Recently, I got the chance to take my family to Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. This is something that I’ve wanted for several years and I am so honored that I was chosen this year. While I will be doing several posts on this, this is post 1.
This is a vlog I made right after I was offered this trip. I was completely overcome by emotion when I made it. I will share soon what happened the day before this trip — we had been going through something big with my daughter, A.
It meant a lot to me that I was picked for Disney SMMC and that I was able to take my family, including my inlaws. It is a large financial commitment and I was grateful that we had the money. We paid for the conference for me and for each family member we took + flights and expenses. However, we received INCREDIBLE value with the room we stayed in, the amazing conference, and special meals with spectacular entertainment. We also got a lot of extras that we wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.
With two out of my three kids with ADHD, and one of them being really difficult — I don’t think that we could have managed without my in-laws to help. Unfortunately I got sick on the way down, I was really hoping it was just the dust allergies I had been suffering from but it turned out to be a bad sinus infection. While I wanted to hug everyone, I had to refrain because I wasn’t sure if I was really sick. I still managed to have an amazing time, but I couldn’t do the parks justice on Saturday and Sunday. I am hoping that we return someday so I can see everything I really wanted to. However, my children had such fantastic experiences. They got to go on tons of rides and really have a wonderful time. They got to really explore the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, but they would have liked more time at the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.
We had my oldest child, B, sleep at my in-law’s Queens apartment the night before so he could meet us at the airport the next morning. He had guessed where we were going already, but I asked him to keep it quiet for my two younger children (A & S).
Here’s the video of how I revealed out trip to my kids. My daughter didn’t react the way I thought she would.
We flew down pretty painlessly to Orlando to NY, but my daughter had a tantrum because she didn’t get the window seat. So my easiest kid turned into a pouting diva. Was not expecting that, but things rarely go the way we think they will. Surprisingly, my youngest (and most difficult child) was pretty happy. Thank you Delta for free movies on our flight! After we landed, we got our large suitcase and headed to catch the Magical Express.
Did you know that if you are staying on property, you can take the Magical Express Bus to your hotel for free? You must make a reservation before (and they’ll mail you luggage tags and a confirmation sheet with a bar code).
Note: Leave yourself a good hour or so to travel from the airport to your hotel, you may have to wait for the Magical Express.
We had to wait around 10-15 minutes for the bus to come and it took us around 40-45 minutes to get to the Yacht Club (we were the 3rd stop). If you need to get there quicker, ordering a car service or taxi may work better (but it may cost you up to $60). They show cartoons on the bus and it’s pretty comfy, and the price was right (free), so the Magical Express was great for my big family.
The Disney Magic
Disney World is truly magical. Every single cast member we encountered was so sweet and helpful. There were little special touches everywhere that just blew me away. Growing up, we always stayed at budget motels, so to be able to stay at the Disney Yacht Club with my family was amazing. Here’s our room tour.
I loved the nautical decor and even how the housekeeping staff set up our Mickey Plushes on the bed to welcome my kids after a long day in the parks. The lobby is warm and inviting, with a large globe that you can spin and plenty of places to sit. There’s even a TV that shows Mickey Cartoons with kid-sized chairs. This was a big draw for my kids. The front desk was helpful too. My 5 1/2 year old wet the bed the second to last night we were there. I was able to clean him and the bed up and then put him in my bed to sleep. But I was worried that it would happen again. My husband spoke to the front desk and they sent up a shower curtain in a sealed package to line his bed with and sheets to put over it. Genius! I aired out the shower curtain for a while and then made his bed up. Luckily he didn’t wet it again, but it was protected. Note to self: Bring a Huggies Goodnights Disposable bed pad next time.
The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration:
After we dropped our stuff in our room, I sent my husband, kids, and in-laws off to the parks. They went straight to Hollywood Studios on the boat.
I headed over to the Yacht Club Convention Center, which was right next to where were were staying.
I’ll totally admit that I felt magical as I walked the halls.
While I wasn’t feeling up to the Mickey Meet and Greet (I would have felt really bad making Mickey sick), I checked out the fab American Tourister Luggage on display. I love the Minnie Suitcase that American Tourister sent — check out my IG pic.
A photo posted by Nancy Johnson Horn (@themamamaven) on
That night we headed over to the Animal Kingdom for our dinner event.
We had a delicious dinner served buffet style. Luckily my youngest behaved as we waited our turn to get food. Then we headed over to Asia for dessert.
We had a stroller coming early Friday Morning, so my husband carried him to Asia and then ended up carrying him when he fell asleep on our way out.
Dessert was looser– tables of mini tarts, cotton candy, cream puffs, Mickey Ice Cream Bars (did you know they are dairy kosher), and fruit bars. The most exciting part was that we were able to ride Expedition Everest as many times as we wanted. I rode it twice and it was AMAZING.
We took the bus back to our resort and put everyone to bed. Thanks for reading our day 1. Days 2-4 coming soon! We Dreamed Big at Disney World #DisneySMMC
Take a look at my Disney SMMC Recap Video
Read our 2nd day recap by clicking on the picture below or here.
I was invited to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and paid my conference ticket, and additional tickets for my family members, plus flights and travel to and from the airport.