there!
I have a few more Disney posts coming up, I have to share Rayna’s makeover, baby Marc’s first haircut, and some other cool stuff that we did while on our trip. So stay tuned!
Disclosure: I paid a conference registration fee to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. This fee provided a greatly reduced rate for lodging, park tickets, meals and events. I was not obligated or asked to write about my experience. All opinions are my own.