Monday, February 9, 2015

Reflections on Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference - Day 1

There were many wonderful things that came out of attending my first YouTube conference ever. First, I met a ton of awesome people at the All Star Creators Conference - everyone from my Disney Rep, who was amazing and put up with me dragging her from theme park to theme park for two days - to tons of fantastic YouTubers that I may not have come across their channels without this event... and best of all, it sparked creativity, imagination, and inspired me to try new things once I arrived home.
The event was hosted at Walt Disney World over 4 fabulous days on January 15th -18th, 2015, and every detail was well planned. Each day we had planned events and meals to attend, and on a few of the days we had free time to go into the parks to create our own specific content. To say the weekend was a whirlwind would be an understatement, but at the same time - it felt like we were there for a month! So many things were packed into a short time period!
On Thursday, I arrived early in the day as I had opted to take a morning flight to have more time in Orlando! (I mean, why not - right???) Once I arrived, everything was arranged for us to take our luggage down to the Magical Express and board the bus to get to our resort. This process was seamless and from the time I arrived at the airport to arriving at the Yacht Club resort, was under and hour and a half. I began keeping an eye out for other YouTubers right away! I arrived at the Yacht Club and immediately knew this was going to be an AH-mazing experience as I checked in at the conference.
I picked up my Magic Band at the front desk after arriving, and headed to my room to drop off my things before sneaking in a few hours of play time in the parks! The room was gorgeous, I loved it - finding little details is one of my favorite things, and of course there were plenty of "Hidden Mickeys" in the room to have a hidden mickey hunt before heading out. I decided to stop by EPCOT first, since the Yacht Club is in the EPCOT resort area and is only a short walk away from the resort.
Walking through EPCOT on a slightly blustery and rainy day was still wonderful - I was in Florida and at Walt Disney World! I stopped by the France Pavilion to try the Strawberries and Cream macaron (fantastic, by the way) at L'artisan Des Glaces. It was probably the best macaron I've ever had, definitely hoping they keep that one on the menu. From there I decided to just walk through EPCOT and enjoy the sights, heading towards the front entrance gate to board the monorail to Magic Kingdom to meet a YouTube friend I knew was in the theme park that day.
I'm not going to lie - being there without the girls was extremely ODD at first! I kept looking down trying to make sure I had my little "people" with me, only to not see anyone standing beneath me. A few times, I would catch a glimpse of families with small children having one of those magical Disney moments, on the monorail... at the entrance to go into Magic Kingdom, and I suddenly would second guess myself. Maybe I had made a mistake not bringing everyone with me... a few times I teared up as I smiled at the families under the safe confines of my sunglasses. A slight twinge of pain of missing those moments with my own littles. I knew it would all be worth it though, and in my heart of hearts - knew I would have a more immersive experience going solo on this trip instead of trying to work the girls schedule into the conference schedule or visa versa.

At Magic Kingdom, I luckily immediately  had an opportunity be to uplifted - and by another YouTuber! Niome from My Life with a Cherry on Top happened to be at Walt Disney World this weekend and I had a fantastic time being able to meet her in person!

After a quick meet up, it was time to head back to the hotel room to change clothes for dinner and the first official event of the conference! We were having a kick off dinner and dance the the Atlantic City Dance Hall at the Boardwalk that evening, where all the YouTubers had a chance to meet each other while having a fantastic meal. Here I met some of the other Mommy YouTubers in attendance, MadeByMommyPinsandThings, and ReneeJRoss, I also finally had a chance to meet Rosalie from RosalieSaysRawr - one of the other winners of the trip to attend the conference. We had helped each other contain our excitement over email in the days prior to the conference, so it was great to say, "We're finally here!!".

After the dinner event was over, I called it a night and headed back to my room. I knew it was going to be a jam-packed few days, and as it turns out... that was a good decision, because would be the ONLY night I would get over a few hours of sleep over the weekend. The next morning we would be up bright and early for breakfast and our first conference session! As well as meet our Disney Representative!

Check out my video 'Day in the Life' vlog from my first day at the Disney Maker All Star Creators Conference:

** FTC Disclaimer: I received an all expenses paid trip to attend the All Star Creators Conference after winning a video contest showing my Disney Side! I was not paid to blog or vlog the conference. All opinions are my own.

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