Archive for February, 2010

I could just tell that there were tons of people leaving Disney’s Give a Day Get a Disney Day announcement and volunteer events with their hearts soaring after realizing the huge goals that we can accomplish when we join our efforts together!  The Give a Day Get a Disney Day event was inspirational!  And, after seeing the Can Do Cavalcade carry 14 trucks worth of food, 115,000 can’s, out of Epcot,  I had no idea there was still more fun to be had that day.  But there was!!  Much of the fun would come from sampling many delicious dishes, as it turns out that Chef Robert Irvine from the food network’s Dinner:Impossible show was in Epcot and on a very special mission:  he was to make a Dinner:Impossible meal for all of t he attendees of the Family Volunteer Celebration!  How cool is that?  There were so many details about all of the dishes that I didn’t document.  I loved the food but to describe all that we got, but I’m going to link up to AJ from The Disney Food Blog for the dish on the dishes, as she has perfectly recaptured all these details.  Please click on over to The Disney Food Blog and read about the fantastic food and happenings that surrounded this event.  She describes the tantalizing cuisine that was set up at many stations throughout this event.  I remember wishing, as I sampled some of these tasty treats, that I had paid more attention in the kitchen growing up!  Everything was so yummy!

Cast Members had given everyone a cool multi-functional soft-glo lightstick adorned with the Disneynature OCEANS film logo as they entered the event and we were about to put them to good use.  Disneynature has its feature OCEANS set to be released on Earth Day, April 22 and I can’t wait to see it!  Did you know that Disney will make a donation to help save coral reefs through The Nature Conservancy for every ticket sold to Disneynature’s OCEANS during its first week in the theaters?  According to StitchKingdom,  the donation will go towards a new Adopt-a-Coral-Reef program focusing on The Bahamas which aims to save 500,000 acres of threatened coral reef, accounting for 30% of the reef in the Atlantic Ocean.   As a Biologist with Specialty in Marine Science, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to seeing this film!  The ocean has always moved me and I expect Disneynature’s OCEANS to rock my world.  And while I am sure the film will be beautiful, I think I am equally looking forward to watching that many more people fall in love with our Earth’s oceans and the creatures that live in them.  The oceans have some of the world’s least known creatures and I’m sure this movie will not disappoint! 

"Just a pebble in the water can set the sea in motion, and a simple act of kindness can stir the deepest ocean"

"Just a pebble in the water can set the sea in motion, and a simple act of kindness can stir the deepest ocean"

As a teaser for the film, two Disney Channel stars from the Friends for Change: Project Green campaign took the stage.  Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas sang Disneynature’s OCEANS new anthem “Make a Wave” and I loved, loved, loved this song!  The words remind us, just as the World’s Largest Can structure did earlier in the day, that every little bit helps and we can all make a difference when we work together and combine our efforts.  

What more than 115,000 cans can look like. These cans will provide 70,000 meals for the needy.

What more than 115,000 cans can look like. These cans will provide 70,000 meals for the needy.

The only thing I can think of that could top this event would be IllumiNations.  And it was the perfect ending to another perfect Disney Day!



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Part 5 of Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration Weekend Coverage

After Guy Kawasaki finished speaking to us from inside of the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot, we were given Hanes t-shirts with the Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration logo on them, a sample of Starbucks new yummy VIA ready-brew coffee AND a Disney Parks Blog pin as we left to walk to our next scheduled event.  When we reached the World Showplace, the room was filled with excitement!  There was something BIG on the stage behind a curtain of balloons!  We had been hearing buzz that we would be setting an official record for the Guinness Book of World Records but we didn’t know how and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next! 

Canned Goods set a Guinness World Record!

Our first hint: our Guinness Book of World Records might have to do with Canned Goods! Hint, Hint!

