Living in Orlando, even near Disney World, doesn’t automatically get you into everything. There are media lists you have to get on, people to know, and the all famous elbow grease of perusing the Internet yourself. I was floored and so excited when a Disney Diva friend posted on their wall that there was an invite open to all for the Mom’s Panel Luncheon. It what was one of those “act now” kind of events, so I added my name and hoped for the best.
After I received the email that they would contact me further with the details, I was over the moon with joy! I was excited to meet the Mom’s Panel , see old friends, be IN the California Grill again, and the BEST PART- it was all free! Yes, you heard me, FREE! It gets pricey living here, and frankly, there are things I can’t take part in because I just can’t afford them. I wish I could do It all and sometimes it is almost a curse to have so much in your back yard and know you have to wait or never do it because it all takes money to enjoy it. So, yeah, I was stoked for this event.
I had to print out the invitation along with a signed release form since they would be taking our pictures. With the printed forms in my hand, Craig dropped me off at the Contemporary Resort this past Saturday, September 29th, 2012.
After a huge hug from Jackie, I was on my way up the escalator. It’s always a little nerve wracking going to any large event on your own. I always hope I will know someone, but I was really nervous for this event. I have the utmost respect for the Mom’s Panel, Disney, and the California Grill- it’s kind of a feeling of “not being worthy” to enjoy it. Maybe I am just to humble for my own good, who knows.
After standing on my own for awhile, I found friends as they trickled in and my level of nervousness started to lessen. The waiting area by the elevators filled with bodies, and it soon became very warm, and overdue. It was sweet relief to see the elevators open and to know we could start the show finally- yeah, it was that hot. The funniest scene was to see this mob of people trying to cram in these tiny elevators- it reminded me of the expression of trying to shove toothpaste back into a tube.
Once we were upstairs, we weren’t sure of how we were sitting for the meal, if there was a presentation, it was all up in the air. I just went with it. I met Beth and Rachel in line and LOVED them to pieces- such nice women and so easy to talk too. Rachel also had come on her own, so we both felt a kindred spirit in the fact we both were alone for this event. The escorted us down the hallway to the bar area first where they had friends waiting for us- CHIP AND DALE IN TUXEDOS!! So cool! I LOVE when I can get a Character opportunity that is such a rare find. Rachel and I asked Jackie to pose with us and it made the sweetest picture, it wound up being one of my favorites of the weekend. Although we didn’t have children with us, they had balloon animals and face painting in the same area for the kids- very thoughtful.
We then walked into the dining room, and man, that view is just something. I was just as excited to see the Moms as I was to see the view! Like a wedding line almost, I got to shake hands and hug these fabulous people, including Lou Mongello at the end who happened to be attending the event.
I found my table, and thank you to Scott Otis for thinking of me and saving me a seat- such a great friend. Jackie didn’t have a table, so Rachel and I made sure she came to sit with me so she wasn’t alone. No one put’s Jackie in a corner! J The meal was FABULOUS- roasted chicken, potatoes, and steamed asparagus.
AND the cupake. Yes, the adorable and special cupcake made just for the event, it was so pretty! Suzannah tried it, I just ate the chocolate on top- she said it was strawberry with lemon in the middle. I had so many other events to attend to that day, I couldn’t even imagine trying to eat the delicious desert. (Although I knew after the weekend I had wish I had saved one).
There was no presentation, which was fine, but it was better to be able to enjoy a wonderful meal and meet so many new friends. I felt very loved and honored to be able to experience it, so thank you to the Mom’s Panel and Walt Disney World for putting on a fantastic event. I hope to be able to attend more events like this, and also meet more Disney fans like I did that day. It was awesome! (P.S. Thanks for all the awesome swag, love the shirt!)
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Going from “What If? to “Why Not” is my life motto and I work hard at living that every day. I share everything from moving to Florida to live near Disney World to road trips across the States. I love the cool, quirky, and crazy stuff that I can find on my Adventures, and every dollar you donate helps support my efforts and hard work. Thank you to ALL who support me!