Slider by IWEBIX

Top 20 Tips From Disney Social Media Moms Conference

I have attended many conferences over the years but I must say the Disney Social Media Moms conference I attended in April was tops when it came to mixing inspirational business tips with incredible experiences. Best of all, I went with my three boys (husband had to work) and everyone had a fantastic time. Looking back, there are so many things to share, so I’ll start with the top inspirational tips I learned during the Disney Social Media Conference.

 

 

My first social media share of the conference indicated how happy we were to be at Disneyland!  First as a kid with my family and now as a parent, Disneyland is one of my favorite vacation spots because it allows my whole family to put daily pressures aside and experience sheer happiness, excitement and fun. It also brings my silly side which my kids love to see.

 

 

 

While at Disneyland we also just can’t stop smiling…

dsmm6w

 (Note: my first tip should be to get a PhotoPass because the pictures they take are priceless…More on that later in the post..)


1. The Mickey Check Makes It Easier To Identify Nutritious Choices.

 

Throughout the conference, we had the opportunity to learn about the Disney Healthy Living food options. Disney Healthy Living food options have a Mickey check to help identify them. The Mickey Check website explained: “ The Mickey Check is a tool that makes it easier to identify nutritious choices in stores, online, and while on vacation at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The Mickey Check can be found on select kids’ meals and fruit carts throughout Walt Disney World® and Disneyland® Resorts, on various Disney-licensed food products sold at grocery stores across the country, and on qualifying recipes at Disney.com/tryit and Spoonful.com. To receive the Mickey Check, foods must meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines developed by health experts and align to federal dietary guideline recommendations.”

 

 

We also had a chance to see what the new Disney-licensed snacks sold at grocery stores around the country will look like:

 

  
 
During the Disney Social Media Moms conference I had the opportunity to try the options with the Mickey Check and they were yummy! Of course, I also had to taste the other fun foods as well – but it was great to have healthier options available. I also appreciate the food carts throughout the park that have all types of fruit, hummus and other healthy snacks for my family on the go such as the Tropical Import Snacks at Adventureland, FairfaxFruit Market in California Adventure and more! Restaurants at Disneyland also have healthy options, but that is the topic of a whole other post I will be writing (too much yummy food to talk about in this post!).

 

Disneyland Healthy Food options

 

Of course, two of my other favorite snacks are theDole Whip from the Tiki Juice Bar in Disneyland and the dark chocolate covered pineapple (with fresh pineapple inside) in the Trolley Treats candy store, Buena Vista Street California Adventure.

 

 

Next we had the opportunity to hear creative tips from Disney Enthusiasts and business experts. Here are a few that I did capture on social media:

 

 

 

 2. Jay Ward from Pixar shared three important parts of the creative process: Quality, Innovation and Storytelling.


 

 

 

 


3. New Disney Adventures include a “Frozen Cruise” and A Disney Resort in Shanghai!

 

 

Tom Staggs shared exciting news about the Disney Shanghai Resort and the new Adventures by Disney itinerary (Norway: Fjords, Bergen & Oslo) inspired by the film “Frozen ” – which is a partnership between Disney and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Collaboration, research and extensive attention to creative details a top rate customer experience.


 

Cars Land in California Adventure is a great example of how Walt Disney Imagineering and Pixar Animation collaborated to convert real life emotional experiences (Cars and Route 66) into an attraction that evokes that emotion mixed with the best in entertainment!  At the conference, Kathy Magnum from Walt Disney Imagineering talked about the extensive research they did to bring Cars Land to life inspired by the real Route 66.  Just taking a walk through Cars Land and seeing how every detail is brought to life (such as the beautiful Cadillac Range Mountain inspired design) helped me realize what an amazing experience they created!

 

 

 

 

5. Partnerships can help offer new conveniences to customers.


 
Megan McGuire from Alamo shared that they have onsite locations at Disneyland.  This makes it even easier to rent a car while at Disneyland.
 

 

 

6. “Dream the biggest dream – then make a business plan for that dream”!

