The fourth day of the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was our full day at sea. We woke up early for a special event — Good Morning America! That’s right. Chief Meteorologist, Ginger Zee was onboard the Disney Wonder, along with a crew from Good Morning America. And? They wanted us there! So fun!!
After our filming with Good Morning America, it was time for our General Sessions. This was one of my favorite parts of the conference. Yes. We did a lot of cool stuff. We saw new shows prior to their opening. We had exclusive access on rides and private dessert parties. We previewed upcoming movies before their release date. We were on a cruise!! But this right here, this is what I came for — to learn.
Leanne O’Regan welcomed us again to the 8th Annual Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I finally had the opportunity to meet Leanne, and she is just the sweetest person. It was so nice to give her a hug after these past two years. Leanne is the heart of Disney Social Media Moms. Her passion for Disney shines through in everything she does.
To kick off the day, we were introduced to Dave Mullins, Director of Pixar Animation Studios’ “LOU.”
“LOU” is a new animated short that will premiere in front of Cars 3 on June 16, 2017. And guess what? We got to screen it in its entirety! While I obviously cannot tell you a whole lot about “LOU,” I can tell you that it will tug at your heartstrings. I love the message behind this Pixar short. I think it will be relatable to all people on some level. Bravo, Dave Mullins. You nailed this one.
Next we were introduced to Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director of Disney Parks Blog. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in the room when I say this man is very inspiring to all of us. We’re all bloggers. Thomas Smith is the content director of probably one of the most successful blogs in the world. He talked about how Disney Parks implements their content creation. Advice we can all learn from.
Next up was Amy Smeed, Head of Animation Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “MOANA.” Can I just say how inspiring it is that the HEAD of Animation is a female? High-five, Amy!
Amy provided us with a behind-the-scenes look at the whole production process that went into creating “MOANA.” The amount of time spent and attention to detail is truly a work of art.
Disney Parks, Synergy Director, Chris Ostrander started off right by showing us all an exclusive 8-minute clip from Disney’s live-action Beauty and The Beast. It was AMAZING. Seriously. Chills.
Chris also walked us through the 2017 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate. He included some more sneaks of Guardians of the Galaxy VOL. 2, as well as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Both of those movies you can expect lots of laugh-out-loud fun!!
I also have to give a major shout-out to Chris for helping me find the perfect seat in the theater for general sessions. At the time, I had no idea what position he held, but he was super nice. Thank you, Chris!!
Next was Chris Sonnenburg, Executive Producer/Supervisor Director of Disney Channel’s “Tangled: The Series.”
Where are all my Rapunzel lovers at? Tangled is definitely one of my favorite Disney movies. I mean, Flynn Ryder? Enough said. Chris told us how he developed the story, which was inspired by his own daughter. I may be a boy mom, but I will absolutely be watching this series with my kids!
After our private lunch at Tiana’s Place, and yes, there were more beignets, we heard from Alex Ruiz, Disney Parks Digital Content Director.
I found Alex’s presentation especially informative, being a content creator myself. Alex told us, “Creating content is a constantly revolving platform that needs nurturing.” If you think about it, it makes sense. Content changes on a day-to-day basis. As content creators, we need to be aware of this. I also loved when he said how everyone always says “Content is King.” While Alex agrees that content is super important, he believes that “Engagement is not only King, but Queen.” In other words, keep your readers engaged!!
Did you know that 65% of digital media time is spent MOBILE? Now more than ever it is crucial that your sites be mobile-friendly. It’s a known fact that the audience wants to see more visual content, AND it performs better!
Alex also expressed how much people love to see “not perfect.” They want to see REAL-LIFE so it’s more relatable!
I think I could write an entire post on Alex’s presentation. There was just so much valuable information.
Our final speaker for the day was Ginger Zee, Chief Meteorologist of ABC News.
As a mom, Ginger Zee was so inspirational to me. She gave us a very personal speech. She’s a working mom, and naturally, she faces the challenges of balancing her life between being a mom, and her very demanding job. Inside she’s a person, just like us. She’s doing something she loves, and giving her son the very best of herself by being present when they’re together. She talked about being present when we’re with our children. We live in a digital age, and it’s sometimes all too easy to get wrapped up in everything else that is going on, that we can lose sight of what is right in front of us.
Ginger Zee is the FIRST FEMALE Chief Meteorologist of a network. What an incredible accomplishment!
Once our general sessions concluded, we were on our own to meet up with our families. I don’t know about the other attendees, but I was BEYOND exhausted! Seriously. I went back to our stateroom and found my little Avery napping. I hopped in bed with him, and soaked up some cuddles.
Definitely not the most flattering picture of me, but it’s REAL LIFE!!
Our dinner arrangements for the evening were at Tritons, a “under-the-sea” venue inspired by The Little Mermaid. I had my best dinner on the cruise this night — the Chateaubriand was AMAZING!
After dinner, we ventured to the theater to see Disney Dreams – a musical about the power of dreams and family. We all enjoyed the show…Avery enjoyed his bucket of popcorn.
The night wasn’t over yet! We still had the Pirates IN The Caribbean Deck Party! I went all out and ordered our entire family matching fun Mickey pirate shirts — I even had the #DisneySMMC hashtag on the back. I didn’t however manage to get one single group photo – boo! But here is my sweet Lincoln rocking his pirate attire.
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DAY!!
I think we all crashed as soon as our heads hit the pillow that night. We still had one more day to go — our ship would be docking on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay in the morning! Stay tuned for more fun!!
I was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I paid a nominal conference fee to attend and received discounted & complimentary items from Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and their sponsors. I was not asked to write about my experience. All opinions are my own.