Highlights from Disney Social Media Moms Celebration 2014

Holy smokes, I don’t even know where to begin in telling you all about the past few weeks!

It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since I was in California for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I’ve been to Walt Disney World several times, but had never been to Disneyland before this. I knew it was smaller, and the original – 1955 – but other than knowing a few rides that both locations have in common, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

DisneylandThe Man and the Mouse that started it all.

This was also the first time the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was held at Disneyland instead of Walt Disney World, so it worked out well that this was my first invite to the conference. It was ALL new to me!

The question I heard the most from friends and family when I told them I had been invited was, “What is it?” Well, it’s technically a conference. But it’s a called a “celebration” instead of a “conference” partially because the purpose is to celebrate all things Disney and to inform and inspire the attendees in the process.

Disney succeeded on all counts.

I’ve been a Disney fan for a long, long time. The first film I saw in the theater was a Disney film. (Lady and the Tramp) My mom saved up and took me to Walt Disney World when I was nine. Our Christmas tree has always had a strong Disney theme to it. And while we couldn’t have a Disney wedding, Aaron and I did visit the Magic Kingdom on our honeymoon. We had dinner that night in the castle, too, vowing to come back on our tenth anniversary with our kids, which we did last year.

WDW honeymoonAt WDW for our honeymoon (with Bride & Groom ears), March, 2003

The only downside of this trip to California was that I wasn’t able to arrange to bring Aaron or the kids with me. When I received the invite, we had already paid for our non-refundable tickets for Walt Disney World, and I couldn’t justify the flights or more time out of school for the kids.

I’ve promised them that if I get the chance again, they’ll be with me for certain. However, I didn’t go alone. My brother-in-law and his wife were happy to join me for the trip, which resulted in plenty of fun photo opportunities.

Radiator Springs RacersEspecially once you know where the cameras are!

Disneyland was fantastic, and I came back with a notebook full of stories and quotes and my heart filled with magic, creativity, and accomplishment. Beyond experiencing the parks, I heard about new additions to Disney Parks, new movies coming soon, inspiring speeches on tapping into and finding your creativity, examples of those who found their success and how they did it, and new initiatives to promote healthy living, literacy, and conservation.

Disney’s legendary guest services were on display and proved why other companies come to them for lessons on how to make customers for life. I made new blog friends, saw old friends, and ended my stay with a two mile run through Disneyland and California Adventures that was exhilarating and gave me the feeling that anything is possible.

Fun Run finish line

There’s SO MUCH more I have to share about what I learned while at Disneyland. But it’s too much for a single post. You’ll see more from me soon on Disney Junior’s new Give a Book, Get a Book program with First Book and Reading Rainbow, more on why I’m beyond excited for the new movie Maleficent, and more about the lessons I learned from the inspirational speakers who took the time to share their lessons and stories. Plus more about Disneyland and how it compares to Walt Disney World, too.

In the meantime, I used iMovie for the first time to put together a photo slideshow of some of the highlights of the trip. Enjoy!

“Always, as you travel, assimilate the sounds and sights of your world.” - Walt Disney

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the #DisneySMMoms Celebration. I paid my own conference and travel fees and received gifts during the conference from conference sponsors. All opinions, experiences and thoughts are my own.

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