 

Maxine Clark was inspirational as she shared her experiences starting the successful Build-a-Bear Workshop as a later in life career change. Two tips that stood out to me where  “Listen to your heart and you can find your true calling” ”Dream the biggest dream.. then make a business plan”.

 

Disney Social Media Moms Build-a-Bear
 

7. A good use of social media for brands is to share experiences, storytelling and humanizing.

 

 

 

8.  To engage an online audience, share your passions.

 

 

 

 

 

9.  Creative use of photos to offer solutions to everyday issues (i.e. What to wear to Disneyland!) also inspires online audiences.


 
Fashionista Leslie Kay created this Disney Bound Tumblr  as a Disney fan site for to share the outfits she was going to wear at Disneyland. As it turned out, so many people enjoyed the photo inspirations that Disney Bound built up a big fan community of it’s own.

 

 

 

 

10. Cats still rule the Internet.


 

 

 

 

11.  ”If you lose a game, don’t let that effect how you live your life” ~ Donald Driver


 

Green Bay’s All-Time Leading Receiver Donald Driver gave us some inspirations from his book “Driven” and stories about the importance of giving back to your community (his endeavor is the Donald Driver Foundation).
 
 

 

 

 

12.  ”Don’t blog for attention, blog to change someone’s life” ~Donald Driver

 

 

 


13. “Dreams come true if you have courage to pursue it”! ~ Donald Driver

 

 

 

 

14. Social media like Twitter gives people around the world a voice!

 

@stop (Doug Bowman then from Twitter) gave an inspirational talk about how Twitter gives people around the world a voice and connects you with people you want to know.

 

 

 

This tip is one close to my heart: I have connected with an amazing community around the world through Twitter. As a perfect example of that, during the DisneySMMoms conference I decided to share tips with my Twitter community. When I shared the insight from Jay Ward of Pixar about the creative process, a UX Engineer (see below) from LONDON favorited that tweet!

 

 

 

15.  “If you don’t have creative gas, find creative gas station” ~@Gary_Jerry


 
Gary Buchanan (PR & Social Media for Walt Disney World & Disney Parks) is one of the amazing members of the Disney Social Media team along with Leanne Jakubowski  (Director, Social Media, Disney), Michele Himmelberg (PR Director Disneyland Resort) and so much more! The Disney social media team reflects the creativity of Disney as a whole by sharing Disney through authentic and engaging storytelling that communicates the fun and delight that Disney Parks offers.   The Disney team along with and Maria Bailey (CEO of @BSMMedia) did a great job creating such engaging events for the conference!
 
 
And they have fun doing their job!

 
Disney PR and Social Media

Gary Buchanan and Leanne Jakubowski
 

 

 

 

16. Use different ways to practice your own creativity.


 
During the conference they challenged us with a quick exercise of creativity. We were asked to draw a picture of the person sitting next to us. I was happy to be sitting next to one of my favorite social media buddies Rebecca Levey. Even though I only had a few minutes, I tried my best to show her gleaming personality… Ok, well I may not be a master in drawing but it was fun to draw after spending most of my time typing on some sort of device!
 

 

 

 

 17. Maleficient opens at theaters May 30, 2014!


 
As I realized this post would be published on May 30, which is the day Maleficent is finally in theatres, I thought of the fun I had hearing about the movie at the conference and having the opportunity to take my most evil selfie of all…
 

 

 
Maleficent tells the “untold story of Disney’s most iconic villian from the classic Sleeping Beauty“. I know where I am going this weekend (to see Maleficent)!

 

 

 

 

 

18.  “…Building literacy and storytelling (skills) in the digital age is important.”


 

In the digital age it is even more important for kids to make sure they develop literacy skills including reading books and the art of storytelling. At the conference we had the opportunity to hear about two initiatives that are supporting literacy in creative ways. The first one is Disney Junior’s Give a Book, Get a Book Program. The second is a collaboration with Reading Rainbow.
nbsp;
Here is information from the conference about Disney Junior’s Give a Book, Get a Book Program and the following press release:

 

“Disney and First Book will provide for the donation of up to one million books to U.S. communities in need and will present families with free digital books from Disney Publishing Worldwide, through a new program announced today, Disney Junior’s Give a Book, Get a Book. The program includes a redemption code offering a free Disney Digital book and a way for families to experience giving back by donating books to the community of their choice. Disney Junior’s Give a Book, Get a Book, also includes public service announcements, free storytime events at Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Disney Store locations, and interactive Radio Disney events.”

