As a mom who loves Disney and shares A LOT about Disney online, it was such an honor for me to receive an invitation to the 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I am so grateful for all of the opportunities we (the attendees) received at the celebration, including access to hear amazing speakers like Jeffrey Epstein from D23. Jeffrey’s presentation at the conference had me teary-eyed (in a good, Disney way, of course) and beyond emotional. He shared one of D23’s latest campaigns with us called “When Did It Start For You?“.
The campaign asks Disney fans to share when they first remember falling in love with Disney and becoming a lifelong fan. It was fun to watch different clips of celebrities, a Disney Legend, some current Imagineers, and even some D23 fans. I couldn’t help but tear up as I watched each video. Listening to these people who all shared a common Disney bond share about their own personal reasons for loving Disney and feeling inspired by Disney was something I could relate to.
What inspired me the most though was when I looked up at the screen and realized there was a “When Did It Start For You” clip of someone that I knew up there! She’s mostly an acquaintance I know online, which is how this whole social media thing works, but regardless, to look up and hear Ashley speaking about her own experience was literally speaking straight to my own heart! The picture of her as a young girl was adorable!
It really hit home when she proceeded to talk about being bullied and how her love for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” was her own escape from the ugliness of bullying. The “Ashley” I know online is a fun-loving, adorable Disney girl who posts tons of beautiful Disney photos. I had NO IDEA about all she’d been through and that she’d overcome so much. I admire her immensely for sharing her story on the big screen!
Watch her story here (you’ll probably need a tissue):
I’m trying to remember when it started for me? I can’t remember exactly though. I think I was a baby! I grew up living pretty close to Disneyland. When our family did visit Disneyland (it was a single park back then), it was in the summer and we always had to make the most of one day, from park opening to park closing. It wasn’t like present day where so many people are fortunate enough to have an Annual Pass and can just visit for a couple hours at a time.
I only have faint memories of my early Disneyland days. I can recall things like The Matterhorn, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and It’s a Small World. I remember eating lunch at Carnation Gardens and I remember watching the Main Street Electrical Parade at night.
Our day at Disneyland was like the one day a year I didn’t fight with my younger brother since we were too busy being in awe of all the magic! What I do remember is that it was all about being with our little family and creating memories together.
As I got older, my love for Disney continued to grow and I’d visit Disneyland with my friends (and no parents. One of my high school dreams was to dance in one of the Disneyland parades. I never had the technical training to make it to the final cuts of Disney auditions, but I will say that it was fun to spend hours and hours on the old backlot of Disneyland where they used to hold the auditions.
Luckily for me, they created a parade for Disney’s 45th anniversary that guests could actually dance in. It was called “The Parade of the Stars” and guests were picked up along Main Street, U.S.A. in the Omnibus and taken backstage to learn their parts.
We got to dance the entire parade route from It’s a Small World to the top of Main Street, U.S.A.! I danced in it on two different occasions, so it was a dream come true…twice! They even gave each of us a commemorative pin for participating.
Once I became a mom, my love for Disney was something that I quickly passed on to my own daughter. Her first visit to the parks was at Christmas time when she was just 7 months old. I don’t know how much she remembers about that particular visit, but when she was about a year and a half, she and I started visiting the parks together approximately 2-3 days a week together.
My daughter and I watched “The Parade of Dreams” so many times during its run at Disneyland! Now, just hearing the music from that parade brings back all of the fun memories we created together when she was really little.
I would say that my love for Disney has come full circle because now I’m here blogging about it too. I could go on typing thousands of words about this topic too, but I think everyone gets the message loud and clear. “When Did It Start For You?” is something we can ALL relate to. It’s fun to hear others’ personal stories.
Do YOU have a particular memory or reason for when it all started for YOU? Share with me in the comments!