I loaded my family onto the first charter bus to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The Social Media Moms Celebration was finally underway. I scanned the bus for familiar faces but I was unable to match any real people to the tiny avatars I’d come to know. My family busily filled out their release forms.
I was happy that families and bloggers were riding together. I’d been nervous about leaving the kids, but excited too. Normally, I’m never away from them. So while I was eager to do something with adults, for myself…I was nervous about letting go. The planned family activities eased most of my concern.
We arrived at the Sports Complex and were directed to our separate destinations. Bloggers and press to the Milk House…families out to the field. I hated that it was cold and worried the kids weren’t dressed warmly enough.
With confidence (that I don’t actually have) and a big smile, I walked into the venue and looked for a seat. I knew no one and had only recently began to get acquainted with a few bloggers on twitter. With blind luck, I chose a seat next to Lorie. She’s a mother and loves Disney too, so we hit it off.
The presentation began with the introduction of our first speaker. President of Walt Disney World Resort, Meg Crofton stepped up to the podium. She reported the most recent changes at the parks and announced the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade as part of Summer Nightastic! Even with spring and fall trips already in the works for me…I’m now tempted to plan a summer trip as well.
Meg then turned the podium over to Al Weiss. Al serves as president of worldwide operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. He gave us details about the Fantasyland expansion, enhancements for Castaway Cay, plus new sailings and fleet expansion for the Disney Cruise Line.
Ken Potrock, senior vice president of Disney Sports Enterprises was next to speak. He seemed excited to tell us about the relaunch of ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex. The new complex would immerse guest athletes, coaches and fans in the experience by connecting them with signature elements from their favorite ESPN programs.
The entire presentation was interesting although I’d already heard about most of the park and cruise line updates via the Internet. The visuals were stunning and the speakers engaging. All in all, I felt privileged, if not out of place, to be present. I enjoyed it tremendously, but I was glad when it was over. It was time to move on to our party and I was ready to get back to my kids!
Because of the cool temperatures, the tailgate was moved indoors to the Jostens Center. It’s an enormous facility and it housed all of us easily. The food was served buffet style and was typical tailgate fare. My family enjoyed the dinner, the characters and the dancing, but my little ones, especially my baby girl were getting droopy. We left before the party was over but we were tired and I needed to get up early the next morning to have breakfast with Guy Kawasaki!!