Day 2: #DisneySMMoms Conference was Magical and Moving!

May 26, 2013 2 Comments »
Day 2: #DisneySMMoms Conference was Magical and Moving!

Fun, informative, magical and moving, the Disney Social Media Moms Conference was an event to be remembered from its grand meet-and-greet with a hip-hop, pop-locking Mickey and a delicious buffet of TryIt delicacies, to a conference filled with speakers who offered up a blueprint of tips and tidbits to help our blogs and businesses thrive to infinity and beyond. I was mesmerized and thankful to be included in the eclectic mix.

Walt Disney intro

Dayna Steele, Marc Mero, Shannon Miller and Jackie Huba dished on the art of building a brand that people will support and even go GAGA over! And it’s not everyday that you get to hear straight from power players, you know.

Just like Disney is a brand that gets it with a loyal fan-base that’s crazy about the company, and it leads with values in a way that’s respectable and renowned, we learned too how to harness the WOW factor of our fans and even how we should appreciate the smallest percentage of loyalists because they matter too.

I am still wowed by the dynamic mix of speakers who shared their master plans with the hundreds of media savvy moms and dads in attendance. I spent several hours as a student absorbing all of the knowledge. First up was our hostess Rene Syler, the perfectly imperfect mom-almighty over at  who gave us some stern “motherly” advice. No, she didn’t tell us to sit up straight in our chairs, but she did check-us by telling the ambitious group of bloggers to stop comparing ourselves to others.   

“Tired of people comparing themselves to other people.!” Preach Rene Syler! #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Rene also advised the crowd to stop throwing up blog posts that are sloppy! She admonished anyone with bad content by saying that sloppy doesn’t sell. Put up your best content and your best work everyday and told us to run our own race. Rene was funny and playful and oh-so-relatable! I loved her! Check out Rene on her show Sweet Retreat on the Live Well Network on Sundays. Follow @GoodEnufMother on Twitter

Rene Syler

Shannon Miller:A True Champion in more Ways Than One

Next we heard from 1996 Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller who made me feel the force of being a mom of five with the power of the Internet at my fingertips who is making a difference as an influencer!

@shannonmiller96 “The power of social media plays an influential role” I agree #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Social media magnifies the power of MOM! via @shannonmiller96 Yes! #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Shannon Miller

Shannon served up food-for-thought about how the Internet can be your best and worst asset.

You have to careful! Because once u put something out there it is out THERE! Be careful bloggers! via @shannonmiller96 #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Athletes &celebs lose million dollar contracts from 1 tweet. You can’t take it back. Could be a picture. via @shannonmiller96 #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Shannon is a mommy-to-be and was glowing. She looked great and has a website ShannonMillerLifestyle laced with workout videos to help moms shed the unwanted after-baby weight. She said she couldn’t believe that she met naysayers who told her that her site wouldn’t do well because pregnant women don’t care how they look. Appalling right? Well Shannon is thriving despite the critics and has survived cancer and is the true face of a champion in more ways than one. Follow @ShannonMiller96 on Twitter.

 Good health IS a priority! Women should look as healthy as we feel! via @shannonmiller96#DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Jackie Huba on Building a Brand that people go GAGA over

Who would think that you could learn a true life lesson from a meat-wearing, monster-loving, head-turning music mogul like Lady Gaga? Well Jackie Huba taught us that the most important people are the ones that most businesses forget about – the One Percenters. You know, the true fans who will take your message and amplify it like nobody’s business! The people who will share what you say and what you do and won’t let up until the world knows who you are. They are the bread and butter of Lady GaGa’s success and Jackie wrote a book called Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers into Fanatics which outlines how to do the same for your own enterprise. 

We need to focus on the 1 percent to help amplify our messages @jackiehuba #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Jackie Huba

It’s no wonder that Lady Gaga has 37 million followers on Twitter and loyalists who follow her from city to city and even sneak into her house within a city and camp out in her garage (yes that really happened!)

Jackie said to Lead with Values, Build Community, Give fans a name and Embrace Shared Symbols as well as make them feel like rock-stars. It reminds me of what Rene Syler said about our websites. If it’s about other people and they can relate in some way, then it will be successful. 



  • Lady Gaga leads with values by showing fans that her message is part of something bigger, Jackie said.
  • Her foundation Born This Way is largely credited with the courageous message of fostering a more accepting society no matter if you are gay, straight, bi-sexual or lesbian. That message also supports Gaga’s notion that everyone should be loved as one, which works to build community, as Jackie explains it. I love Gaga’s name for her fans — little monsters. I call my followers Doodah DARLINGS over at! Cute huh? I am trying to create more Monster-type Loyalty for Disney! Jackie was named as one of the 10 most influential online marketers. Go check out more of Jackie’s point of view over at Follow @JackieHuba on Twitter.

 Marc Mero on impacting lives

Friends are like elevators: they will either take you UP or DOWN! That’s a lesson Former WWE champion wrestler Marc Mero learned in his walk as a beloved wrestler and later a drug abuser who lost it all but lived to tell the tale and worked to gain it back.

@marcmero Talks about his personal experiences and how his dad left. Sad story. The story of many kids these days #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Marc shared sad stories about this life that had us all a little tear-eyed. He poured his heart out with passion and a strong message to be supportive and loving of others before they’re lost.

