Category Archives: Disney Parks

Top 5 Reasons Why I runDisney

1958061_10152399341898054_1217425668_nI’ve always been someone who loves fitness and exercise…with the exception of running.  Give me a hardcore spin class, an elliptical machine, or a grueling cross training class any day.  Running is for OTHER people.  The non-top heavy who don’t run the risk of getting a black eye on the straightway (I’ll let you ponder that image for a moment…go ahead, I’ll wait).

But then one day, I saw the bait and bit.  I blame a lot of people, but mostly Amy.  Amy is the woman I walked 26.2 miles through the moonlight streets of Manhattan, dressed in a bra.  During our 10 hour walk of shame bonding session, we talked about a lot of things, including her runDisney experiences.  It was then that I decided if I could finish the crazy walk, I could do a runDisney race.  After all, there were shiny medals to be won!

Amy and I before the 10K
Amy and I before the 10K

Since this was my first race, well, ever, I wanted to take it slowly.  I signed up to do the Enchanted 10K that was being held during the Princess Half Marathon Weekend.  Amy was going to do the Glass Slipper Challenge, which involved running the Enchanted 10K on a Saturday, and a 1/2 marathon that very next day.  I knew I wasn’t up to that, but running essentially 6 miles was.

The trip was originally going to be just me, but somehow the kids and my mom got added into the trip.  Sarah didn’t want to run herself, but I signed Jordan up for one of the kids races.  We ended up having a weekend we would never forget, and vowed to sign up for this year’s weekend.  Why was it so amazing?  Without much effort, here are five reasons.

1. runDisney races are magical affairs with liberal pixie dust all around.  I will always remember when “Let It Go” came up on my iPod shuffle at the beginning of the race.  I ran with a little bit more spring in my step, until I thought I heard the same song at a different point somewhere else.  I pulled out my ear buds to find out, yes, it was playing off speakers.  Speakers that were attached to a gigantic truck on the overpass, where Elsa was waving to all the runners, and sprinkling snow all over the course.  I turned to a runner next to me and she looked as struck by it as I was.  That was but one of the amazing moments I experienced during the race.

I found my name on the 10K board at the Race Expo.  I was officially a runner!
I found my name on the 10K board at the Race Expo. I was officially a runner!

2. People dress in costumes – I decided to create a very simple tribute to my favorite rodent, Minnie Mouse.  But during a runDisney race, people come to play. There were heroes and villains.  Thousands of princesses.  A few Olafs.  And this costume, which I think was probably my favorite.

One little spark!
One little spark!

My friend Ashley has worn some amazing outfits.  While I loved what she’s done, I wasn’t sure about running in costume, much less running period, so I kept it simple.  For next time, I’m stepping it up and have a grand plan I can’t wait to share it with you!

3. runDisney is about inclusion – Jordan isn’t much of an athlete.  He has hypotonia, which means he can’t run for long periods of time.  So why did I sign him up for a race?  I had a lot of questions very similar to that as we waited at the finish line.

Boy is ready to run!

 

Parents are allowed to run with the kids, so I went out there with him.  When the starter pistol fired, he ran a little but very quickly announced he was tired.  I tried to encourage him to RUN RUN RUN, which he did.  And didn’t.  He was moving rapidly towards the back of the pack.  At the end when we could see the finish line, we saw Goofy waiting.  When Goofy spied Jordan as the last runner, he ran out and got him and cheered him (silently) across the finish line.  Jordan was disappointed that he finished last, but was thrilled that Goofy supported him.  Of course, when he got his medal, that was all he could talk about.

It seemed to take a really long time for Jordan’s race to start.  The time came and went, with no announcements other than “soon”.  I texted Sarah who was waiting at the finish line to see if she knew anything.  Then, coming from the finish line, I heard a huge cheer.  Sarah texted back right after to say the race was now over because the last competitor finished while pushing her wheelchair across the finish line.  Sarah said it was one of the most amazing things she had ever seen, and had mad respect for the girl who had pretty much won the hearts of everyone that day.  Mad props to Sarah Kate who rightly was the most amazing kid in the world that day.

4. runDisney is about supporting others – when I was done running the back loop of the 10K going around the lake at the back of Epcot, the final runner was coming out of Epcot to begin that same loop.  When I tell you that every single runner with me moved to the side to high five that runner and cheer her on, know that I am not exaggerating.

