Also like last year the Mom's Panel was looking for specific areas of expertise (Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney, RunDisney, and Disney Cruise Line), and once again I selected Disney Cruise Line. Unlike last year, there was no official start date announced for submission of applications ahead of time. Laura Spencer blogged about it coming soon in July, but on the Mom's Panel website we were told to check there everyday in September.
Well the Disney fan community, and Mom's Panel hopefuls especially are really good at sniffing out these kind of things, so eventually it got out that they would open for applications on September 10th, and close on September 14th, or whenever they received 14,000 applications. That was 6,000 less than in years past, so many Mom's rushed to get their applications in as quickly as possible. I took a couple of days to send my final submission, and even though they have not closed it out early in recent years, I was slightly concerned about the applications cap.
The application process was a bit different this year. In stead of waiting for round 2 to test your knowledge in your specialty area, there was a second page of questions in round 1. The first page was general Disney knowledge, plus an essay (100 words) on helping to plan other people's Disney vacations. The second page had a few pretty tricky questions focused on your specialty area, plus another 100 word essay about planning vacations in that area.
I gotta tell ya, 100 words is really not that much to show your passion for Disney! Both of my essays had to be almost cut in half after my first draft. There is so much that you want to share, but just not enough word space!
Last year I progressed onto round 2, where they tested my knowledge of Disney Cruise Line, and I had to make a one minute video about my favorite Disney memory, but I didn't make it to the interview stage. It will be interesting to see what round 2 consists of this year, since they already made everyone answer questions and write essays about their specialty areas in the first round. I'm sure there will be another video submission, but what else does the Mom's Panel have up its pink sleeves?
The wait begins...