Monday, May 9, 2011

Mentoring Mondays - Sarah with Magical Days with the Mouse

Sarah - Magical Days with the Mouse

Twitter: @MagicMouseDays
Facebook: Magical Days With The Mouse

First of all I want to say "Thanks!" for taking the time to share with all of us!  But then I have to say I am super jealous, Sarah was just at the black carpet for the Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides world premiere. You have to go to her blog and check out the post about the experience, it's loaded with pictures. If you don't already follow her on Facebook you need to go right now, she posts very regularly and there are always great pictures! This first picture I am posting is Sarah and her son at Mickey's Halloween Treat with Woody, she made the costumes!  What a talented lady!!

Introduce yourself and describe your blog.
My name is Sarah Gillanders, and I run the website Magical Days with the Mouse.
I started Magical Days with the Mouse as a way to share the magic at  Disneyland. As someone who frequents the park with her son throughout  the week, there is always something I see that I feel others might enjoy looking at too. Sometimes it's just random photographs around the Disneyland Resort, but other times I will share a new show, a new treat to eat, or a place in the park we like to visit. Magical Days with the Mouse is a look at Disney magic.

What inspired you to start blogging?
I've been blogging for several years, but about a year ago I found myself wanting to share photographs and information about Disneyland from my weekly trips. It was then that I started up Motherhood Magic. After a couple months, I realized my name was hurting me. I think the word "Motherhood" scared many away thinking it was a "mommy" blog, even though it was a Disney blog. I then changed the name to Magical Days with the Mouse, and people realized I was in fact a Disney blogger. It was the best move I made with my site.

What do you think is the best way to attract new readers/followers?
I think when you have a subject narrowed down, people who have the same interest will be drawn to you. Some sites try to cover many different things, myself included at one time, but if you can figure out what you're passionate about and stick to that subject, the readers will follow.

What is the best/worst advice you have ever received?
You have to blog for yourself and not for anyone else. Share the things you love and make you happy.
What is the biggest mistake most new bloggers make?
Not including photographs or having one small photograph I feel hurts your blog. I'm a visual person, so I like to see photographs that I can see clearly.

How important is social networking (Twitter/Facebook) to blogging?  Any advice on getting followers/likes?
I think both are very important. Not only do they allow you to promote your blog, but it's also great way to communicate with the people who are looking at it too.

My advice for gaining followers is to interact with the ones you already have. If someone takes the time to tweet a message to you, take a moment to respond. Word of mouth is a great thing, and you will see people suggesting you to their friends.

How important are labels, and do you have any advice on choosing labels for posts?
Labels are important for many reasons, but the two most important reasons are for quick access to related posts and for internet searches.

You want to make sure when you describe something, say at a Disney Park, you write out the full name. It's easy to get wrapped up in nicknames or abbreviations, but it will also lessen the number of search results to your site when someone does an internet search.

Another reason you want labels, is for easy access to related posts on your site. If you've written a couple of posts with tips for toddlers at Disneyland for example, by clicking on that label at the bottom of your post your reader can then have access to all the posts with that subject.
What is your favorite Disney Attraction?
I just wrote a post on this two months ago, and I picked Casey Jr. Circus Train (noticed I typed out the whole title not just Casey Jr. Pssssst labeling for internet searches). You can read it here , but the main reason I chose it is because I love watching the joy it brings to my son. He is all about trains right now.

My favorite adult ride would be the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain, and Indiana Jones Adventure.

Anything you would like to add?
I want to thank everyone who visits and comments on my blog each day. If you are on Twitter ( or Facebook (, say hello to me. I really like talking with people through both.

If you are visiting Disneyland by August 31, I have a contest using the phone app Gowalla. It involves you checking into a few of our regular stops at Disneyland and taking pictures. You can read more about it here.

Sarah, I just want to say thanks again! Please go visit Sarah at her website, Twitter or on Facebook. The pictures she has on there are more than worth the visit.


  1. Loving this series! What a fab interview with Sarah :) The tips are great! :D

  2. Great tips, Sarah! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  3. Great info, Sarah! I love that you visit Disneyland all the time and the magic never fades :)

  4. LOVED the article. Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah and Disney Donna Kay!

    Glad to count Sarah among my personal friends. She's amazing and I love her blog! :) Great tips as always! =D

  5. As a new blogger, I can relate to and appreciate Sarah's suggestions concerning photos, focus and PASSION. It takes only seconds at Magical Days With the Mouse to see that she is in love with her son and Disneyland!
    Thanks for the tips, and thank you Donna!!

  6. Sarah, thanks again!! Your tips and suggestions are great. Jodi, I know she is so ehthusiastic about Disney all the time, she love of Disney shines through in all of her posts. Chad, I totally agree she is amazing! And D-I think Passion is a fabulous word to describe her love of Disney! Thanks all of you for the comments and for stopping by!

  7. Awwww that is the sweetest comment :DISTherapy! Thank you! :)

    Donna, Thank you so much again for hosting this. I was honored to be apart of it!! :D

  8. Sarah, it was my pleasure! THANKS!!


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