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disney social media moms celebration: 5 life lessons learned

May 11, 2012 // 16 comments // Categories: family life, travel // Tags: , , , , , .

disney social media moms celebrationI am over the moon to share all that I learned at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, but it just cannot be done in a single post.

So today, I’m going big.

I’m looking at the big picture, the umbrella ideas, the big take-aways.

And it hasn’t been easy to narrow all that awesomeness into a few big ideas, but I’ve tried.  Because I know for me, simpler is better.

And with a whole lot of Disney magic, a bit o’ pixie dust, and a spoonful of sugar, I’ve managed to squeeze five full days of Disney awesomeness and an incredible conference into 5 simple life lessons.

I’d love to share them with you.  I’d love to shout them from a mountaintop.

Here’s the skinny. . .

  • Disney Social Media Moms Celebration–5 Life Lessons Learned: With a combined reach of 15 million impressions each week (via Meg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World Parks & Resorts), the Disney Social Media Moms attendees were a captive, ready-to-tweet and eager to learn group.

I am honored and flattered beyond belief to have been invited to attend this celebration with such an amazing bunch of women and men.

disney social media moms celebration

Disney’s Yacht Club was an absolute dream, inside. . .


disney social media moms celebration

. . . and out.

disney social media moms celebration

The Yacht Club pool and pirate ship slide? Awesome.

A diverse, talented, and totally amazing group of about 175 bloggers, along with crazy-inspiring speakers and incredibly worthwhile workshops all seated at the breath-taking Disney Yacht Club, everywhere I turned was something or someone worthy of a whole blog post.  Someone I wanted to spend an entire day with, chatting, learning, sharing.  A place I wanted to spend a day, a week, a month–or longer.

A message I wanted on repeat until it became a part of my being.

An image I wanted seared into my memory for ever and ever and ever and ever and ever.

disney social media moms celebration

It. Was. Awesome.

And here’s what I learned:


disney social media moms celebration

1.  Live Intentionally.

  • If you take time to plan, you can have it all.  You just have to have it mapped out; you can–and should–design your every day because work, family, and self can be a part of your life if you really want them to be. . . &

. . . Figure out your why: why are you doing what you’re doing, what are your core values, and how can you connect with people who share your core beliefs and values?   – Amy Jo Martin, CEO & Founder, Digital Royalty (@AmyJoMartin)

  • Retrain your brain because success begets success. Meditate each day to set each day’s focus.  Take a GRIP on your life: Grow every day in some sort of measurable way; Recharge for ten minutes a day in any way that recharges you; find Inspiration to move you; and Plan every step, from big ideas to the baby steps it takes to get there.  – Lisa Druxman, CEO & Chief Founding Mom, Stroller Strides (@LisaDruxman)


2.  Make your message heard.

  • Loud and clear, make your message heard if you really believe in it and believe you can inspire others.  Trust your instincts and use the available social media tools to share your message. . .

These are tools you can use in addition to your core business plan, but they are not a means to replace that plan.  And don’t be boring.  Ramon DeLeon, Marketing Mind, Dominos Pizza / Chicago (@Ramon_DeLeon )


disney social media moms celebration

Ramon held a captive audience with his energy and enthusiasm. . .

disney social media moms celebration

. . . and he was such a joy to meet.

  • Give everything away for free that you can, without giving away your biggest secrets.  Give your readers one call to action in every email, and remember that each week of the year is the first day of school for many readers, so every so often start from the beginning. Chris Brogan, Human Business Works (@ChrisBrogan)


3.  Be a weed.

disney social media moms celebration

Clearly no weeds at Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival (which just happened to be going on while we were there). . .

disney social media moms celebration

 . . . perhaps they missed the message?

  • Weeds have mastered every survival technique so they still stick around.  They don’t go away.  They’re tough, even though no one likes them.  In life, if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing enough to change the status quo, so be transparent and make sure you know how to write–and even if you do have haters, you won’t give them ammunition.  And if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.  Peter Shankman, founder of HARO and CEO of The Geek Factory


4.  Make time for people–and fun.

disney social media moms celebration

The Magic Carpet ride. . .


disney social media moms celebration

. . . and teacups are two of our favorite, most fun rides!

  • Fun is a precious resource.  There are 18 summers to have children at home for family vacations, so it’s important we use those 18 summers to their fullest.  Disney strives to create experiences–not vacations–experiences that act as glue keeping families together.  – Amy Foster, Disney Destinations & Disney Parks Consumer Insights

disney social media moms celebration

Gary Buchanan shares an important point: don’t get stuck on an idea.