When I was finally done with the race, I could not walk.  No, really, I couldn’t walk.  My feet were killing me, and I was as sore as you can be.  I started shuffling off to the front of Epcot to meet my family.  I started to notice that someone was walking behind me and talking to me.  It was a woman named Trish, and she was telling me about all the races she’s run.  When I told her it was my first race EVAH, she insisted on buying me a latte to celebrate.  Just a wonderful act of kindness from a fellow runner.  Made me feel like I had entered some sort of special club.

5. THE SHINY MEDALS – when I tell you that I wore my medal around the whole day, I am not kidding.

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Minnie was most impressed by my outfit.

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So was the prince.  This year, I’m doing the Glass Slipper Challenge and when I finish, I will be wearing all three medals around my neck everywhere.  Let TSA try and pry them off me on the return trip home.  Ain’t gonna happen.

Have you run a runDisney race?  How was it?  And if you haven’t, tell me what race would you want to run?

Showing Our Disney Side

Right now, Disney Parks is running a great campaign that is totally up the alley of the Pixie Dust Girls. It’s called “Show Your Disney Side” and it’s something that a lot of people are having a great deal of fun with.

Everyone has a Disney Side- that fun-loving adventurous spirit that comes out to play when you’re feeling the Disney magic! In our house, I’m not sure we have a side other than our Disney Side!

We were selected by Mom Select and Disney Parks to host our own Disney Side party. We received a lovely kit to help make our party even more special. We printed out invitations, did some crafts from Spoonful,  had a photo booth, and made lovely snacks.

Sully Cupcakes!
Sully Cupcakes!

We also watched FROZEN, newly out on DVD.  That was pretty much the highlight of the night for me.

frozenWell, except for one other thing.  We were able to do something at our Disney Side party that made it awesome.  You see, I’ve always been jealous of all the “You’re Going To Disney” videos out there.  In our house, it wouldn’t work to do it as a surprise.  I mean, we go at least once a year, and the kids love planning as much as I do.  But this time, we had the chance to do something that meant as much to me as it did to the recipient.  A friend of Sarah’s, can you believe it, has NEVER been to Disney.  She’s always wanted to go, but for whatever reason, her family hasn’t been able to work it.  This year, we planned to go for Thanksgiving, and thought the time was right to bring a friend for Sarah.  Of course, she wanted it to be this friend.  We got to give her the surprise of her life, and boy was it awesome.  It truly brought the spirit of Disney Side home to me.  I can’t wait to for her to explore her Disney Side and for us to see the parks through her eyes.

On behalf of everyone here, we CANNOT WAIT!

We’re off to Disney Social Media Moms!

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 6.16.54 AMI am so happy to say that TODAY we are on our way to Florida to experience the wonder and magic that is Disney Social Media Moms.

Disney Social Media Moms is an invite-only professional conference for families to experience the magic of the Walt Disney World resort.  It allows moms (and a few dads) to form real world relationships with people we may only know from their blogs or Facebook.  It’s a jam-packed 4 days weekend of thrills, surprises and wonder.

I’m a repeat attendee, so I know there is some wonder ahead of me.  Still, there are so many surprises up the sleeves of the amazing team that puts this shindig on.  I have no idea what to expect.

Here are the things we simply must do this trip:

1. Down Time!  Funny I should put that first!  The conference is taking place at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and that is where we will be staying as well.  When I was a kid, I always dreamed of staying on property, and the only place I could imagine would be right for me was the hotel that the monorail went through.  The Magic Kingdom resort area is breathtakingly beautiful, and I am not ashamed to say we need to just sit around and soak it all in for a while.

2. Expand Jordan’s ride tolerance – I really really want to get him to try a “bigger kid” ride this trip.  After watching a Disney video, he’s decided that should be Splash Mountain, and he wants to ride it FIRST.  I think that *might* be a bit scary for him, so we’re going to work our way up to it.  Maybe we’ll start with Goofy’s Barnstormer first.  Actually, since we’ll be in Epcot as our first park, the revamped “Test Track” should do the trick.

