Getting Inspired at Disney Social Media Moms “On-The-Road” Phoenix

A few weeks ago, I had posted that I had been invited to attend Disney Social Media Moms On the Road Event in Phoenix, Arizona. The conference was held this past Wednesday, June 25 and I still can’t believe the event has already come and gone. I had so much fun meeting new Disney friends, listening to amazing speakers which included those on Disney staff and mompreneurs. This was my very first social media conference and I’m more than happy to say that my first was a Disney one. I can’t wait to attend more. The week prior, I worked on some Chocolate Treats and Disney Washi Tape Clothespins to give out with my new business cards (Thanks BriGeeski!) and I even found some time to make my own Minnie ears!

I had initially planned on flying out to Phoenix on my own but my awesome husband mentioned he didn’t mind driving so we packed up our kids and hit the road from San Diego at 6AM to Phoenix. This was our first long drive with all 3 kids and thankfully they did really well! It was a good thing to leave so early since they pretty much slept most of the time. We arrived at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess around 2PM to 108 Degree weather but the resort was beautiful and the AC was blazing so I didn’t mind so much! I had a chance to network with some of the moms that night and then it was off to our rooms to get a good night’s rest for the conference.

The morning started at 7:30AM as we checked in to get our badges. The doors opened and that’s when the fun started! For a little more than half an hour, we had the chance of dressing up to “Rock Our Disney Side,” network with other moms and of course, snap as many photos as possible to share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, *insert your favorite Social Media here.* We were then greeted by Disneyland’s Public Relations Director, Michele Himmelberg, who was also the emcee for the morning. She talked to us about all the big plans Disneyland has in store for their 60th Anniversary next year. Be sure to follow #Disneyland60 for updates.

Next we did some pin trading! I never got into pin trading as much but this Vinylmation trader is always up for a good trade. I started with a Steamboat Willie Anniversary pin and to be honest I was in search of a Frozen pin (I saw a few moms with some at the Chicago and Philly conference), but I am more than happy with what I ended up with: an It’s a Small World 50th Anniversary pin! That ride is definitely one of our family’s favorites so I was glad to keep it.

Our next speaker was Erin Glover, Disneyland’s Social Media Director. I really appreciated all her tips about organizing and scheduling all your social media posts and her thoughts about utilizing YouTube. I for one love watching videos and always want to do more. My goal this coming year is to get my YouTube Channel up and running for my blog and add more videos for The Stronghold. I really enjoyed the videos she shared which included Standing in Line 101: Everything You Need to Know For The Rock Your Disney Side 24 (she’s in this one!) and Disneyland’s feature with Grumpy Cat, shown below.

Tracey Clark of Disney Sisters was next and talked to us about “Capturing Magical Memories” using Mobile Photography. I thought this was a real treat because I am not a great photographer and can use all the tips I can get. It was amazing to see all the tips to take great photos with just an iPhone. Funny enough, I met Tracey in the elevator when we first arrived at the Fairmont and she was so warm and welcoming. I look forward to taking some of her photography classes in the future.

HP’s Senior Director of Print Services, Lori Lorenz spoke to us about some of their new features of their Direct Print products. I was really intrigued at some of the features of their new printers, such as easy functionality so even your kids can print coloring pages and activities, and printer sensors that will automatically detect that you’re low on ink. The printer will then transmit the data and HP will mail you ink so you’re never without. HP gave us all a pack of Photo Paper and printed a Photo Card of photos we sent in. That was such a nice surprise!

We also had the pleasure of hearing from the Mom Inventors of Snuggwugg (Lisa Cash Hanson), Tilty Cup (Allyson Philips) and Romy Taormina (Psi Bands). They were all winners of Huggies MomInsprired Business Grants. There are so many times where my husband and I would say, “Why didn’t we think of that?” I am now only discovering baby products on the market that I wish I had when my kids were newborns (and should have invented back then!). Maybe one of these days I’ll finally think of something.

Nadine Bubeck was our keynote speaker and I really enjoyed her story about her journey through college and becoming a news reporter. I also appreciated a few of the key points she ended with such as never burning your bridges and having a tough skin. She reminded us about how Walt Disney faced rejection several times on his journey and that never stopped him. I’m sure a lot of people are regretting those decisions of turning Walt down, don’t you think? Walt didn’t let naysayers keep him down, and many are enjoying the legacy he left behind. Nadine’s speech was inspiring and in the end, made me think that one day I might write a book. Maybe in 5 years.

After Nadine came a special surprise: I got to meet Grumpy Cat! I am ashamed to say I didn’t know who Grumpy Cat was before the conference. I think I need to spend more time on YouTube and Twitter. From the feedback I got from my photo, I could tell she is a very well-loved kitty. I don’t think she was impressed with my idea of singing Happy by Pharell though.

And SWAG! Don’t we love “Stuff We All Get?” I was so excited for all of my Disney Swag. I am in love with my Snow White “I Have 7 Followers” print. She happens to be my favorite Disney princess and I can’t wait to hang it up in my office.

I had such an amazing experience at this Disney Social Media Moms event and have heard that this is just a small taste of their main events at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I learned so many things that I will be looking forward to applying to my businesses and blog. Thank you Disney, Maria Bailey from MomTalk, I was honored to be invited and hope that I will get to attend future events. If you’re interested in doing the same, be sure to keep an eye on their website: DisneySMMoms.

Posted in About Me, Disney, Family Fun, Photography, Travel
12 comments on “Getting Inspired at Disney Social Media Moms “On-The-Road” Phoenix
  1. Patty says:

    Awwww. you got a Grumpy Cat eye open pic! I’m jealous. I bored her so much she slept through meeting me. 😉 Great to meet you and hope to see you again soon Raquel!

  2. Happy you had such a wonderful experience. I haven’t attended a Disney event yet and hope to do so next year. Any tips on being invited? Your re-cap was excellent and fun. My daughter is a big Vinylmation and pin trader, too. We are going to Disney World later this year and she is already planning her trading experience. Happy to follow your social media now, too.

    • StrongholdMom says:

      Thank you! It’s funny you ask, because I don’t know myself! There’s quite a bit of talk about how no one knows the secret recipe of being picked. Just be sure to apply and hope and pray you’re invited! :] You can also try to join this group: Disney Social Media Moms: Alumni & Hopefuls. So nice to meet a fellow trader, and I LOVE Disney World. Disneyland is home but I love going back to WDW!

  3. Cynthia says:

    How awesome that your FIRST conference was a Disney one! I’m so glad that I got to witness the first! I loved your Minnie ears and business card/gift idea! Very nice!

    • StrongholdMom says:

      Thanks, Mama! Yes, the result of having a bit too much craft time. lol! Thanks again for giving me the heads up and being there with me.

  4. This was my favorite conference I went to last year and I was so bummed to miss it this year! It looks like it was even more awesome and magical =)

  5. Awesome post! Brings back some fun memories 🙂

  6. Jessica says:

    So great to meet you last week! Just wish I wasn’t about to fall asleep the night before the conference and was able to chat more at the Plaza Bar. Haha!!

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About StrongholdMom

Raquel Cusi is a wife, mother of 4, and owns The Stronghold CrossFit & Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with her husband, Mike, and brother Ray. She loves to blog about Marriage, Parenting, Health, Fitness, Christian living and her love for Disney. She's also an aspiring crunchy mom who loves organic and natural products, breastfeeding and babywearing.