Monday, July 28, 2014

Disney Goes On the Road to Philadelphia - and so do I!

Last month I was invited to join in a truly magical day - the Philadelphia stop of the Disney On the Road Social Media Moms Celebration.

The buzz online prior to the event had my expectations pretty high, so I was thinking to myself how the event would never live up to the hype. But of course like all things Disney are amazing, so was this event.

It was my first Disney Social Media Moms event, and it was friendly, incredibly well-run, and full of surprises, too.

I also got to meet in real life many New Jersey bloggers I had only known from our online interactions, so that was one of the big highlights of the day. Here we are showing our Disney Side with a side of Jersey!

Another highlight was getting to meet Debra from The Harried Mom and Gary Buchanan, who does PR & Social Media for Walt Disney World & Disney Parks.

At the event there were several fantastic speakers, including a few from Disney who are experts in social media, blogging and online engagement in general. Here are just a few of the many tips I learned at the conference:
- Always, always, always take video horizontally. It's a simple rule, but it's an important one, too.
- When possible, write posts as a series on your blog. A series on a specific topic really pulls readers in and keeps them there.
- Provide the background and history behind things - people love getting the full story.
- Look for sneak peaks and insider information you can give your readers. Anything that is news about what's coming in the future, what goes on behind the scenes or that readers can't get anywhere else is very compelling content.

Speaking of which, here's some Disney insider information I got at the conference:
- There are lots of cool changes coming to Disney Parks, like the recently opened New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World, which also includes a brand-new parade, The Festival of Fantasy, filled with music and dancing.
- Also recently opened is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, an adventurous family coaster (riders must be at least 39 inches).
- Disney always has ongoing re-imaginings (that's Disney-speak for remodeling) in its restaurants and other spaces.
- Disney has a commitment to creating interactive queues which themselves are part of the ride experience, and as a mother with 3 young children, I couldn't be in more support of that very important initiative.

Thank you Disney for a truly magical experience at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Philadelphia, I even got to meet Mickey!

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post or attend the event. I did receive a fabulous gift bag for attending.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Instructions for my husband: Sleep-away camp has all the comforts of home. Even if it sounds like it doesn't.

My oldest, Magpie, at the age of 10 has now joined the ranks of those who can say they've gone to sleep-away camp.

My husband, who never went to sleep-away camp, finds the whole idea of sending one's child away incredibly baffling. And it becomes even more baffling to him because Magpie isn't just at any sleep-away camp this summer, she's at my childhood sleep-away camp.

Which means my husband and I have conversations like this one, which of course only re-enforces his whole idea that the concept of sleep-away camp is extremely befuddling:

Husband: I'm worried about if she forgets something.

Me: Don't worry! If you need something, Blue Boar's has it.

Husband: Blank stare.

Me: Y'know, I told you about Blue Boar's. Actually it's not Blue Boar's anymore, it's Jean Mart.

Husband: Blank stare, now on an increasingly irritated face.

Me: Jean. You don't remember me telling you about Jean? The head of camp for like years and years? Very beloved. She was awesome, truly a very special person. That's why Blue Boar's is Jean Mart now.

Husband: Blank stare, possible smoke coming from ears.

Me: (sighing) The commissary. Blue Boar's, which is Jane Mart, is just the commissary. Okay?

Husband:  (sighing in a way that makes my previous sigh seem like a tiny, little whisper) What the fuck is a commissary?

Me: The camp store. It has everything. You don't need to worry about her forgetting something, because she can get it there. The camp store. The commissary. Blue Boar's. But to be entirely correct Jean Mart.

Husband: Would it have been so hard for you just to say there's a camp store?

Me: It's not MY fault you never went to sleep-away camp.

This is my thirty-seventh instruction in my ongoing series Instructions for my Husband.

Follow along on Facebook on the Instructions to my Husband page since something stupid funny is always going on there.

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