3. Experience the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival – at least the eating part.  I’m not much in the garden, but you know my love for the kitchen.   I’m not sure if it’s a new edition or if it’s always been there, but they have over 15 booths around World Showcase featuring seasonal specialties and foods from many nations.  If it sounds to you like the Food and Wine festival, that’s what I’m thinking too.  I’m also thinking my tummy is a little rumbly right now just thinking about it.

4. Get Jordan a haircut at the Main Street barber shop.  I’ve been so busy prepping for this trip and with everything else going on in my life, I’ve neglected my son’s hair.  He can not only get a haircut, he can get colored gels and castle confetti in his hair, and I assure you he will talk about it for months.  Note to parents of girls – they do really cute updos there as well, with the gels and confetti, for a fraction of what Bippity Boppity costs.

5. Get Sarah social!  A lot of the families coming to the Celebration have kids around her age.  I would love to see her find a friend she connect with, much in the same way I have connected with so many amazing women at previous Celebrations.

Now, off to final packing preparations!  I look forward to reporting on the conference from Orlando.  If you want to follow the goings-on through Twitter, the official twitter account is @disneysmmoms and the hashtag is #disneysmmoms.

It’s perfectly normal to plan your next trip to Disney while you are still there…

Because, who really goes to Disney and doesn’t start thinking of when they might get back for another magical visit.  Yes, that was the underlying rhythm of my time at Disney Social Media Moms.  “It’s ok if we can’t do that because we’ll be back in November.”  “Won’t IT Boy enjoying doing that…in November!”

In December of last year, I started looking to 2012 to try and plan a vacation for the family to WDW.  I knew that Grandma and the kids were in, I just had to work on Mr. IT.  Once I got consensus from the whole crew, I started looking for a hotel.

At first, we thought staying at one of the Disney Vacation Club villas was the way to go.  A one bedroom would give us a good amount of room…and beds…for the family.  Unfortunately, since I didn’t want the kids out of school for a long time, we were going during Thanksgiving week and that means peak season rates.  The villas were just crazy expensive.  So I checked out Art of Animation, where they have family suites.  At this point, the resort wasn’t open and I knew little about it.  But it sounded nice, so I looked.  I could get a suite for a decent rate.

My last step was to check out the Swan and Dolphin.  We’ve stayed here a lot.  So much so that Soccer Girl and I are truthfully a little burnt out on them.  They are lovely properties in an ideal location, but they aren’t Disney.  They’re operated by Starwood, which means they are top notch hotels, but a little lacking in the pixie dust.  They also cater to a convention crowd, which means their peak times aren’t necessarily in sync with Disney properties, and sometimes you can use it to your advantage.  I was able to do just that, securing two rooms for about what the Art of Animation suite would run.

However, once Soccer Girl saw the Art of Animation resort, she was determined to stay there.  And I really couldn’t blame her.  It’s new, it’s stunning, and it’s dripping in pixie dust.  But I kept thinking about how our ROOMS at the Dolphin offered 4 beds for 5 people – nice heavenly beds too.

Leave it to K, who has the office next to me at work, to come up with a solution.  She patiently listened to my dilema and suggested we stay one or two nights at the Art of Animation to give us a feel for the place, and then transfer to the Dolphin.  I initiatlly resisted, because I just hate packing and unpacking.  But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  One day would be enough to allow IT Boy the time to climb on every car in the Cars area, and allow Soccer Girl to soak up all that the Nemo pool has to offer.  It would also provide us with the Magic Express service to Disney, which you don’t get at the Swan and Dolphin hotels.

In the end, I think we’ll be really happy with that compromise.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – Cars!

In my previous posts, I showed you a bit of the inside and outside of the Finding Nemo areas of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  Soccer Girl and I were completely falling in love with this place.  She desperately wanted to change our November vacation plans to stay at this resort.  I, tho a fan as well, felt the resort might be a bit better for a family that wasn’t 5 people including a grandmother.

She dragged me over to the Cars area to help make up my mind in her favor.  While not open and a little dark, the area could be viewed through some barriers.  You could see that this was something special.

This was the path away from Animation Hall and the Nemo area leading to Cars.

The pool wasn’t visible, but just hearing it called “Cozy Cone” made me smile.

Good thing IT Boy wasn’t there or he would have been climbing all over Doc Hudson.