  • Design fun and unique ways of sharing your stories.  You have to be able to t ell a great story, even though you may not have the resources you need to do so.  Think creatively and you can do it. . . There’s not a whole lot in this world that’s original, but you can take things and make them your own, finding creative ways of doing it. People connect with people, not brands. — Tom Smith, Social Media Director and Disney Parks Chief Blogger & Gary “Wacky Gary” Buchanan, Social Media Managing Editor (@disneyparks)
  • The conference planners made sure to include ample time for family–and serious fun–each day of the event.  From the Swashbuckler Soiree to the DinoLand Party to the “Under the Sea” dinner at the brand-new Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, family time and fun was around every corner.

disney social media moms celebration

Our welcome at the Art of Animation Resort “Under the Sea” dinner. . .

disney social media moms celebration

. . . and the kids had a first-go at the resort’s water and play area.

disney social media moms celebration

The food, the atmosphere, and the company–

disney social media moms celebration

were absolutely amazing. We will definitely return to this new, family-friendly resort.


5. Breathe.

  • Amy Jo Martin told us that she includes a Ready, Set, Pause in each of her days–8-10 minutes away from work, from everything where she listens to about two songs, takes a walk, does something to give herself a breather, and Lisa Druxman meditates each day.
  • Several speakers believe in the power of nature, the importance of even working outside–if possible–or even stepping away from electronics and writing (yep–using a good, old fashioned pen and paper!) instead.
  • Throughout the conference, drawings were held for mini-‘getaways': the Disney Wild Africa Trek, VIP Tours and Experiences, a Specialty Cruise around the resort, a night in the Cinderella’s Castle suite.  My lucky pal Jessica McFadden won a 3-hour cruise in the Grand 1 and invited my crazy crew as five of the 16 friends she could bring along. I had no idea Disney had this type of excursion, and the afternoon was spent relaxing, breathing, enjoying the view, and catching up with Jessica, Leticia, Jodi, and their beautiful families.  Thanks, Jess!  (And thanks, Disney for creating these types of ‘time-outs’ for families!)

disney social media moms celebration

Our view from the Grand I cruise. . .


disney social media moms celebration

. . . snacks that made everyone so very, very happy. . .


disney social media moms celebration

. . . and a super time to ‘breathe’ with Jodi, Jessica, and Letica–three of my fave people ever.


Here are all of our photos from the event and conference:

Our Disney Social Media Moms Celebration photos (there are a lot!)

Many, many thanks to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration planners for extending an invitation my way for this awesome event.  I look forward to sharing a few more posts down the line: Disney non-fiction reading; Quick Trick: What to do when you have sick kids in Disney; New For Us Friday: Making Our Favorite Disney Dessert, and more.

fyi: As a participant in the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms Conference, I paid for my conference passes and was given hotel accommodations, park tickets, invitations to special park events, and some gift items.  I was not required to write about my experiences, and my opinions here are all my own, influenced only by my three little park-h0ppers and Disney-loving husband. 

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Comment (16) | Leave a comment

  1. Your takeaways were also mine! I loved the yacht tour! It was wonderful to spend time with your family.

  2. Fantastic post! The trip looks like it was amaaaaazing. And that last pic made me smile ;) thanks for sharing your takeaways!!

    Justice Fergie
    • thanks Stace! It was a great trip–but it would have been even better with the Ferg crew there!! xoxoxo

  3. Amy –
    This is a wonderful post because it reminds us all that we need to keep those ‘big’ goals and ideas in the forefront – even when all the little stuff is taking up a lot of time :) I so enjoy Disney – it’s such a beautiful and energizing place (I love looking at pics from your trip). Many thanks for the great advice and inspiration!

    • thanks so much, Jacquie!! totally appreciate you reading and taking the time to share your super-kind words!!

  4. Thanks for this recap, Amy. I love the GRIP concept- that one might go up on my office or bedroom wall or maybe my nightstand so i can read it each morning. I like the way you explained Peter Shankman’s point, because it came across a bit differently in 140 characters and I saw it in my stream a lot.

    So glad you had this opportunity and I look forward to hanging out with you at a future event!

    • you’re so welcome, my friend! I have always found that conference re-caps can be so different from person to person–which, I suppose, is one of the great things about the large network of bloggers who attend these events. Everyone takes the same thing with a slightly different slant! Miss you and hope to see you soon!!

  5. Wonderful post! Fun to read with lots of great take-aways.

    • thank you thank you thank you, Dee!! You made my week!!

  6. I adore this recap of the calming, centering, important messages of the conference, both in learning from the speakers and in practice in the fun we shared with our kids and fellow bloggers! Fantastic post.

  7. I like to wait a while to read all of the recaps and see what more I can learn. I learned a lot here and it has given me something to ponder.

    • thanks so much, Connie!! Totally appreciate you reading–and sharing your thoughts!


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