It’s almost time for another few months of sheer craziness and fun to begin! Serious Disney goers are familiar with the Disney Parks Moms Panel. For those who aren’t, Disney brings groups of real life moms and dads on board every year to answer real guest questions (yes they’re real – I know people who’ve asked questions and had them answered!) to help them have an even more magical experience during their vacation. While panelists aren’t paid for their services, they do get a to go to Walt Disney World for a few days of training to answer the impending questions.
So at this point you’re probably how to become part of that group that gets to spread pixie dust far and near. The answer is both simple and completely complex: you’ve got to complete the application process. Let me tell you, it sounds so much easier than it actually is. I’ve applied every year and have yet to make it past the first round despite making over 20 trips in the past six years to Walt Disney World. Part of what makes the application process so tricky is that it’s all a big Disney secret, closely guarded by Mr. Gary Buchanan:
I was lucky enough to meet Gary at the Disney Social Media Moms On the Road event in Chicago in June and he’s even more in person than on Twitter! (Those of you that follow him know that’s a big deal) He’s just got such a fun spirit and always looks to find the good, light hearted pieces in everything. Last year Gary was given the task of taking over the Disney Parks Moms Panel application and training process. As much fun as it is, I cannot imagine having to be in his position. Yes the “good news” emails, Tweets and announcements would be fun but the less than magical news would be hard to share. (I would love to plan the training trip though!! How fun would that be?) Being on the receiving end of those less than magical emails hasn’t been easy but Gary and his team let you down as easily as they can which is much appreciated.
One question I’m asked often (especially now that the process is ready to kick off again this year) is why I continue to apply when I haven’t gotten the results I’d wanted to in the past. My answer is simple: my unfaltering love for all things Disney. Disney is my happy place and helping others have a magical Disney vacation makes my heart swell. People across the country text, email and message me for help making their trips more special and I love spending my time making that happen for them. Sharing stories here helps countless others. That’s what it’s all about for me – sharing the magic with others. Every one of us will have a completely different set of circumstances for our trip, but we can all have the same magical feeling while at the Disney Parks with a little bit of research.
Now that you’ve heard all this, you want to apply for the Panel too. That’s awesome! Be sure to keep an eye on Gary’s Twitter timeline and the official Disney Parks Moms Panel website for the application period to open. Gary does a great job keeping the lines of communication open and has shared some of the changes for this year’s application process. You can also follow the official hashtag #DisneyMP to connect with other hopefuls. I’ve met some wonderful people going through the process and for that I’m so very thankful.
Are you planning to apply for this year’s Panel? Leave a comment below so I can follow you along your journey too.