Even though it was dark and hard to photograph, it was plain to see that you were in a completely different world from Nemo.  You felt like you were walking right into the set of Cars.  As if there were a set.  Which, as a digitally animated movie, there wasn’t.  But you knew that, right?

So, what to do, what to do?  Soccer Girl was making her case, and continuing to make her case all the way home to NY.  It wasn’t until I put on my Winnie the Pooh think think think hat that I came up with what I think is a brilliant solution.  Oh yeah, and I also got the idea from my neighbor at work.  Giving credit where credit is due.  More about that in my next post.

Where do you like to stay at WDW?  What are your priorities when it comes to accommodations? Location?  Transportation?  Themes?  Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for a fee hotel accommodations, park tickets, many meals and access to special events not made available to the public.  Disney did not ask me or anyone to blog about this event, but being a fan of the company I can’t help myself. This post originally ran on ConfessionsofanITGirl.com.  

 

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort – The Suites

In a previous post, I started my sneak-peak at the new Art of Animation Resort at Walt Disney World.  Art of Animation is a new value resort featuring family suites and standard rooms that put you in the world of some of your favorite Disney animated films.

The closing night party of Disney Social Media Moms was held at the resort.  As you can see, we had a great time.

But as great as the resort was from the outside, we couldn’t wait to see what the rooms look like.  I haven’t stayed in the value resort properties, so I had never experienced what Disney considered a “family suite.”

This is what you see when you first walk into the room.  It’s in the small entry area of the suite.  You think, oh, it’s a a table and chairs.  But it’s more than that, as you will soon see.

Off to the right, at least in the room I looked at, was the living area.  You can see some drawers for storage, a TV and all the way on the left is a rack for hanging clothes.  These rooms certainly make the most out of the space.

This is the other side of the living room area.  Anyone who has seen Nemo even half as much as I have will get a kick out of all the cute touches like the hanging school of fish.

To the right of the couch is this “kitchenette”.  It’s a microwave, sink and a fridge.  You’re not doing any real cooking here, but it’s great for snacks and light meals.

Here’s the bedroom and the queen sized bed.  Notice the special Mickey towel sculpture.

The rooms also have TVs and dressers – behind the door is another clothing rack for storage.

Remember the dining room table earlier in the post?  Voila – it folds down to be a second bed in the room.

I had to try it out.  It was pretty comfy all things considered.

The couch in the living area also folds out to be a bed.  Overall, the suites can sleep 5 – two in the queen bed in the bedroom, 2 in the pull down bed, and 1 on the couch.

The suites have two full bathrooms, which is a big selling point for me.

Themeing, as you can expect, is really everywhere.

We were all wowed by the attention to detail in these rooms.  You really felt like you were living in Nemo’s world.

I still had some reservations about us changing our vacation plans to stay here, as Soccer Girl was begging and pleading me to do.  I think the rooms are perfect for a family who might otherwise consider getting 2 rooms to fit everyone and all their stuff.  If it was just our family going, this would be perfect.  But Grandma was coming on this trip, and the sleeping arrangements would be complicated to say the least.

To persuade me further, Soccer Girl walked me into the still under-construction Cars area.  Cars is one of IT Boy’s favorite movies, and she knew that if she were going to plead her case, the Boy was the way to my heart.  Stay tuned…

Where do you like to stay at WDW?  What are your priorities when it comes to accommodations? Location?  Transportation?  Themes?  Let me know in the comments below.

Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for a fee hotel accommodations, park tickets, many meals and access to special events not made available to the public.  Disney did not ask me or anyone to blog about this event, but being a fan of the company I can’t help myself. This post originally ran on ConfessionsofanITGirl.com.  

First Impressions of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

The closing night party of Disney Social Media Moms was held at the soon-to-open Art of Animation resort.  We were all so excited to see what magic Disney had in store for us, but no one was prepared for how amazing this resort is turning out.

Here’s the view when we pulled up on the buses, and would probably be your first view of the resort as an arriving guest.  Right away, I knew we were in for some fun.

The resort celebrates Disney’s history of leadership and creativity in animation.   That’s on display right away when you enter “Animation Hall.”

Animation Hall traces the history of animation as only Disney could.  When you come through the doors, you see very simple pencil sketches lining the walls. You may also notice that the floor is black and white.  But as you walk along, the sketches start to evolve into more finishes images.

