|Walt Disney World Moms
Panelist, Andi Sims
summer at a Disney Event sponsored by AAA of Alabama, I met Walt Disney World Moms Panelist and Disney Cruise Line
Specialist, Andi Sims. She shared
with a group of Disney fans and travelers about her Disney vacation tips and
hints for families as well as her experience serving on the Walt Disney World
Moms Panel for the past year and a half.
She gave the latest information for traveling to Walt Disney World and
sailing the seas with Disney Cruise Line.
When I met Andi, I felt like I was meeting a rock star! I would love to have her “job” as a mom
on the panel.
when I started brainstorming this idea of “Stars Fell on Disney Fans from
Alabama,” she was one of the first people to come to mind. Not all of the states have a member on
the Moms Panel, and I wanted to showcase this special mom from Alabama! When I sent my original email to a
group of Disney fans from Alabama, Andi was one of the first to respond, and she
was very excited and wanted to do a phone interview with me.
|Andi on the Aquaduck
aboard the Disney Dream.
at least a 15-minute conversation about our lives, our families and what we do
in our hometowns in Alabama, we started talking Disney. Andi immediately started explaining her
role and responsibilities as a Walt Disney World Moms Panel member. All of the moms are required to answer
a certain number of questions each week, and when she answers questions for
guests, she tries to put herself in guests’ shoes and according to what she
would expect from someone representing Disney. When the answer to the question may not be entirely
positive, she gives different options that the guest may not know of or
considered. In her answers, she tries to make connections for the readers to think
of different perspectives and options, and she answers questions assuming that
the guest has never been to a park, resort or on a cruise. Many people who ask
questions of the Moms Panel may be planning a trip of a lifetime (or a long
while) or are coming from another country for the first time. Questions that may be obvious to the
Disney Nerds (as my husband calls me) are not at all common knowledge to the
|Andi at the 2010 Halloween 5K with
her Moms Panel family!
will be rolling off the panel this year, she would love to see another Alabama
mom (or dad) take her place. While
she has no vote or say in the decision, she still hopes to see this happen and
offers some advice to those who are applying:
folks at Disney are looking for panelists (moms, dads, grandparents, aunts,
uncles, etc.) with knowledge and experience in planning vacations for their
families as well as other families, too.
want people who know Disney, but panelists also need to be proficient and
experienced in writing — correct grammar and spelling, well versed with a
computer and familiar with basic software operations.
most obvious “common denominator” with current and past panelists is the
intense desire to help people enjoy similar experiences and being able to
communicate that passion effectively and efficiently both in written form as
well as verbally.
Moms Panel members are not expected to know anything and everything about the
parks, resorts, ships, itineraries and experiences Disney offers. There will always be someone else out
there who knows more than you do when it comes to Disney. What they are looking
for are those “intangibles” – finding people who can provide a consistent and
caring message for guests who are planning a significant event in the life of
you choose to apply for the 2012 WDW Moms Panel, set yourself apart by writing about
what you know and focus on your Disney niche. When you answer questions from
the application, paint a word picture for those who read your responses by
using specific examples from your Disney experiences. Be descriptive but succinct and tell your story. Walt Disney was in the business of
telling stories. Carry on his
legacy by being a great story teller.
Everyone loves a good story.
the past 5 years, the application process has been a bit different each
time. This year, they are
diversifying into different areas trying to segment the panelists into areas
where they are most experienced: Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise Lines,
Disneyland, Walt Disney World, etc.
|Andi shooting a commercial
for Lifetime TV in January 2011.
shared with me how blessed she feels to be a part of the Walt Disney World Moms
Panel. When people ask her “How did you get chosen?” — she always answers with,
“For me, I firmly believe it was God’s personal appointment.” She continues, “I’m nothing more or
better than anyone else who has ever applied, and I don’t deserve what I’ve
been given. However, I certainly
give God all the credit and thank him for all the blessings that have resulted
from being chosen to be on the Disney Moms Panel.” She explained to me how amazing it is that God has knitted
together such a diverse panel of men and women into a family of “Walt Disney
World Moms Panel” members. She
says, “I will always call them my friends and will forever be thankful they are
a part of my life.”
Andi is a wife and a mother of four children ranging in age from
7 to 16; she teaches ballet to preschoolers; and she is a freelance public
relations consultant in Birmingham, Alabama. A frequent traveler, she has
answered hundreds of guests’ questions online at www.disneyworldmoms.com since January 2010, and she’s currently answering
questions exclusively for Disney Cruise Line. You can keep up with her
travels and experiences on the Disney Cruise Line Facebook Page and on Disney Cruise Line’s YouTube Channel. Andi also maintains her blog concerning stories,
tips and ideas on everything to do with her first (and hardest) job at www.wifeandmomuniversity.com. You can also find her on Facebook as Disney Moms Panel Andi and on Twitter @wifeandmomuniv. She’s a sucker for anything chocolate, Mickey
Mouse related or having to do with being more organized or efficient, and she
runs to keep her sanity and to be able to eat more chocolate. (All of her
opinions here or anywhere else are exclusively hers…not Disney’s.)