Being a Disneyland fan for as long as I can remember, one of your goals is to find the magic you feel in the parks in your everyday life. When I first heard about the PNW Mouse Meet, I was so excited but also skeptical. Could this expo in Washington State nonetheless, really give me that Disney feeling I seem to only find when visiting the parks? I am pleased to tell you, the answer is yes! Don Morin and his team really dusted that pixie dust at the Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, Washington and transformed the place to a Disney fan’s perfect weekend get-a-way.
Walking in, we were greeted by some of the team who were just as welcoming as the cast members when walking into the park. They helped us with our packet, gave us a run through on the activities and schedules, we even received ‘1st time’ buttons to wear and a ‘celebrating’ button because we were kind of celebrating MIRP’s very own Jer Dimes’ birthday. These buttons are similar to ones you would get at the park. We made our way to our room and then started to explore a little, while some guests were putting the finishing touches to their doors. There was a door decorating contest and it was not just merely people buying party decorations and putting them on their door, no. (I mean, that is what I was going to do if I decorated a door which I am sure would have been fine.) But some of the guests really brought their A + game to the competition! There was a door that was decorated with famous Walt Disney quotes but really, it was a trivia game, where you go inside their room, spin a wheel and play. There were doors that mimicked the facade of It’s A Small World, The Haunted Mansion, The Electrical Light Parade, Alice in Wonderland and Monsters Inc. to name just a few. Some doors really showed their artistic skills, some showed their love for Disney and some shared their personal stories about friendship and family. I couldn’t stop smiling going door to door. I felt like a kid again and this was just the first night!
The next day was the main and only full day of the event. Everything seemed very well spaced so that nothing felt rushed or that you were missing out on anything. There was time to sit and chat with fellow Disney fans before ‘rope drop’, and there was enough time after rope drop to see the vendors, play the scavenger hunt/trivia games before the first guest speaker. The first speaker was a last minute add on/replacement, Michael Vargo, Vice President D23 and Corporate Events. He had wonderful stories and shared pictures of Disney memorabilia that really kept your interest and reminisce. He has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and to hear about his Disney journey was really cool.
After lunch, we stood in line to meet Kaitlyn Robrock who is currently the voice of the one and only Minnie Mouse! She is super sweet and down to earth, she was donating all the proceeds she made to a friend who is fighting a battle with cancer, she took time with each person that stood in line to meet her. We then listened to her guest speaker spot and hearing her story on how she became the voice of Minnie Mouse sounds like the perfect chain of events that couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. You can tell she has a heart of gold. We also got to meet Disney artist, Imagineer, Creative Director and Filmmaker, Eric Robison. He took a moment to draw the Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion as well as the Disneyland Castle with just black marker and watching him work his magic was mesmerizing. He was also super nice and seemed genuinely happy to be there. You could see him walking around and listening to the other guest speakers. His moment on the stage with Don was very fun to listen to because Eric is so down to earth and his passion for his art really does shine through. I found it fascinating learning about how he became the artist to do the 100 Mickeys!
We did the dinner food packages for both the first and second night. The food was delicious but the atmosphere was what really made the dinners special. The first night was the “Adventureland dinner.” We dined on BBQ chicken, Jasmine rice, grilled veggies and other options while the sounds of Adventureland playing with the occasional ‘Tiki Tiki Room’ with Walt Disney video playing while we ate. The second night was a “New Orleans Square ” inspired dinner with dirty rice, succotash, shrimp, hush puppies, BBQ chicken (I totally had seconds the food was yummy!). The atmosphere was great with the sounds of the Blue Bayou playing and there were even ‘fireflies’ in the foliage around the dining area.
By the end of the second day, we were saying hello to fellow guests who have now become friends, who we had shared stories thanks to a BINGO game, we ate breakfast with, and traded pins. Don and his team really brought the magic. I loved the videos Don created that played before the guest speakers, I loved the decorating of the hotel in general, the hotel staff looked like they had a great time. I didn’t even mention that there was a huge charity raffle that ended up raising $11,899 for Ryman Arts and Seattle Children’s Hospital.
The PNW Mouse Meet was perfect to satisfy that Disney feeling until the next vacation for sure. I felt like it was a place for a Disney fan to feel like they belong with other Disney fans. Great memories were made and I cannot wait until next year!