On Thursday, while many of you were going about your everyday routines, there was an estimated group of 250-350 women and men who were eagerly waiting for 3:00 PM to arrive. I was one of them. The excitement had been building for over a month. We were all waiting for THE email that would let us know if we’d made it to Round 3 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel search.
To be a part of this group is in itself a huge accomplishment. Round 1 begins in September, and 10,000 applications are accepted. We don’t know how many applied this year, or any year for that matter. (I do know that the very first year of applications in September 2007 began with 5000 being accepted then was increased to 10,000 due to the response. I was one of those, too.) Usually around mid-October, Round 1 applicants are notified by email whether or not they are moving on to Round 2. This year, last year, and the very first year in 2007, I was fortunate enough to be a part of Round 2. We sent in essay responses and a 60-second video, and the waiting began. This year Disney Parks Mom Panel is under new leadership. Gary Buchanan did an amazing job keeping us informed, as much as possible while keeping the magic hidden, about when we would hear the news about Round 3 emails. It took longer than normal, and we were told there would be less moving on competing for a smaller number of spaces than last year. (Last year added 19 panelists to the established group.) While waiting, many of us communicated on social media and became a tight-knit, friendly group. I know that sounds strange, especially if you know how competitive I can be! I’ve known some of these women for a couple years now, as I met them while waiting in the past, and we are supportive and chEAR each other on!
Well, needless to say, 3:00 PM came and went, emails were received, and I received one saying, “Unfortunately,…” Our social media groups were flooded with others receiving that same news, and finally, we started seeing some who got “Congratulations!” There are an estimated 35-40 women and men who’ve made it to Round 3. They will have a phone interview next week, and then will learn whether or not they made it onto the 2014 panel.
Although it’s the end of my journey this year, there are only 10 more months until I can start the process over again. I am determined to continue and try again for the 8th time. Until then, I will chEAR on the moms and dads who are still in the running this year. I can’t wait to see who makes the panel! There are so many amazing Disney-loving people in Round 3, the committee cannot go wrong with any of them. Many of the current panelists remind us that panelists are chosen for a number of reasons that only those in charge know. Just because we weren’t chosen this year, or in years past, doesn’t mean we won’t be chosen in the future. I have hope that one year will be MY year!
So, that is why I’ve started this blog. I am inspired by the friendships, by the magic that Disney provides, and by those who may not understand what that’s all about! Most of all, I’m inspired to bring a little bit of that pixie dusted magic into my life and the lives of those around me, whether we are in the presence of Mickey or not.