Disney Cruise Line

Moms Panel Monday: Meet a Mom Who’s in on Disney’s Best Kept Secret, Disney Vacation Club

posted on February 6th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Whether she is organizing a Disney vacation for hundreds of high school students or a gathering for 50 of her closest loved ones, Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Andrea Houston-Lingman says planning the perfect pixie-dusted vacation is her true passion.

Walt Disney World Moms Panel Andrea Houston-Lingman with her Family at Disney Parks

New to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel this year, Andrea is a teacher and busy mom of two whose specialty is helping others learn about Disney vacations with Disney Vacation Club. She has a knack for planning trips with teen travelers in mind and with more than 25 trips to Walt Disney World Resort under her belt, Andrea can answer just about any question you can dream of!

Some of Andrea’s favorite Disney Vacation Club Resorts include Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa. She loves Saratoga Springs Resort so much that she even remodeled her bathroom at home to resemble the villa’s bathroom!

Q: What do you recommend for families who are planning their first stay at a Disney Vacation Club Resort?
A: Plan ahead! You can get a sense of what each Disney Vacation Club property has to offer just by looking on the website before you go so you will spend less time planning and more time playing once you get there.

Q: What’s a tip for families vacationing with tweens in tow?
A: It depends on your comfort level, but if you have little ones who aren’t ready for the ‘big kid’ rides, splitting into groups for a few hours while you’re at the parks gives your teens or pre-teens a little independence in a safe environment. For example, my 13-year-old daughter brought one of her friends along on our last trip to Walt Disney World and they were allowed to play on their own for two hours before we all met for lunch. Just that little bit of flexibility in the plans made them feel like they had a special part of the vacation that was just for them.

Q: What is your advice for setting up a large group visit to Walt Disney World Resort?
A: This March will mark the sixth year in a row that I’m serving as a chaperone on my school’s senior class trip with more than 400 high school kids. One thing I’ve learned from big groups is that you can’t please everyone but you can still have a great experience. There is something for everyone at Walt Disney World and making sure you sit down with your group before your trip to create a list of everyone’s “must sees” will help you decide what to focus on.

Q: Can you share one of your favorite memories during a vacation to Walt Disney World Resort?
A: There are so many! One of them has to be when my daughter was three years old and we took her, along with my in-laws, to have breakfast with the princesses for the first time. I will never forget watching her meet each princess and then seeing the smiles on her grandparents’ faces. My mother in law cried her eyes out that day!

Want to ask Andrea a question about your next vacation? Visit DisneyWorldMoms.com.

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A Mom’s Take: Sailing to the Mexican Riviera with Disney Cruise Line

posted on February 1st, 2012 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


What can you expect on a Disney cruise to the Mexican Riviera?

Through a series of videos, our Disney Cruise Line Mom Andi shows us her family’s experience on a seven-night voyage to the Mexican Riviera.

Check out the first video to see how Mexican culture comes aboard the Disney Wonder!

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Meet the First Mom to Represent Disneyland Resort on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

posted on January 30th, 2012 by Michele Himmelberg, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


As a mom, I know moms rely on other parents to get information they can trust, especially when it comes to family fun. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce you to the first “Disneyland” mom on the Walt Disney World Moms PanelAmanda Ficili. She and Ari Krell (you’ll meet him later) were selected to be the first panelists to answer guest questions about the Disneyland Resort.

Amanda Ficili, the First 'Disneyland' Mom on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, and Her Family at Disneyland Resort

You can tell by Amanda’s smile, this is a girl who likes to have fun – especially at Disney Parks. She grew up on the East Coast and frequently visited Walt Disney World Resort. Now she lives in Northern California and calls Disneyland Resort her “second home.”

Amanda usually visits with her husband and young daughter, a little princess who has inherited her parents’ fascination with Disney magic. She and her husband are self-proclaimed “Disney foodies” and, if you like to shop, Amanda’s your girl for discovering treasures at Downtown Disney.

Q: What’s it like to share your passion for Disneyland with visitors to the Moms Panel?
A: It’s an honor to represent the Disneyland Resort. I believe Disneyland is the ultimate vacation destination. When road-trip time rolls around, it’s a no-brainer … I’m going to Disneyland!

Q: What’s a tip for families visiting from outside Southern California?
A: Staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel keeps the magic alive for your entire visit. You don’t realize what a difference it makes until you’re there. And be sure to enjoy the new pools and spectacular Monorail slide at the Disneyland Hotel.

