After a busy first day, it was now conference time! Friday morning we had breakfast, got some Hanes goodies, then headed to the conference room. The excitement was so overwhelming and the decor did slightly take my breath away.
We heard from various speakers, each offering a different take-away:
Tom Staggs – Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
- Explained Disney’s guiding vision: Be the most trusted provider of shared family leisure experiences of the world, making them last a lifetime.
- The parks aim to have safe and healthy dining options for all their guests, having a chef come out to take and make custom orders. He too has a son with food allergies.
- Cruise lines will have new ships and itineraries, including routes to Baltic/Iceland areas and Alaska
- New pirate-themed land in Shanghai will be the first ‘land’ based on attraction based on a movie based on an attraction
- Hong Kong expansion will include a Marvel attraction/area (I wish I could visit it!)
- WDW expansion, which doubles the size of Fantastyland, is complete with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train which has a paten back and forth swinging motion
- Avatar will be coming to Animal Kingdom with floating mountains, a bioluminescent world, and maybe the chance to fly on a banshee
- New Eye Magic Plus system will allow you to pre-book FastPasses and double the number of your experiences
Jay Ward – Creative Director at Pixar
- As a Legacy Guardian, Jay makes sure Pixar designs stay true to character (i.e. notice that gas pumps in Cars don’t have hand-held handles)
- Story is King: tell a compelling story, something that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat wondering, what’s going to happen next
- Populate the story with memorable characters, characters that are relatable
- Think about: “Why are we making it? Does it further this Pixar story? Does it grow to enrich the story?”
- Pixar products look good because they put a lot of work into it. They’re like love letters to fans of the movie
- Art of Animation resort in WDW is a prime example (I’d love to stay there for a week or two!)
- 5 years was into Cars Land with Chip Foose doing much of the design in Ramon’s
Kathy Mangum – Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering
- Originally, Cars Land was planned as Carland, based off classic California car cult culture
- One little boy visited Cars Land and asked, “Is this where the film was shot?”
- Jon Lasseter insisted that the crew take a Route 66 road trip where they meant interested people like Harley Russell of Mediocre Music Makers
- It took 9 months to make a model of the Radiator Springs mountain model and would be wheeled out in the Anaheim sun to check the paint color
- The actual mountain was hand-sculpted, hand-painted and is 125′ at its peak with a 9-story average
My paid conference pass to the event included special programming, park entrance, lodging, and some meals.
Thomas Smith – Disney Parks Social Media Director
- Disney Parks blog when from seven stories per WEEK to having 100+ authors write 7 stories per DAY
- Events include the Festival of Fantasy, the 140 Disney characters hashtag, and Disneyside (May 23rd)
- Know your audience, SEO team searches back 5 years, do research
- Keep posts concise, use video, include good images, show unique perspectives, iconic, crowd-source
- Story of Toby the Bear: A child lost their bear at the Parks. The bear had his late father’s voice recorded on it. Cast members found it and, before sending it back, took photos of Toby visiting all around the Parks and more.
Erin Glover – Disneyland Social Media Director
- Heading disneyparksblog.com/disneysideallstars , three of those were interviewed
- Jorge Narvaez of Reality Changers get 150 mil views, talked about the tightrope of adolescence and the importance of a support system to guiding a person and to not fall
- Leslie Kay from DisneyBound shared how her suggestions created a new verb with people DisneyBound-ing
- Styles use trendy aspects, color blocking, and accessories to replicate the feel of attractions, heroes, villains (animals don’t wear clothes so choose colors)
- She dealt with heavy bullying and was told that she wouldn’t amount to anything. So she shares her story and tries to create a safe place for teens
- Grumpy Cat was just cute, fuzzy, and totally mellow.
Donald Driver – Former NFL player for the Green Bay Packers
- After joining Twitter, he got 30,000 followers after the first hour and after Dancing with the Stars he went up to 356,000 Twitter followers
- “All our dreams can come true if we have to courage to pursue it.”
- Share how the power of social media can touch others
Maxine Clark – Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop
- At age 48 she started Build-A-Bear Workshop and hopes to inspire the CEO in others
- Announcement of an all-girls soccer event – Disney Princess Cup, ages 6-14, registration open at https://www.espnwwos.com/events/soccer/disney-princess-cup/ . “Forever may you reign.”
Doug Bowman – Creative Director of Twitter
- Twitter’s success is not a triumph of technology but of humanity
- It connects you with people you want to know and is great at giving a voice to people are not able to speak
- Businesses have changed how they interact with random tweets about their companies
- Series of moments (small – shows little bits about person, big – brings a lot of people together)
- Search patterns shown by date and time: #hungry #tired “feeling happy” “late for work” “hungover”
We also heard from Leanne Jakubowski – Director Social Media (Disney Parks), Michele Himmelberg – Disneyland Public Relations Director, and Gary Buchanan – Disney Social Media Managing Editor who were insightful and inspiring. There were also some announcements about future Disney Social Media Moms events:
- 2015 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration will be in Walt Disney World again (Another place I’d like to visit!)
- 2014 DSMMoms On-the Road event will be in Chicago on June 17th, Philadelphia on June 19, and Phoenix on June 25th
After the session was over, we had the rest of the evening to ourselves with the option meeting back at Disney California Adventure to see The World of Color from a special viewing area. We couldn’t miss that!
Then we returned to the room to find this little cutie waiting for us (who I later traded for her Chinese cousin 🙂 ):
Thanks to the day’s event sponsors for making DSMMC Day 2 possible:
Conference photos courtesy of Josh Hallett, @hyku on Twitter.