As most of you know, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel is in the process of selecting those “Moms” — and Dads — that meet their needs in the world of expertise in helping other Disney fans plan their perfect vacations.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I wrote about the upcoming application process back in July, and a lot of you took the time to find and read that article. In fact, that post is the number one post I have ever written in terms of page views — 888 page views! For that I am thankful.

I first applied for the Moms Panel last year, in a process that I outlined on the blog.  I was so excited, I didn’t prepare well, and I crashed and burned in the first round, which was something I totally expected to have happen.  Well, I decided then and there that I was going to apply again this year, and my goal was to make it to the second round.

So this past September 12th, my Mom’s Birthday, and only a week past my Grandpa’s passing, I took the time to apply for the Moms panel for a second year.  When I did the questions this year, I felt much more comfortable, much more prepared, and ready to knock on the door to Disney with my application in my hand.  I applied, submitted my questions, and then got on with my life.

On October 8th, 2011, at 3:46PM, I got the word I was waiting for:  I had moved on to the second round!

So I made plans to work on the next set of questions, as well as get my 60 second video ready, all set to try my luck and see if the magic would take me to the next round.  All I wanted was to make the second round, but as the days went by, and I learned more and more, I realized that I wanted to make it all the way.  If I could get to the third round, I thought, I was confident that I would make it onto the panel.

So I got a haircut, which I needed anyway, and I spent some time working on my favorite Disney memory.  In my case, it is the time that we came around the corner and saw Princess Jasmine and the Genie, all by themselves.  Sophie was able to talk with them for a long time, and it is one of my favorite memories from Disney.  Here is the video that I sent off to Disney in my 2nd round application.

As you can see in that video,  I was nervous, and I felt like I was reading a script.  However, I was pleased with the picture that I added in at the end, and I figured, there are a lot of other people that were just as nervous as I was when they did their videos, so I thought I had a good chance.

So the days ticked off the calendar; one day bled into the next, and as the month of October neared it’s close, the chatter on the Moms Panel Hopeful pages and on Twitter was such that you could tell that there were a lot of people nervous about what the decision would be.  Who would be selected.

During all of this time I was as anxious as the rest of them; I was ready to know the answer, but every day that went by, I was more and more hopeful that I had a shot, that it would work out for me, I would be selected for round 3.  I’ll tell you that I did pray to God for this to happen; it isn’t every day that you have the opportunity to achieve something that you never thought you would be able to, so I did ask Him for this; however, I didn’t say it that way.  What I said was this: “God, I would really like to make the Moms Panel.  But I know that I don’t know all of the plans you have for me, so if it’s your will that I make the panel, please make it happen.”

Well, last night at 10:17 PM, I got my answer.  At first, though, I wasn’t sure, the email was slightly misleading.  The subject line was “You are one of the very few who made it this far!”  But, as I read through the email a couple of times, I found the answer — I was not selected to move on.

Although my goal had been reached — making the 2nd Round — I’ve got to tell you that not being selected bothered me a lot more than I thought it would.  I was bummed.  I thought that I had a great chance to make it and move on to the phone interviews.  To not be selected, it was a downer.  On the other side, though, I read online that out of the 20,000 people that applied, only about 200 people were selected for the second round.  That meant a lot to me when I learned that, and while it made me more nervous, it also planted the hope that if I made it to this small group, I would perhaps be able to keep moving through the list.

So, while it wasn’t meant to be, and I was bummed out, I know that I did make it further this year than last year, and I have learned quite a bit.  Here’s to hoping that next year’s application process will see me make it all the way!  In the meantime, I’m rooting for all of the people that moved on to the 3rd Round! registered & protected



About the Author

Mike Ellis ()

Mike has been a Disney fan since his first trip to the Magic Kingdom in 1979 when he was 11 years old. Since that first trip, he has seen parks open, lands close, and attractions come and go, but one thing remains the same, his love for Disney is as strong as ever. His Disney adventures caused him to start My Dreams of Disney because he wanted to document for his family and friends all of the special Disney Memories he has enjoyed with his family, and since that first post in 2010, Mike's hobby has become his passion! Now a Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations for six years, Mike has helped many of his readers plan and have incredible Disney vacations of their own. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and . Also, connect with us on our Pixie Vacations by Mike Ellis Facebook page to submit a quote request or learn more about all of your possible vacation destinations!


13 Responses to “The end of the journey”

  1. Thanks Kelly! I didn't realize until it was at the final moments before they dismissed me how badly I wanted to go beyond my goal and make it this year!

  2. Mike, You are a very special Disney fan.  I think the further you get in the process, the more the potential for deep disappointment.  When I got to Round 2 last year, I was surprised by the visceral reaction I had to my “no Round 3 for you” e-mail!  But I applied again, as I KNOW you will.  Let's hope there are no more rejection notices in our future!! 

  3. Thank you Didi!  Go Get them!  I'm honored to know two people that made it to round 3 this year, I hope you both make it on the panel!

  4. Thanks for commenting! The difference between last year and this year for me was thoroughness, if that's a word. I framed my answers this year to make sure I used as many of the words allotted as I could. Good luck next year!

  5. Hey Mike, you may not have become a Disney Mom this year, but until next year, you still get to be the best Disney Dad!

  6. Cheers to following your dream…reaching your goal for this year and knowing that next year is another year and you can do it! 

  7. I made it to round two last year, I just didn't have it in me to try again.  I thought I would be bringing a different view of Disney as I have a great deal of experience in all Disney parks with respect to people with disabilities. 
    I was inspired to create my own website, Mickey's Fan Club, this site helps those with disabilities plan their own Disney Magic.
    I look forward to reading more on your site, and hope that you will try again next year, I think you would make a fine addition to the Walt Disney World Mom's Panel. 

  8. This year was my first time applying, and I didn't make it past the first round. I appreciated hearing your story of making it to round 2. That is an accomplishment in and of itself! Maybe next year will be the year for both of us!