Speaker Spotlight: Jay Ward, Creative Director of the Cars Franchise #DisneySMMoms

Jay Ward is known to be a man of many talents. He serves as the Creative Director of the Cars franchise, as well as the Cars Legacy Guardian (fancy title!) Jay makes sure no ‘human world’ items show up in the Cars movies – like handles on gas pumps – and helps to ensure that any products, attractions, character interactions, interactive experiences, and more stay “on model” and true to the film and its characters.

We were honored to hear him speak at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration about the Cars Franchise, Pixar, and some of the behind-the-scenes discussions that go into the planning and production of the Cars movies and consumer products.

Jay Ward: Speaker Spotlight #DisneySMMoms

According to Jay, Pixar’s storytelling follows a simple formula:

  • Tell a compelling story.
  • Populate the story with good characters.
  • Put the characters in a believable world. (Not necessarily a real world)

Pixar takes the approach of quality over quantity. In fact, Jay even quoted Steve Jobs during his presentation:

Jay Ward said that during the decision process, there are several questions that need to be walked through:

  • Why are we making this?
  • Does it further the Pixar story?
  • Does it grow or enrich the brand?
  • If it doesn’t do these things, why are we doing it?

These are all excellent points to take into consideration when taking the next step forward in any business!

As the Cars Legacy Guardian, Jay Ward is involved in the planning and production of all Cars-related products and experiences to ensure that the designs, personalities, language, and other details stay true to the film and characters. From character molds to parades to Disney Resorts, Jay and his team work hard to make sure no detail goes awry. One of my favorite things about the Disney family is the attention to detail, and hearing Jay Ward speak about all that goes into protecting the integrity of the Cars Franchise really made me appreciate the care and attention even more.

I was very interested in hearing more from Jay Ward, but we only had so much time (and many other wonderful speakers!) The Cars movies are some of my favorites, and I’m sure that you will be hearing a bit more about Cars in the near future – so stay tuned!

I paid a fee to attend the 2014 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. As an invited Guest, I received special discounts, complimentary products, and unique experiences. All opinions come from my personal experiences at the event.

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Ain’t She Grand? Tips For Visiting The Grand Canyon With Kids #familytravel

My family and I just returned from a two week road trip across the United States, and boy, are we exhausted! The first leg of our journey to Disneyland was very uneventful, but I did pick up some excellent family road trip tips along the way that I will share with you later this week!

In contrast, our return trip was packed with fun and adventure. We stopped in Las Vegas, explored some of Route 66, shopped near the outskirts of the Petrified Forest, and even visited the Grand Canyon National Park.

Danger at the Grand Canyon: #familytravel on the Classic Mommy Blog

When our original plan of driving through Hoover Dam didn’t work out (dam bypass!) we decided to spend some more time exploring the Grand Canyon and the area surrounding it.  Continue reading

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See #MagicAtPlay And Enter To Win A $50 Gift Card to Kohl’s!

The new Disney Magic At Play clothing by Jumping Beans has arrived at Kohl’s stores, and believe me – you will want to buy every piece!

Danger had a little bit of fun trying on these new styles before we headed off to this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. Can you tell?

Disney #MagicAtPlay Kohl's

Perhaps the best part of this new clothing line is the level of customization that it provides for children. Even the preschool set can easily mix and match all of the pieces to create colorful, playful outfits. Check out some of Danger’s favorite looks:

Disney #MagicAtPlay Kohl's

Would You Like To Win A $50 Kohl’s Gift Card To Shop This Collection?

Thanks to the generosity of Kohl’s and Disney, one very lucky Classic Mommy blog reader has the opportunity to win a $50 Kohl’s gift card to shop the collection! If you would like to enter to win, visit the Magic At Play by Jumping Beans collection at Kohl’s and leave a comment below about your favorite piece! I will choose a winner from all eligible comments* on April 25th, 2014. Good luck!

Disney #MagicAtPlay Boys

You must be aged 18+ and a resident of the U.S. to enter this promotion. A winner will be randomly selected on or around April 25, and will have 48 hours to respond to email notification before prize is forfeited. I received compensation to share this giveaway with the Classic Mommy readers, but all opinions come from my personal experiences with the products. 

