My Adventures as a 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panelist
September 10, 2009
Submitted my application to become an online panelist for the new Walt Disney World Moms Panel question and answer forum at disneyworld.com.
October 13, 2009
We would like to congratulate you on making it to the next phase of the selection process for the 2010 Walt Disney World® Moms Panel!
October 14, 2009
Answered three additional essay questions and submitted a headshot photo.
October 27, 2009
On behalf of Disney Destinations, LLC, we would like to congratulate you on making it to the final phase of the selection process for the 2010 Walt Disney World® Moms Panel!
November 5, 2009
Participated in the phone interview.
November 10, 2009
Received a call that I had been selected as a 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panelist. Received a Congratulations email. http://wdwpress.com/wdwmp/2010/dannee
2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel Training
Where do I begin? First, as a member of the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel I will receive a complimentary trip to Walt Disney World for 5 nights for up to 4 people. That means free, y’all! FREE! Now that the formalities are out of the way, here we go…
Several emails, paperwork submissions, and social networking activities occurred between my becoming a “Mom” and Day 1 of training. I really felt like I knew many of the 2010 Moms and just needed to put names with faces. There were 22 of us selected for the 2010 panel, 6 of which are Dads. We found out that several of the “seasoned” Moms were returning for 2010 as well. I could not wait to meet everyone and several sleepless nights later, the Magic began…
Day 1 – Friday, December 4, 2009
We were fortunate enough to have a roster and list of flight arrivals and departures for the Moms attending training. I planned to meet my Travel Buddy at Disney’s Magical Express and we were going to grab lunch and shop at Downtown Disney with a few other Moms. I must pause and say that my Travel Buddy is totally awesome. She never tried to ditch me or leave me out, even with all my attachment issues. I had fore warned everyone that this was my first solo flight and first trip to Walt Disney World without any family or friends. I knew that I would be extra “clingy” and super needy. Well, no one seemed to mind. I felt very Blessed to be around such wonderful people. Now back to the report – We arrived at the Contemporary just after Noon and checked in. Our rooms were not ready and we found out that another Mom was in her room. So, of course I checked in my carry-on with Bell Services and we went for a visit. Another cool Mom! I was 2/2 and feeling giddy. We explored our Moms Panel Welcome packets – itinerary, 5 Day Park Hopper w/ 5 Fun Visits, Mom Bloggers Event FASTPASS (allowing us to experience FASTPASS attractions immediately with little to no wait – Woo Hoo!), and Quick and Casual Lunch or Dinner Certificates. We decided to head to Kona Café www.allears.net/menu/menu_kcl.htm for lunch once my hunger pains kicked in. We hopped on the monorail and zipped over. I absolutely love the Lapu Lapu! By the time we finished lunch, our rooms were ready. Here is the lovely room 4214.
I could not believe I had the whole place to myself. It was time to get ready for our Welcome Cocktail Reception in the Grand Republic A. You can see we really enjoyed meeting everyone. The Coyne employees and Walt Disney World employees were absolutely wonderful!
Here are a few photos from our Private Dinner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Prop Shop.
Then back to the Contemporary for some R&R. I practiced my Bio for tomorrow’s Video Shoot and called the family. Knock – Knock! Who could be at my door? None other than a CM delivering a large basket of Moms Panel goodies! Hooray!
Day 2 – Saturday, December 5, 2009
I was chatting with the family and checked my watch – LATE! We were meeting at 7:30 am to head over to Disney’s BoardWalk. I was only a little late, okay 5 – 10 minutes and boy did I have to hear about it! We made it to breakfast at Kouizzina www.allears.net/menu/menu_kouzb.htm at Disney’s BoardWalk. I really enjoy the atmosphere of this restaurant (my second visit) and the food was excellent, just like I remembered it!
We left Kouizzina and headed back to the Contemporary for our Video Shoot at California Grill. I was very nervous (I think we all were), but we were being pampered with hair and make-up. Had to enjoy that! The Video Shoot was amazing, nothing like I expected while being everything that I expected. The pressure was off and we could relax.
