Even after three years and quite possibly because of the title, most folks think that you have to be a female and be a mother to be a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. “Mom” is such a universal term for someone who nurtures, organizes and plans, that it seemed the perfect name for a site for the best Walt Disney World advice coming from the best Walt Disney World advisors. But to be considered for the Panel you don’t need to be a parent or even female. You only need to have a vast knowledge of Walt Disney World and a passion to share that knowledge.
That being said, the Panel is positively brimming with testosterone this year with 8 men who consider themselves “Disney Moms.”
Here are some thoughts from the men who proudly wear the pink!
BRET CALDWELL, IL
“I was honored and ‘tickled pink’ to be selected for the Moms Panel. Being the lone and the first Dad just added a touch of humor to the experience. On the Panel, I think ‘Mom’ is simply an adjective to describe the fact that we are all caring, passionate and experienced people who want to help others have a great vacation. I think it perfectly describes the spirit of the group. Unless they want to call it the ‘Expert-Passionate-Empathetic-Dedicated-Articulate-Diverse-Disney-Loving Panel,’ I think Walt Disney World Moms Panel is the best fitting name for us.”
DOUG INGERSOLL, IN
“Who knew that being a Dad on a panel of Moms would be such a life changer? So little of what I have experienced has matched what I expected and so many of my assumptions have been turned on their heads.
I thought I would get a lot of guy oriented questions, but really I have not. It seems that the questions a parent asks are pretty universal, regardless of home town, age, or gender. Where should we go? What should we eat? How can I make this the most special vacation for my family? Parents the world over anticipate a Walt Disney World vacation as a landmark moment for their family and want to ensure that everything is perfect.”
BERNIE EDWARDS, MD
“At work (NASA) I am known as a ‘Disney Guy’ and people have been coming to me with questions for years. I absolutely love the Disney theme parks and think they are the best vacation spots in the world. I’ve visited Walt Disney World almost every year of my life since I was a little boy. My dad’s family was farmers about two hours north of Walt Disney World.
My wife and I visited Walt Disney World every year before we had children. I’ve watched the parks grow as I’ve grown older. I love bringing people who have never visited before and I love visiting with my children. It’s great to see the magic through my children’s eyes.
When I heard that Walt Disney World created the Moms Panel, I had to apply!”
JOEL KENNEDY, WI
“Some people may look twice when they notice a herd of Dads mixed in with all the Moms. But that’s just it – we’re mixed in. When it comes down to it, our love for Walt Disney World and our families knows no gender bounds.
The moms and dads on the Panel couldn’t have possibly clicked any better. The feeling when we’re with one another – whether it’s at our training trip, on a conference call or interfacing online – is that of a family reunion and we take such comfort in having the family all together.”
TERRY MCKINNEY, SC
“This is a great opportunity for us Dads to represent with our vacation planning skills. There are a number of Dads out there who play a huge part in vacation planning. As a Dad who already enjoyed everything Disney, being selected to the Panel was like icing on the cake!”
JONAS LEHMANN KARP, NY
“I feel right at home on the Moms Panel because like many other Moms, I’m a natural planner, mindful of my family budget and I love helping others out by providing advice and counsel. I think those traits are something both Moms and Dads out there can relate to and appreciate, especially in these uncertain times.
I owe a lot to the awesome and knowledgeable Moms and two Dads who paved the way for the new members of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Being one of the dads on the Panel has been an amazing experience.”
CHRIS GILDEA, MA
“I cherish being a part of the Moms Panel for many reasons. First and foremost, I have been teamed with some of the most incredible women in America, who are not only lovely, but are pretty doggone good at planning a magical vacation. In addition, I love being a stereotype-smasher! That is, being a Dad on a ‘Moms’ Panel shows the entire vacation planning world that we Dads have been recognized as having an ever increasing role in planning when, where and how our families enjoy their time together, and what better place to do that but Walt Disney World!”
MARC LORENZO, NY
“I do get asked a lot why I wanted to be a ‘Mom’ and my answer is usually, besides being the coolest gig out there for a Disney fan, being a Mom provides me with the opportunity to help people plan their trips to Walt Disney World. I do not get overly hung up on the title of Mom on the Moms Panel because I know that there are a huge amount of Dads and men out there who love Disney and do the planning for their family’s trips to Walt Disney World. I realize that Moms really do come in all shapes, sizes and even genders! The women on the Moms Panel are all amazing and it is an honor to be counted as a member of the ‘Sea of Pink.’ The best thing is that the Moms Panel is so diverse and everyone brings their unique expertise and knowledge to the table and a beautiful tapestry is formed.”