Q: How can I make a Disneyland vacation more affordable for my family?
A: I have been to Disney on almost every imaginable budget, and I’ve enjoyed every visit. Be sure to always check www.Disneyland.com/offers for current special offers and vacation package deals. Staying steps away from the magic can be more affordable than you may think.

Q: Tell us some of your favorite food topics at Disneyland Resort.
A: There are so many! Romantic dinners at Napa Rose, character dining at the Resort hotels, birthday celebrations, Blue Bayou Restaurant – plus all the special treats.

Tell us what you would ask Amanda at DisneyWorldMoms.com.

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New Disney Parks Blog Segment: Moms Panel Mondays

posted on January 23rd, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


If you can’t get enough of our Walt Disney World Moms Panel and all of the helpful answers and advice they offer about planning your next Disney Parks vacation, then you’re in for a treat.

Starting next Monday, the Disney Parks Blog will feature a special segment each week that is dedicated to learning more about the magical moms (and dads!) who make up the panel and give them a chance to share their latest vacation planning tips with you.

Amanda Ficili, One of the Newest Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, Poses with Mickey Mouse in Front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park

With 15 new panelists joining our seasoned alum Moms eager share their expertise on everything from making delicious reservations with the Disney Dining Plan, to sailing the high seas in style while on a vacation with Disney Cruise Line, there is sure to be a lot to learn from these magic makers.

Check back next Monday to hear from one of our newest Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, Amanda Ficili, a mom whose favorite destination is the Disneyland Resort.

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Walt Disney World Moms Panel: We Are Outgrowing Our Name

posted on January 12th, 2012 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


The Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel Welcomes 15 New Members

Today we welcome 15 new panelists to the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. But in the near future, look for that name to change! This hugely popular vacation planning website is entering its fifth year and now guests can answer questions not just about Walt Disney World Resort, but Adventures by Disney, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Cruise Line. As of today, Disneyland Resort and runDisney will also have their own specialists. In addition, for the first time guests can ask and receive answers from some of our panelists in Spanish.

Our 15 new panelists join our seasoned alums to form an elite crew of magic makers. Visit them now. They are eager to start spreading their pixie dust.

Our Newest Magic Makers
Amanda Ficili, CA – Disneyland Resort Specialist
Andrea Houston-Lingman, PA − Disney Vacation Club Specialist
Ari Krell, CA – Disneyland Resort Specialist
Ashley Forster, VA
Elisabeth Lackey, SC − Adventures by Disney Specialist
Jodie Hilson, GA
Kim Dillen, NC
Kirsten Etmanski, ON
Laura Munkel, IN − Disney Vacation Club Specialist
Lori Lovell, KY − runDisney Specialist
Malanie Rivera, NY − Spanish Language Panelist
Nancy Walshe, GA − Disney Cruise Line Specialist
Scott Houston, GA
Stacy Cacciatore, SC
Sue Farrell, UK

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Walt Disney World Resort Moms Panel: The First-Time Draft Picks Are Ready to Rumble

posted on December 28th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


OK. I’m gonna be honest here. I don’t even know which sport has first draft picks or what all that means. For me, a first draft pick is deciding between a 4-, 5- or 6-inch emerald green, suede, sling-backed pump.

But in keeping with my new sports vernacular, we have picked the 15 newest members of the Walt Disney World Resort Moms Panel! These passionate Disney fans made it through thousands of other players to be on the team. They run out onto the playing field in January to help you plan the most magical, wonderful Disney Parks vacations ever! Come back in January and find out who they are.

Give me an M! Give me an O! Give me an M! What does it spell? Magic!

P.S. The 4-inch heel is too low and says “work.” The 6-inch heel is too high and says “ouch.” The 5-inch heel would be my first draft pick. Just a little info if you were curious.

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Walt Disney World Moms Panel: It Wasn’t the Dog This Time

posted on November 30th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


“Yes! Walt Disney World Resort was educational!” Thousands of children return from trips to Disney Parks each year and many say this to their teachers. I’m imagining the faces of those teachers looking much like they do when they hear the words, “dog” and “homework.” But in reality, those children are telling the truth! At Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, kids can have fun and receive a top notch educational program.

'Leadership Excellence' Youth Education Series Program at Epcot

Earlier this year, one of our Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, Jill Cooper, experienced two of Walt Disney World Resort’s Youth Education Series (Y.E.S.) programs. As a teacher of American history from New Jersey, Jill and a group of high school seniors enjoyed the programs “American Story” at Magic Kingdom Park and “Leadership Excellence” at Epcot during their stay. Jill shares part of their adventure with us.