The Utilidor Tour at Magic Kingdom was next. Woo Hoo! All I can say is – WOW! They have truly thought of everything to make our experiences at Walt Disney World very magical. We enjoyed the “behind the scenes” tour and even received “Critters’” for answering questions and sharing Disney facts.
The “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It!” Street Party was a blast. The guests were curious as to who we were and when we received our “shot out” during the parade, we went crazy!
Several of us ventured over to Liberty Square for lunch at Columbia Harbour House www.allears.net/menu/men_chh.htm. This was my first visit and I enjoyed watching the people pass by. I will definitely bring the family here for lunch or dinner on our next trip!
After lunch we rode a few rides, caught Princess Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee, and did a little shopping.
Then it was time to head back to the Contemporary to dress for dinner. We had a Private Dinner in the Napa Room at California Grill. GOURGEOUS VIEW and DELICIOUS FOOD! I am convinced that we need to have our Vows Renewal Dinner Reception here. We enjoyed meeting Moms from the previous years’ panels. I must pause again to say that we were given ample opportunity to spend time with each other and discuss our family, lives and Disney. It was wonderful having so much in common with so many of the panelists. I feel like new, lasting friendships were created! Now back to the report! – We all met with items we brought that were specific to our hometown or state to make baskets and gift bags for the bosses and a group basket for the office to share. We had fun organizing the many items and one Super Mom created the group basket, she is truly talented. We retreated to our rooms to get some R&R for our early morning the next day. We had to be ready to Rock and Roll at 6:10 am! Yes, I set my alarm for 5:00 am. Ha Ha!
Day 3 – Sunday, December 6, 2009
I was early to the lobby for departure, thank you! :-) We headed to Epcot’s Italy for our Still Photo Shoot. It was COLD! I missed having my Hubby there to shield me from the cold and cuddle with me to keep me warm. I must remind you that this is my first trip to Walt Disney World solo, but we huddled as a group in nearby shelter to brave the cold. We got touch ups from Make-up (I love the pampering!) We had Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy and Donald all to ourselves! It was fabulous!
We headed over to Epcot’s The American Adventure for a Buffet Breakfast. Another great Reception spot. :-)
Back to Epcot’s Italy for a Video Shoot and then over to Soaring for a group ride. FUN!
Several of us went to Downtown Disney to shop. We had lunch at Earl of Sandwich www.allears.net/menu/menu_eofs.htm. This is definitely a new favorite for me. I searched for the new Disney Handbag by Dooney & Bourke, it was sold out of Downtown Disney. I must admit, I had the opportunity to purchase this Handbag in November, but passed. It was not until I saw a few of the Moms panelists with theirs that desire emerged. And I was on a mission to get that Handbag!
We met to head over to Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort for the Hoop De Doo Dinner Show www.allears.net/din/hddcom.htm. We had a great time. Two people from our large group were chosen to participate in the show. Hilarious!
We left for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party after dinner. Guess what I got – THE HANDBAG, of course! Isn’t it lovely!
I must say that Magic Kingdom was spectacular! Very magical and festive! The hot cocoa and cookies hit the spot. We watched Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, “Holiday Wishes – Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” from the perfect spot in front of the Castle, “Celebrate the Season” Show from stage side, and “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas Show while sitting. It was a wonderful evening!
Day 4 – Monday, December 7, 2009
We had a Private Breakfast in Grand republic A that morning. The CM had gathered all the gift bags and basket and arranged them elegantly in the room. They were surprised and enjoyed opening the gifts from us.
We finished breakfast and went next door for our Computer Training, Legal Training, and Media Briefing.
We received the surprise of all surprises. We got to view a clip of the, then, upcoming Princess and the Frog movie, but the clip was over and the music was still playing… Then the doors opened… walked in Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen! AMAZING! I cried. They were totally AWESOME! We got to take pictures and I cried some more. Very emotional. Yes, very!