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Five Spring Break Travel Tips For A Day At The Georgia Aquarium! #familytravel

Spring break is coming up, and I am SO READY! This break symbolizes more than just the promise of warmer weather ahead – it’s also a great time to get out and explore some really neat places with family.

One of my very favorite places to explore in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium. I’ve been to the Aquarium a few times over the past couple years, and each time, I find something new to love about this popular Atlanta attraction.

On our last visit, we got up close and personal with some of the Georgia Aquarium’s fish, coral, anemones — and sharks! Take a peek:

Behind the scenes at Georgia Aquarium | Classic Mommy | Atlanta Mom Blogger

To see more images, visit my Georgia Aquarium Behind the Scenes Google+ album! I’d love for you to ‘circle’ me!   Continue reading

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The Atlanta Parent Blogger Experience With @DiscoverAtlanta

Atlanta is an amazing city. The people here make music, create beautiful works of art, and exhibit the most unique street style I’ve ever witnessed. It’s no surprise then that Atlanta is known for being a cultural hub – but did you know that Atlanta is also a very family-friendly city?

Atlanta Mom Blogger Event at Turner Field

I recently attended the Atlanta Parent Blogger Experience, where I met with representatives from the city’s best attractions to find out all about the exciting things that are in store for 2014.

I plan to share some exciting details with you in the next couple of months, but in the meantime, here are just a few things to look forward to:  Continue reading

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Top 5 #NetflixKids Movies That Teach Children About Science

Netflix has been a staple in my home for many years now. I love the hours of entertainment it provides for my family each month, whether we are at home or on-the-go. As a homeschool mom, I especially enjoy the many educational programs that Netflix offers. Check out these five Netflix Kids movies that encourage children to learn about science: 

Netflix Kids Science Movies #NetflixKids

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Our #DisneySide Celebration: DIY Crafts, Activities, And More! #spon

I was thrilled to host a Disney Side @Home Celebration during the month of February. We had lots of exciting things happen that month: Danger turned FIVE, I turned THIRTY, snow days in Atlanta, and perhaps best of all – I was invited to attend this year’s Disney Social Media Moms Celebration at Disneyland!

DisneySide Party

My crafty Disney side was just aching to be released, so I got to work. My husband and I spent an entire week’s free time putting together some festive homemade elements to make our little gathering really stand out to our guests. I lost count of how many glue sticks were heated (and tried really hard to lose count of how many of my little projects had to be tossed for imperfections). Take a peek at our Disney Side DIY elements below, and let me know what you think!

Continue reading

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Muppets Most Wanted Movie Review + Printable!

Muppets Most Wanted

Danger and I had the opportunity to attend an advanced screening of the “Muppets Most Wanted” at Atlantic Station. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting to be all that excited about the movie. I don’t really remember much about the Muppets other than the Muppet Babies show from my childhood (that I adored!) and I haven’t watched any of the movies. That said, keep in mind that my thoughts on the new “Muppets Most Wanted” movie come from someone unfamiliar with the Muppets line.  Continue reading

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4 Family-Friendly Hotels Near Disney World That Are Perfect For Spring Break! #familytravel

Are you planning a family trip to Disney World for spring break? The Orlando area is home to some of Florida’s best dining, entertainment, and resort properties, making it the perfect family vacation destination. There’s a little something for everyone in the heart of Florida. Check out my top four picks for family-friendly hotels near Disney World, and let the magic begin! *I’ve listed them in order based on price. 

Disney Orlando #familytravel Continue reading

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Frozen-Inspired Reading Activity For Early Readers + Printable

I started reading at the age of 3. Not just Dr. Seuss books, but anything and everything I could get my hands on (including the newspaper!) I know that is an anomaly, and not something that I should have expected of my own child, but that’s just not how my mind works. Danger knew the letters of the alphabet, as well as their “sounds” – all by the age of 18 months. Reading should have followed pretty quickly, right?

Wrong. Continue reading

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