Last week I only scratched the surface about what’s been going on down here, with the media events at Disney to cover, my son Aidan’s birthday, MegaCon, a character breakfast and more…..Whew! It’s been so busy, and I have a lot to tell you about, so we’re going to jump right in! (you may need a snack…. or a drink!)
I actually wrote last weeks Wednesday night blog on Tuesday morning I think, because I knew come Tuesday night I was booked solid until the following Tuesday! That night, I had to go pick up my media credentials at the Paddlefish restaurant at Disney Springs, because the Pandora event was starting on Wednesday Morning. When I got to the restaurant, a storm was just hitting, but it quickly passed. I was so nervous to go by myself. Disney invited us, and I was thrilled, but each media outlet only got one media pass, so I was on my own. I’m always talking about trying to be brave, and now was the time to prove that I could… and I did. Within a short period of time, I saw some of my travel agent friends come in and my nerves quickly disappeared. We chatted, had some drinks and snacks, then I headed home because I had to be at Animal Kingdom bright and early in the morning!
Wednesday morning I was up and out the door around 7am. There was to be the dedication ceremony of Pandora, followed by a breakfast, then touring the new area, having lunch, then exploring more if we chose to. My stomach was so nerved up, this was a huge deal, and I wanted to do a good job. There were so many various media outlets on hand, local and national news stations, a few in the blogging community (including TMSM, yay!), travel people and more. I felt like a little fish in a big sea, but I was there….. and I was excited and thankful. The ceremony wasn’t too long, breakfast was great, and I met up with my Disney representative Michael, who was my guide for the day. How cool is that? He was awesome, truly. We headed over to Pandora to take photos and go on the rides. I was trying to take as many photos as I could, being that it will never be that un-crowded there anytime soon! Perfect for photo opportunities. We had lunch, I chatted with Michael some more, met up with the travel girls, then went home to get cleaned up and pick up Scott for the media dinner that night.
Bad weather had been a threat all day, so things had to be moved around a bit. Dinner was supposed to be at Animal Kingdom, but got moved to the Contemporary due to impending storms. Disney created an Animal Kingdom environment anyway, with performers, food, and more. It was a great time. They even had character photo opportunities! After dinner, we went back to Animal Kingdom to see a special show at the Tree of Life, including drones flying above, then we got to see Pandora at night for the first time. It’s beautiful! We walked the area, had more drinks and snacks, and were able to go on the Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage again. I still had Michael with me, so we were in great hands. All in all, an amazing night!
Day three of the media frenzy was at Hollywood Studios early the next morning. There was a special social media breakfast at the Brown Derby, then we went to the Beauty and the Beast theater for the Blockbuster Summer announcements. Afterwards we were free to go or head back to Pandora for more photos. Being that it was Aidan’s birthday, I chose to go home, as the events were “officially” over. Michael walked me to the gates (he’s the best, did I mention that?) and I headed out. I can’t begin to explain how thankful I was to be included in these events. We have worked SO hard these past seven years on TMSM, and the fact that Disney had us join in was HUGE for us as a site. I don’t take anything for granted when it comes to these things, or invites we get. I’m humbled that they even ask. It was an experience I won’t soon forget. That afternoon, I let Aidan choose what he wanted to do for his day. He wanted to go to GameStop and spend some birthday money, the Dairy Queen, and Cracker Barrel for dinner. Fine with me! He’s such a good kid, so easy going and doesn’t ask for much. Last year for his birthday I was so sick, so I wanted to make sure he had a good day, and he did. My little bug is getting too big too fast!
On Friday, we had media passes to cover MegaCon, the big comic convention that comes to Orlando every year, at the Orange County Convention Center. I was so tired, but duty calls and I pulled it together and we headed out after taking the kids to school. MegaCon is quite something. They had a ton of booths filled with merchandise, collectible items, people wearing costumes, cosplay booths (Like The Walking Dead with the BEST Rick Grimes impersonator ever, Cecil Grimes Cosplay shown below). It’s a lot of ground to cover, but we did our best. We couldn’t stay the entire day because we had to get the kids from school, but we took them back to MegaCon on Saturday for the day, so we got enough coverage. Friday night we took the boys to see Pirates of the Caribbean 5, and LOVED it. It was SO good! As tired as I was, it was a good tired, and I was happy that we got to do so much. A huge thank you to MegaCon for inviting us out!
Sunday we had running around to do, things to get done that we hadn’t gotten the chance to do during the week. Monday, we had a breakfast reservation over at Disney’s Boardwalk at Trattoria Al Forno with Autumn who was in town. We had this breakfast reserved for a long time, as it featured our favorites, Tangled and the Little Mermaid! The food was great, the characters were fun, and it’s a place that I’d for sure do again! I highly recommend it!
It’s been a crazy week, to say the very least. I know this weeks blog was a lot longer, but I thank you for reading it, I had a lot to say! We’re working on the magazine today, it needs to be out in the morning. Then maybe we can breathe for a few minutes….. maybe. I’m thankful for all the opportunities that we’ve been given, it’s something that I only dreamed about. I’m also glad it came down when it did, because Friday was our “angel-versary” for our little one that we lost one year ago. I wrote about it on my personal blog page, you can read that here http://www.micheleatwood.com/2017/05/26/love-light-loss-breaking-silence-iamoneinfour/. It’s not an easy subject to talk about, but I did it to spread awareness and for others to NOT feel alone or ashamed when a tragedy like this occurs. Thank you to everyone who reached out, you’re a blessing. Also, the interview I did with the Orlando Sentinel came out at the same time, yes it really DID all hit at once, and you can see that here http://www.micheleatwood.com/2017/05/28/asked-participate-video-orlando-sentinel-exciting/. (Please, if you haven’t subscribed to my new blog, you can do so at www.micheleatwood.com!) So much happening at once, but truly, it’s a blessing and my heart is full. Thank you, all of you, who support my efforts and the efforts of ALL of us at The Main Street Mouse. I can’t ever explain what you all mean to me. Next weeks update I’m sure will be much shorter, but you know I’ll be filling you in! Until then, sending you all big hugs, blessings and pixie dust! See ya real soon! ~M