If you want to look for one of Disney’s biggest social media successes, then go no further than the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. It’s taken a strength of the company, an affinity for Disney travel among families, and turned it into a valuable resource for any Disney vacation planner, rookie or seasoned veteran. The Moms Panel idea has been so successful they added many more experts beyond the gates of Walt Disney World, so it’s only makes sense that it will now have a new name The Disney Parks Moms Panel.
Along with the change in title the company announced the group’s 19 newest members. Also new for 2013, two Team Sports Moms will join the roster to assist guests with youth sports-related travel to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. This is the sixth year of the panel and it looks to be one of the best yet in terms of composition of the panel.
“Since launching in 2008, the Disney Parks Moms Panel has answered countless questions from travelers considering a Disney Parks vacation,” said Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations, U.S. and France. “Known for their sound and practical advice, the panelists continue to be a great resource, helping even more guests make unforgettable Disney memories.”
The Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for planning Disney Parks vacations. Whether you are looking to kick it on the fields of the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, find the best character dining experience for their family, jog around Disney theme parks with runDisney or discover the cultures of the world with Adventures by Disney, there is a panelist who can share authentic opinions and tips on almost anything and everything Disney Parks. Spanish-speaking visitors can also read and submit questions to a group of dedicated multilingual panelists.
In September 2012, thousands of hopefuls from around the world submitted applications for a seat on the panel. From the many passionate applications, 19 new moms and dads have taken their seat with the 2013 Disney Parks Moms Panel.
Meet the first new members of the Disney Parks Moms Panel:
– Allison Lemme; Plano, Texas (Walt Disney World) – A hospitality management professional turned stay-at-home mom, Allison spends her days specializing in serving daily doses of magic to her family of five. She also enjoys blogging and donating her time to local organizations and charities.
– Angie Gregg; Hummelstown, Pa. (Team Sports Mom) – Busy mom to two soccer-loving princesses and wife of a professional soccer coach, it’s no surprise that team sports are a big deal in the Gregg household! When she’s not attending a game or working as a medical coder, Angie loves to exercise and participate in races.
– Audra Anders; Dunwoody, Ga. (Team Sports Mom) – From the gridiron to the pitcher’s mound, Audra loves to take on the role of team mom for her two athletic sons. The Anders family has made major-league memories at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and Audra looks forward to helping others do the same!
– Courtney Bautista; Fresno, Calif. (Disneyland Resort) – As a Southern California native, Courtney “grew up Disney,” making frequent visits to Disneyland Resort. Now as a parent, she looks to share the Disney lifestyle with her son and husband; as a family, they love to participate in pin trading and experience all the fabulous food options Disney has to offer.
– Derek Hoffman; Washington, D.C. (Walt Disney World) – Tax consultant by day and magic-maker by night, this Disney dad loves helping others plan memory-filled vacations. A self proclaimed “Waltophile,” Derek honeymooned at the place where dreams come true and has taken semiannual trips to his “happy place” ever since.
– Jackie Gailey; Savannah, Ga. (Walt Disney World) – A perpetual spreader of Pixie Dust, Jackie incorporates Disney into all aspects of her life, and that of her husband, son and daughter. Her Disney vacation experience spans from coast to coast, and she can’t wait to share her love of the Mouse on the Moms Panel.
– Jacqui Clark; Chicago, Ill. (Walt Disney World) – Jacqui lives her life by the mantra “Adventure is out there!” From domestic Disney resorts to Disneyland Paris and the decks of Disney Cruise Line, the Clark family has experienced memories and milestones a plenty with Disney. When she’s not planning vacations, Jacqui works as a substitute teacher and volunteers in her community.
– Kari Krueger; College Station, Texas (Disney Vacation Club) – The words “Welcome Home!” are dear to the Krueger family. Kari and her husband became Disney Vacation Club members before the birth of their two children, taking annual vacations around the world all on their points. By day, Kari is the executive director of a non-profit, helping people with autism and other disabilities lead independent lives.
– Kimberly Lucci; Bridgewater, N.J. (Walt Disney World) – A college professor turned stay-at-home mom, Kimberly shares her love of the Mouse with her husband and daughter. She can often be found sharing her personal park-planning tips on vegetarian eating and traveling with disabilities at Disney.
– Kristen deHaan; Puebla, Mexico (Adventures by Disney/Aulani) – Originally hailing from Ontario, Canada, Kristen lives an international life with her husband and three children. Between multiple Disney Cruise Line sailings, half a dozen Adventures by Disney departures and countless Disney Vacation Club excursions, Kristen is a pro at traveling the globe with Disney.
– Mandy Milhoan; Greenville, S.C. (Walt Disney World) – As the mother of five, Mandy knows the importance of vacationing on a budget. Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two, a girls weekend or full-out family vacation, Mandy uses her “bloodhound’s nose for bargains” to experience Disney as often as possible.
– Marcy Galloway; Cincinnati, Ohio (Disney Cruise Line) – From first sight of the life-sized pirate schooner in their backyard, you can tell the Galloway family is up for an ocean adventure! Marcy takes the helm of her home ship, leading her husband and two children on magical Disney Cruise Line vacations.
