It’s that time of year again.  People I know, respect, and love have applied to be members of an elite group of Walt Disney World experts.  We are the pink wearing, park loving, question answering team of Walt Disney World Moms Panel moms.  We don’t work for Walt Disney World (we are independent contractors, with our own opinions that do not necessarily reflect those of WDW), but we were all, at some point in the past four years, chosen by Walt Disney World to answer questions to people who are planning Walt Disney World vacations.

 

Each year, it seems that I meet more and more people who are anxious to proudly don the bright pink polo that us Moms love to hate.  They ask for my opinion on what it might take for them to join the special forces of the Moms Panel – like what should they say – or not say – when they answer their essays?  Should they go to the Moms Panel meet and greet, dress flamboyantly, wave a banner that flashes in neon lights “Pick Me!!”?  Should they sell their soul, brush up on Disney trivia, or switch teams and start going to Universal Studios?

And this is the day each year that I dread.  As excited as I am for those people I know and love to move on to Round 2, I am so sad for the people I know and love who are not moving on.  I’ve gotten a couple of private messages from people wanting to know why they’re such rejects.  Rejects?  Are you serious?

These are the people I have learned from.  They are the DisBoard members who answer every question with such helpful expertise, you’d think they were Walt Disney World cast members.  They are the bloggers who dedicate considerable time and great effort posting the latest news and special reports from Disney.   They are podcasters that I tune into to make sure I’m on top of my game when it comes to information and advice about Disney. 

Rejects? No.  They are the REASON.  They are the reason there is a Moms’ Panel.  They helped open up the doors on the social media world so that Disney could walk in, step up, and start this awesome panel.

Don’t be disappointed.  Don’t think you did something wrong, wrote something wrong, shook a wrong hand at a meet and greet.  Just know that you spread Disney happiness in a way that the Moms’ Panel aspired to do.  The brand of pixie dust you sprinkle may not be the official, WDW sanctioned variety, but it is no less magical.

I hope we are living up to the legacy you have all established.

10 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Moms Panel “Rejects”? I Don’t Think So!”

  1. Anna,

    It has been a while since we have chatted through our social networks, but how funny this day has brought us back to when I met you several yrs ago and thought you where a movie star since you were the 1st #WDWmom to friend me on FB.

    Through the yrs of applying to the panel and not being accepted I took that rejection really, really hard. It took me after 4yrs of realizing that maybe that is not where I am to be ( what gasp, no panel).

    Through all my efforts I have become a TA and enjoy it so much and I love the continued training I receive. It still saddens me I did not get the chance to have that awesome pink shirt.

    I have though met more of the WDWmoms/dads and you all are amazing representatives for the disney community and I am grateful to learn for you all also.

    1. Shelley – you were one of the first Moms Panel “fans” that even asked to be my FB friend – and I can’t tell you the euphoric feeling I got! I had no delusions of celebrity, but it was just so cool that someone who didn’t know me wanted to be my FB friend!!

      You – and so many others – would make awesome panelists, and I know that Laura and the gang wish the panel could host an unlimited number of panelists – the process must be excruciating! But I think the panel has led several people – like you – to find the thing that they were meant to do. You are, I am certain, one of the best and most well informed Disney TAs anyone will ever encounter!

      Big hugs, my fabulous friend!

  2. Aww, thank you Anna for your perspective! Although my annual “No Go” email still hurts, I am comforted with the knowledge that the princesses always pick wonderful Panelists, and you are a prime example! You and the others are so sweet and kind and knowledgeable and it has been so fun to get to know you through the years. You are an inspiration!

  3. Seriously? “We got to be on the mom’s panel because of all the work YOU did, so YOU should feel good about getting jack for it while we’re at WDW” SERIOUSLY???

    1. I think the point, Shelly, is that most of the people on the Disney communities that I’ve met have always very generously given of their time, knowledge, and expertise. There wasn’t always a WDW Moms Panel, so the only place anyone could go and get the kind of information you can get on the Moms Panel was places like DisBoards or on blogs and podcasts. I can’t speak for all of the Moms (or the Walt Disney Company), but I know even after being an annual passholder for WDW for 15 years, I still often visited blogs and pages like http://www.allearsnet.com to get the latest information.

