Last week, social media was going wild with the #DisneySMMC. We were among the 170 bloggers invited to this event, so I thought I would share with you what it was all about! What is #DisneySMMC exactly? SMMC stands for Social Media Moms Celebration. Many influencer conferences take place throughout the year, but this one is unique — a true celebration. Hosted by Disney, they fill the days with magic, fun, education and most importantly an incredible family experience.
What is #DisneySMMC?
DisneySMMC is 7 days in length: 4 days at Walt Disney World experiencing the parks and 3 magical days on the Disney Dream Cruise. Don’t miss future posts coming with details on these experiences!
We arrived in Orlando where the event was held and headed to the Coronado Spring Resort, which is on the Disney property. We appreciated one of the many benefits of staying on the property: the bus access to the parks. Just outside of our room, we could walk to the bus stop that picked us up daily to drive us to the park of our choice. In addition to the short drive to the park, the pools and kid friendly activities were second to none. The kids were entertained and everyone had fun!
Exciting news at Disney
We had lots of time for us to roam the parks and take in everything Walt Disney World offers. We also participated in an inspirational speaker series that took place over the course of the trip.
This year’s conference was filled with incredible speakers. Our first day was filled with exciting news from Bob Chapek, Chairmen Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He shared with us that Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort will debut “UP! A Great Bird Adventure,” a brand-new show featuring Russell and Dug from the Disney•Pixar animated comedy adventure film “UP.” This show will be debuting on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2018 and is sure to be a hit!
We also learned about the one of a kind and incredibly exciting Star Wars Resort coming to Walt Disney Resort. This resort will be a truly remarkable experience where Star Wars lovers will get a true Star Wars experience. Every window will have a view of space as your stay will be on a starship alive! But it doesn’t end there. In December 2019, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be opening in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California in 2019.
The Big Screen in 2018
There are some INCREDIBLE movies hitting the theatres in the next few months and we were lucky enough to see extended previews of them. Some of the movies that we can’t wait to see include A Wrinkle in Time, Christopher Robin, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mary Poppins Returns! Watch the trailer for Christopher Robin and then mark your calendars for August 3rd when it comes out!
Giveaways, giveaways and more giveaways!
As if this celebration was not incredible enough, our hosts, Leanne O’Regan and Mark Daniel, gave away many items during the course of the conference! There were Disney Dooney & Burke bags to be given away, tons of gift packs including items from Pandora and Star Wars. However, the most incredible prize by far was a night in Cinderella’s castle in Magic Kingdom. One attendee was chosen to pack up her belongings and stay for the night in the castle. She shared that the floors were made of gold and that the last person to sign the visitor’s book was John Stamos! This exclusive giveaway was one that we were all drooling over!
Exclusive experiences at #DisneySMMC
On our 2nd day at #DisneySMMC, we woke up before the sun came up. We headed over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for a private family breakfast at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora: The World of Avatar. After breakfast, we had the opportunity to experience the Na’vi River Journey as well as Avatar Flight of Passage. Both rides were incredible sensory experiences. I think the Avatar Flight of Passage was one of the most freeing experiences of my life. Riding on the back of a mountain Banshi is a rite of passage for the Na’vi. We experienced what it feels like to ride on a Banshi through Pandora as the Na’vi do.
Every detail was planned at #DisneySMMC
Disney organizes every meal so the kids can participate and truly enjoy the experience. Each day at breakfast, Disney characters would join us for autographs and pictures. Our kids were beyond thrilled by the opportunity to get up close and personal with each and everyone of them. The first evening, dinner was sponsored by Babybel, a brand we love. Another evening, dinner was at PizzeRizzo at Disney’s Hollywood Studio provided by GoGo SqueeZ. My kids are obsessed with GoGo SqueeZ, so the baskets on the table were well received! During one of our sessions, we listened to the importance of planning less and adventuring more. We heard a personal story from Caleb McLaughlin about how his parents allowed him to adventure, more which ultimately led him to his carer in acting.
GoGo Squeez strives for healthier families
GoGo Squeez has partnered with Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit organization that brings nutrition and physical activity programs to more than 29,000 schools and million of students and parents to teach healthy eating habits. This is one of the ways that GoGo SqueeZ is furthering its mission to make families happier and healthier! You can participate by checking out their free online guide to do the Game On activities of the month!
Other amazing sponsors included Alamo. We drove to Orlando from Miami in an Alamo rental, which was wonderful! The kids had the best time. The car was spacious, and we were given brand new car seats at the rental location. I always check the expiry date on car seats when we rent them, and these did more than check out!
The conference was also sponsored by Babybel (delicious snacks for the whole family), Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company (what’s a day without coffee?), Huggies (because everyone needs wipes in the parks), American Tourister (to make sure we had enough space to pack all the costumes), Fresh Express (to keep us eating healthy) and H2O+ Beauty (to keep us looking our best!).
Part 2: Disney Dream Cruise
After 3 days in the parks, we boarded the bus to drive to Port Canaveral to board the Disney Dream for another 3 nights. What an incredible experience. This part of our trip deserves a post of its own, but in the meantime — the ship was incredible! We stopped in Nassau as well as Disney’s private port, Castaway Cay. We basically want to move to Castaway Cay and you will, too! In addition to the ports, we toured the ship and all of the amenities. Our 5 year old couldn’t get enough of the Oceaneer’s Lab, which is available for kids between the ages of 3 and 12.
While on the ship, we continued with our learning and heard from Tom Warburton who gave us a glimpse into the of “Muppet Babies”! If you were watching kids TV in the 80’s, then you favorites Kermit the Frog, Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and Miss Nanny are making a comeback. Psst! There just might be one more cute animal joining the pack. Join Disney Junior as they start to explore the playroom chronicles of this cute gang on Friday, March 23rd. We got a sneak peek, and all I can say is that it is amazing and you and your gang will enjoy watching it together!
Alex Ruiz, Digital Content Development, and Tom Smith, Editorial Content Director, shared trends and examples of how we can make a statement. We ended our session with Ashley Eckstein, voice of Ashoka Tano and Founder of Her Universe. I can’t wait to share more about her story as well as a review of her new book.
A dream come true
All in all, #DisneySMMC was an incredible experience. We loved the opportunity to learn from experts, meet incredible influencers, network with wonderful brands and make lasting memories with our families at the happiest place on earth! Our family had some much needed time to regroup. We spent some quality time together and escaped the stresses of life at home. Plus, we just had some good old fun together! We all need that every once in a while and we can’t thank Disney enough for this opportunity.