Two huge things happened in my life in September 2007. The first one was pretty special. My then four year old daughter started school, for the first time, entering into Junior Kindergarten. I will never forget those first few days. She was nervous and excited, all at the same time. It was kind of like how her dad and I felt. Happy because she was at this incredible milestone in a child’s life and nervous that she would be able to handle it. Nine years later, as she enters into her last year of elementary school, I think it is safe to say she did just fine. ♥
The other awesome thing that happened back in September 2007 was the opening of the application period for the very first Disney Moms Panel. I can recall it as vividly as I recall Emily’s first day in her new classroom. Maybe because the whole idea of being a part of this fun new adventure was making me giddy with joy, while still being apprehensive about actually getting on it. Whatever the reason, I was thoroughly convinced that being a member of the Disney Moms Panel was what I was born to do. I had it in the bag! Mickey and I were old pals and I just knew he would want me on his panel, dishing out advice in an official manner, to the curious who wanted to visit Walt Disney World.
But, it was not meant to be. It was not meant to be then, back in September 2007 and nine years later I find myself wondering if it will ever truly be “meant” for me.
To give a bit of background, the Disney Moms Panel is an online forum of everyday people who answer questions and offer advice based on their own vacation experiences to Walt Disney World (and other Disney destinations.) When you visit the panel, you can ask real moms and dads for their tips and tricks so that you can get the most out of your Disney vacation. All of the previously answered questions are kept, archived away, so that you can always get at them. These moms and dads (and just to clarify, you don’t have to be a parent to apply) are probably someone you know. Think about this; do you have a family member or friend who loves all things Disney and doesn’t stop talking about it? Then you know who I am referring to. You can ask this expert pretty much anything, from what resort is best for your budget to which restaurants have character meals and they will not only tell you, they will also prepare an itinerary for your stay! Why? Because they, or should I say we, love to plan Disney vacations. Simple as that.
So, here we are and it is September again. The applications for the Disney Moms Panel, which is now actually called the Disney Parks Moms Panel, opened on September 7th, 2016. There has been a huge flurry of activity in the various online forums, like Facebook and the DISboards, with the talk centering on whether a question meant this or that or when the next round of potential panelists will be announced. The Disney Parks Moms Panel is a big deal. There are literally thousands of people who apply each year, which means thousands of broken hearts. It is an emotionally draining experience to pour your heart into your application and have it turned down, time and time again. But, we all go back.
I am not going to make any predictions this year. I have learned my lesson more than once. I will say that this process has brought me some incredible lows over the years, but even more incredible highs. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime, I have been inspired to go after and achieve goals I never thought were in my reach and I have learned to never, ever stop dreaming.
Wish me luck!