Monday, February 15, 2010

REVIEW: What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE: Disney Social Media Moms Conference (PART 2): Mickey Mouse vs Harry Potter

Can Mickey Mouse and Disney World compete with the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando?

Either way, the consumer will win!

Unless you have been under a rock, you know that Universal Orlando will be opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this Spring. The Harry Potter book series has millions of loyal fans around the world who will now descend upon Orlando. But, what is unknown is if Harry Potter will totally eclipse Mickey Mouse as the reigning king of Orlando.

In the battle of Harry Potter vs Mickey Mouse, I believe that the real winner will be the consumer. Disney is now forced to up their game and provide even more reason for consumers to spend their time and money with Disney. While I don't believe that prices will necessary go down, I do believe that the Disney consumer will get more for their money.

The first event in the Disney Social Media Moms Conference was for us to attend a press conference on February 10th with the regular media where Disney announced a series of changes that they will be implementing at Disney World. The press conference was held at the Milk Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Here is summary of the announcements:

1. The Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Campaign that started on January 1st of this year allows families and individuals to volunteer a day of service at participating charities and in return, get a free day at a Disney park. The campaign has attracted over 600,000 volunteers so far and will top off at 1 million. Click here to read more about volunteering....

2. Summer Nightastic at the Magic Kingdom!
The Mainstreet Electrical Parade will make a return this summer at the Magic Kingdom. This announcement drew applause from the Disney moms. In addition, the Tower of Terror will debut a new drop sequence with new night frights lighting effects, and a new fireworks show will debut with new music.

3. Fantasyland Makeover.
The Magic Kingdom will get it's largest expansion in history so that the Disney Princesses can have their own villages where kids can hang with Cinderella, attend a birthday party for Sleeping Beauty, go to Aurora's Sweet 16 party and more. Even Dumbo will get a makeover in his own flying circus where riders can play midway games while they wait in line. Too cool!

4. Sail away with Mickey.
Even the Disney Cruise Line will see changes with a makeover of Disney's Castaway Cay and of course, the debut of the new Disney Dream Cruise ship with it's on board water coaster called the AquaDuck and it's virtual port holes in every inside cabin.

Check out the video below of the new Disney Dream Cruise ship and for more info on Disney cruises, check out my blog post "Disney Cruise or Bust".

5. Disney and ESPN have joined forces to reopen the Wide World of Sports Complex as the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Historically, the complex has allowed amateur and professional athletes from age 6 to 86, from 70 countries and 60 sports to compete in a world class sports facility. The ESPN partnership adds state of the art digital video including jumbotrons, video screens, and handheld cameras so that athletes can have every aspect of their play recorded like in a professional game. Can you imagine a junior athlete competing in this complex and then leaving with professional video of the competition? Sweet! Disney is also capitalizing on the trend of Youth Sports Travel since young athletes can come to the facility to compete and then extend their vacation to include the other attractions at Disney World.

While the moms attended the Press Conference, our families enjoyed trying out the facilities at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. My nine year old son got to play football, basketball, and volleyball and he was in heaven.

Party like a Disney Rock Star!

After the Press Conference, Disney showed that it knows how to throw a party! We had a great dinner and entertainment as only Disney can do. Since we were at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, the food was served as a tailgate and the kids had their own D.J. who got the party started. I was amazed that even the teenagers were joining in with the younger kids to rock it out on stage. My son, who is the king of the Nintendo DS, put his game system away and ran on stage to dance for over an hour. Kids of all ages were getting their pictures taken with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Chip & Dale.

The evening ended with a performance from High School Musical 2 that had everyone dancing and singing. The Disney motto to "surprise and delight" was definitely achieved on this occasion.

What's Next??
There is still lots more to tell about this exciting conference. So stay tuned for my next blog post in this series "What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE (PART 3): Twitter is a Blogger's Best Friend".

Read my trip disclosure here


  1. Great series so far! Can't wait to read the rest.

  2. Fantastic summary of all that's coming! I love your photos too.

    So glad you came and enjoyed the event!