– Miguel Olmo-Rodríguez; Guaynabo, Puerto Rico (Spanish-language) – An environmental planning consultant by trade, Miguel is an avid researcher and meticulous planner – skills he uses to create unforgettable Disney vacations for his family. He is thrilled to be the first bilingual dad to answer questions in Spanish on the panel.
– Mona Leigh Guha; Columbia, Md. (Disney Vacation Club) – Her Ph.D. might be in Human Development, but most friends refer to Mona Leigh as “Dr. Disney.” When she’s not conducting research for the University of Maryland, Mona Leigh can be found planning Disney Vacation Club getaways for her husband and daughter.
– Raquel Cummings; Cedar Hill, Texas (Walt Disney World) – Special touches are a hallmark of every Cummings family Disney vacation. Whether they are sailing with Disney Cruise Line or enjoying Disney Parks with Disney Vacation Club points, Raquel knows that it’s the little touches and lesser-known experiences that can make for big magic.
– Sherri Cuda; Crete, Ill. (Walt Disney World) – Traveling with dietary restrictions? This Midwestern mom of two and property manager is your gal! She’s done Disney in every way – as a prior Cast Member, from solo trips to Grand Gatherings – sampling more than 70 dining options along the way.
– Stephanie Gibbon; Brantford, Ontario (Walt Disney World) – You can’t top this Canuck on traveling to Disney! When she’s not busy teaching third grade or spending quality time with her family, Stephanie loves giving advice on the best ways to cross the border and make magical memories at Disney. Parlez-vous français? She shares tips in French too!
– Wilma Norton; St. Petersburg, Fla. (Walt Disney World) – Living just 90 minutes from the Magic Kingdom gates has allowed Wilma and her family to enjoy countless Walt Disney World vacations as annual passholders. She prefers to stay on-property and has visited almost every resort, eatery and attraction the park has to offer.
– Yael Londoño; Dania Beach, Fla. (Spanish-language) – Yael is her name and pin trading is her game! This mom of three has visited Walt Disney World more than 100 times, with the goal of collecting a pin at each on-property resort. In Yael’s opinion, you are never too young to experience Disney – her daughter’s visit was at just 17 days old!
The new panel will be joined by select alumni panelists – representing all previous panels – to help answer the influx of Disney vacation questions submitted to the site each week. In addition to browsing answers, guests can access a variety of helpful how-to videos in both English and Spanish. Along with the new name, Disney Parks will look to revamp the Moms Panel website in 2013 with exciting new features, blog content and mobile-friendly options.
About the Disney Parks Moms Panel
The Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online forum where guests can get tips and insights for a Disney vacation from real moms, dads and grandparents who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. Guests can pose questions to the panelists in both English and Spanish, as well as gain access to other vacation-planning tools for booking a Disney vacation. Featuring just 12 members during its inaugural year in 2008, the panel now boasts 47 park-savvy panelists as a result of the popularity of the site and an ever-growing number of questions submitted by curious parents. For more information and to meet the panelists, visit www.DisneyParksMomsPanel.com.
Such a shame. They had a chance to correct the obviously limiting name of and scope of this group and failed to again. I know there have been fathers on the panel in the past but the name of the group doesn’t recognize that nor does this year’s roster of participants that only includes dad.
Fathers are parents with valuable insight, too
This issue isn’t unique to Disney. It’s reflective of the general culture that minimizes the important role that fathers play in raising children.
I’m pleased for the folks that are on this year’s panel. They have a lot of fun a d a lot of work ahead of them. I will again go back to hoping that next year the will see Disney recognizing the importance of parental diversity.
I almost wrote the exact same thing you did. But then I reconsidered, naming it a ‘Moms Panel’ is reflective of the fact that Moms ARE the vast majority of vacation planners in the household. I think in this case Disney has the right to not be gender neutral in its effort to reach that group with specific keywords that will interest that group. A more gender neutral name may fail in that regard. That there are men on the panel is great, but it’s not a reason to overlook the very obvious demographic inbalance in vacation planning in families.
Jut because there are more Moms planning doesn’t mean the name of the group should be exclusionary. As a widowed Dad I find it extremely difficult to join many of the parenting web sites, as most of the forums etc are female only. This name just emphasized the stereotype that Moms are the only parents that actually take after their kids.
What about the single or childless people who want to apply. Why not an inclusive name like Disney parks Guests Panel?
I think the Disney Parents Panel would have been better. I would like to see more men on the panel or a section dedicated to activities for men and boys. Often times the girls will go in one direction and the boys in another. More of a split would give better ideas when families split up. For example the girls go to the Bippity Bobbity Boutique and the boys go to Sammy Duvals for water activities. I don’t think you get this kind of diversity from the site.
Exactly Mike. Bippidy Boppidy Broke for the gals, Pirates League for the girls. New fantasyland for teh girls, Sorcerers of teh Magic Kingdom for teh boys. totally different perspective planning for different genders.
Disney Parents Panel would probably have been better. Everyone in my family gets a say in holiday plans but I’m the one who does the final planning and sorts out when we go where. “Mom’s Panel” is a wee bit dated.