Marc Mero Former WCW and WWE Wrestling Champ

You have to hear people. Be there if you can. U never know how you can impact someone’s life. #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

Marc wrote a book called How to be the Happiest Person on the Planet and he leads an organization, Champion of Choices to empower students to write their own future by setting goals and pursuing their own passion. Marc believes it’s possible by living drug free, preventing bullying and avoiding peer-pressure.

 Let’s remember that there are a LOT of adult bullies too #DisneySMMoms

 Put your dreams and goals somewhere where you have to see it. via @marcmero #DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013


  • Marc said, Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future!
  • He urged us to be the light in someone else’s darkness
  • Marc said he grew up in Buffalo New York at a time when gangs and drugs ruled the streets.
  • He wrote down his life goals in a little book and that motivated him and inspired him to go after his life goals. Athletics turned his life around and was the catalyst which thrust him into the wrestling realm.
  • Marc now tours and inspires youth with a message of healthy and positive choices. You can follow @MarcMero on Twitter and check out

Rocking the Rockstar Mentality with Dayna Steele

Life is 2 short 2 have anything but delusional notions abt yourself. You have to have wild and crazy dreams!! via @daynasteele#DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

dayna steele

That is perhaps my favorite quote of the conference. Dayna Steele has worked with major rockstars from Mick Jaggar to Gene Simmons and she even learned from them that the art of being successful means keeping the pace with what’s going on around you.

Dayna urged us to believe in our work and work to grow our network. Because frankly being successful sometimes takes a village. She also urged us to develop a bond with our audience by how we write.

Always try to write as if you are writing to your best friend! via @daynasteele#DisneySMMoms

— Cincomom (@KiaMorganSmith) May 10, 2013

She also collected dollars from the people in the audience (I gave up a dollar) and simply asked us for it. We gave them willingly and learned that you should always be willing to help people who ask without expecting anything in return. With that said one of the bloggers did ask for them back and collected all the dollars Dayna got from us!

 Throughout the conference we heard from other Disney cast members like President of Walt Disney World, George Kalogridis who outlined some upcoming changes at WDW


George spoke about the Magic Band, new changes to Disney World including Disney Springs at Downtown Disney, updates to Fantasyland including the 7 dwarfs mine train, A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas, which will debut at Magic Kingdom Park this summer,

pirate adventure

And there are plans t0 build Avatar Land, a themed area at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida based upon the film franchise by James Cameron. Construction begins this year and is expected to open in 3 to 5 years.

 And if you’ve ever thought that the Storm Trooper outfit would really look good with a skirt, the you might want to check out with the latest fashionable sci-fi outfits. Along with Gary Buchanan, Ashley Eckstein shared the story of her difficulties and then success with developing a line of feminine sci-fi clothing. And thanks to Disney she’s able to share her feminine sci-fi fashions with a core sci-fi fanbase. Check out the cute clothing at HerUniverse.

And speaking of Storm Troopers, there was an invasion of them at the conference! And we got to take pics with R2D2 and Monster University characters!

R2D2 046













Disney’s Gary Buchanan and Thomas Smith led a Fire and Ice conference session which was not about Fire nor Ice but don’t tell Gary or Thomas I said that. 🙂 

But in fact the two were on FIRE by inspiring us with words of wisdom by Walt Disney himself. 

“If you’re coasting then you are going downhill.”

Gary also warned us about those idea killers.

 He urged us to connect with people because people connect with people and not logos. And I loved the notion that everyone is creative. That’s a beautiful sentiment which shows that we all have something to be appreciated and loved. Sounds like Disney to me 🙂

 The conference was chock-full! We learned about Disney Infinity, the new innovative gaming system that mix and matches all of your favorite characters up. We also heard from Heather Rubin, dinner director of Disney Magic Healthy Living – Disney’s Try It, which partners with parents to inspire kids to eat healthier foods. And there was lots of different foods to TRY at the conference. And Disney’s Story App is a new way to tell stories through pictures and via your IPhone.

After the conference we had dinner and partied at Lights, Motor, Action Extreme Stunt Show! And let me say that the highlight of my night was when I did the wobble with Minnie Mouse! EPIC and unforgettable!










This conference left me feeling inspired and EMPOWERED and I plan to put into action the principles I learned from the amazing conference speakers! Stay tuned for more upcoming stories from the conference. And if you want to experience some of the Disney magic, consider applying to the Disney On the Road event in a town near you by clicking HERE.

And in case you missed it, here’s a video recap of the conference experience

I also have to say thank you to Josh Hallett for all the wonderful conference photos. And thanks to RayoVac I stayed charged up with the ability to tweet along at the conference. And H2O+ provided some wonderful body wash products that are a staple in my shower. And I appreciated the Hanes socks and all of their colorful goodies.
Disclosure: I attended the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms conference. I paid a discounted price for theme park tickets and received some amenities and products as a courtesy as a conference attendee. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Related Posts


  1. Dee May 28, 2013 at 11:03 am -

    Wow! This event was chock full of info, insights, and experiences. Thank you Kia for taking the time to pen this thorough post…I feel like I was right there with you!

  2. cincomom May 28, 2013 at 11:06 am -

    Thanks so much Dee for stopping by! There was just so much to take in and I wanted to make sure I conveyed that in the best way for readers. Glad you feel like you were there! And soon you will be, right? :):)