Tom Staggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told us that since this program’s launch, only six weeks ago, more than 600,000 people in the US, Puerto Rico and Canada have volunteered or signed up for volunteer projects in their communities!  He said, “With the launch of our ‘Give a Day, Get a Disney Day’ program, we hoped to spark something truly special but even we have been overwhelmed with the response.”   This year Disney Parks is celebrating those who volunteer through the program by giving them a free one-day admission to Walt Disney World or Disneyland.  Visit www.disneyparks.com for more details about the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” program.  This program utilizes the largest volunteer network in the nation, The Points of Light Institute, which uses their HandsOn Network to connect volunteers like you and me with “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” volunteer programs.  Michelle Nunn, co-founder of HandsOn Network and CEO of Points of Light Institute, said that there are 10,000 community organizations that have already received volunteer help through Disney’s program.  She said, “The level of volunteerism we have seen in the first few weeks of 2010 is tracking to new highs,” and that she and the HandsOn Network “dream for everyone to recognize their power to make a difference.” 

Tom Staggs and Michelle Nunn

Michelle Nunn, pictured here with Kermit The Frog and Tom Staggs, tells us that: Disney is helping us to make that dream a reality, a million times over.

And then, we learned about some of the voluntEARS’ tasks:  some have been busy clearing away non-native vegetation from the wetlands of Long Beach, California and the mountain preserves in Phoenix, Arizona; voluntEARS are cleaning Atlantic Coast beaches in Brevard County and Dade County, Florida;  some voluntEARing families have gathered in Michigan with paint brushes to spruce up their community center; in Georgia voluntEARS have assisted hospitalized children by setting up arts and crafts projects for them to do; and blankets have been distributed to the homeless in Central Florida during the cold spell by more voluntEARS to name just a few.  There has been a lot of work done but there is so much more that can be done!

Some outstanding voluntEAR families were invited to Walt Disney World from the US, Puerto Rico and Canada. They were recognized by Staggs who told them: Today we are here to celebrate you! With each of your efforts, you make a difference!

Then, Ty Pennington appeared on stage and thanked the voluntEARS and he challenged everyone to get involved and go out and make a difference!   

Ty Pennington, thanking the voluntEARS and inspiring new ones!

 He called for the balloons to be raised and they floated up to the ceiling and revealed the world’s largest structure made from canned goods!  It was Guinness Book of World Records HUGE!  There were 115,527 packages of food in that structure.  It truly was inspiring to see what can happen if everyone does just a little.  When a can is donated, it might not seem like much, but this picture can remind us that if everyone does a little lots of magic can really happen!

Mickey, Pluto, Goofy and Donald Joined Ty Pennington for the big reveal!

What more than 115,000 cans can look like.  These cans will provide 70,000 meals for the needy.

What more than 115,000 cans and a little Disney Magic looks like. These cans will provide 70,000 meals for the needy!

To construct this sculpture, a team of Disney VoluntEARS devoted more than 500 “man hours” over a four-day period.  Some interesting facts about what was used here: 

  • Mickey was shaped from cans of black olives
  • Cans of sliced pineapple made up Pluto’s eyes
  • Goofy’s face was made of Atlantic salmon containers
  • Tuna cans made up Donald’s hat
  • All of the characters had their pupils made from pans of popcorn
  • Everything from albacore tuna and apricot halves to spaghetti were used
  • Even stewed tomato and mixed vegetable cans
  • You can see a time lapse video of the creation of this structure and more on the Disney Parks Blog

115,000 cans is a lot!  In fact, it is SO much that if you stacked all of these goods on top of each other, the pile would be taller than the height that is one mile higher than the summit of Mt. Everest!   WOW!

Mickey is going to help a lot of families!

Those cans equal 44 tons of food!  They packed it on pallets so it could be trucked to food banks in Orlando, Miami and Atlanta.  The food would be paraded out of Epcot that afternoon! 

The parade of food to needy families begins here!

Creative Canning

I love the details that Disney Imagineers added to the cans. They thought of everything!

The Can Do Cavalcade was led by none other than Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy!!

1 of 14 box trucks on a mission with the Can Do Cavalcade to take food to the needy in Orlando, Miami, and Atlanta.

*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great trip to Walt Disney World.  Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.

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The Lilly Belle Caboose – The last car from Disneyland’s Retlaw 1 – A Narrated Video Tour

In honor of Lillian Disney’s February 15th birthday, I have been trying to figure out how to get my 22 minute video uploaded onto youtube, which requires videos to be 10 min or less.  I have finally succeeded!   Here, my magical 22 minute video, steeped in pure Disney history, is broken down into 3 parts.  

