Day 2 of Disney’s Social Media Celebration was jam packed with magic. My day started by boarding a van at 7:15am and heading to the Magic Kingdom. We were going on a hard hat tour of the New Fantasyland and those of us on the tour were giddy with excitement as we ate our boxed breakfasts on the brief ride to the park. We were taken behind the construction wall and had to put on hard hats, safety vests and goggles..oh and I had to buy hard soled shoes for this “tour” also! Unfortunately this wasn’t really a tour. We stood just on the other side of the construction wall and listened to Imagineer Tim talk about the project, pointing out everything on the artist’s rendering of the area. Honestly, we learned nothing new and when we asked questions about the timeline for attractions opening Tim told us “Meg Crofton is going to announce that to you later today.” Unfortunately, Tim was wrong. While Ms Crofton did greet us at the conference that morning, the announcements were made later that day to the media that were at Walt Disney World as part of the Summer to Remember media tour. I, like the rest of you, had to learn abut the timeline on Facebook from other media outlets. 🙁
When we left new Fantasyland we headed over to Storybook Circus to look at the new Dumbo ride and the refurbished Barnstormer and Fantasyland Train Station. This area has been open to the public for about a month and our family had visited it the day before so again, nothing new here. The mood in the van on the way back to the Yacht Club wasn’t nearly as upbeat as on our ride over. Honestly, this was the one time all weekend we were a bit disappointed…and I bought new shoes!
Once we returned to the Yacht Club we hurried to the ballroom where the conference would take place all day. I had a great seat in the front of the room with some great friends. The tables were decorated with wreaths surrounding a circle of electrical plugs sponsored by Rayovac so everyone could plug in their laptop or tablet during the conference. Mary Ellen Hooper, comedienne, served as host and MC for the day and she kept us laughing all day long!
We were greeted by Meg Crofton who thanked us for our love and loyalty of the Disney brand. She let us know how important we are as brand ambassadors for Disney and even though she was speaking to all 200 of us in the room, I truly felt appreciated by one of my favorite brands. Next up was Amy Jo Martin of Digital Royalty. Amy Jo spoke about the power of our brand and my favorite quote from her is, “Where skill, passion and purpose collide-that is where bliss is found.”
Next up was the powerhouse speaker of the day Ramon DeLeon. Ramon owns 6 Domino’s Pizza franchises in Chicago.
Ramon is the king of using social media for customer service. Just go to Twitter and search the hashtag #RamonWOW and read the stories. He told us that if we give people “WOW!” to share they will. He challenged us to create our own “WOW!” and see what happens.
Wacky Gary aka Gary Buchanan from Disney’s Social Media Department shared with us about all of the excitement that happens during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. He was even joined on stage by Darth Vader himself! Then Amy Foster, Director of Consumer Insights for Disney Destinations talked to us about the value of a family vacation. She used the concept that we have but 18 summers with our kids, and that hit home to a lot of fellow bloggers. It didn’t hit me the same way though, I’m in my 19th summer and I envision us taking vacations with our kid’s families in the future just as we do now with my parents and my husband’s parents. I mentioned this concept to my kids later that night and they had the same mindset I did-we will ALWAYS have family Disney vacations for generations to come, and that made this mom very happy 🙂
Peter Shankman was the speaker I was most interested in hearing from. I have followed him for years on Twitter and Facebook and he has inspired me through those outlets so i couldn’t wait to hear him in person. Peter encouraged us to be weeds! Why weeds? Weeds are different. Weeds stick around and have the ability to survive no matter what happens around them. My favorite quote from his session was, “Nothing exciting ever happens in your comfort zone.”
Lisa Druxman of StrollerStrides.com encouraged us to get out of our own way. Take that first step towards something we want to accomplish and give ourselves rewards for reaching each small goal. The last speaker of the day was Chris Brogan. The main thing I learned from Chris this year was to get my mobile site in gear…and that is what I am working on.
Throughout the day there was plenty of pixie dust sprinkled in the form of giveaways including a night in Cinderella Castle, a yacht cruise, boxed sets of books by Ridley Pearson and more. I am happy for my friends who won the extra magic…really, I am 🙂
As it is at any conference some speakers speak to you more than others and I am always thankful for the great mix of speakers at Disney Social Media Moms, there is truly something for everyone.
Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, free events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other brands, celebrities, or speakers affiliated with the event. All opinions are my own.