      We have all had our first trip ever to WDW, and we had to start planning and gathering information somewhere. For that, I will always be grateful to online resources and people who were kind enough to share information with me. I have been honored to pass my knowledge and information on to other people – long before there was a WDW Moms Panel – and I’ve always been happy to do so.

      So, yeah, SERIOUSLY, I am grateful to the people who did the “work” of visiting WDW and were wonderful enough to pass along their knowledge of the magic. And yeah, those people should feel good about sharing their love of the Mouse and the Magic with others, because without some of them, there are a lot of people who would be lost and confused going to WDW for the first time. And I would hate to think that someone thinks they aren’t worthy just because out of a pool of 20,000, they haven’t been chosen to serve on the panel. They have served the WDW community without recognition for years, and I thought they should know that their expertise was appreciated, valued, and treasured.

      So, yeah, SERIOUSLY. Thank you, in a genuine way – not in a “nanny nanny boo boo – I’m on the panel and you’re not” way.

      Did someone pee on your cornflakes this morning?

  4. Anna,

    Thank you, I needed to read that, it helped me feel better about not getting picked for round 2 this year, like I did last year. I will still be here to help the people who ask for help, our families, friends and our local Chicago Mom’s Club I belong to. They all need a little of our pixie dust even if it isn’t via the Walt Disney’s Mom Panel for me this year any way! We all love what we do and feel a special connection to Disney and everyone we communacate with via our groups on Facebook or other web sites. Never give up!

  5. How eloquent! This IS a bittersweet time; I have advanced to the 2nd round twice now, but am so aware of my brokenhearted Disney friends, that I temper my reactions and joy. You have set a beautiful example- one that applauds the Moms Panel AND the great Disney bloggers in our community. You give me permission to smile!!

  6. Anna, I love the title of your post and I couldn’t agree more. I know it’s hard for us to say these things from our side of the fence, but they are no less sincere or truthful statements. I know for a fact that if we, OR the people actually picking the panel could put everyone they wanted to on there, the country would probably run out of pink (and navy perhaps) fabric. There are SO many worthy experts out there, just because you are not picked to advance in *this* particular arena, does not make you any LESS worthy or amazing and most certainly not a “reject.”

    I know so many wonderful people that did not make it past round one that are just filled to the brim with Disney knowledge and passion. But for right now, for this situation, it wasn’t time. Again, I know it’s hard to believe when it does seem so personal a process. I felt the same way when I thought I didn’t make it past round 1 two years ago. I felt hopeless and rejected but there are so many wonderful ways that you can still spread Disney magic every day. And like I said on fb, it’s okay to wallow and grieve…just remember why you wanted to be on the panel to begin with and keep that positivity and desire to share your knowledge going. We are all honored to be connected to you through twitter, facebook, boards and blogs. ♥

  7. Thanks for your note. I am disappointed once again. I actually questioned whether I applied to the “right” panel right after I had submitted my information, wanting to change the check box to something other than the WDW panel. Do not get me wrong, that is my forte, but I imagine, it is most of the applicants forte as well. If I applied for the Cruise, for example, perhaps I had had a better shot. But what is done is done.

    The whole thing is saddening. I wish to be included “in” the panel, to be noticed officially by Disney as having knowledge that they feel is sufficient for sharing. Not knowing what to write to get to stage 2, I have thought I may just either not reapply or to simply say, just go to my blog. I write about Disney daily. If you like what I know and write about, please include me. If you do not, then send me same letter I have gotten over and over again.

    But in the end, confused and disappointed, I just want to get “in” and to know that I worked with Disney on some level. Perhaps, I will be that 70 year old that got my no-go letter from the Mom’s Panel who says forget it and goes to college for just a semester so I can work for Disney through the Disney College Program:)

    Take care and thanks for everything!

  8. Amy thank you so much for this. I always took the thanks but you not advancing email pretty well. Yes I was let down for just a moment, but I never let it get me down. There is always next year and next and the next. Never quit,never give up!! The most fun I have during the application process is getting to meet new friends like you! I have met so many wonderful new people many of whom I am proud to call friends. Heck this year on my facebook group page a guy I consider a Disney Rock star, whom I had heard on one of the Disney podcasts http://www.wdwradio.com , joined the group!! I was so excited! Thanks Amy but don’t us Dads (once I make it to the panel) get blue polos?

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