I remember the day I received that e-mail, “You Are Invited to the 2018 Disney Social Media Moms Land and Sea Celebration!”, like it was yesterday! It was back in October of last year but I remember getting an instant smile and being like OMG – yessssss! I was invited for the first time the year before but already had a trip to Iceland planned for that exact week, so I had to pass. No one knows how you get selected but a lot of people say it’s just a random draw, so I was very surprised to see I got the invitation for 2018. It took no convincing on my part because my husband was down for the trip the minute I mentioned being invited. I already knew Disney events were magical, but attending DisneySMMC far exceeded my expectations.
The conference was held from February 20-26th. The first 3 nights we would be staying at Coronado Springs Resorts and the last 3 nights aboard the Disney Magic!
Thank to Spirit Airlines (who I partnered with) & our Wu-Tang apparel, we were flying in comfort and style to Orlando. This was my first time flying Spirit and my family & I were were impressed. The seats were comfy, the plane was on time and the attendants were super nice! We had a great flight so our trip was off to a perfect start.
February 20 – The conference began with a brief attendee only reception where our week and all the activities were broken down for us. It was great to be able to meet and mingle in person with so many people that I follow through social media. The Family Welcome Dinner followed and was sponsored by Mini Babybel. The theme for the evening was PIXAR! The food was delicious and having the characters there to take pictures with was a great bonus.
February 21 – This was one of my favorite days of the entire conference! We had a super early wake up call but it was all worth it because Disney had the most magical morning for us. We were going to Animal Kingdom to have breakfast and VIP time at Pandora before the parks opened! A.K.A. ride Flight of Passage as many times as you can and for me, that was 3 times! Experiencing Pandora while it is dark, is a world of its own – breathtaking and spectacular are a few words I can use to describe it. We also got to go on the Na’vi River and Victor was mesmerized. We then had some free time, so we did a few things at Animal Kingdom then headed back to the hotel, where we enjoyed the pool before heading to Hollywood Studios. At Hollywood Studios, we got to chat with a Walt Disney Imagineer who answered all of our questions about Toy Story Land, which is opening June 30th. We then had a delicious dinner sponsored by GoGo squeeZ at PizzeRizzo. Our final event was a VIP viewing of Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular which unfortunately ended up being cancelled but we still had a great time inside the park.
February 22 – This morning started off with a delicious breakfast sponsored by Alamo which was all about Disney Jr. Afterwards our 1st general session began. All of the speakers were amazing and I learned about so many really awesome things that will be coming to the parks. We also got some extended sneak peeks at some great movies that were coming out, including A Wrinkle in Time and Christopher Robin. I think who I really connected with most during the session was John Breckow, who is the Director of Corporate Citizenship for WDW. He gave us a glimpse of all the wishes Disney grants (10K per year globally!) and just hearing and seeing how much good they do behind the scenes makes me love them even more. After the first session we got to experience an exclusive showcase where we got to engage with all the sponsors.
February 23 – The morning started off with an awesome family breakfast that was Star Wars themed! After checking out it was time to head on over the port to board the Disney Magic! I was REALLY excited about this portion of the conference because I am a big fan of cruising but never sailed with Disney before – this was also Victor’s first cruise. Check in was smooth and we had some time to roam around the ship before the welcome aboard reception, sail away party and dinner at Enchanted Garden.
February 24 – We started the day with our 2nd (& final) general session. This session was filled with great speakers, great information and lots of up and coming news. Heads up for all you Disney Cruiseline fans – Disney will be coming out with 3 new ships by 2021! We also learned a bunch of new information about Adventures by Disney. As a travel enthusiast, I was in awe listening to all the new destinations and itineraries. In 2019, they will be adding a Japan vacation with bookings starting this Spring. Booking a Adventure by Disney trip has officially been added to my bucket list. After the session, you could either disembark to explore beautiful Nassau or take part of the Family Junkets. Our evening consisted of Pirate Night, dinner at Royal Palace and a viewing of a Broadway style Beauty & the Beast.
February 25 – Castaway Cay time!!!! My family & I were SO excited to spend our whole day relaxing at Disney’s private island. I plan to do a dedicated post about Castaway Cay so I won’t go into much detail here but it was absolutely beautiful and the BBQ lunch they offer on the island was delicious. This was our last night on the Disney Magic and we spent it having dinner at the Animator’s Palette, which is my favorite restaurant onboard.
Overall, no amount of words can describe the magic that is #DisneySMMC. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. I left the conference feeling refreshed, motivated and excited for what is next for my brand, ready to put into action the new tips I learned and just thankful that I got to experience it all with my family.
[PC: Disney, Photographer: Alex Mirabal and Shareen from Pearls & Paris]