The floor too changes from monochrome to brush strokes and rich colors, finally to the pixels that represent digital animation.


This shot gives you a wide view of the other side of the reception area as it leads away from the entrance.

Once you’ve checked in, guests can head to their rooms, or get a bit to eat at the food court on the other end of Animation Hall.  It’s not functioning yet, but I got a few shots of the dining area.

Disney really knows how to roll out the welcome mat.  When we showed up at the hotel, there was a line of cast members who broke out into applause.  As if *we* had done anything to create this magic resort!  Plus, they had cocktails for us.  I liked these people immediately.

We soon left Animation Hall, because as lovely as it was, it was only the beginning…

There was FOOD!  Around the most beautiful sight you could imagine.  This is the Finding Nemo themed pool, and once open it will be the largest pool on Disney property.  The theming and imagery was OFF THE HOOK.

Soccer Girl was walking around with her mouth wide open in amazement.  Or maybe that was from the food.  Whatever it was, this place was winning her over.

If you have a kid who is into the animated films, specifically The Lion King, Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid or Cars, you have got to consider Art of Animation when making your Disney travel plans.  It’s as if your favorite movies have come to life.

Soccer Girl was in heaven, and she knew her little brother would be too.  But I already had confirmed reservations at another resort on property and wasn’t sure we wanted to change.

In my next post, I take you on a tour of one of the family suites at Art of Animation.  You’re going to see how an already tough decision got tougher.

Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for a fee hotel accommodations, park tickets, many meals and access to special events not made available to the public.  Disney did not ask me or anyone to blog about this event, but being a fan of the company I can’t help myself. This post previously ran on Confessions Of An It Girl.  

Photo Memories with Photo Pass Plus

This post was originally published on ConfessionsofanITGirl.com

Attendees of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration got a surprise on opening night when we were all given Photo Pass Plus kits.

If you’ve been to a Disney park, you’re probably familiar with the Disney Photo Pass photographers in key photogenic locations around the parks.  They take your picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle…

or the Eiffel Tower in EPCOT…

and then they beam your photos onto a plastic card.  The card is reusable, allowing you to load all your pictures on for safe keeping.  At the end of your trip, you can take the card to a Photo Plus station and get prints made or order a CD of all your pictures, for a fee.  You can also do this at home from the Photo Pass online site.

Photo Pass Plus is a little different.  With PhotoPass+ you get access to digital files of all your PhotoPass photos, attraction photos, and Dining photos taken within a 14 day visit to Walt Disney as well as print packages at select dining locations.  Once you arrive home from your vacation, you can view your photos and order a PhotoCD with all the high resolution photos plus a limited license agreement, which allows you to print photos at any local photo processing center.

Photo Pass Plus kits are sold at PhotoPass View Stations located throughout Walt Disney World – you can’t buy them online.  They are currently priced at $199.  I won’t say that’s cheap, but if you are the type of person that likes to have a lot of pictures, especially the ones from attractions and the dining packages, this might be for you.

Soccer Girl and I were on a such a quick trip it was hard to get the most out of it.  But I know what when we bring the whole family back in November, this is definitely something we will want.

I’d never take the time and spend the money to buy this picture on it’s own.  But, it’s included with Photo Pass Plus.  As soon as we realized it, we started getting photos from all participating attractions.

Who WOULDN’T want this beauty?  We didn’t do any Character Meals, but knowing that we could get those pictures added to the Photo Pass Plus would certainly appeal to me.

With the regular photo pass, you can get all the photos loaded onto a CD either during or after your visit.  If you do it during, they usually give you some free printouts along with your CD.  If you do it after, you get to add all sorts of cool photo borders to your pictures.  I love these and hence prefer to do it after the trip through mail order.

So, while we hardly had enough of time to make proper use of this, I was super grateful for the opportunity to give it a test drive.  I definitetly would consider it for future trips because I like that kind of “all you can eat” option.  For more information, visit the Disney PhotoPass site.

Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for a fee hotel accommodations, a Photo Pass Plus, park tickets, many meals and access to special events not made available to the public.  Disney did not ask me or anyone to blog about this event, but being a fan of the company I can’t help myself. 

