Magical…..Memorable…..what else would you expect from Disney?
But, the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration far exceeded my expectations.
Along with 5 Minutes for Mom, Resourceful Mommy Media, Mom Bloggers Club and Mom Select, Walt Disney World made my first blogger conference experience unbelievable and unforgettable (I have to say I’m a bit spoiled now)!
I didn’t really know what to expect, except that I would be in an ideal location, learning more about social media, meeting incredible bloggers, WITH my family. Yes, what made this a most unusual yet awesome blogger conference is that families were invited to attend most events. So, I packed up my family with 2 1/2 year old in tow, and headed to Orlando for some fun. What I didn’t expect was that it would be FREEZING in Orlando…..I mean doesn’t everybody flock to Florida during the winter? I also didn’t expect that it would snow 12 inches at home in Texas while we were gone.
We arrived in Orlando via Southwest Airlines and headed to Walt Disney World in Disney’s Magical Express, the complimentary airport transportation provided for those guests staying on property at WDW. With Walt Disney World a bit far from the Orlando International Airport, Magical Express saves guests from having to rent cars, pay for parking at theme parks, and/or take expensive taxi rides…….a huge advantage to staying on Disney property (and should be taken into consideration when comparing hotel costs). Another perk w/Magical Express is that they grab your bags directly off your flight and deliver them to your hotel room. Let the spoiling begin.
We would be staying at Disney’s Polynesian Resort located across the Seven Seas Lagoon directly opposite the Magic Kingdom. While never having stayed at this particular resort (we’ve enjoyed Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Beach Club Resort), my family was very familiar with the Polynesian. It’s the home of “Tonga Toast” at Kona Cafe, a must-have anytime we visit WDW.
We were greeted with a traditional lei and many “Aloha’s” by Disney Cast Members, and although our daughter was sooo tired from the trip (look at those sleepy eyes), she was excited as we made our way to the Tokelau Building, which had views of Cinderella’s castle….breathtaking.
From what I understand, the rooms at the Polynesian have been remodeled during the last few years, and as with all Disney resorts, there is great attention to detail. Yes, that’s a flat screen television (Disney cartoons put us to sleep each night), the closets are very Tahitian (with amazing lighting), and the toiletries are pampering. (I’ve always enjoyed Disney’s use of H20+ spa products….and I noticed that the ones at the Poly were different than at the GF).
After admiring our room for awhile, we hopped on the monorail (located just outside the Poly lobby doors upstairs), and had our fingers crossed that we would be able to dine at Chef Mickey’s Character Dinner, located just inside the Contemporary Resort. We hadn’t been able to get an ADR (advance dining reservation), but we took a chance we might be able to walk up…….and we got a seat!
If I learned one thing on this trip, it’s that 2 year old’s need to do things twice before it’s “okay”. So much different than taking her when she was 16 months old. Meeting Mickey….only okay the 2nd time. Riding Toy Story Mania….only okay the 2nd time. Who knew? So we were a bit disappointed when our daughter didn’t want to have anything to do with the characters she sooo LOVED. It was okay…..I didn’t know then, but there would be plenty of special time with characters throughout the week. Yet, another example of the pixie dust that would be sprinkled on us. So, while I have plenty of character photos from that dinner, none are worthy of sharing (to put it mildly).
We hopped back on the monorail and headed to the Poly for a bit of “browsing” in the gift shops. If it’s one thing I love to do at Disney, it’s “browse”. The gift shops had the most amazing photo ops.
We put on our mittens and braved the cold air, headed to the beach just outside our building. We found a swing hanging from the trees and sat down for one highlight of the evening………The Electrical Water Pageant. Staying at the Poly, we had a front row seat. A parade of underwater characters makes it’s way around the lagoon with music and fun as it strolls by the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary resorts. This nightly event (around 8pm) is absolutely free and a wonderful way to begin a magical trip at Disney. See the sea serpent?
Of course, by the end of the evening we were exhausted. But we couldn’t miss Wishes – the fireworks show over Cinderella’s castle. Just outside our room at the Poly was a balcony overlooking the lagoon, the Magic Kingdom, and yes, Cinderella’s castle. It was a perfect ending to our first day at Walt Disney World.
And this was just our arrival day! I haven’t even begun to tell you about the Blogging Conference, my first Disney Press Conference, Ty Pennington, my “photo-op with a celebrity” and so many other amazing things while being spoiled by Disney! Stay tuned for more…..you won’t want to miss a thing…..especially when I tell you how you too can stay on top of future social media events hosted by Disney! And this girl is hoping there will be many.
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*Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms conference, for which I paid a fee, but received what many would consider a sweetheart deal along with alot of Disney magic. Disney did not require anything from me in exchange for the benefits I received. This post is written 100% by me (A Frugal Friend) and all opinions are mine. As a Disney fan all my life, I would post about all of this with or without the pixie dust that was sprinkled this past week!
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