The Mom’s Panel

Last year I was merrily researching our forthcoming holiday to WDW when I noticed a post on one of the websites I frequent regarding the Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel.  The post was informing members of the website that applications for the 2012 panel had just opened.  I clicked on the link and had a look around the Mom’s Panel, and what the criteria to apply was, but then got distracted with more research for the holiday.  A little later that day I realised that I had left the Mom’s Panel window open on my laptop, I had another look at the application form and thought to myself how much I would like to be a part of that team, so I filled in the form and clicked submit.

A few weeks later I was back on that website when I noticed that the thread about the Mom’s Panel was back at the top of the forum.  I had a quick read and realised that people had been receiving replies as to whether they were through to the next round of applications or not.  Up until this point I had put my application to the back of my mind and I hadn’t even remembered to tell Mark that I had applied!  I logged into my email account fully expecting a ‘we’re sorry’ email and was completely shocked to find that I had made it through to Round Two.

The application had to be submitted by the end of that week, which was also the day before we were due to fly out to Florida for our holiday, and so in amongst all the chaos of packing and cleaning the house I found time to write my answers to Round Two and upload my video.

It took me several attempts to get the video right as I kept getting a fit of the giggles each time I started to speak, but eventually I had it finished, sent it off and continued with the packing.

Part way through our trip I realised that I hadn’t received any further correspondence regarding my application so I logged on to the website I use to see if anyone else had mentioned it.  Well, there was a lot of speculation on the forums – it seemed that nobody had received a reply and we were all still anxiously waiting.

We finished our holiday and returned home with a million memories and the Disney Blues!  We had been home a few days and I received an email telling me that I was through to the Final Round of applications.  I could not believe it, I honestly thought that I would get rejected at the first round.

Later that week, on a very cold and dark evening, I was pacing up and down the hallway waiting for my phone call (Round Three is done by telephone) and as the phone finally rang I turned into a bag of nerves!

I had a lovely conversation with a team of people involved in the decision-making and it was such a nice experience that my nerves soon eased.  At the end of the call I was told that I would hear within the next week whether I had been accepted as a Panelist or not.

The days went on and on and the wait got worse!  Then late one Wednesday evening I noticed that lots of the American applicants had started mentioning on their Twitter feed that they had received their phone call.  I knew it was too late in the day for anyone in the UK to still be working and went to bed knowing that the following day I would get my answer.

Eventually, at about midday, the phone finally rang and I spoke to a lovely lady who gave me the news that unfortunately I wasn’t picked to be a panelist.  I was unable to say a huge amount to her as I was so disappointed and I knew that I was going to cry at any minute! I said my goodbyes and promptly burst into tears.  It sounds silly now when I say that but at the time the disappointment was huge, I had been focussed on becoming a member of the Mom’s Panel for the past few months and I realised how much it would have meant to me to have gained a place.  I love planning our trips to Disney and I love helping others plan their’s too so this would have been my dream come true.

And so Monday 10th September 2012 arrived and applications for the 2013 Walt Disney World Mom’s Panel opened.  Did I apply?  You bet I did!  It’s taken me almost a whole year to decide whether or not to put myself through the emotional rollercoaster again, but in the end I decided that if I didn’t at least try to chase my dream then it would never be able to come true.  Who knows what will happen, I might not make it past Round One but maybe, just maybe, that Pixie Dust will reach me this year!

I’ll update this page as my journey continues.

I’m very pleased to say that I have made it through to Round Two of the 2013 Mom’s Panel applications.  It wasn’t without drama though.  I noticed on Facebook that many of the applicants had received emails telling them whether they were through to the next round or not and I hadn’t received anything.  I was at my Mum’s with the family for dinner and was beginning to feel a little down that I hadn’t heard anything when someone suggested checking my spam folder.  Sure enough when I checked there was my congratulations email sending me through to Round Two.  The stress of waiting to hear has lifted (well for the weekend anyway!) and last night I went to bed with a smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart. Wish me luck for the next round!

Hey friends, well I’m very sorry to say that I didn’t make it through to Round 3 of applications.  I don’t know what I did this year that didn’t catch the judges attention, as I felt I answered the essays with the same warmth and meaning as I did last year, but I’ve realised that there’s no point beating myself up about it.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t upset about not getting through to the final round, and I will admit that I did have a good cry and then sulked like a petulant child for a few hours, but in the grand scheme of things this really isn’t that bad.  The one thing this whole process has taught me is that I want more from life and so that is where I am going to focus my attention and see what I can achieve – who knows where that journey will take me!

Will I apply again next year?  I honestly don’t know at the moment, but check back next September to see what I decided!


4 Responses to The Mom’s Panel

  1. Wow Sam, that must have been terribly hard 😦 I have applied since the panels inception and have never made it past R1 and that was devastating enough. To make it to R3, well, I can completely understand the tears. Good luck and pixie dust for 2013!!


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