 

Going FREE-RANGE at EPCOT

Are you familiar with Lenore Skenazy and her movement (and Wiley book of the same name) “Free Range Kids”?  Lenore is the mom who wrote the article for the New York Sun on how she let her 9 year old son take the subway home alone, a ride that he had taken with her many, many times.   She got a huge amount of media attention, for and against, and used it to launch her Free Range platform.

I felt a lot like Lenore while I was at Disney Social Media Moms.  You see, the celebration is very much a professional business conference.  As such, on day 2, there was a full line up of speakers for us to learn from and be inspired by.  This action packed day was just for attendees – the assumption was that family members would tour the parks or hit the pool while we were getting our learning on.

For most families, that was not an issue.  But for me, I didn’t have my spouse or partner with me to look after my 12 year old daughter.  I didn’t want to try and bring her to the conference – it was clearly not allowed, and even if I could get an exception, she’d be bored out of her mind listening to the speakers, which would make me miserable.  Disney does offer “kids clubs” and in-room babysitting, but since the age ranges was listed as 4-12, I felt silly considering it for someone at the top of the range.

While it seems like I debated this issue, I really didn’t.  As soon as I realized she and I would be going to Disney Social Media Moms, I assumed she would tour a park by herself while I attended the conference.  And with that, you would think I put her on the subway herself the first time.

I heard from a number of friends, and Mr. IT about how this was NOT a good idea.  That “things could happen.”  That she wasn’t to be trusted by herself.

Hogwash, I thought.  First off, she’s been to Disney more times than I can count.  She knows her way around better than most adults.  Secondly, it’s not as if I wasn’t close by and reachable by cell phone.  And lastly, she’s a good kid and I trust her.

We came up with a plan, and I was so impressed to see her doing most of the planning.

We decided that it was best for her to go to EPCOT.  The Disney conference was at the Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center, and EPCOT was the park that was closest and within walking distance.  I mean, it’s not like Disney transportation is dangerous, far from it.  I just wanted to know that if something happened that she couldn’t handle, I could walk to her.  She seemed ok with that, and understood my concern.

She was to carry her cell phone and Epi pen (food allergic) with her in a small purse.  She was NOT to lose her room key, park pass or anything else – on penalty of extreme mom rage as these were not replaceable.  She could buy food, within reason, and had to have the discussion about food allergies with the staff at the food service places herself.  She was not permitted to buy expensive souvenirs or do any shopping.  That had to wait for me, so I could join in the fun.  I also asked that she text me every once in a while, partly to make sure I knew where she was, but also so I could vicariously live the day through her. She researched the park online and used apps to view maps so she could remember where everything was.  She knew she could do it, and I was going to cheer her on.

When I settled into my seat to begin the day at the conference, I kept my iPhone on the desk waiting for texts.  She kept to her word and texted about every hour.  I learned that she road “Soarin'” about 6 times and visited Figment at “Journey to Imagination”.   Breakfast was easy – she got some sort of breakfast sandwich at the food court in “Living with the Land.”  Lunch was not so easy – there were a couple of places she wanted to go, having researched all the menus on her iPod app beforehand, but she really wanted to find a place with good seating.  As she said, she didn’t want to be “that person eating with their tray perched on a garbage can.”  What a great image.  She ended up in Mexico after walking through several of the pavilions in World Showcase.  Seemed to be a good choice for her.

I was thrilled when I viewed our PhotoPass pictures and saw that she went through the Character Spot in EPCOT all by herself, autograph book and pen in hand.

She also tracked down a PhotoPass photographer to do some fun outside shots.

When we reunited at the end of the conference sessions, I planned for us to head straight to Animal Kingdom where our dinner was that night.  Nice idea, but she had other plans.  It was hot, she was tired and she ran herself ragged.  While she agreed to go to AK with me because I wanted to go, I knew she really wanted to head to the pool.  Which we did.  She had a new-found confidence about her that was so great to see. I’m glad she had the opportunity to go “free range” that day. She learned a lot about herself and what she was capable of.  She learned to trust her gut and make the right choices.  Now, I am left to wonder if she will want “me time” on our next visits – I hope my coaster buddy still wants to hang out with me!

Disclosure: As an attendee of the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I received for a fee hotel accommodations, park tickets, many meals and access to special events not made available to the public.  Disney did not ask me or anyone to blog about this event, but being a fan of the company I can’t help myself.  It was originally published on ConfessionsofanITgirl.com on May 24, 2012