Dunwoody dad picked for moms panel

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Ten trips to Disney properties in Florida have given the Kaplans of Dunwoody shared memories of fun-filled family vacations.

Now those trips and one-of-a-kind insight have qualified one member of the family as an expert in visiting the iconic theme parks, and he’s sharing his knowledge with prospective visitors.

Jason Kaplan, a 40-year-old orthodontist, has been selected for the 2015 Disney Parks Moms Panel.

The panel is an interactive platform which allows guests to pose questions to parents and grandparents on “just about anything related to the Disney properties including the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, run Disney, Disney Vacation Club, Disney Cruise line and more.”

“It’s a privilege,” said Kaplan of being selected. “It’s like I won the lottery.”

As a member of the panel, Kaplan reviews questions posed by people planning to visit Disney properties and tackles those he feels best qualified to answer. His goal, he said, is to give advice on how to achieve “magical moments” while touring the parks.

Kaplan, one of 22 new members of the panel, said it was his wife’s suggestion that he apply.

However he admits he had no idea that it involved such a rigorous selection process. He said the multi-step process included writing an essay, submitting a video, answering questions and a phone interview.

“I didn’t know how competitive it was,” said Kaplan.

Kaplan, who is the father of 7- and 11-year-old sons, said he and his wife Leanne have visited all of the Disney theme parks in Florida (Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and the two waterparks) returning again and again

After he was selected, he and other new members of the panel underwent four days of training in Orlando.

“It’s really an absolutely amazing place,” said Kaplan. “You get immersed in it, and you really don’t want to leave.”

Asked his most memorable experience at a Disney property, Kaplan recalled taking a ferry across to the Magic Kingdom entrance and seeing the expression of awe on his young sons’ faces.

“The joy and excitement and smiles are a memory that will never be forgotten,” he said.

The site—www.disneymomspanel.com—is available in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese so visitors can ask questions in various languages.

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