A self-professed “Disney-phile”, Bridgewater resident Kimberly Lucci is getting the opportunity of a lifetime—to share her knowledge and experience of the “Happiest Place on Earth” with a spot on the 2013 Disney Parks Moms Panel.
“For a Disney-phile such as myself, becoming a member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel is an absolute dream job,” she said. “This unique position affords me the opportunity to share my knowledge, experience and advice about vacationing at Walt Disney World with guests from the United States and around the world.”
And for someone who already has annual passes to the parks, Lucci has a lot to share.
Lucci said she heard about the program during her many visits to the Walt Disney World website itself.
As part of the panel, Lucci said, she will be answering questions and offering advice about planning a vacation in Disney World, including traveling with small children, meeting Disney characters, choosing resort hotels, making dining reservations, celebrating special occasions and more.
“Questions are submitted on the Disney Parks Moms Panel online forum by people who are in the process of planning a Disney vacation,” she said.
Lucci said her particular area of expertise falls in accessibility, special dietary needs, signature dining, traveling with young children, planning within a budget and multi-generational family vacations.
“One of my true passions is advising guests with disabilities on how to best enjoy the Disney theme parks and resort hotels, from accommodations and attractions, to transportation and recreation options,” she said.
Lucci said her family visits Disney World as often as possible, and has a personal goal of visiting all the Disney parks around the world in France, China and Japan.
“I love researching and writing about the Disney Parks and Resorts,” she said. “There’s always something new and exciting to discover.”
When they visit, Lucci said, her family tries to do some new tour or special event each time.
“Recently, we had the chance to go on the amazing Night Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas,” she said. “We’ve experienced nearly every character and signature dining location at Disney World.”
In fact, Lucci said, in November 2012, they had a special birthday dinner for her daughter at the new Be My Guest restaurant inside the Beast’s Castle.
“My daughter was delighted to meet the Beast during a private audience in his study after dinner,” she said.
Lucci said she believes that what makes Disney World so exciting is its family entertainment.
“For us, Walt Disney World represents a magical place where we can enjoy a seemingly unending variety of entertainment while spending quality time together away from the stress and time constraints of everyday life,” she said. “In my opinion, the wonderful thing about a Disney Parks vacation is that there is plenty of fun to be had by guests of all ages and abilities.”
As part of the panel, Lucci said, she will be among 18 other new panelists, creating the biggest group since it was formed in 2008.
“The Disney Parks Moms Panel has grown since its inception as more specialty areas beyond Walt Disney World were added, such as Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, runDisney, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney and Aulani Resort,” she said. “Additionally, three current panelists answer questions in Spanish.”
In total, Lucci said there are 47 panelists on the forum.
An almost lifelong resident of Bridgewater—accept for several years spent in Washington D.C., and a few abroad in France and Italy—Lucci graduated from Bridgewater-Raritan High School and earned a bachelor of science degree from Georgetown University. Her husband is Somerset County Freeholder Patrick Scaglione, and her daughter, Isabella, attends Crim Primary School.
“There are many things I love about living and working in Bridgewater,” she said. “Our township is ideally situated at the epicenter of Somerset County, and is close to both New York City and Philadelphia.”
And, Lucci said, she has watched the township grow from a semi-rural residential community to a larger suburban area.
“[It has a] highly rated school system, premiere shopping mall and several world-class telecommunications, pharmaceutical and high-tech corporations,” she said. “At the same time, Bridgewater has thankfully preserved much of its open space with a number of beautiful parks, and both passive and active recreational opportunities for residents.”
As for the Disney panel, Lucci said there is an application process that begins around Labor Day. It includes an initial application with responses to two essay questions, then a 60-second video submission, and finally a telephone interview.
“More than 20,000 applicants from North America and the United Kingdom apply for less than 20 coveted spots on the Moms Panel,” she said.
And Lucci said she is very excited for what’s to come.
“I am truly honored to be representing Bridgewater, Somerset County and my home state of New Jersey on the 2013 Disney Parks Moms Panel,” she said. “I’m looking forward to an exciting and magical year as a Moms Panelist.”