 

Ms. Kanter said, “With each and every one of our Disney Junior series, we let a child experience the magic and learning that comes with a story well told, and deepen the emotional connection and sense of wonder and adventure that have defined storytelling at the Disney company for generations.” She continued, “The Give a Book, Get a Book program is a way for families to share stories and enter the world of giving in a simple yet effective way.”

 

 

Details from the press release on Reading Rainbow:

 

“LeVar Burton, Cofounder and Curator-in-Chief of the award-winning Reading Rainbow app, spoke about the importance of building literacy and of storytelling in the digital age. Disney Junior stars Ariel Winter and Tim Gunn (of “Sofia the First”) and David Arquette (of “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”) also participated in a storybook reading for event attendees and their families. Genevieve Goings (of Disney Junior’s “Choo Choo Soul”), who hosts the Give a Book, Get a Book public service announcements on Disney Channel, emceed the event. ” Reading Rainbow co-founder LeVar Burton read Young Henry and the Dragon as part of the Disney Social Media Moms conference. LeVar was excited to support Disney, First Book and all the Disney Social Media Moms in your collective commitment in put books in the hands of children.

 

 

Today, Reading Rainbow is more than just the much-loved TV series — it’s the #1 education app in the Apple App Store. To date, children ages 3 to 9 are reading, on average, 140,000 books a week in the Reading Rainbow app — that’s more than 12 million books read and video field trips watched since launch.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Disney Theme Parks even have running adventures!


 
One of experiences at the conference that was new to me was participating in an runDisney event. The runDisney website explained:

runDisney is a series of events that provides runners the unique opportunity to run through Disney Theme Parks at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida and the Disneyland® Resort in California, earn Disney-themed finisher medals, experience legendary Disney entertainment & Guest Service, and ultimately celebrate their accomplishments with a Disney vacation. runDisney offers something for the whole family! While marathon and half marathon races headline each runDisney weekend, other offerings include Disney-themed kids races and family fun run 5ks, plus health and fitness expos with guest speakers, product demonstrations and official race merchandise! From the diaper dash to the 48.6-mile Dopey Challenge, there truly is something for everyone at runDisney.”

 

Before I became a parent I used to work out 5 days a week, but between working and parenting, finding time for workouts is a challenge. The runDisney event at the Disney Social Media Moms conference allowed me to train for the event and connect with fellow moms who did the same. That team support as well as the joy of running through Disneyland inspired me to start training 3 times a week for a few months and finish the 2 mile run at the required pace.   Little did I know that after getting up at 4:30 am and joining a great warmup session by New Balance (that also supplied sneakers for us to wear) – I would be so energized and excited to run! After taking off close to 6:30 am and seeing the beauty of Disneyland in the morning (before the park officially opened) - I had to force myself not to stop to just take it all in! Well, I did stop for a few pictures and attempted a selfie but realized I really needed to keep pace with the group.  The runDisney event was so inspiring that I ran my fastest time ever (selfie time included)…
 

runDisney Disney Social Media Moms 2014 TechMama

 

 

Crossing the finish line with my fellow runners  was inspiring (I even had to the chance to see the fabulous Michele Himmelberg who is also with Disney PR). Seeing my smiling boys as I crossed was priceless. I hope that this is setting a good example to my sons that fitness and fun can exist every so happily together.
 

 

 

 

runDisney at Disney SocialMMoms 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

20. Don’t forget to capture family memories!


 

 

Make sure to live in the moment and enjoy family time, but also capture the memories at key times. After many trips to Disneyland (especially this one where I did not have my husband to help with taking pictures) I realized that capturing the priceless memories are important but a challenge. The Disney PhotoPass allowed me to relax because I knew that I would have professional pictures without worrying about taking them myself. I even had the opportunity to be IN the picture.
 
