Why would the secret service care about this event? Well, Michelle Obama was one of the speakers. And what could I do to attract secret service attention, you ask?
I don’t quite know how I got a seat so close to the podium, but it was awesome. Actually, I do know. I took a chair from another table and jammed it between two of my friends who had awesome seats. That’s how I got that seat.
The whole reason for the event was to publicize Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living (auto-play video with sound at that link) efforts. They told us that, starting in 2015, they will not be accepting ads for junk food on its media programs. They also shared information about the “Mickey Check,” a new logo that they will put on products that meet certain specific nutritional standards, thereby making it easier for parents to make healthy choices at the grocery store.
This is all part of Disney’s efforts to make healthy eating and physical activity seem more appealing. Disney chairman Robert Iger told us that it turns out that what is good for kids is good for Disney, which is one of the reasons they are taking these steps.
That seems to be the gist of what Iger said, although I was too busy taking photographs of Algernon with Disney-shaped props to take notes.
No, I’m kidding. I really did pay attention. Then I came home and actually did some thinking about what to say about it. Because it’s really easy to get swept up in the excitement of an event and be all MICKEY MOUSE WANTS TO HELP YOUR CHILD BE SUPER HEALTHY THEY ARE AWESOME BUY OUT THE DISNEY STORE NOW!!!!!!! But that maybe isn’t the message I need to pass on here.
My first instinct is always to mistrust large corporations, of which Disney is unarguably one. But when I think about corporations who go out of their way to create good things for kids, Disney is one of them. And, as Iger said, what is good for kids is ultimately good for Disney.
I really like what they’re going to be doing with advertising. I can’t tell you how many cereals my kids have wanted to try because they’ve seen them advertised ad nauseum on television. And, trust me, they’re not the low sugar cereals.
I’ve read some criticism that the nutritional standards aren’t strict enough and so on, but I’d say that these nutritional standards are better than none. Are these ideas perfect? No. But it is a start and they seem to be trying. I can get on board with that. And no other corporations seem to be doing it on this scale either. Good for Disney. Thumbs up/happy face.
I never cared much about Disney before I went to Disney World last December. But after experiencing it and also hearing about how good they are to individuals with special needs, I’ve jumped fully on board. There was a panel discussion after the speakers, and one of the things they addressed was how the chefs at Disney will go out of their way to make sure guests with allergies or special dietary needs are accommodated. I think that is pretty cool.
I also liked what the panel said about making sure the food at their parks was healthier. However, if I were the kind of person who was able to raise her hand and ask questions at these sorts of things, I would have asked why there wasn’t an apple anywhere to be found within 20 minutes of Star Tours when I needed one last December (item #10 in that post). But I’m not that person, so we might never know.
I am, however, the person who will ask Sous Chef Mickey to pose with Algernon.
But enough about healthy eating and Disney and Algernon. I know what you really care about. Did I get to meet Michelle Obama?
Sadly, no. But I was within about 30 feet of her. It was really exciting. I think she might have noticed I exist. In fact, I’m pretty sure she gave me a secret BFF wink.
Well, even if I didn’t get a photo op with the first lady, I got a second one with Mickey. His security was a little less stringent.
Disclosure: I was provided with breakfast (although I used most of my food as mouse photo props) as well as a tote bag when I left. Also, because I hung around until the bitter end, the hosts gave me one of the extra Edible Arrangement fruit centerpieces with Mickey-shaped pineapple slices. I never claimed to be proud. I wasn’t asked to nor compensated for writing this post. All of the opinions expressed here are (clearly) my own.