2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel announced; expands categories, becomes bilingual


New features and areas of expertise are now available to those seeking wisdom from the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. New in 2012, panel members will be able to receive and answer guests’ questions in Spanish as well as English. This year also marks the first-ever Disneyland Resort and runDisney Specialists on the site.

Introduced in 2008, the Walt Disney World Moms Panel is an online forum that serves as a resource for guests planning a Disney vacation. Panelists offer advice and personal examples to help guests with any Disney related question they might have. Advice about the Disneyland Resort, runDisney events, Disney Vacation Club points, the Walt Disney World Resort, the Disney Cruise Line and itineraries of Adventures by Disney are available on one website.

Disney Parks received thousands of applications from the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom to be considered for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel. Each panelist went through three rounds of interviews before they were selected to share their knowledge of the Disney brand with others.

2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel members are introduced

The 2012 Walt Disney World Moms Panel:

Amanda Ficili; Mendocino, Calif. (Disneyland Resort) – Known as the “Disney Go To Girl,” this stay-at-home mom is a coast-to-coast Disney Parks storehouse of knowledge. The proud holder of a Disney Premiere Passport, Amanda grew up a short while from Walt Disney World and now spends every moment she gets enjoying Disneyland Resort.

Andrea Houston-Lingman; Jamison, Pa. (Disney Vacation Club) – A high school English teacher by day and a “Disney Sherpa” by night, this Disney Vacation Club Member enjoys Disney vacations of all shapes and sizes. When she’s not teaching, Andrea chaperones Walt Disney World trips for students and enjoys the parks with her husband and two children.

Ari Krell; Reseda, California (Disneyland Resort) – Growing up in the shadows of Sleeping Beauty Castle, Ari is now the father of two little princesses of his own, guiding his girls around Disneyland, from the twists and turns of Space Mountain to breakfast with Cinderella. Never far from the magic, this Disney dad thinks of Disneyland Resort as his own backyard.

Ashley Forster; Suffolk, Va. – As a proud military wife, Ashley has visited Walt Disney World on her honeymoon, with her husband and two children, and on her annual solo “mommy time” trip. When this Disney vacation planning addict is not preparing for or enjoying a visit to the Mouse’s house, she and her crew like to explore the magic of their local area, taking road trips or soaking up the sun at the nearest beach.

Elisabeth Lackey; Myrtle Beach, S.C. (Adventures by Disney) – From the Great Wall of China to the open plains of South Africa, Elisabeth and her family have traveled the world with Adventures by Disney. When she is not embarking on unforgettable global adventures, Elisabeth can be found teaching preschool, tucked away with her favorite book and of course, planning her family of six’s next Disney vacation.

Jodie Hilson; Thomasville, Ga. – This registered nurse has grown up with Walt Disney World – from losing her first tooth on her first visit to the Magic Kingdom to riding Toy Story Mania with her four children. Jodie’s family of six loves all things Disney so much they named their gray colored cat “Pixie!”

Kim Dillen; Charlotte, N.C. – A self-proclaimed ‘Type A’ planner, Kim has experience visiting Walt Disney World as the parent of a special needs child, and believes that it’s the little things that can add the most magic to a vacation. Along with her husband and two children, Kim has seen and done it all, from Hidden Mickey hunts to Magic Kingdom birthday celebrations.

Kirsten Etmanski; Burlington, ON – Since she was seven years old, Kirsten has been making the journey from her home in Canada to Walt Disney World. A stay-at-home mom to a son and daughter, Kirsten spends her day dreaming of an “Around the World – a la Disney” vacation, planning her extended family’s next family reunion and helping friends and neighbors plan their own magical getaways.

Laura Munkel; Elkhart, Ind. (Disney Vacation Club) – As a family practice physician, Laura is known as an expert around the office when it comes to anything and everything Mickey Mouse. Laura and her family have traveled around the globe with their Disney Vacation Club membership, from Orlando to Germany, Anaheim to Castaway Cay, this mother of three believes that fairytales truly do exist.

Lori Lovell; Morganfield, Ky. (runDisney) – When she’s not participating in a runDisney event, this sports broadcasting major turned homeschooling mom is busy planning her family’s next Disney vacation. As a mom of two boys, Lori has celebrated many major milestones at Walt Disney World, including runDisney weekends with her husband, friends and family.

Malanie Rivera; Jamaica, N.Y. (Spanish-Language) – This bilingual New Yorker is a single mom of two children and an occupational therapist for special needs children. Malanie enjoys helping others plan magical Disney moments, including her brother’s engagement at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

Nancy Walshe; Lilburn, Ga. (Disney Cruise Line) – From the moment she first saw the Disney Wonder docked in Port Canaveral, this teacher of special needs students has been hooked on planning Disney Cruise Line vacations. Whether she is sailing the high seas with her extended family or running the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World, Nancy is dedicated to spreading pixie dust everywhere she goes!

Scott Houston; Calhoun, Ga. – Much like the middle school children he works with daily as an assistant principal, Scott loves unleashing his inner child on his Disney vacations. Scott enjoys collecting priceless memories with his wife and son from Test Track to the decks of Disney Cruise Line.

Stacy Cacciatore; Fort Mill, S.C. – As an author, tri-athlete and fitness guru, Stacy is passionate about making exercise and health fun for all ages. As a mom of a prince and princess, Stacy also loves making memories at Walt Disney World with her family, celebrating her children’s birthdays in the parks each year.

Sue Farrell; Little Sutton, Cheshire (UK) – From across the pond, Sue is always preparing for her family’s next extended stay at Walt Disney World. Having experienced everything from Easter to a hurricane in the parks, this UK mum enjoys helping others plan their international magical escapes.

Alumni panelists will also join in and continue sharing their tips and advice.

To have your Disney vacation questions answered in either English or Spanish, go to DisneyWorldMoms.com.


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1 comment

Craig March 23, 2012 - 8:07 am

I agree with John Frost. I am a full-time cast emmber and a emmber of the union, but I am also barely making ends meet. When you’re full-time, the minimum number of hours you can work per week is 32 hours, and that’s pretty much all I’ve been getting lately. I also only get paid $7.7/hr. I cannot survive on 7.7/hr for 32 hrs/week and have been losing money in my bank account for awhile now. Honestly, I can barely afford my bills when working 40hrs/week. 7.7/hr may be above minimum wage but it’s not enough to live on, and if the union can bargain to get me up to the point where I can actually start earning money rather than just making enough to pay bills and that’s it? Then I’m siding with the union.


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