Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Disney Cruise Line are known for Mickey Mouse and Magic but, did you know that they’re a source of motivation and inspiration too? I recently had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Disney Social Media Moms Conference and spent three days at the Walt Disney World Resort and three days aboard the Disney Dream. Now, of course, there was fun in the Parks and on the ship, Character Meet & Greets, and Fireworks but, aside from that, one of the best things about attending the Conference was learning from and being inspired by the Speakers who shared their stories and insights with the attendees. Disney Parks is a big supporter of parents that work in the Social space; connecting with them often to share the latest Parks information and provide tips and advice to families planning Disney Destination vacations. However, the Disney Parks team also looks to us writers/bloggers to share our opinions and inspire them as well in order to grow and continue to offer the most magical and memorable vacation experiences. They value our voices and work hard to build relationships with attendees by providing the perfect combination of magic and motivation. The Conference Speakers and Cast Members motivated and inspired me both professionally and personally. Here are some of my favorite quotes and moments from the Conference:
“There’s no age limit on wishing”
“Don’t just dream it, Be it”– Ashley Eckstein – Her Universe –
I truly needed to hear these quotes. The older I get the more I feel as if I am stuck with just doing the things I am comfortable with and not wishing for something different. There are so many other things I would like to pursue but my mindset has been holding me back from fulfilling old wishes and making new ones. I’m definitely working toward changing that and making those new wishes and being what I dream of. Ashley has a new book coming out called “It’s YOUR Universe – You Have The POWER To Make It Happen“. It’s filled with her life lessons and lessons from Disney characters to inspire girls (and older women :)) to dream big and work to make those dreams a reality. I received an advanced copy of the book at the Conference and it’s amazing so be sure to get a copy!
“As long as you’re kind, you’re compassionate, and you have that work ethic and you have that drive, nothing can get in your way… Nothing!” – Ashley Taylor – Love Ashley Designs
My daughter and I had the chance to speak with Ashley Eckstein and Ashley Taylor after one of the conference sessions and they were both kind enough to offer their advice to my daughter who wants to perform on Broadway one day. The above quote is something that I try to instill in all of my children; be kind and compassionate. To hear that reinforced by Ashley as a key to success in pursuit of your dreams, and seeing her as proof that those qualities are a success in and of themselves, made my Mama’s heart soar. It’s wonderful to hear successful women echo the same sentiments that I have been preaching to my children since they were babies. To hear a bit more of the lovely Ashley E. and Ashley T.’s advice check out my video below.
“People connect with people, not logos” – Thomas Smith – Editorial Content Director for Disney Parks & Resorts
One of the most important reminders for brands, writers, and anyone who works within the Social space is to make a personal connection with your customers/audience. Working with the goal of building relationships and appealing to people on a personal level creates a community that people will always want to come home to. As a writer and photographer, I need to approach the content I’m creating with these goals in mind.
“Doing nothing often leads to the very best something” – Kristin Burr producer of Walt Disney Pictures Christopher Robin
One of the pressures that I feel as a parent is to always have something planned for my children to do. Their schedules are often hectic and a lot of planning and carpooling goes into them. Keep them busy, go somewhere, do something… it feels like there’s always a constant flurry of activity. This quote really made me stop and think. We get so caught up in “busyness” that we forget that unplanned moments can be where we find joy. It’s in our quiet family moments of downtime that some of our best conversations have taken place. Whether it’s sitting together to watch a movie, playing board games, or just relaxing on the couch doing absolutely nothing, those moments have led to some of the “very best somethings.” I need to remember this.
“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” – John Breckow – Director, Corporate Citizenship Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
You have to believe in what you’re doing and then make sure that people know exactly why you believe in it. Tell them and show them your “why”. John Breckow is one of those special people that walk this earth radiating their own light. You can feel it when he talks about Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Corporate Citizenship programs; he lives and breathes his why. Disney Citizenship encompasses many things, their philanthropic efforts being just one. We got to listen to John speak about a few of the ways that Disney gives back; by charitable giving, through the Disney VoluntEARS program, and working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for 35 years and counting. Listening to John talk about his heartfelt experiences made me cry and also gave me hope. Disney is truly making a difference in this world… and making a difference should be a part of everyone’s “why”.
My main takeaway from the Disney Social Media Moms Conference is to have a passion for what you do and build relationships with your audience through telling your own unique stories. The Disney Parks and Resorts team exemplifies this. They have a genuine love and enthusiasm for what they do and it clearly shows in their efforts to connect with the community of Parents and Influencers. They work hard to make sure your time with them is magical and meaningful and they have fun while they’re doing it. (you can see that demonstrated in my photos and video below) I’m a huge fan of Disney Parks and Resorts, I have been for years. Some of my most precious family memories are tied to our experiences in the Parks, Adventures By Disney trips, and on board the Disney Cruise Line ships. They’re woven into our hearts and will forever be a part of my family’s story. And THAT is what Disney Magic is all about.
**I paid to a fee to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and received a deeply discounted rate for accommodations at the Walt Disney World Resort and on Disney Cruise Line. I also received Park Tickets, themed gifts, and meals. All opinions are honest and my own**