'American Story' Youth Education Series Program at Magic Kingdom Park

“As a teacher of American history, I loved the prospect of exploring the myriad of ways in which Walt Disney Imagineers incorporated the story of our nation’s past into Magic Kingdom Park through the “American Story” Y.E.S. program. This program was a lovely complement to the student’s recent courses in U.S. history and American Government.

After having experienced the Disney Y.E.S. programs, I couldn’t wait to share with fellow educators how valuable these experiences can be for their students. I am always delighted when a fellow parent or educator asks me about these programs on the Walt Disney World Moms Panel site.”

Disney Youth Education Series uses the fun and excitement of Disney Parks to engage participants and immerse them in subjects related to science, reading, history and the performing arts. For more information regarding Disney Youth Programs, visit www.disneyyouth.com or call 877-939-6884.

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Moms Panel: If I Had Two Hours at Walt Disney World to Make a Lifelong Memory I Would…

posted on September 20th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Monina Wagner is our proud representative from the Midwest. Her fantasy in our series “If I Had Two Hours” is below!

Sunset Boulevard at Disney's Hollywood Studios

“I know dreams really do come true at Walt Disney World Resort. So armed with only two hours, my daughter and I would march straight to the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios so that I could grab a latte and a carrot cake cookie. We then would head for Sunset Boulevard and sit on one of the benches along the avenue.

I sit back and unwind while drinking my latte as my daughter looks for her favorite Streetmosphere performer. She loves “Otto Von Bonn Bahn” the most but enjoys all of the Citizens of Hollywood as they act up a storm and ‘meet their fans.’

The Citizens of Hollywood are able entertain my family for hours. We watch their skits and are thrilled when we are chosen to participate. If my daughter can walk the red carpet with them, we act like paparazzi snapping photos of our little celebrity!”

How would spend two hours making your family feel like a movie star at Disney Parks? Let me know in my comments section below!

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Celebrate Five Years of Magic and Meet the Walt Disney World Moms Panel!

posted on September 15th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


UPDATE 9/23/11: This event is now full.

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Oct.1, the Walt Disney World Resort celebrates its 40th anniversary. The Walt Disney World Moms Panel has been giving our guests advice for four years. In January of 2012, the website will commemorate five years of making magic for our guests!

Meet past, present (and maybe future) panelists at the second “Walt Disney World Moms Panel Fan Meet!” Saturday, Oct. 1, noon-2:30 p.m. Held at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, you can nosh on light hors d’oeuvres and snacks, chat with members of the Moms Panel and if you have room, head over on your own to the second day of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival*!

To request attendance for you and up to five additional Moms Panel-loving friends or family, please RSVP here! Space is limited. Not all requests will be accommodated. If we can accommodate your request we will send you a confirmation email with the location and instructions by the week of Sept. 23.

*THEME PARK ADMISSION IS NOT INCLUDED.

Park and attraction hours subject to change without notice and the event may be cancelled without notice. This event is not open to cast members of The Walt Disney Company or any of its affiliates or their immediate family members.

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Monday is ‘M’ Day at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on September 9th, 2011 by Laura Spencer, Social Media Manager, Walt Disney World Resort


UPDATE: The search for the next Walt Disney World Moms Panel is now underway. If you’re passionate about planning vacations at the Happiest Place on Earth for your family and would love to share your expert knowledge, apply now. The application period will end Sept. 16, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Apply to Become a Member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel

Starting Monday, September 12, we will begin the search for the next group of vacation-planning dream makers who will join our guest-based site, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel! Next year, the website will celebrate its fifth anniversary. As a member chosen to be on the ground-breaking very first panel in 2008, Kim LaPaglia said it best.

“As a member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, I have had the opportunity to not only share my personal Disney knowledge but to truly touch the lives of others by helping them to create priceless family memories. I encourage parents, grandparents and guardians – anyone who shares a passion for planning Disney vacations to apply.”

The competition is very competitive with the world’s most Mouse-loving fans applying every year. Most will not make it to the final rounds, but some will and it could be you! We hope that everyone with the knowledge, passion and legendary Disney spirit will apply! If that’s you, don’t forget, Monday the race begins!

Good luck to everyone!

(The application period begins after 9 a.m. EST on Sept. 12, 2011, and ends Sept. 16, 2011, 11:59 p.m. EST.)

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