Wednesday, February 17, 2010

REVIEW: What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE: Disney Social Media Moms Conference (PART 4): It Pays to Volunteer

"You get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself" - Harvey S. Firestone

On January 1st of this year, Disney began the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day Campaign that allows families and individuals to volunteer a day of service at participating charities and in return, get a free day at a Disney park. To date, the campaign has attracted over 600,000 volunteers and will top off at 1 million free Disney Park tickets being given away.

After the Disney Social Media Moms attended the Guy Kawasaki presentation, we attended a Disney Press Conference for their Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program. To celebrate the program, Disney constructed the largest sculpture in the world made from, get this, canned goods. Yes, I said canned goods and the sculpture was certified as the largest by the Guinness Book of World Records. Sweet!

Disney flew in one volunteer family from each of the 50 states to attend the sculpture unveiling at Epcot. The press conference was packed and we were all waiting in anticipation to see what this sculpture would look like. Given Disney's motto to "surprise and delight", I figured that the whole press conference would be pretty spectacular. And I was right. Kermit the Frog came on stage first which should have been expected since the Muppets are the spoke characters for the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day program. But nothing prepared the moms for seeing Ty Pennington from Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The whole audience started applauding after we got over the shock of seeing Ty on stage.

Photo by Disney SM Mom ohMariana from
Ty is the master of the unveil and Disney brought him in just to help unveil the canned goods sculpture. So Cool! The sculpture was hidden by Disney balloons that were lifted to reveal the following:

And yes, the entire thing is made of canned goods! Disney said that it took volunteers 500 hours to build this wall with all the Disney characters peeking over the top. It may have taken 500 hours to build, but it was taken apart by the volunteer families in less than a few hours and packed in boxes to be shipped to charities across the United States.

Epcot holds many surprises
After the unveiling, the Disney Social Media Moms and our families explored Epcot. Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. We immediately went to ride "Soarin", a ride that makes you think you are flying above California. I don't know how Disney pulled off giving the impression that we were actually flying but they did and it was wonderful.

We also visited Turtle Talk with Crush at the Seas with Nemo and Friends exhibit. Again I don't know how Crush was interacting with the kids and adults, but it was amazing to watch his movements and hear him answer the kids questions while making some great jokes along the way. After a few rides on the high speed Test Track ride, we were ready for dinner.

For Dinner, Disney pulled out all the stops for the Give a Day, Get a Disney Day celebration. We had dinner under the stars and the dinner was attended by the volunteers from the 50 states, the Disney Media Moms, and the Disney Dream Academy.

Disney told us there might be a few "surprises" along the way and they were not kidding. I noticed the stage during the dinner but did not really think about what kind of entertainment Disney might have in mind. But when Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas from "Camp Rock" came on stage to sing songs from the movie, I ran with my camera to take some photos.

To end our day at Epcot, we stayed to watch the fireworks. They were unlike anything I have seen before. The theme was nature and a globe of the world was showcased that burned with fireworks and then glowed with nature scenes of rivers, horses, birds and other animals and the finale contained enough fireworks to turn the night sky white. My nine year old son took the photo below (the kid has talent).

To say we enjoyed our second day of the Disney Media Moms Conference would be an understatement. After all this, I could not wait to see what day three would hold. So if you want to find out how Disney topped even today's events, check out my next post in the series "What I learned from MICKEY MOUSE (PART 5) Girl Power!".

Read my trip disclosure here


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