The Disney Who-Der-Whater?
Since its inaugural Panel in 2008, The Disney Park Moms Panel (#DisneyMP), is an amazing FREE (!) online resource for all things Disney related. And I really do mean all things.
Headed to Walt Disney World for a fabulous vacation? Head on over and read about everything from stroller rentals, to which resort to pick, to where to rest when your legs are tired. Same thing with Disneyland Resort. Where to get that Dole Whip you have heard so much about? Submit your question and a trained, experienced “Mom” (or Jedi Dad, or Grandma, or Aunt!) volunteer will answer it for you. Heading out to the High Seas, running a RunDisney marathon, have a Disney Vacation Club Membership or Resort question (don’t get me started on how awesome THAT is)? It’s all there and more. You can search for questions already submitted, or submit one of your own. Its a one-stop shop for Disney related questions.
Now that you know what The Disney Park Moms Panel is, what about how does one join such an elite, amazing group of question answerers?
- Well, the secret formula is unknown. What is known, is that each fall, Disney opens up the application process for the Disney enlightened to apply. You head to the Disney Parks Moms Panel application website, you log on with, or create, your Disney account. There is an eligibility question to be answered (you must have visited or experienced the Disney specialty you are applying for within a certain period of time), and then… it starts.
- As you read a series of essay style questions, all with word count limits (!), the nerves set in!! What are they looking for? Is my favorite memory a memory worthy of the Disney Parks Moms Panel specialists? Do they care that I have been to Disneyland Resort 267 times? How much is too much information on the “Tell us about your family” question? As you write, and rewrite, over and over… you finally know that you just need to “Bee Yourself!” (Thanks, Genie.).
- Finally, you get to the last question. They want you to answer a sample question like one you would receive as a Disney Parks Moms Panel specialist. Whew! Back on goes the thinking cap! Here is where you show your knowledge of Disney. Don’t forget proper nomenclature! Walt Disney World, is not simply WDW (Darn those word counts!). And then, suddenly (not so suddenly, as you have taken hours or a day to perfect your answers)… you are done. You reread all your answers. You like them. You click on the submit button. And immediately start questioning everything you wrote!
So what’s next? That’s it? They pick you and you are whisked off to the land of The Mouse to train?
Nope. Now comes the waiting period. The application says end of September or early October for notification of moving on to the next phase. NEXT phase?! How many are there? Well, that seems to differ slightly year to year, but a good guess is 4. 4 times of answers, nerves and waiting. Each phase the opening window is less and the wait time is less, but it is still mouse-ear-wearing, Frozen-song-singing anxiety! Once those emails come out, with your inbox either being pixie dusted with CONGRATULATIONS, or a “not this year” email, you wait with bated breath to receive yours. (For the record, I have now been the recipient of both types of emails.)
So, lets talk about the next phase.
For many years, “Round 2” has consisted of more essay questions, more sample questions to answer and THE VIDEO. A roughly 1 min video of you answering a specific question, such as, what makes you qualified, or what sets a Walt Disney World vacation apart from other vacation destinations. You have a week from first getting your questions to the submission date. Do they want you signing, at perfect pitch, your favorite Disney song? Add music or pictures, or keep it to “Just the facts, ma’am”?
No one knows for sure. But, you give it your all, and send it on its way. And then you wait again. Now, what happens next? Well, I can’t be sure, as I am just entering into my first second phase of the application process. But, I’ve heard it continues with a personal phone call interview, and then a “speed” round of answering one final sample question in a short amount of time.
Sounds stressful, right? A little, but oh so worth it in the end. The perk of a training week at Walt Disney World pales in comparison to the joy of helping others plan their dream vacations. For now, I have Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust to keep me going as I embark on the next phase.
As Walt Disney said,
All your dreams can come true, if you have the courage to pursue them.
Kimberly Burleson is an All-Things-Disney lover. Having grown up going to Disneyland several times a year as a child, and then becoming an Annual Passholder as an adult, she agrees with Walt Disney that “Laughter is Timeless, Imagination has No Age, and Dreams are Forever”. Raising 2 kids, a teenager and preteen, and planning all the Disney vacations she can, she loves to share the love of Disney with anyone that will listen.