Come ride along with us on our grand circle tour of Disneyland with Disneyland Conductor, Vern, in THE Lilly Belle Caboose Car.  This is a rare look at the last of Disneyland’s Retlaw 1 cars, all of the little Disney Details found throughout The Lilly Belle Car, and its very special history.  Vern is an expert on the Lilly Belle and he even wrote and submitted its history to Dave Smith so it could be forever preserved in the Disney Archives.   So, sit back, relax, and relish in this rare and magical treat!

This beautiful picture of Walt and Lillian Disney, circles around the park in The Lilly Belle.  I just loved knowing that Walt and Lillian get to circle the park in this place of honor, their Lilly Belle car. 

Do you see the hidden Mickey’s in the carpet?  These could be the first-ever hidden Mickeys as this is same exact carpet found in Walt Disney’s Disneyland Apartment. 

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thank you, Vern!!! I won’t ever forget this very special tour!

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The first outside presenter for the most magical conference on earth, Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration, was Guy Kawasaki.  He spoke to us while we were having breakfast INSIDE of the rotunda at Epcot’s American Adventure Pavilion!  Guy is a social media guru who has come to find that he LOVES twitter.  At first he wasn’t really sure about it but he has since come around and is now teaching others how they can effectively use twitter.  Guy Kawasaki is a founding partner at Garage and co-founder of Alltop.  Alltop is an online magazine rack.  He thinks if we try Innovation.alltop, we will love it.  Among many other things, Guy is the author of nine books and his most recent one is Reality Check.  

I learned more about twitter and social media in an hour with @GuyKawasaki than I did on my own for the last 9 months.  He really showed a whole new world to me and helped me to better connect the fragments of information that I had discovered on my own.  It really all starts with www.search.twitter.com  This little URL is one mighty powerful tool!  I never even knew it existed before.  And you know what?  It becomes even more powerful when its advanced search capabilities are utilized.   www.search.twitter.com is easy to use, having a twitter account isn’t even necessary.  Just visit, pick a topic, and bamm, you’ll instantly be able to get the pulse of the people.  It’s that simple.  Twitter really is universally useful! 

If customers and companies ask the right questions (read: run the right searches), then they would be able to use twitter to better plan their actions because there would be fewer unknowns. 

If companies build up and nurture their followers, then they will have a pool of people who can quickly receive messages.  This is valuable because, for example, a company could sell overstock more cheaply because they wouldn’t have to advertise a sale event or pay middle-men to move the merchandise from their stockroom to store shelves. 

Companies can increase their bottom line by being mobile.  Companies can save by not having a storefront.  Then they can use twitter to keep their customers informed as to where they will be selling their merchandise that day.  This mobility would allow the company to increase their number of potential customers because each selling site that they visit would have its own number of potential customers.  If the company has 7 selling sites and each selling site has a number of potential customers, then the company has increased their pool of potential customers by a factor of 7.  An interesting example of this was with @kogibbq.  He said they have 55,000 twitter followers.  Each morning they tweet the time and location where they will sell lunches and they can expect 50-100 people to be waiting and hungry for lunch when they show up at their tweeted location of the day. 

The search.twitter.com tool helps both customers and brands.  Customers can choose which company is going to be best for them and brands can benefit by searching for unhappy customers to try to publicly rectify the situation.  Showing your customers that you care is always a good thing!   

Twitter can help build local businesses.  Some twitter users search for tweets that are related to their service that originate from a place near their zipcode.  They then initiate contact with the tweeter and offer their services. 

He said to build a large following you need to have interesting tweets.  He said they don’t all have to be your own tweets.  Seek out good ones and tweet them each 4 times a day.  He said that tweeting 25 interesting bits of information 4 times each per day is a great way to build a large following.  It is also important to engage your following.  You need to interact with them!  For more information check out: http://bagtheweb.com/b/4QfhjBOseBAF   Thanks, Guy!!

Wondering what will happen tomorrow.  That’s my best kept secret.  See ya real soon!

*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great trip to Walt Disney World.  Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.

