When you’re planning a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, there are tons of details to keep track of. Between buying your tickets, deciding where to stay, planning your meals, packing your bags and a million other little things, you’re bound to have questions like…
“What shows are best for my young children?”
“Which rides take photos onboard?”
“What can all we ride as a family?”
And my personal favorite:
“Are there refrigerators in the Resort hotel rooms?”
Whether it’s your first visit or you’ve been so often Mickey Mouse high-fives you when you walk in the gate, there’s always some situation that makes you scratch your head and say, “I wonder if someone can help me with this.”
Disney fan, let me introduce you to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
You Have Disney Questions? We Have Answers!
If you hang around the Disney online community long enough, sooner or later you’ll come across “#DisneyMP” and wonder what in the world it means. It’s the hashtag for the Disney Parks Moms Panel, an online forum for Guests to submit questions to a group of everyday folks who are Disney fans and frequent visitors to Disney properties around the world.
And yes, I’m a past Panelist. #DisneyMP2015, to be exact. Thanks for asking!
Whatever your issue, question, problem or conundrum, someone on the Panel is likely to have faced it, too. If we don’t know the answer right off the bat, we know how to navigate Disney’s network of resources to find it. When you submit a question, the Panelists get to work, and you get the benefit of our experience.
Plus, if you’re looking for ideas to make your visit to the Disney Parks even more special, the Panelists love offering suggestions! From birthdays and anniversaries to first visits or ideas for something new to try, stop by and ask for some pixie-dusted advice. During my year as an active Panelist, some of my favorite questions came from people who were planning to celebrate life’s milestones at the most magical place on Earth.
Disney Fan to Disney Mom
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I’ve been to Walt Disney World more times than I can count. I grew up in the shadow of Cinderella Castle. My first visit to Epcot was the year it opened. I know the difference between a Dole Whip and a Citrus Swirl, and I could probably walk blindfolded from Space Mountain to Splash Mountain and still stop for a churro on the way.
But for all my Disney expertise, a few years ago I found myself in the shoes of a first-timer scrambling for information when I became a mom. I had no idea what to do with a baby in the parks, so I did what anyone would do: I asked Professor Google.
That search led me to the Disney Parks Moms Panel website. I got lots of tips for taking my then-7-month-old son to Walt Disney World (Baby Care Centers for the win!), and I visited the site over the next couple of years for more advice.
Then in 2013, I saw that they were searching for new Panelists. I applied on a whim, not expecting to get anywhere. I made it to the final round that year but didn’t make the Panel.
The next year, I applied again and got that magical invitation. After a whirlwind training session at Walt Disney World in December, I was ready to start answering questions on January 1, 2015. Twelve months and almost 500 questions later, I wrapped up my magical year on the Panel. In that time, I helped Guests with advice on all those details that make a Walt Disney World vacation special, including one from a family that was looking for ways to remember their late mother. I was touched by that question, and it’s still the one I’m most honored to have been able to answer.
Disney Pals Forever
As much as I loved helping Guests, it’s the friends I’ve made as a Panelist that have most affected my life, from the 22 in my class to the 100+ Panelists in our extended “family.” Many of us still connect almost every day. We share our stories, talk about kids and spouses and jobs, about weddings and births, about the news of the day, about our joys and our sorrows. And we share our freakish love of Disney. There is always lots and lots of Disney.
Think you want to be a Disney mom? If you’re the person everyone comes to when they’re planning a Disney getaway, take a pixie-dusted leap of faith and apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel! The annual search for new Panelists usually happens in early September, so watch social media and the website for updates (and be sure to follow that hashtag, #DisneyMP). If you apply, your spelling and grammar should be zip-ah-dee-do-dah perfect, your Disney knowledge should be Tigger-ific, and your dreams should reach to infinity and beyond.
And don’t worry – they won’t ask you to walk blindfolded from Space Mountain to Splash Mountain. At least not without a churro.