The application for the Disney Parks Moms Panel opens TODAY, 9/7/2016 at noon ET.
Before the application opens, let’s review some information for those who may not be familiar with the Panel.
What is the Disney Parks Moms Panel? The Disney Parks Moms Panel is a group of Disney enthusiasts who are chosen by a Disney selection committee to answer real-life guest questions using their own knowledge and experience. You do not need to be a mom, anyone can apply as long as you meet some very basic requirements like:
- you must be 18 yrs or older
- cannot work for Disney or be a travel agent
- must have visited Disney Parks within a certain time frame–this requirement differs for each “specialty”(we’ll talk about “specialty” in a minute), but usually to apply for a position as a Walt Disney World (WDW) or Disneyland (DL) mom, you must have visited the respective parks within the last 12 months.
Those are just the basic requirements. The complete list of requirements can usually be found on the first page of the application website.
As I mentioned before, the panel is divided into “specialties”. Until the application is open, we will not know what specific specialty positions will be open but in the past there have been the following:
- Walt Disney World
- Disney Cruise Line
- Disney Vacation Club
- ESPN Wide World of Sports
- Disney has also, in previous years, looked for bi-lingual panelists–those enthusiasts who are fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French.If you are selected, you will answer real guest questions regarding Disney and although those selected do receive a compensated trip to WDW, this is not a paid position and I want every to understand that there is work involved here. Although I have never, ever, heard of a panelist referring to their time spent on the panel as work, you are expected answer a certain number of questions per week. However, if you enjoy sharing your knowledge of Disney with others, you most likely will LOVE this kind of “work”.
How does the Disney Parks Moms Panel application process work? Well, I can only advise on years past, so here goes. Traditionally, the application process has been three rounds.
- Round 1, involves basic “get to know you” questions, usually a sample question, one that is similar to that which the actual panelists answer, and usually one or two general knowledge Disney questions.
- The next round (round 2) is usually a few more essay type questions and two sample panelist-type questions along with a required video submission.
- Round 3 is usually a phone interview with one of the members of the selection team— sometimes another sample panelist question is added in here (typed and sent via email). Panelists are notified if they made it or not–sometimes with an email, sometimes with a phone call.
The selection committee likes to keep us all on our toes so things can change at anytime…..but this is how it has been in years past.
How do I pick a specialty? Does it matter what I pick? Yes, it matters. You should pick what you know the best. Yes, the competition is greater for a spot as a WDW mom (dad/aunt/grandma..etc), but if you’ve only been to DL once but have been to WDW 6 times, you should definitely apply for a WDW spot.
How many spots are there per specialty? How many apply? Well now that is the million dollar question, isn’t it? The truth is, I don’t know. No one outside of the selection committee knows. The number of applications received for round one in years past has been rumored to be between a couple thousand to greater than ten thousand. The number of those applicant who move on from round one to round two are usually rumored to be around 500 with those moving on to round three around 50-100. My numbers could be WAAAYYYY off, but those are the rumors.
As for the number of spots–well I cannot tell you that either because no one knows until the committee makes their selection. In the past there have not usually been any more than two for each specialty other than WDW–which currently have 22 panelists. However keep in mind, that not ALL 22 spots will be open or filled. The number of panelists varies year to year, so we will not know for certain how many will be taken until they are…well…taken.
Any tips for Disney Parks Moms Panel applicants? Well, I don’t know if I am the best for giving out tips, since I have never been selected, but here goes.
- Spelling and grammar count–so read and re-read…then read it again
- Use PROPER Disney names—if you don’t know, look them up
- Be yourself–because you cannot be anyone else…unless you can be a princess, then be a princess. I know that is totally cliche, but you have to write in your own voice. It’s how you let the committee know who you are and how they can see your passion.
- Spelling and grammar–yes, it is THAT important
Should I apply to the Disney Parks Moms Panel? It sounds scary and really hard. Should you apply? Well I cannot tell you, dear reader, what to do. The process is grueling, I will not lie. You are applying for a job for which you have no real idea what the requirements are. You do not know what will set you apart if you are selected (what you did right) or what it is that you could change if you are not chosen (what you did wrong).
Many hours I have spent pouring over my application, making sure my word count was correct and that I was using correct Disney terminology–only to have received that rejection email time and time again. It is hard. You have only a few hundred words to demonstrate to the committee not only your passion for Disney, but also your dazzling personality, your unbelievable writing skills, and strong voice. And there are a LOT of really passionate Disney writers out there.
But, I do not say this to you to discourage you. Quite the contrary. I think you SHOULD apply. While I will never be a panelist, I have gained so much from the process over the past 8 years (or is it 9 years….bah! I cannot remember). I have learned to write, have created my own voice, became a blogger and also a writer for a few Disney and travel sites, as well as made some incredible friends along the application journey. Plus, what have you got to lose?
Rejection is painful, I will not lie, but if you are not chosen, you will move on, no worse for the wear. But, what if it is YOU the committee is looking for? You’ll never know unless you apply……so stop reading my blog and get on the application page. And if you apply..let me know in the comments below. I want to be sure to send some positive pixie dusted thoughts your way. As my favorite Tribute Escort says “May the odds be ever in your favor”!