When I started blogging a little over two years ago I jumped in with both feet.
I had no idea what I was doing but I knew what I wanted to talk about: my family, my journey as a runner, and my love of Disney.
So I began writing. ?I wrote a lot and I wrote often. ?Man. I was wordy back in the beginning. Still am, I suppose. ?It’s an addicting drug to hit publish and see people respond to your words. ?Thank you for feeding my habit.
When I discovered I loved this platform, I started looking at opportunities to grow. This lead to discovering the world of blogging networks and blog conferences. ?I needed to learn all I could from those seasoned people.
One of the first conferences I came across was Disney sponsored. Hello… these were my people! ?Enter the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration to my consciousness.
This blog conference is like no other: for one thing, it’s held annually at Walt Disney World or Disneyland. ?It’s invite only for another. ?And how you get invited is shrouded in secrecy.
Or something super classy like that.
I’ve watched the invitations roll out every Spring, never truly believing I would see the pixie dust in my inbox. ?Hoping, of course, but not expecting. ?That didn’t stop me from loving every moment of invitation day.
It’s the best day ever- even when your email is empty.
Social media blazes with the #DisneySMMC and #DisneySMMoms hashtags. ?The very cool thing- and what I believe makes this conference special- is all the support given by the blogging community during this time.
Invitee or not, everyone loves the magic of invitation day. ?Alumni to the event tweet and post about their experiences. Wide-eyed blog babies like me soak it all in, seeing that magic is indeed alive.
So Friday afternoon. ?This happens:
My Friday was already pretty rockstar. ?I’d gotten up early, had a healthy breakfast, sent the kids off to school and completed a tough workout.
After having an active morning my head was darn right clear and ready to get some work done. I settled into my desk to do just that.
And checked my email.
I didn’t expect it- at all. I think I said that. ?Did I say that?
Really. ?I didnt.
When I saw this header my heart started pounding. ?Or maybe it stopped. I can’t remember exactly what it did but I’m just thankful it didn’t explode from shock!
It’s not everyday your dreams come true. ?But mine DID on Friday afternoon.
I, Shenanigans, landed a coveted invite to the Big Blogger Ball.
What does this mean exactly?
Hot dang, y’all.?
There was a slight downside to the timing: it is the same weekend as the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. ?I planned to run the 10k at Disneyland and chEAR the half. ?Obviously I can’t be in two places at once (there are limits to Disney magic, after all!) but I’ll still cheer my runner pals- just from a different castle.
Such a life!
To answer a few questions that always come up about this event:
I didn’t apply for this. ?No, you did not miss an application process!
It’s not an all expenses paid free vacation. ?It’s a business trip with a healthy dose of Disney magic. ?I’m paying my own (deeply discounted) expenses to attend the conference. ? It’s work, I promise.
My family is invited! ?Unfortunately for me, they cannot make the trip this time. ?I’m ok with that since I’ll be able to focus all my energy on learning and networking without distraction. ?But this is one of the few blog conferences that wants your family to attend- how cool is that?
How do you get invited next year? ?I have no idea. ?Ha! ?I can tell you things I’ve consciously done that may or may not have made an impact. ?How’s that for vague advice?
I attended the Disney On the Road conferences the past 2 years (schedule should be released in May). ?I write about Disney but not 100% about Disney. ?I’ve worked on my blog’s appearance and content with an eye toward “professional blogger” status vs “hobby blogger” over the past year.
Does any of that factor in?
Maybe I just got really lucky. ?We really don’t know!
I can’t wait to see what the Disney Parks social media team has planned this year. I’m honored and so thankful for this opportunity.
Magical email: it’s a thing, y’all!
Have you ever gotten a magical email (Disney related or otherwise)? Who was the first person you shared your news with??
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)