DSMM14p1

 

 

The Disney PhotoPass Photographer came up to us while we were at California Adventure a few hours after the runDisney race was over and asked us if we wanted a picture. Of course I said YES!  I was so thrilled to have done the race and then getting the opportunity to spend time with my family at Disneyland that I wanted to capture that moment. I look back at this picture whenever I need to smile, which extends that Disney magic with me whenever I need it!

 

 

 

Disclosure: TechMamas.com was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disneyland. My family and I attended the conference and were given complimentary items, special discounts and other benefits such as food and entertainment. I paid my own conference fees. The press release information was supplied to conference attendees for informational purposes. All opinions and words are my own.

 

 

Holiday Fun at Disneyland

Christmas Tree on Main StreetHolidays mean time with family and friends and I can’t think of a better place to spend time than Disneyland. I had the fun opportunity to attend a press preview of the Disneyland Holiday events and with a full line-up of cross-cultural activities there was lots of holiday cheer to go around. Beyond my regular delight with being at Disneyland, it was great to experience holiday surprises in many of the attractions, yummy holiday treats and decorations that sparkled beyond belief. Here are details, including my favorite events and tidbits from the press releases and a video made with my partner in “video” Kimberley Clayton Blaine, TheGoToMom:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

 

Disneyland Holiday Disney ¡Viva Navidad!The newest celebration at the Disneyland Resort is “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” -Nov. 15 2013 through Jan. 6, 2014 in Disney California Adventure Park. I had the chance to see the beautiful parade with music that made me want to get up and dance (I was wishing I had one of those amazing skirts to dance in). Then I learned more details from the press release: Disney ¡Viva Navidad! is a merry celebration inspired by the warmth and joyous spirit of the Latino culture, filled with holiday traditions, jubilant dancing and exciting music. Based in and around the Paradise Garden area of Disney California Adventure, the special activities include crafts and face-painting for children, live Latino music, dance lessons, holiday foods, the “Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party” and, of course, appearances by some popular Disney characters“.

 

 

Disney ¡Viva Navidad!

 

 

“Micky Mouse, Minni Mouse and  Goofy will have festive costumes along with the Three Caballeros: Donald Duck, Panchito from Mexico and José Carioca from Brazil.  It takes place at Paradise Garden several times a day (check the daily schedule for timing). You can watch a great performance at the Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party that includes “Mexican folklorico dancers, samba dancers and drummers, plus giant “Mojiganga” puppets, including Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus” Jan. 3 Through Jan. 6 2014 will be the grand finale of “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” with a special celebration of Three Kings Day (Dia de los Reyes).

 

If you are hungry, you can also head out to dining locations in Paradise Garden to try popular Mexican dishes such as “such as pozole (hearty stew), chicken mole drumettes, pescado (fish) Veracruzano, champurrado (Mexican-style hot chocolate), sweet tamales, torta al pastor (pork sandwich), buñuelos (deep-fried sweet treat) and choco flan”.

 

 

World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams:

 

The new version of the after-dark Paradise Bay (Disney California Adventure) experience called  “World of Color − Winter Dreams” features a new story including new characters from the Walt Disney Pictures animated motion picture “Frozen” hosted by Olaf the snowman. There are also new special effects, advanced technology, music and methods for utilizing the “massive “stage” of water, color and light on which “World of Color” is presented”.

 

World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams

 

 

The new World of Color – Winter Dreams has seven sequences that was explained in the press release:

 

 

1. “The Pre-Show: Glow Honor Choir Wonder – Season’s Greetings:  features the “World of Color” Honor Choir singing “Glow,” written especially for this new show. Then Tinker Bell’s traditional greeting from “Wonderful World of Color” summons Old Man Winter and the skating Frost Fairies. more than 500 singers representing all 50 United States appear in the pre show! Disneyland Resort teamed with Grammy®-winning composer Eric Whitacre, who has joined hundreds of voices online in similar “virtual choirs.” More than 1,400 submissions from around the country were received for the “World of Color” Honor Choir.  Other Disney fans designed holiday cards and submitted them online to appear in the “Glow-A Season of Light” sequence.

