For Mother's Day, a contest was held by Disney and Macy's, awarding 50 moms (one from each state) an amazing 5 day - 4 night coast to coast trip to Disneyland and Disneyworld with their families. These lucky ladies were flown from all over the United States on Father's Day to start their celebration with a sunrise breakfast in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle on Disneyland's Main Street. They had one day at Disneyland, then were off to Florida for 2 days at Disneyworld. The event will finish off tomorrow night with a sunset dinner at Disneyworld. I was happy to be invited by Disneyland to attend the sunrise breakfast and cover the event as press. The stories from the winners were amazing...as was the event.
I met the winner from Indiana coming down on the elevator of the Grand Californian Hotel with her two girls. In typical fashion, the girls were discussing who would get to push the button. They agreed that the older sister would push the up button for the day and the younger sister would push the down button for the day. "There, now we don't have to fight for the rest of the day!" Mom said. Smart mama! She mentioned that she had won the contest on the Ellen show and that the whole thing was just surreal.
The winners met in a conference room of the Grand Californian Hotel at 5:30am (ah, that part was fun, but this is what you have to do in order to have a sunrise breakfast), where they were each given a pink sash (ala, beauty pageant) to wear. Kelly, the winner from Delaware, told me about a long ago promise she had made to her 10-year-old son that when he was 10, she would take him to Disneyworld. With the current state of the economy, it wasn't going to be possible. And then she got the call that she was a winner. Wow, it sounds meant to be. I heard from the winer from Alabama, whose husband has been very ill and has been housebound for quite some time. When she won, he was doing better and she was able to get clearances from 4 doctors to allow them to travel. "This came right at the right time. It's a dream come true," she said.
We then proceeded down through Downtown Disney to the park. On the way, I talked to Kimberly, a mom from Maryland. She has five children, but left four of them at home. She brought her 2-year-old, her best friend from the first day of her school and her friend's young daughter. Kimberly is interested in blogging and we talked a lot about Silicon Valley Moms Group. I am hoping to see her start a blog and hear about the rest of her experiences on this trip!
It was a very unique experience to walk down Main Street of Disneyland with only 200 people, the park deserted and quiet. It reminded me of doing first tracks while skiing in Vail with my sister years ago - being able to ski on totally fresh snow with no one on this huge mountain was amazing and this was very much in the same vein. When we got to the front of the castle, a wedding-like scene was revealed. There were tables draped in pink silk tablecloths, gorgeous flower centerpieces, and a full spread of a gourmet breakfast. Each of the moms was crowned Queen for a Day with a tiara. Soon, the Queen of the castle came out to trumpets playing and soon all of the princesses - Ariel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine - came out to talk with the crowd, take photos and sign autographs (I have to admit that I pulled out my autograph book for the occasion, something I have never really been into at Disneyland. The way they sign is actually pretty cool - and I can see how kids might get over their shyness of talking to these characters if they have some purpose: the autograph.)
After breakfast, the moms posed for a group photo. The most memorable and over the top part of this whole thing was the release of about 50 doves from the castle. Um, wow. I'm thinking that doesn't happen very often.
The families then had an hour of early access to rides at Tomorrowland (although Space Mountain was broken at the moment...bummer) and to visit Tinkerbell at the new Pixie Hollow. (I was told that Pixie Hollow is really cool at night, when they do a lot of nightclub-like effects with the lighting. "Magical" was the word of choice...of course.). The rest of the day was theirs to play, although the moms did have some VIP seating for the Celebrate a Street Party and the new fireworks show featuring a flying Tinkerbell and Dumbo.
I'm sure they are all having a great time in Disneyworld by now. To win a trip like this would be fantastic - every mom deserves to be Queen for a Day (on a regular basis would be nice...). Disney and Macy's are helping some special moms have a trip of a lifetime. Congratulations to the winners of the Macy's Moms Disney contest!