We had a visit from Disney Floral & Gifts during lunch. We got to learn about Dream Makers and the Magical Moments they help create. I cried again. Hey, I wasn’t the only one! It was at this point that I decided I have to have our Vows Renewal at Walt Disney World! The plan was to convince my Hubby. :-)
Next up, we toured Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, soon to become ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on February 25 – 26, 2010. www.espnwwos.com The cheerleading competitions were going on and we saw some football players practicing. Very exciting things happening there at all times of the year. I am looking forward to participating in the 5K Fun Run for the Inagural Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend October 1 – 2, 2010. www.disneywinedinerun.com
We traveled to Epcot’s Morocco for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh www.allears.net/menu/menu_mor.htm. The belly dancers in our group were amazing! After dinner, we parted ways to get some chopping completed. I needed to go to Epcot’s Japan and get a few items for the kids. I had to go to Epcot’s France and get a calendar as a gift for someone. We were to arrive at the American Gardens Theatre for Gold Badge Seating prior to the Candlelight Processional with Anika Noni Rose as narrator. Totally Awesome!
After the Candlelight Processional, we headed over the Epcot’s United Kingdom for a Dessert Reception with viewing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Champagne, strawberries, desserts and fireworks! Need I say more? Although there were Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom, I was too pooped to party and headed back to the Contemporary for some R&R.
Day 5 – Tuesday, December 8, 2009
We met at 8am for breakfast at Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s The Wave www.allears.net/menu/menu_waveb.htm. We were all pretty sad that our training had come to an end. Lots of photos. We had great food, of course. But mainly, said lots of good-byes. Then, we get the announcement that our surprise had arrived… Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World Resort was there in person to meet us. WOW! How cool was that – WAY COOL!
A few of us had flights our later in the afternoon, so we decided to walk over to Magic Kingdom for a few hours. I packed up, shipped a box of goodies home via FedEx in the Contemporary Business Office, checked my carry-on with Bell Services and off we went to Magic Kingdom. We took photos, we shopped, we rode It’s a Small World (a favorite) and we walked back to the Contemporary to catch Disney’s Magical Express to the airport.
After several more good-byes, I was able to board my flight, sat down and DUH! I realized I mailed my car keys home in the messenger bag I put in that box. I quickly called Hubby to beg for him to leave a key at the Indianapolis Airport before his class (he had a final and could not miss class to pick me up) and he obliged. As soon as I hung up, it was time to turn off all electronic equipment. Whew! Close call. I almost had to take a taxi home and come back for my car. That would have been crazy!
Well, I made it home safely and retrieved my car key from the Information Desk, gotta love that Man of mine! It was COLD, there was snow and I knew I was not in Orlando anymore.
The Go Live – January 4, 2010 Report
January 4, 2010 was one of the best days of my life, right up there with my birth, my wedding, the birth of my children, and of course my days at Walt Disney World! It was surreal.
Things began really slowly, Moms were added to the Moms panel website one at a time over several hours, then a few more, then a bunch! I was going mad while I waited and yet, I was thrilled to read each new Bio and view each new video. Then we got word on Facebook of the first press release. Yes, a press release.
Followed by another!
While more and more Moms were loaded to the site, we got notification that Laura Spencer had blogged about us on the Disney Parks Blog. Bonus – an awesome group photo with all the 2010 Moms Panelists, those returning and those new!
Could the day get any better? Why, of course. Our video was uploaded to the Moms Panel website. (Unfortunately I have not upgraded my account with WordPress and I have no video abilities, but here is the link!)
My, oh my, it was a glorious 24 hours of formal introduction as a member of the 2010 Walt Disney World Moms Panel. I look forward to your questions about travel to Walt Disney World – I am at your service! Woo Hoo!
My Adventures as a 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panelist
I had the honor and privilege to accept a request to serve another year on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel as a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) Specialist with Beth C. We were able to attend the December training with the 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel and receive special DVC training.
The Go Live – January 3, 2011 Report
The 2011 Walt Disney World Moms Panel received warm welcomes from the Social Media community. It was very exciting to experience their announcements into the Social Media and relive the thrill of answering questions. Answering the DVC questions with Beth also meant that we would answer Walt Disney World Resort questions as well. Way to go DVC!
I look forward to your questions about travel to Disney Vacation Club Resorts and Walt Disney World – I am at your service! (Again, Double Woo Hoo!)