Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is an invite only event, but you still have to pay a conference fee. It’s not FREE, but it is discounted. It’s an invitation many of those in my industry would love to receive, but Disney can’t invite everyone. Last year it shocked me to no end to have been invited, as I’m not a hard core Disney fanatic. Sure, I love a good Disney movie, and I’d been to the parks as a kid. I had even taken the kids once. Heck, I didn’t even write nice things about the Disney Cruise Line, as we had a WRETCHED experience on one back in 2012. Getting the DisneySMMC invite last year, in 2015, was a shock. Getting it this year, in 2016, was a blessing.

What Disney Social Media Moms Celebration meant to me in 2016 [sp]

What Disney Social Media Moms Celebration meant to me in 2016

Family

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is mostly about an amazing experience for families. Yes, there’s a professional conference attached to the event. An entire day filled with sessions, speakers, and more. However, when you get down to the bottom of all of it, this conference is about family. It’s about your own family, your blogging family, and your Disney family. Cast Members behind the scenes step out from behind the emails; and as busy as they are pulling out all the stops, they join in on some of the fun. It’s one, big, exciting family event.

Where else can people in an industry bring their families to an event? Have them meet, laugh, play, and bond, with fellow families suffering, I mean, blessed, with a professional blogger in the family? I worked in corporate America many moons ago, and I can tell you, we never had any conferences, or retreats, where families could come and spend time getting to know each other, with this kind of intensity.

It’s a chance for families of professional bloggers to share stories about what it’s like to have to wait to eat at a restaurant, so a photo can be taken of the food. Or, how the blogger in the family insists on sharing everything with her audience, no matter how embarrassing it is for everyone involved? Only at DisneySMMC!

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration brings all of us crazy professionals, and our families, together. We’re sharing amazing, magical experiences, with people who “get it.” It unites us in a totally different way, and brings the “pro blogger family” tighter, and stronger.

Magic

It’s about making dreams happen for everyone attending. Most of us in the professional blogging world, we don’t make millions of dollars. Some do, most do not. Many of us live in areas that have a high cost of living, like my family, living in New York. Our kids, though they have unique lives, don’t always get our attention, because we’re constantly hustling to pay the bills. It’s the life of a self employed professional.

When Disney Social Media Moms gets all of us together, in the same place, the magic takes over. Phones are still out, because we are social media influencers! However, we quickly put them away, so we can get back to the magic. We don’t always need our cameras, as one of the many gifts given, is the Disney Magic Maker. We get to step out from behind the camera, and spend time in front of it, capturing beautiful memories with our families.

Experiencing the magic is so much more than fast passes, and park hopper passes. Disney goes out of its way to make sure the families are well taken care of. It’s like they all know what the rest of the year is like for our families, and they go out of their way to make sure these four days of memories will carry us through the remainder of the year.

Celebrating our first night at the event, after hours, at Animal Kingdom: not something other people get the chance to do. The kids make new friends, and get to hang with old friends. Characters, entertainment, amazing food and the chance to experience Expedition Everest at night, is rather unique. Sure, it’s been opened up to the public for all to enjoy, but having it there to ride with just our fellow conference attendees? Insanely awesome. Magical.

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Animal Kingdom at night is gorgeous, and the show they’ve put together after the sun sets? It’s going to be the most popular show for years to come. Visually stunning.

Not many guests get to have a Donald’s Beach Bash at Typhoon Lagoon, with close friends, and fellow professionals. The food, the service, the entertainment – it’s a once in a lifetime experience for my kids. We’d never be able to afford doing these special kinds of treats without DisneySMMC! It’s just not possible. It’s pure magic seeing the faces of my children, surrounded by our chosen family, and all the Disney love bathing us!

Blessing

Invites for the event came out a bit earlier than last year’s invites came out. Last year it was about 6 weeks prior to the big weekend, but this year it was 8 weeks prior to the event. I’m not sure if the conference just KNEW it was exactly the thing my family needed, to bring some light back into out lives, but man they had amazing timing this year. February 25th of this year, my mother suffered a massive heart attack, which then set off a stroke. She fought to survive, and came back from death twice. Actually, it might have been three times. In any event, even after coming back from death, she was still “sleeping.”

Receiving the DisneySMMC invite brought such joy to me. I knew, the moment it came through, I was going to make sure we went in 2016. No matter what, we were going. We needed a little magic, and light, in our lives. Luckily, Mr. Sunflower understood how important it was for me to make it happen for our kids. They spent months not being able to see their Nana, as they were too young to visit her. They were “going through it,” and watching their mother crumble, because I just wasn’t me without my mom. Being able to bring them to Disney, to have no worries, and just enjoy themselves, was my ultimate goal.

The invite was a blessing this year. Truly. Thankfully, mom improved in leaps and bounds, so when we were ready to head to our event, she was awake, able to do rehabilitation, and when I called her on Mother’s Day from Animal Kingdom, she sounded great. It was hard to celebrate Mother’s Day away from her, but it felt like things were returning to normal. Odd, I know. However, the year before, we had been at Disney Social Media Moms, and called her on Mother’s Day from Magic Kingdom. It felt like we’d made it through the worst, and were able to live life again, and SMILE, LAUGH, and just enjoy the magic.

Mom was back. We were able to create magic at Disney. Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was exactly what our family needed, at exactly the right time. I’m forever thankful to the Disney Cast/Team for all they did for all the attendees in 2016. Here’s hoping they invite us back again!

*Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is an invitation only event, however, it is a conference for which I paid a fee to attend. A fee was paid for my family members, as well, and the fee covered our hotel, park hopper passes, and more. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Staci Gerardi

Staci loves to write, and loves to share her "take" on everything thrown her way. Movies, entertainment, food, fashion, shopping, money, travel and family. There's nothing off limits at NovemberSunflower.com, and Staci's always telling it like it is: good, bad, and all that lies in between!

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