2. Snow – A Winter Wonderland: Olaf takes guests on a breathtaking winter sleigh ride, encountering Bambi, Thumper and, from “Frozen,” sisters Anna and Elsa.

3. Glow – A Season of Light: The holidays are celebrated with images of holiday cards created by Disneyland Resort guests and cast members.

4. Enchantment – The Toy Story Nutcracker:  This familiar ballet is danced in some delightful, offbeat renditions by favorite “Toy Story” characters.

5. Spirit-Holiday Sing-Along: Snowman Olaf has always loved the idea of a warm summer. He innocently imagines himself enjoying the sunshine, then leads the audience in a holiday sing-along.

6. Finale – Merry & Bright Holiday Lights”: Olaf welcomes a surprising Santa as 700 newly installed lights blaze to life for a colorful finale around the lagoon.

7. After Glow: Finale (Honor Choir): “World of Color – Winter Dreams” features more than a dozen songs, ranging from familiar holiday tunes such as “Jingle Bells,” “Feliz Navidad” and “The Dreidel Song” to musical numbers from “Frozen” and original compositions such as “Glow.

 

 

 

Olaf World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams

World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams

World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams World of Color Holiday Winter Dreams

 

Those interested in the “behind the scenes” will be excited to know that the programming for the new “Winter Dreams” show took three months to create the 17 million pixels in the “World of Color – Winter Dreams” screen.  The surrounding area was enhanced with “700 high-power, color, LED strobe lights were installed along the side of the California Screamin’ roller coaster, 16 narrow-beam moving lights within the sun-ray sculpture on Mickey’s Fun Wheel, plus 21 narrow-beam movie lights within the viewing area. To add to the Winter Dream theme were six snowflake generators within the viewing area produce giant snowflakes in six different shapes. The beautiful sparkle effects were created with ten mirror balls installed on the speaker and lighting towers.”·

 

The existing “World of Color” technology (already amazing in itself) includes “a platform composed of nearly 1 full acre of engineered superstructure, longer than a football field and capable of settling on three levels – one for the performance, one under the water surface and one for maintenance. There are nearly 1,200 powerful and programmable fountains, and a vast underwater grid with more than 18,000 points of control.  Each fountain has multiple points of control for lighting, color intensity, water angle and height”.

 

Steve Davison, creative director of the original “World of Color” show in Disney California Adventure, also staged “World of Color − Winter Dreams.” Davison, parades and spectaculars, executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, said: “I’m thrilled and amazed to see ‘World of Color – Winter Dreams’ come to life on the Paradise Bay. Each night as we worked on the programming, it was fun to see the magic happen as we blended the new music, animation, lasers and special effects into a dazzling holiday show.”

 

 

 

Disneyland Park – Here is information from the press release about the other Holiday fun at Disneyland and California Adventure Parks:

 

* Fantasyland, guests meet the enchanting sisters from “Frozen” – the fearless and optimistic Anna, and Elsa, who has the power to control snow and ice.

 

 

* Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle – A sensational holiday lighting and special-effects show carries the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the 60-foot tall Disneyland Christmas tree in Town Square. The finale of the show includes the legendary “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show, ending with a touching rendition of “White Christmas,” along with a climactic snowfall swirling upon Main Street, U.S.A., “it’s a small world” Mall and New Orleans Square.

 

Sleeping Beauty Castle Disneyland Holiday

 

* Tomorrowland, Thor: Treasures of Asgard invites guests into a column of light and color which magically transports them from Disneyland to the home world of Thor, the Mighty Avenger.