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Wow!  Those were some fantastic announcements, huh?  Once the announcements were made the people started to flow out of the Milk House.  Mickey sent lots of Cast Members over to lead us all to the room where the Tailgate Family Dinner Party would take place.  Take a look at this room.  It’s Disney-style HUGE!  As soon as I entered I was greeted by Cast Members serving drinks.  Many food and drink stations were also set up throughout the facility.  There was a sea of red-covered tables.  At the front of the room was a stage where all of the children would later dance, sing and play with a super-fun entertainer.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale were all circulating the room.  They came ready to party all dressed up in their athletic gear.  They really were ADORABLE!  Seeing as I didn’t bring my hubby or kids with me on this trip, I decided to find other families who might not mind “adopting me”.  I really enjoyed when I got to see a child meet a character for their first time ever!  I was surprised at how many times this happened.  There were lots of happy kids here tonight!!  Here are some character pictures from that night.  Donald keeps telling the others he’s number 1.  Chip and Dale almost gave him a penalty!  😉

Chip and Dale







The kids danced the night away on the stage.


Then the cast of High School Musical 3 came out to entertain the crowd.


This was my first ever mommy blogger conference experience.   I had wondered what it would be like and I am SO happy to say that I had THE BEST time!  Even though most of the moms brought their families with them, I found lots of smiling people who wanted to chat and was able to make plenty of connections.   

Boy, are you in for a treat, if a sporting competition will be bringing you to this complex in the future.  Be ready to have some real fun!  The ESPN Wide World of Sports is sure to give you the best possible experience!  Now go teams go!

But…all good parties must come to an end at some point.  And this one did eventually, too.  After this event was over, we boarded motor coaches and were returned to the Polynesian Resort.  I walked over the Polynesian’s tikki-torch-lit resort grounds onto its beautiful beach and watched the Electrical Water Pageant, even though it was chilly.  After that, I decided to go to Downtown Disney for a little shopping. 


Wait until you hear about the breakfast and conference I had first thing the next day.  Whoa!!  🙂 

*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great trip to Walt Disney World.  Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.

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 Milk Room, ESPN Wide World of Sports ComplexMeg Crofton, President of Walt Disney World REsort Now let’s see, where were we?  Oh, yes, we were gathered in the Milk House at the soon-to-be-relaunched ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.   The crowd was silently hanging on every word that Meg Crofton, President of the Walt Disney World Resort had to say.  I think everyone had a feeling that there would be a B-I-G announcement.  And there was!!  Her biggest announcement was that this summer the Walt Disney World Resort is launching “Summer Nightastic!”, which will bring extra magic to all four Walt Disney World theme parks.  This sounded exciting in and of itself but when she put this next slide up on the screen the Disney fans in the crowd all lost their breath at once.  “Summer Nightastic!” would include the reintroduction of the Main Street Electrical Parade and as a bonus it would have some new floats for Pinocchio,  Snow White and this parade’s leader, Tinker Bell, who will be at the front of the parade waving from the basket of her magical balloon.  Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade

In addition to this new parade, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will have some new special “Summer Nightastic!” magic added.  There will be some new special drop sequences added and lighting enhancements will be made which will be sure to bring some extra frights to guests who dare to check-in during “Summer Nightastic!”.

“Summer Nightastic!” will also treat guests to a special summer fireworks spectacular!   The Sounds Like Summer concert series at Epcot will return and Guests will find extended evening hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom several times a week. 

The three-year Fantasyland Expansion construction project will be breaking ground this year.   Here, the Walt Disney World Resort will enable guests to immerse themselves and actually step into their favorite Disney fairy tales and have even more magical encounters with Disney princesses.  Fantasyland Forest will have themed villages for the princesses.  Guests will be able to meet Cinderella inside of her country chateau for a dance lesson or some Royal Knight training.  The three good fairies Flora, Fauna, and Merriweather will celebrate Aurora’s 16th Birthday Surprise party at Brian Rose Cottage.  There will be a new Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid ride-through musical attraction.  Children everywhere will reap the benefits of Disney’s stand to help shorten wait times for the smallest Disney Guests.  The re-imagined Dumbo’s Flying Circus attraction will be twice as big as the original Dumbo attraction and waiting Guests will be entertained while they wait out-of-line for their turn to come up.  (Applause!!!)  And did you know there will be a new castle in the land?  Guests will be magically transported by an enchanted mirror from Belle’s father’s cottage to the all new Beast’s castle where Guests will be treated to an enchanting storytelling performance before being seated for a meal at one of the three new dining rooms inside Beast’s castle or just outside at Gaston’s Tavern. 

