What is the next best thing to seeing Mickey Mouse in a Disney destination? Rubbing elbows with him in your own home town, for sure!
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration took to the road after the big land and sea event in February. I was so excited when my invite to the Atlanta meeting showed up in my inbox with a hearty does of pixie dust!!
Family focused bloggers from all over Georgia, Alabama, the Carolinas and Tennessee gathered at the W in Buckhead for coffee, breakfast, girl talk and a lot of Disney magic. Our morning ice breaker was pin trading! Another fun thing I never get to do outside of a Disney park :-)
The first topic we learned about was the Disney Dreamers Academy from the Director of Marketing Strategy, Sybil Crum. This is the 10th anniversary of the program focused on inspiring high school aged kids to think about and pursue their dreams in a way that only Disney can do. Not only that, the program promotes entrepreneurship to these young adults, helping to build their self awareness and grow their network through successful mentors, like minded teens, professionals and celebrities. In addition to 4-day programming for the teens, the academy also provides parent programming on how to nurture their dreamer and how to help them continue to grow.
I so enjoyed hearing from two of the program’s graduates, Jordan Williams (pictured below) is from Atlanta, age 19 and a student at University of Pennsylvania. He is co-owner of the Young Moguls Brand.
We also learned about the story of N’Nasseri Carew-Johnson and her two organizations, Strength Over Society that helps teens dealing with depression and Friends’ Birth Connection that provides fundraising for orphans in Ghana.
Disney Dreamers Academy is now accepting applications for their class of 2018!
Another favorite part of the morning was hearing from Jen Fickley-Baker, Content Editorial Manager. I love reading her articles on the Disney Parks Blog and had a bit of a pinch-me-now moment when she took the microphone. She shared with us 5 Keys to Disney Storytelling that we can use in our own writing. It was fascinating and informative. My favorite part was when she shared how they come up with some of the ideas on the Disney Parks Blog and then the crazy ways in which they bring those ideas to life!
Lisa Mendillo shared news on Disney Parks, Alex Ruiz coached us on trends shaping content (I also loved his session at the land and sea trip!), and Bob Hitchcock shared tips on creating video content (he just proposed to According2Kelly for all you runners out there!).
Our day wrapped up with keynote speaker Kim Fields!!! She was so funny, lively, authentic and personable. I know many know her from Real Housewives of Atlanta and Dancing with the Stars but she’ll always just be Tootie to me :-) And man, her face and voice haven’t changed a bit. She has a book (Blessed Life) coming out soon and a new Lifetime Christmas movie this season. One line I won’t soon forget was said in reference to the appearance of having it all and being successful at everything. I loved this and it really struck home as a resident of Atlanta for the last 23 years… “I am still under construction. I’m like I-75.” HAHA!
In addition to Mickey, Tiana also made her way over from Louisiana to greet the moms. She’s one of my favorite princesses to meet. (Along with Rapunzel)
Last but not least, I have to share this picture of Nancy from the Disney Moms Panel. Funny story… John met her son in one of the kid’s clubs on the Disney Wonder. They hung throughout the trip and introduced us on Castaway Cay when we just so happened to be sitting one row apart on the beach. We learned that one of her childhood friends married one of my closest friends (I was their matron of honor!) that day, and John and her son have kept in touch since February via text and the xbox. Well, she was there too and I was so happy to catch up with her!!!!
With that, I left feeling thankful to have been invited and energized from spending a morning in a room with like-minded ladies juggling work, family, life and blogs.
Thank you to the hard work ladies that pull these events together!! I’ve come to know a few of them this year and am always inspired by their creativity and work ethic.
Have a magical Monday! I’ll be “home” real soon!