In 2011, I embarked upon a chapter of my life that changed me in so many ways: I applied for the (then called) Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel. Over the next several years, it was a thrilling chase, and wondrous place for me – with so many ups and downs – successes, rejections, and of course, lessons learned each step of the way. I filled out applications, filmed short videos, and participated in group message boards – and cheered fellow applicants, just as much as I comforted those, like me, who did not advance past preliminary rounds.
In seven years, I made it to Round 2 four times – and that’s where my journey ended. Despite the sting, I remained positive, as I felt thankful for the many friendships and connections that the process had given me, and in the past couple of years, I wondered what I could do to hold on to those priceless learning experiences, and yet still find a way to spread magic in another way.
In my heart, Disney is so very special to me – from early childhood experiences in visiting the parks, watching the films, and of course, my post-college days as a Walt Disney World Cast Member (read more about my Disney history / experience here), it’s long been a passion of mine to share with whoever will listen.
With these thoughts swirling about my mind, I decided this past summer that this would be my last year of applying for the panel. If I advanced, I would, of course, be elated! But if I didn’t (spoiler alert: I didn’t, haha!), I’d take the steps necessary to proceed in a new direction that would channel my experience, passion and knowledge as well as work to assist others in making their Disney dreams come true, too, in becoming a certified travel planner.
So, I went back to college…
…the College of Disney Knowledge, that is!
Yes, it’s a thing, and yes, it was just as fun as it sounds! I am so thankful that, in my years of becoming involved in the runDisney community, I became friends with Amy Smith, the founder and owner of Main Street Magic, LLC, an earmarked, full-service, concierge style travel agency. When I approached her with my questions and concerns about taking this next step, she met each one with friendly and enthusiastic responses, which solidified my decision to pursue this next chapter in my Disney-loving life!
So – if you’ve followed my post this far: I can confirm this, officially: I am extremely proud to share that very soon, I will be able to not only offer my experience, recommendations and tips on your next Disney destination (which include: Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and even Aulani), but I will be able to do so in a professional capacity at ABSOLUTELY no charge to you! And, beyond that, I will be working toward expanding my offerings to other fabulous destinations and experiences to help you create amazing memories with your friends and family for years to come.
I just wanted to take a moment now to THANK YOU – you – my friends, family, blog readers, and friends I have not yet met – for your support in taking this next big step! Many amazing things await, and I hope you will join me in this adventure together.