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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disney Mom's Panel

I applied to be a part of the Disney Mom’s Panel yesterday. For the last couple of years, Disney has selected about 36 “moms” to be a part of an on-line forum to assist with Disney vacation planning questions. The panel consists of moms, dads, grandmas, aunts, etc., just the name implies that it is all moms. The tour of duty is for two years—agreeing to answer a certain number of questions each week during that two year period.

The first year, I attempted to apply, but the application process had closed within a handful of days due to already receiving 20,000 applications. The second year, I applied again, and while I wasn’t even a finalist, I did automatically get enrolled in the Mickey’s Mom Club and received informational e-mails and a box of free Disney goodies. I have even received limited edition renderings of Disney’s newest ship, the Dream, and the last little surprise package I received had a magnet for my car indicating that I was a member of the Mickey’s Mom Club.

So, this year’s application was my third time applying to be a part of the Disney Mom’s Panel. First step, find the on-line application. Easy. There was a link to the application from the Disney Parks Blog.

Second, log in using your e-mail and Disney password. Harder. While I did already have an account, the log in wouldn’t register my e-mail or password. Even after Disney e-mailed me a new password, an error message kept popping up on the screen. I eventually prevailed! Maybe it was a test of ones technological perseverance.

Third, answer/respond to 3 on-line questions. The first question had three parts. Easy. When was my last Walt Disney World vacation with my family? Am I employed by a competitor or in conflict with Disney? And, true or false, (I’m paraphrasing this) World Showcase is a compilation of pavilions from 14 countries around the 5 mile World Showcase Lagoon? OK—my last Walt Disney World vacation with my family—March of 2010—our sixth visit. I also mentioned that our 7th visit is quickly approaching. Am I employed by a competitor or in conflict? Nope! Last part—World Showcase—the answer is FALSE! While I typed my entry, I responded that this was a trick question. World Showcase is a compilation of pavilions from various countries, but there are 11 countries represented, not 14. The husband asked if I was sure. I replied—certain! I even wrote the countries down on a piece of paper to check. Upon submitting my application, I double checked at the Disney web-site. Yep, 11. Also, the distance around World Showcase Lagoon is about 1 mile, not 5. How do I know this? During our visit in March of 2009, we arrived late on a Saturday afternoon. We had dinner at Chef Mickey’s then took the monorail to EPCOT. The boy wanted to go to Germany to see the trains. We visited with a cast member and were told that it was about ¼ of a mile to Germany and another ¼ back. Germany is approximately ¼ of the way around World Showcase Lagoon. Yep, about 1 mile.

Fourth—tell about how you help non-family members plan Disney vacations. Easy. I inserted a portion about the Williams Family Blog. I told about one blog reader who was planning their first vacation in June, but had booked their second trip and their first Disney Cruise before even going on their first trip to Walt Disney World.

Fifth—tell about what tools and resources I use in planning a Disney vacation. Easy. Again, I mentioned the Williams Family Blog, our experiences with 6 Walt Disney World vacations under our belt, 3 Disney Cruises, and an Adventures By Disney tour. In addition to our experiences, using various web-sites and planning guides to plan our vacations. That was the last portion of the application, so upon completion I hit the “submit” button. I received an e-mail confirming that my application had been received.

Sixth—waiting. Hard. The deadline for applications is Sept. 29 or when they receive 20,000 applications, whichever comes first. In the meantime, I grabbed my latest edition of Passporter—Field Guide to Walt Disney World, and did a little Disney dreaming before heading off to sleep. I’ll keep you “posted.”

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