Disney Social Media Moms On the Road - Bellevue, WA #DisneySMMoms

Every year I watch my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds burn up in envy as my favourite bloggers gallivant around the Walt Disney World Resort during the event of the year, otherwise known as the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  This event/conference is by invite only and the lucky few that score that coveted invite are pretty much among Disney royalty.

This year Disney took note of how big their Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was becoming and they realized that more bloggers wanted to participate than they could actually accommodate, so what did they decide to do?  Take it on the road, of course!
I received a heads-up about Disney On The Road from a fellow blogger and mompreneur, and quickly jumped at the chance to apply for a spot.  They were coming to Bellevue, WA, which is approximately a 2 to 2 1/2 hour drive from Vancouver, BC.  My fingers were crossed tightly during the next couple weeks.  Every day I would check my inbox to see if that "Congratulations, you've been accepted to attend..." email had come.  And it finally did!  Oh my gosh, I'm actually going to Disney...in Bellevue!

Wait.  What was the date of the conference?  The 27th?  June 27th?  "NOOOOO!", I shouted to myself.  It was Lil J's last day of preschool and there was going to be a huge celebration and I would be such a crappy mom if I didn't go.  So I told my hubby and asked him how.  How do I choose between Lil J, preschool and Disney??!  It should have been a no-brainer.  I should have picked Lil J and preschool.  But that voice inside me kept saying Disney Disney Disney.  Disney Social Media Moms.  Must.Get.Invite.

And so, with my husband's blessing, and a guilty conscience, I was off to Disney On The Road on June 27th. Girls night, road trip!  I was practically screaming it at the top of my lungs.  Bad mommy.

Since the conference started bright and early at 7:30am, we {as in I and Connie, from Modern Mama}, decided to venture to Bellevue the day before and stay the night - kid-free.  Well, semi kid-free as Miss S came with us for the ride down so she could visit her aunt and uncle in Bellevue for a few days.  On the way, we stopped off at Bellis Fair where I treated myself to Victoria's Secret {after I realized that I was still wearing my ratty, old nursing bra and Baby Z was nowhere in sight} and then Nordstrom Rack in Bellevue.  After we dropped Miss S off, it was off to The Keg for a glass of wine and some girl talk, and then back to the hotel for some more wine and more girl talk.  As much as I thought I would miss the kids {and I did}, this night away felt like the best thing I had done in a long time.

The next morning was the conference and it sure didn't disappoint.  Besides the late start time, I had such a fun time meeting bloggers and online friends that I had been tweeting for years but haven't yet had a chance to meet in person, until now.  The energy in the room was immediately contagious.  I could easily see that Disney brought out the childhood excitement out of each one of us and I still find it amazing how Disney has such a magical impact on people of all ages.

My awesome table & fellow Vancouver mom bloggers
We were treated to a continental breakfast and introductions from Disneyland Resort's Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, and Erin Glover, Manager, Social Media and Print, followed by a video of the Disneyland Resort and its newest attractions, including Cars Land and Fantasy Faire.

Next up was an inspiring and candid speech from the conference's keynote speaker, Mindee Doney, co-creater of Boogie Wipes and CEO of Juicebox Idea Consulting.  She was extremely truthful with her journey in creating Boogie Wipes and the ups & downs of being a successful entrepreneur.  It was refreshing to hear that behind every success story are failures, trials and tribulations - you just have to be willing to pick yourself up, carry on and pursue your dream.  Mindee couldn't have said it better:  you have to embrace who you are and accept responsibility.

Mindee Doney
After a quick break to meet and catch up with other bloggers and attendees, we had a panel of speakers talk about their experiences with starting up their businesses, social media and the impact it had on their companies.  The speakers included Suzanne Hansen of Plan To Sleep Baby Sleep Coaching, Christi Sandvik of local Bellevue boutique Kris & Kate, Kathy Nelson of GFree and Happy and Sari Crevin, CEO of BooginHead.  Out of the panel of four speakers, the one thing that stuck with me was when Sari Crevin admitted that she takes time for "me" time {or "Sari" time, as she likes to call it}.  Hearing her say this made me feel less guilty for always feeling like I need "me" time in order to stay sane.  It made me feel normal.
Art {from Monsters University} and I hanging out with Connie Peters
from Modern Mama
Catching up with Bianca from Bits of Bee
Finally met Lauren from Raincity Baby!  Love her IG feed!
To sum up #DisneyOnTheRoad, I would have to say it was an amazing and very inspiring experience, and I'll have my fingers crossed that one day I'll be on the list of the elite few to be invited to the annual Disney Social Media Moms Conference.  Luckily, it'll be held in Disneyland next year - much closer to us West Coast bloggers {*hint, hint*}!!

Did you attend #DisneyOnTheRoad in one of the four participating cities {Washington, New York, Maryland or California} this year?  If so, share your favourite moment in the comments!

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