 

 

A Christmas Fantasy parade Disneyland* A Christmas Fantasy” Parade - On Main Street, U.S.A., Disney characters celebrate the magic of the season, wrapping gifts, baking holiday treats and preparing for the arrival of Santa Claus, who shouts a jolly greeting to spectators along the parade route. New for 2013, winter skiers (on roller skis) glide around a frost-covered pine tree, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” join the Candlelight Costume Ball, and a corps of Finale Dancers in gorgeous Dickens-era costumes lead  the way for Santa and his reindeer.

 

 

Its Small World Holiday Disneyland

 

*“it’s a small world” Holiday becomes  a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than 300,000 glittering lights on its façade and, inside, the children of many nations in their holiday attire. New for 2013, the smiling clock at the front of “it’s a small world” reveals a sparkling, new projection show. After dark, on every quarter hour, the façade of the attraction is transformed into an enormous clockwork mechanism with advanced 3D-projection technology. The gears and springs pull back to reveal a world of holiday wonders hidden behind the clock.

 

Haunted Mansion Holiday Disneyland

 

* Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a madcap celebration as the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide.  The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from the film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” has come to Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays.

 

Mickey and Minnie Holiday

 

* Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus greet Disneyland guests at Jingle Jangle Jamboree in Big Thunder Ranch, in Frontierland.  Children and families can chat with St. Nick, meet Disney characters, and enjoy games, music, crafts and seasonal entertainment.

 

California Adventure:

 

Disneyland holiday Carsland

 

* Carsland: Adventure A whimsical “snowcar” (the Radiator Springs version of a snowman) stands at the entrance to Cars Land, and each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more – features holiday décor that reflects the personality of the “Cars” character who lives there.

 

* Disneyland HolidaysBuena Vista Street: A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments. Children of all ages may visit a classic department store Santa at Elias & Co., the main department store along Buena Vista Street.

 

I enjoyed the treats at Trolley Candy Treats on Buena Vista Street:

 

 

Trolley Candy Treats, Buena Vista Treat Disneyland

 

* Mad T Party: Wintertime fun rocks the night at “Mad T Party” as Alice and the Mad Hatter add their own brand of off-kilter holiday spirit to the nighttime celebration in Hollywood Land.

 

* “a bug’s land” transforms as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.

 

* A Holiday edition of the street show, “Phineas and Ferb’s Rockin’ Rollin’ Dance Party,” includes festive décor, costumes and holiday tunes. The show invites guests of all ages to “seize the day,” dancing and singing on Paradise Pier with the Disney Channel’s inventive animated boy geniuses.

 

 

*We found Hanukkah Decorations at a store on Buena Vista Street which I promptly purchased to celebrate Hanukkah in Mickey style. The stores at Disneyland have a wide assortment of holiday décor.

Disney Hanukkah Wall Hanging

 

 

*Guests in the Downtown Disney district get into the holiday spirit at the Downtown Disney Winter Village, visiting the quaint cottages, browsing for gifts in the “shopping chalets” and enjoying a 30-foot Christmas tree. Guests also lace up their skates to make spirits bright along the newly themed Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink. The rink hours are scheduled for 3 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 3 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

 

Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink

 

 
I was thrilled to bring a new TechMamas.com writer, Jennifer. She is not only my friend but also one of the most knowledgeable people I know about all things Disney with great tips about the park and rides. Here are some of her tips from the Disneyland Holiday 2013 press event:

 

Disneyland:

 

The Haunted Mansion has been transformed into Nightmare Before Christmas in the most entertaining, eye-catching way.  I found this attraction so amazing that it alone was worth the trip to Disneyland!  The creativity and artistry was truly impressive, and I became attached to Zero, the darling ghost dog who appears throughout the ride. If you are traveling with a child who can handle just a little spookiness in the not-so-dark amidst a ton of visual delights, then I would label this attraction kid-friendly. If a fast pass is offered when you are visiting the park, I suggest grabbing one and making the Haunted Mansion a priority.  Check in at the information booth on Main Street to ask about the fast pass option or wait time.

