One week ago… I was running down Main Street USA at Disneyland in a pair of new kicks from New Balance. Really. I was. And there were only a handful of other people there with me. It was one of the most surreal experience I’ve had. So far…
It was one week ago that I took my family with me to Disneyland because I was invited to take part in the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration #Disneysmmoms. It’s technically a conference… but they’ve got it right… it’s truly a celebration. I’ve been invited in years past… but the stars just weren’t aligned for me to attend. Until this year. And I jumped on the opportunity. Disneyland is a short 6 hour drive from Phoenix. I knew the girls would be thrilled and I would get to see some old friends, network, and meet the Disney team. I can’t even begin to thank the team behind this amazing event and I’m completely humbled that I was asked to attend.
Let me start off by saying that the entire 4 day program was amazing. From the family dinner on Thursday evening to the Fun Run and family breakfast on Sunday morning and everything in between… it was an experience my family will not soon forget. My kids favorite perk? We received badges that allowed us in the Fast Pass lines. But I soon discovered that these passes didn’t just get us in a shorter line… they actually created conversation with other people in line. I gained a few new readers over the course of the weekend and I got to share a bit about what #Disneysmmoms really is. We aren’t just a group of bloggers visiting Disney on some extravagant vacation… we are a community of moms and dads sharing with other families the joys of parenting through blogging. We are advocates of family based brands, like Disney, and we were given the opportunity to learn and share with our audiences.
The speakers were phenomenal. The football player, Donald Driver, was such an inspiration! Not only did he share his personal story, but he shared other poignant moments from his life and then went on to tell us how he grows his social media audiences by being authentic and genuine with them. He talked about the responsibilities that come with having influence online and how he and his family deal with it. I was so impressed by how he uses his influence for the betterment of others. We were given a copy of his book, Driven, and I’ve just cracked it open. I’ll let you know how I like it soon. But I can tell you that I’ll love it if it’s anything like his keynote was.
We also heard from LeVar Burton, a childhood hero of mine. I may or may not have spontaneously burst into song, singing the Reading Rainbow theme song, when he walked by me in the hallway. And there were representatives from Disney, Pixar, Twiter, Alamo Car Rental, and Build-a Bear. All of whom bestowed meaningful messages and relevant take-aways. I’ve created a short video of highlights from the trip down below. I’d love for you to take a peek. Mostly, I wanted to share with you, the readers, why these type of conferences are important. They help bloggers, like me, to strengthen my networks, to stay inspired, to keep up on the latest in the industry, and even more importantly… remember to take time out away from my computer with my family. Thank you so much for reading and supporting my work across multiple social channels. Without you… I’d have no reason to write and I’d not be able to partake in such amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.