This past week I had the amazing privilege of attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference at Disneyland. You can see by our many Disney posts, that we are huge fans of Disney. We were so grateful and honored to be invited to their conference. What an incredible day! I’ve been so excited to come back and share the things I learned with all of you!
The Disney Social Media Moms team completely spoiled us. Check out the cute Magic Mouse Ears and Wands centerpieces!
The conference was full of surprises, we got to hear about some really cool updates happening in the world of Disney and experience some for ourselves.
Disney Parks News
I’ll start with news at the parks. This past summer at Disney California Adventure the ride Soarin’ Over California became Soarin’ Over the World. I loved the old ride but it is SO MUCH BETTER now. For one thing, the film is in higher definition. It looks so sharp. They took incredible video of some amazing places all over the world. On the ride you feel like you are really there. You can actually smell and feel the locations you visit. It is so realistic! I loved it.
Disney also started the live show of Frozen, which I am dying to see! I’ve heard the special effects are so good. We were actually sitting in the theatre to watch it but unfortunately they had some technical difficulties that day and had to cancel our show. I’m definitely planning to go back to see it when I can.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably heard about the new STAR WARS LAND that is coming to both Disneyland and Disney World! We could see down into the construction while riding the Thunder Mountain Railroad. The new land is going to be HUGE, it is 14 acres! My Star Wars loving heart is so excited!
Disney also recently announced that next year the Hollywood Tower of Terror ride will be changing to Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! From Disney’s Description: “Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! will take Disney California Adventure park guests through the fortress-like museum of the mysterious Collector, who is keeping his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as prisoners. Guests will board a gantry lift which launches them into a daring adventure as they join Rocket Raccoon in an attempt to set free his fellow Guardians. The new attraction will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terrorª into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple, random and unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift rocks to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.”
The artists renditions of the changes look really cool. The new Guardians of the Galaxy ride will be open in the Summer of 2017!
In a few weeks Disneyland and Disney World will be transformed for the Halloween and Christmas seasons. This is such a fun time to visit the parks. They are always decked out for the holidays and even some of the rides are transformed! For Halloween, Hyperspace Mountain will become Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, the Haunted Mansion becomes The Nightmare Before Christmas for both holidays, and the Small World ride is decorated for Christmas and the dolls sing Christmas carols. It’s so fun!
Disney News Around the World
We also learned a little about the new Disneyland Shanghai in China that opened this summer. It is huge! To put it in perspective for you, Disneyland (not including California Adventure) in Anaheim is on 85 acres, Disneyland Shanghai is on 963 acres! The Tron Lightcoaster and Pirate Land called “Treasure Cove” look so cool, and Disneyland Shanghai has the biggest Disney Castle of all!
We also got a peek at the Disney Aulani Resort in Hawaii – which is definitely on my bucket list. It brings two of my favorite things together, beautiful Hawaii and the magic of Disney, so it’s no doubt amazing.
Another thing I was excited to hear was that the Disney Cruise Lines is expanding its fleet by two ships and will now have cruises out of New York,NY, Galveston,TX and San Diego,CA beginning the Fall of 2017! San Diego will be so much closer for us, I’m sure this will open the door for a lot more people to get to experience one of these magical cruises. Bookings for these cruises are already available.
News in Disney Animation
The MOST EXCITING part of the whole experience for me was getting to hear from Amy Smeed, co-head of animation on the new Disney animated movie “Moana” which will be released on November 23rd this year. Something you probably don’t know about me is it was always my dream to be a Disney animator when I grew up. I even remember sending a letter to Disney Animation in middle school to introduce myself and to tell them about my dream of working for them. Well, life took me in a different direction but my love for it has never changed. So getting to hear from a real Disney animator about the making of the movie was such a gift. I was fighting happy tears the entire time. We got to see so much of what went in to the creation of the movie, it has been 5 years in the making! We got to learn about the premise of the movie and see a bunch of exclusive clips from the film. I am SO EXCITED for this movie! I love the story, I love the beautiful island setting, and I love the characters! It is going to be so good! And I am so excited for the music! Did you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda agreed to do the music for Moana before he even became famous for Hamilton, how cool is that?!?
We were also surprised to hear from celebrity guest speakers and moms Tiffani Thiessen (Saved by The Bell, White Collar, Dinner at Tiffani’s) and Ginger Zee (Good Morning America, ABC News, Dancing with the Stars) and hear about how they balance their work life and family life. They were both so down to earth and incredible women who have worked hard at both their careers and families. One of my favorite quotes was from Tiffani Thiessen when someone asked her how she balances everything and she responded something along the lines of (I’m paraphrasing) “Not every day do I succeed, but every day I try”. I loved that, sometimes we are going to have success, and sometimes we are going to fail, but we can be content knowing that we are trying.
We got to spend the rest of the day playing at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure! Our Mom and Dad joined us for the fun too. It was such a great day!
Where to Stay When Going to Disneyland
Once again we booked the perfect place to stay in Anaheim with Get Away Today and we always will! With Get Away Today you can actually talk to a real person on the phone. We were able to tell them the kind of accommodations that we wanted for this particular trip and they hooked us up with exactly what we needed. For this trip, we were looking for somewhere we could park our rental car for free and a place that had its own free shuttle to the park (not one that drives all over the place and costs you $20 every time your whole family needs to ride it), healthy and fresh breakfast options, easy access to a store if we forgot anything, and a pool. We found all of this and more at the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove Hotel. It is walking distance to Target and had three awesome restaurants out front and one inside! It was so nice! Once we parked our car we didn’t have to drive anywhere. The hotel’s own shuttle runs every 30 minutes back and forth to the park. It’s only about a mile and a half away so we were dropped off at the park in less than 10 minutes. In addition, the shuttle runs much earlier than the city shuttle which makes it really convenient if you have a magic morning at Disneyland. It is a beautiful hotel and all of the employees are so helpful and friendly! Above are some pics I took from our stay.
Thanks again Get Away Today for always coming through with a great place! If you are looking to book a trip be sure to use our discount code FAVORITE for extra savings!