 

It’s a Small World is another must-see on your holiday to-do list at Disneyland.  How could you not just relax and enjoy with a big smile as you sit back and tap your feet to the musical beat on this boat ride through a wide assortment of singing dolls?  I loved singing along to the usual “It’s a Small World” tune perfectly mixed with Jingle Bells to give it that holiday spark.  Disney went all out with the holiday decor for this attraction, both inside and out.  Even with its popularity, this ride handles large crowds. Rarely is there much of a wait. But, if you want to avoid a line, consider visiting in the morning or later in the evening for your best chance of walking right on. For Hidden Mickey fans, keep your eye out on the ride for extra Mickeys this holiday season.

 

California Adventure:

 

World of Color: I’ve seen the World of Color show many times, and it’s always a delight.  Without a doubt, the new World of Color show, “Winter Dreams”, is my all time favorite!  Olaf, the Snowman in Disney’s movie, “Frozen”, is the host of this spectacular. Now, I cannot wait to take my family to see the movie Frozen.  A couple of things to keep in mind…you can pick up a free Fast Pass for this show earlier in the day to reduce your time in line for a great standing spot.  Alternatively, you can purchase a dinner package, which is a great way to enjoy a delicious sit-down dinner followed by a short wait for this fabulous show!  Just call Disney’s dining for more information on this.

 

Of course, you’re not required to do either of these and can just show up an hour or so prior to show time.  Ask a Disney employee when people start lining up. Once you arrive, choose to stand in the front section if you enjoy a good spray of water.  Alternatively, there are plenty of good viewing spots slightly back which allow you to stay dry. When planning out your souvenir purchases, keep in mind that it’s fun to pick up a pair of Mickey Ears for this show because the ears light up and change colors in sync with the show.  I was impressed with the comfort and (light) weight of my set of ears.

 

Buena Vista Street:

 

I just loved experiencing the festive holiday cheer from every direction, both in sight and sound. Many times, I heard the music of a quartet singing holiday songs or discovered a gorgeous array of wreaths loaded with attractive colors.

 

I have to admit…I’m a shopper.  I couldn’t help but recognize this as an opportunity to pick up holiday gifts of adorable plush characters decked out in cute holiday outfits!  And, who can resist the yummy sweet treats in the candy shops?  I certainly couldn’t.  A little chocolate is a great way to end a fabulous day!  It always tastes better when in the shape of a favorite character, of course.

 

For more information about the Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.  For ticket and hotel offers, visit www.disneyland.com/offers.

 

Disclosure: This was a press event.

 

 

 

New Family Fun at Disneyland: Cars Land and Buena Vista Street Now Open

Buena Vista Street Disney California Adventure

Photo Credit: Disney

Recently, friends asked me about my summer and one of the highlights I mentioned was being invited as part of the media to cover Disney’s California Adventure Park Grand Re-opening , including two new themed lands: Cars Land and Buena Vista Street.  You just have to see it to believe it.

 

 

When visiting Disneyland Park, with Cinderella’s Castle and rides from Pirates of the Caribbean to Star Wars, it’s very clear that the park was created so that Main Street USA is the grand entrance and centerpiece that sets the stage for a great park experience. Similarly, with the recent Disneyland Resort expansion, guests enter California Adventure Park on Buena Vista Street, the striking anchor of this new park.  The shops, period costumes and architecture of Buena Vista Street were inspired by the history and experiences of “ Los Angeles in the 1920’s similar to what Walt Disney experienced when he came to America”.

 

 

Continue reading

 

Heading to Family Fun With The Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship

Tomorrow I am heading to Florida to join in the fun on the newest Disney cruise ship called Disney Fantasy. This is a media trip for me (and other media) to find out details about the ship to pass on to my readers.  I am braving the trip with my twin 9 year old sons (hubby and my tween are staying home). I consider myself a savvy traveler after traveling the world for business – but traveling with kids is something completely different. Honestly – traveling with kids simply makes me nervous. Which is why I love going on Disney adventures that are not only made for families and put also put nervous mother’s like myself at ease.

 

 

So check back next week where I will share my adventures and all the family fun the Disney Fantasy Cruise Ship has to offer!

 

Disclosure: My travel expenses for this media trip are covered by Disney. This is not a paid post, my words are my own.