Well as you can see there is a lot going on at Disney.  And I haven’t even finished telling you about the first night, yet!  I barely got out that Castaway Cay is getting an extra dose of pixie dust this summer with enhancements like an expanded family beach, a floating water platform featuring TWO water slides, two fresh-water play areas, a new teen retreat AND 20 private rental cabanas.  This year, Disney Magic will be spending even more time on its Northern European and Mediterranean cruises and it will introduce three new ports of call — Tunis, Marta, and Corsica.  This summer the Disney Wonder will sail to Nassau, Key West and Castaway Cay but in the summer of 2011 the Disney Wonder will sail to Alaska for the first time ever!  The not-yet-christened Disney Dream will be added to the Disney Cruise Line fleet in 2011 and after that The Disney Fantasy will be joining the Disney Fleet in 2012.  Can you believe that both of these new ships are TWO decks taller than the Magic and Wonder?  Or that these new 1250-passenger liners will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line?  Pretty amazing stuff!  For more details about our pixie dusted Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration weekend be sure to come back tomorrow.  Until then, “See ya real soon!” 

*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great trip to Walt Disney World.  Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.

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WDW’s Polynesian Resort is SUCH a relaxing resort. 
Doesn’t it look heavenly…inside and out?  I just loved it!  Ahhh.


You see to get to that little piece of heaven, I needed to get to the Walt Disney World Resort.  Flying there on the morning of February 10th wasn’t as easy as it should have been because of a snow storm.  I made a deal with Mother Nature and she came through for me!  After a “nailbiter” of a morning trying to fly out of Boston and beat the incoming snow, I happily landed in Orlando, Florida where I was magically whisked off to the Walt Disney World Resort by a Magical Express Motor Coach which dropped me off at the lush, relaxing and absolutely gorgeous Polynesian Resort.  There I was greeted with super-friendly “Alohas” and even given a lei to wear.  Have you ever been to Walt Disney World Resort’s Polynesian Resort?  If not, it is a must-visit!  It is truly breathtaking!!  I was in the door and my Disney’s Social Media Moms Celebration weekend was officially kick-started!   Woohoo!!

After checking into my room, I headed to the hospitality suite where I was given a bag filled to the brim with pixie dust by Maria Bailey’s MomSelect team.  While there, I got to meet some of the her Mom Select staffers and I even happened to bump into Walt Disney World Moms Panelist, Zanna and Walt Disney World Social Media Queen, Leanne. 

I hadn’t even reached my room yet and had already been greeted with more smiles than I could count.  I was in heaven!  I lingered in the hospitality suite and met some more new friends and then I headed off to my room to drop off my suitcase because it was almost time to meet a motor coach which would take us to our first adventure: a visit to the soon-to-be-relaunched ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex! 

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex


We were going to get to see the results of its re-imagining project which involved ESPN and the Disney sports complex.  It boasts “a new welcome center, a digital center where video captured by 56 high-definition robotic and handheld cameras across the 220-acre sports campus is edited for display on 40 video screens and two “jumbotrons” throughout the complex as part of a veritable Wide World of SportsCenter, and the new ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill.”  All of these added bells and whistles will insure that all athletes, no matter how old or young are totally immersed in an unsurpassed Disney-ESPN-Sports environment where everyone can feel like a winner!   This pixie dusted complex is uniquely able to provide athletes with a sports experience that is unmatched.  All of the complex’s super-technical equipment will give athletes a truly unforgettable experience because the technology that surrounds them will make them feel like they have made to the “big-time”.  Disney will be making a real difference in the kind of experience these athletes have!  


Taking a walk out back of the facility I found one of these little beauties.  Can you spot the not-so-hidden Mickey here?

I bet you’re wondering “What’s New What’s Next” about now.  I know I was!  I’ll have to let you know next time.  Sorry 🙂  I’ll leave you with a picture of the stage.

*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid I fee, but received a great trip to Walt Disney World.  Disney did not tell me what to say, nor require anything from me in exchange for the benefit I received.

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