To know me is to know I love sports (especially if it involves my kids) and that I have spent a season or two serving as the Team Mom to volunteer. And if your kids play travel sports like mine have, now is the time when you are settling into your team for the year and making plans for tournaments months in advance. Suddenly your weekends and summer are gone in a blink finding you traveling outside your state and spending time away from home, often not together as a family. But if you are lucky, one of those tournaments just might be held at ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World and its an entirely new game.
When it comes to youth sports and Disney, I’m a huge fan and thanks to the amazing team at ESPN Wide World of Sports, in July of 2013 I attended the Disney Sports Festival Media Event. The goal of this first ever event was to give social media influencers like myself an insiders look at how Disney Sports works with Team Moms (and Dads) to create memories that last a lifetime at perhaps the biggest game their children may ever play. To do that, we were taken through the tournament experience as if we were Team Mom participants in one of the numerous events that were happening on property during our stay. First stop? The opening celebration. Along with our guests, Andrea and I attended the opening celebration for the Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournment at Animal Kingdom ~ check it out!
By day, Dinoland is fantastic for families offering fun rides that most anyone can ride. By night, it becomes the perfect venue to host a special event like this with plenty of room for a DJ and just the right variety of games and rides for players an siblings. Visiting Animal Kingdom after hours and in the dark only to find Expedition Everest open for the bravest of guests was a blast! My daughter was such a trooper, determined to ride with our guests although I was sidelined due to a cast (a story for another post!) She crushed it and I was thrilled to see her make the most of the moment.
At the 2012 Disney Social Media Moms, I attended a party in this same location and found it equally enchanting for all the right reasons. From character photo opportunities to a wide variety of food and fun, I can’t say enough about this particular opening celebration theme.
The ability to personalize the venue by adding tournament signage like the one on this brontosaurus is completely unexpected and makes sure Disney Sports players and families truly feel like they are in a land of their own.
I was thrilled to spend some time with one of my favorite social media friends who also shares my love for all things sports, Andrea Deckard pictured above. While our kids play different sports and we live in different states, we share the journey of raising competitive youth athletes and learning how to navigate travel sports for their greatest success. As any Team Mom knows, its a journey raising your child successfully through the crazy maze of youth sports and if you are playing competitively, it can be hard to find time for your family to truly enjoy each tournament and actually have fun. I can promise you that a tournament with Disney Sports will make memories that last a lifetime for you all. Tell me…
What has been your favorite tournament destination?
This post is part of a series designed to show Team Moms what its like to participate in a tournament hosted by or held at ESPN Wide World of Sports. I hope you find it helpful as you plan your team’s travel tournament schedule this year. For more tips from around the web, stop by Pinterest to check out our Team Mom Tips Board ~ we hope you love what you see there. Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!
Disclosure: Special thanks to Disney Sports for inviting me to attend the Disney Sports Festival Media Event. I was not asked to post at anytime and my pixie dusted observations about the event are entirely my own. Clearly, I am a huge fan and have been since my Walt Disney World College Program Days. To see the magic of Disney encompass the passion of youth sports is a wonderful thing.