 

Disneyland Explorer – a Disney Parks App for iPad

Part of the excitement of our family adventures to Disneyland is going online to plan our trip. Our kids love helping to collaborate so we can fit in all of their favorite Disney experiences in the trip. The Disneyland mobile apps are also helpful for us to get information on the go.

 

When I received this press release about a new Disney Parks app for the iPad, I was excited for a new mobile opportunity to experience and get information about Disneyland. Disney Explorer is a free app for the iPad that offers a mobile experience of the sights and sounds of Disneyland. The app offers the ability to “tap beautiful images, animation and interactive touch points that represent experiences inside Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure park, Downtown Disney District and all three hotels of the Disneyland Resort. ” I can’t wait to try it – but showing it to my boys will make it harder for us to wait until our next trip to Disneyland.

 

 PRESS RELEASE:

 

Discover the Sights and Sounds of Disneyland Resort with ‘Disneyland Explorer’ – a Disney Parks App for iPad

Take a Spin Around The Happiest App on Earth!

Continue reading

 

Media Trip: Disney Dream

I am packed up and heading to the Florida for the Inaugural Sailing of the Disney’s newest ship Dream. I will be looking into the technology and innovations to give a behind the scenes glimpse of the third ship in the magical Disney Cruise Line. I will also do my best to search out WiFi at sea so I don’t have to wait to share the fun until I return.

Disclosure: This is a media trip, my travel expenses to attend were covered. I am under no obligation to blog, just to experience this special event. But of course, I will want to share with my audience such an exciting adventure!

 

Media Trip: Disneyland Holiday and Whats New For 2011

My family moved to California when I was 11 years old and one of our first vacations was a trip to Disneyland. I can still see my brother having the time of his life at age 6 on “It’s a Small World”. Fast forward (more than) a few years and my own fond childhood memories are now complimented by new memories together with my three boys and husband together at our recent visit to today’s Disneyland.

As a parent, I found some creative strategies (included in the middle of this post) to make sure we all had the chance to enjoy our favorite rides on our recent visit. As a blogger, I enjoyed attending the Disneyland media events and learning the “behind the scenes” tricks, meeting Imagineers, previewing what Disneyland has planned for the holidays and learning about whats coming up for 2011.

First I had a chance to connect with Kimberley Clayton Blaine, the producer of MommytoMommyTV (an online show I am thrilled to have hosted). We met a Daisy Duck, discussed some our favorite Disneyland rides and admired her beautiful red bow and red shoes:

Disney w/TechMama and Kimberley!

One of the beautiful backgrounds for our video was the “It’s a Small World” Holiday. Just after the video ended, we enjoyed watching digital imaging in action as images were displayed on the facade of the attraction. There are additional holiday decorations in place in Disneyland through Jan. 2. Here are some of the highlights:

Press release:

“It’s a Small World” Holiday:

Continue reading

 

Inside Look: Disney’s new “World of Color” attraction and tour

I just returned home from a trip back East and was very busy getting my kids summer schedule finalized, when I received an email about a Disney media event in San Francisco. Attending Disney media events are always worth the schedule shifting and babysitting recruiting time, in return for some Disney magic. So – on July 8 – I attended the Disneyland World of Color road show stop in San Francisco. Here is the link to the World of Color road show press release  with details on the tour, my pictures of the event are at the bottom of this post. The tour was created to take some of the magic of the World of Color attraction on the road.

I first heard of the new World of Color attraction at Disney California Adventure park last spring and hoped to bring my kids to see it after it opened June 11, 2010.  I showed my kids a World of Color video and they were fascinated with the fountains, images and special effects.

The World of Color opening day event at Disneyland press release explained the details of a the new attraction at Disney California Adventure:

“There has never been a show like “World of Color,” the mega-scale,
after-dark celebration of Disney storytelling.  “World of Color”
brings animation
to life with powerful fountains that become stars of the show as they
create one of the world’s largest projected water screens.

The Disneyland News press release also explained some of the details of the special effects used in the World of Color attraction, which runs just under 25 minutes: Continue reading