the magic of Disneyland Resort and being awestruck by the passion and inspiration of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration speakers, what more could be added to make the weekend any better?
Still about 2,250 more events, people and activities, actually.
However, here are the highlights that helped make the rest of my first DisneySMMoms experience one that is incomparable to any other social media event for me...
On Saturday morning, after meeting Genevieve Goings of Choo Choo Soul and learning about Disney Junior's incredible new Give a Book, Get a Book program, the entire room gasped when we realized that none other than LeVar Burton was next on stage.
Anyone else grow up with Reading Rainbow? As well as being a wonderful speaker (and praising all of the hard work of mothers everywhere, including his own), LeVar brought me even further back to my childhood later in the morning when he read a story to all of the attendees and their families.
LeVar Burton! Just take a look, it's in a book, it's Reading Rainnnnnbow...
But far from being the only celebrity guest that morning, families were also treated to another book reading starring David Arquette (voice of Skully from Jake and the Neverland Pirates), Ariel Winter (voice of Princess Sofia from Sofia the First), and Tim Gunn (voice of Baileywick from Sofia the First).
My kids were amazed at seeing the voices of characters they knew come from real people and I was starstruck by Tim Gunn. He has always been a favorite of mine!
Later that evening, all of the attendees and families were treated to a special dinner sponsored by GoGo squeeZ inside Mickey's Toontown — we had that entire section of the park all to ourselves!
What better way spend our last evening of the conference than by eating tasty food, hanging out with our favorite characters and going on rides until after the sun went down?
However, staying up late didn't stop me from setting my alarm to be out of bed bright and early on Sunday morning so that I wouldn't miss the chance to take part in an incredible runDisney event.
While I have long known about runDisney's series of events (e.g. marathons, half-marathons, 5k runs, etc) that provide runners the unique opportunity to run through Disney Theme Parks in Florida as well as California, I never thought it would be an experience I could call my own.
Not to mention finding out so much more about the way that the runDisney community has changed the lives of so many and has inspired people across the country to get healthy, support one another, make new friends and accomplish feats that were previously only in their dreams. Pretty incredible, right?
Clad in my running shirt and new shoes from New Balance, I was ready to take on our DisneySMMoms 2-mile run (a short distance for veteran runners, a long distance for lazy folks like myself). Although the starting line was covered under a veil of darkness, it wasn't long before the sun was rising over the empty Disney Parks and we were making our way through the course to the sounds of clapping and cheering from various Disney team members that were preparing for the day.
Without a doubt, it was an amazing experience that I'll never forget — and I would love to participate in another runDisney event someday!
From start to finish, the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was an affair unlike any other and I will be forever grateful that my family was able to attend. The laughter, the learning, the behind-the-scenes look into the people, values and hard work that come together to provide the magic of Disney for millions of visitors year after year...
These are the memories that will last a lifetime and I will treasure forever through photos, videos and simply in my heart. Thank you, Disney!
So what's next in my family's quest to keep the Disney love alive and make more magical dreams come true?
Now that we have visited Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort, it only makes sense to see the wonder and enchantment that Mickey Mouse can provide while on a floating castle, doesn't it?
Coming Summer 2014, we embark on our next adventure...
I was invited to attend the DSMM Celebration. I paid my own conference fees and received gifts during the conference. All opinions, experiences and thoughts are my own. Special thanks to Josh Hallett, the official DisneySMMoms photographer, for the use of many of his amazing photographs.