You can check out Suzannah’s blog at Zannaland.com. She’s also actively on Twitter under the username Zannaland. If you use Facebook you can find her there as well. And be sure to ask her any questions that may not have been answered here in this interview at the Official Disney Moms Panel Website.
Until Next Time,
P.S. Check out Suzannah’s guest blog post on the D-Street Passholder Preview at Downtown Disney.
P.P.S. Here are the answers to the questions that we couldn’t get to on the video. Sorry guys. We appreciate you but the battery ran out on the camera…technology.
1. Charles Aguillon asks…Hi Suzannah! What has been the coolest “behind the scenes” experience you have had so far on the panel?
(If you don’t get to mine I will remind you next month in person!!!!)
On the panel? Definitely driving behind the scenes at Epcot and going backstage there. Since I’d been in the Utilidor before, that wasn’t new to me (although they have remodeled it a bit!) but I didn’t do too much behind the scenes at Epcot when I was a cast member, so it was fun. Being inside the “Prop Shop” which is technically open to groups but not the general public, was really really cool too. I’m hoping there’s even more backstage magic to come!
2. dzieniszewski asks…I am curious about the demographic of the Mom’sPanel. Are there representatives of all ages and ethnicities? As a very active 72 year old, I am frequently asked about what WDW has to offer for an “older visitor’ to the World and how to plan their visit to the World. Just curious because their is a perception that anyone over the age of 70 needs a wheel chair, or some kind of special assitance, or if they don’t how to plan their visit.
Hey there! There definitely is a wide range of demographics, even in this year alone, plus the previous years too. We have a grandmother on the panel and many of us travel with our older parents and other relatives too. There are 8 dads on the panel, including this year the first gay panelist. We have African-American and Hispanic panelists as well. We really are a pretty broad range of parents, and even if we don’t look like we would know the answer to a particular question based on our bio, we just might surprise you. I think the general rule is, if someone has a negative preconception about Disney, send them over and we’ll tell you the truth!
3. Laurie asks…Suzannah – do you think Disney will ever consider adding Disneyland to the Mom’s Panel or as a separate panel? I know it’s a lot smaller but on the West Coast it’s usually the first step to Disney and there are always so many questions families have. Thanks! And how fun for you to be on the Panel!
I know there’s been discussion of it in the past, but more than that, your guess is as good as mine. I think it would be a great addition. I know I’ve never been to Disneyland and it seems like a foreign land to me sometimes with all it’s little differences. I’d love to have a Disneyland Moms Panel to help me out!!
4. KAmburn asks…Great contest! My question is around the fireworks. My kids are still on the young side and we want to pick one late night. Which would you suggest (Wishes, Illuminations or Fantasmic) and why? Thanks!
Without a doubt I will pick Wishes. There are some parts of Fantasmic that are really loud and some that are pretty scary to young kids. I vividly remember being pregnant with my first son and watching Fantasmic and after a really loud noise, he JUMPED in utero!
Illuminations is an amazing show, but it’s a little slower-moving than Wishes. There are some parts as you’re waiting for the “big ball” to float into place in the center of the lagoon that little kids could get restless with. There are still images being shown on the ball, but it’s not as ‘exciting’ as the rest of the show for small ones.
Wishes has music, Jimminy Cricket and pretty much non-stop fireworks. Plus you have the amazing Cinderella Castle as the backdrop. The fireworks are simply spectacular too. There is one part with the villains, but it’s nothing super scary, just narration and more cool fireworks. I hope they (and you) enjoy it!
5. Nancy asks…Great contest….and so many questions, so little time lol!
OK, narrowing it down to just one, for the benefit of my friends who have never been to Disney World before: What is the ONE most important thing you think anyone who is planning their first WDW trip should know?
Well, if they’re planning, that’s already a good step. So many people don’t and show up and have a miserable time because they just don’t know what to expect. It’s hard to pick just one…but I’d have to go with looking into crowds and the time of year as the first place to start. Visiting Disney for the first time in the middle of August is a verrry different experience than visiting the week after November, or the middle of January. And I’m going to sneak one more in just because I can – look into the dining options and make advanced dining reservations! So many people don’t even realize there is more than burgers and chicken fingers in the parks and once they do, they want to try some of the table service restaurants only to find they are booked for their stay. Research and planning is key!
6. mot412 asks…My family is celebrating our 20th Annual Reunion in 2011 and we want to make it Magical…so of course the plan is to celebrate with the Mouse! If all of this comes together we’re talking upwards of 60 people. I’m a Disney addict and have been tasked with helping plan this monstrosity of a party. What tips/suggestions would you have for someone planning an event like this? Thank you!!
Wow! What an exciting trip that will be! I’m not sure if you are planning on staying on property or not, but either way what I’d suggest is calling the Grand Gatherings line at (407) 934-7639 which can help you book some really unique dining and entertainment experiences. There’s also Magical Gatherings vacation packages you can book to accommodate that many people and help you out with restaurant reservations and other special things!
My personal recommendation is to try to break up into groups when you’re in the parks or else it will most likely end up in someone doing something they don’t really feel like doing. Be sure you always have a way to contact each other and have a central meeting point and time too. Have fun planning!!