Thoughts on the Disney Fan Community

Castle-PictureIt’s that time of year.  You know, when even the least warm and fuzzy among us are prone to some sort of sappy sentimantality.  I’ll cry during a Hallmark commercial, so I’m especially susceptible to all the nostalgic and happy feelings brought on by the holiday season.  I’m a little more patient (or I should say, I’m actually a little patient), I try my best to slow down and enjoy each sweet and precious moment with friends and family, and I reflect more on where I’ve been and where I’d like to go (in both figurative and litteral ways).  Which, of course, brought me to today’s topic.

Thoughts on the Disney Fan Community

1. Our common love draws us close. It’s been well over a year now since I started writing articles for Tips From the Disney Divas and Devos, since I started my own blog, and since I began to truly participate in the Disney Fan Community. Prior to that, I mainly listened to Disney podcasts and read an occasional interesting-sounding blog article. I didn’t know what I was missing. My passion for Disney is generally little-understood by my friends and coworkers, but those podcast hosts and bloggers? They speak my language. I’ve always enjoyed Magic Kingdom / Cinderella Castlehearing and reading about people who “get” why I love Disney so much. Then I realized that you can, through the wonders of social media, engage with these people on a (somewhat) personal level and before I knew it, I had a new group of friends! Some from as far away as Great Britain, Australia, The Netherlands and Japan, New Jersey even!

2. In 140 characters or less. Twitter is probably my favorite place to “hang out” with other Disney fans. The hosts of all my favorite podcasts engage listeners via Twitter and within the confines of that limited number of words, entertaining discussions are taking place all the time. I’m incredibly humbled and appreciative of the number of my own Twitter (and Facebook) followers that regularly read my blog and make comments to me about an article I’ve written or question I’ve posed. If you’ve ever met me, you’ll have noticed that I say what I think. If there’s a Disney food, movie, attraction, resort or lumberjack show I don’t like, I’ll say so. It doesn’t mean for a nanosecond that I don’t love Disney – I can love Epcot's Iconic Spaceship Earthsomething in spite of its imperfections and I cannot pretend to agree with or like every individual part that makes up the whole. Lots of Tweeps seem to feel the same way and are accepting of my tendency to voice my opinions (which are many).

3. An ever expanding circle of friends. What wonderful friends I’ve made! Real ones. Friends I’ve met face to face. Friends who I’ve been fortunate to get to know as people, not just as a podcast host, blogger or Twitter handle. Generous, caring, lovely people who have shared life’s ups and downs with me while we’ve supported, cheered, and picked each other up along the way. I love you guys!

4. Lively discussions and debates are the best! Nothing delights me more than a good exchange of thoughts and ideas. Especially from differing points of view. Honestly, my very favorite podcasts are the ones that cause me to yell at my car stereo – sometimes in outrage, sometimes in support. I’ve been super fortunate to have been invited to make a guest IMG_2862“appearance” on several of the podcasts I enjoy and when you gather around the old Skype to talk Disney, the most fun comes from what we don’t agree on rather than what we do.

5. Trolls, nitwits, and stranger danger still exist – Fortunately, the vast majority of Disney fans that congregate to share their passion on social media are kind. But not all people are there for the same reason – sadly, some people only come to complain or create drama (or worse). A word of caution if you’re just joining in on the fun: Open Facebook groups appear to be the most fraught with potential danger – especially the ones with moderators that seem to thrive on the sensationalism and accompanying drama of some of the posts and comments. Occasionally, those situations rapidly decline into what amounts to nothing but a demonstration of how childish and intolerant people can be – that is not a part of the Disney fan community I understand or wish to be a part of. It’s easy to avoid, luckily.

Ready for Toy Story Midway ManiaSo, during this season of being thankful and remembering what peace on Earth and goodwill towards humankind is all about, I wanted to take a minute to tell you how much you mean to me. For every Facebook “like” and comment, for every Tweet, retweet and message of support, for every email, and every shout-out, I’m grateful for the chance to join along with you in our shared love for Disney.

From our family to yours:  Wishing you all a very safe, happy, and peaceful holiday season.

And may you get every present on your Disney wish list…Lisa

Tweet Disney Wisdom

IMG_5229“Do all you can to take in all the subtle details and anticipate unexpected surprises on your Walt Disney World trips.” –  Tweeted by Curtis Stone @GeekinOnWDW,  12/11/13

No truer words were ever tweeted!  Right after I re-tweeted and favorited Curtis’s sentiment, I thought about the number of times I have been awed, surprised, amazed, astounded (get the idea?) by the very special and sometimes extremely tiny (yet no less amazing) details that one can find literally everywhere at Disney World!

As an illustration, I’ll list just ten incredible Disney details here (in no particular order) – Go to Disney World and find some of your own! – there are thousands of breathtaking, magical pixie-dusted surprises waiting for you.

1.  Hidden Mickeys – you’ve heard me mention them before, but you will find them in the mostIMG_3022 unexpected places – woven into the design in carpets, on bedspreads, in bathrooms – seek and you shall find!

2.  Look at the windows on Main Street – look UP!  The names etched on those windows are tributes to some of the most amazing and creative people that have ever lived – imagineers responsible for all the amazing details Curtis was tweeting about.

3.  If I had a nickel for every special moment we’ve experienced with a Disney character, I could retire early!  Not just after waiting in line, either – my story about Donald is one example, IMG_4880but there have been so many times – even during parades when a character singles you out for one special moment of interaction – magical, surprising, SO precious – what Disney is all about!

4. The license plates on the limos in Rock’n’ Roller Coaster – a tiny detail we would never miss if those plates weren’t there, but WOW!  Cool, clever, and funny!  Check them out when you go.

5. Sound effects!  I’ll give one example – the outdoor sounds on the grounds at the Port Orleans Riverside resort.  You hear crickets and frogs while you walk among the landscaping between the resort’s buildings – those are sound effects!

6.  The smell on Main Street (baking cookies!) and other smells manufactured for your IMG_2069enjoyment – want to know more?  Go here.

7.  DON’T PULL THE ROPE!  Look for it near the Indiana Jones area in Disney’s Hollywood Studios – then PULL THE ROPE!  See what happens – fantastic!

8.  The Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom.  Just LOOK at it.  Artificial 145 foot-tall tree – looks amazingly real from a distance – then upon closer inspection, the details of every single artistic image depicted on the tree’s trunk and roots will amaze you.  I could look at its 325 carved figures all day.  Oh, and Disney’s ability to add magical touches to photographs is a nice bit of magic too.

9.  Look Down!  Details on the ground are everywhere.  One example is the imprints in the cement walkways in the Storybook Circus area of IMG_0874Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom (circus animal footprints and peanut shells) but there are lots of surprises like this all over Disney World – great fun for little ones to find!

10.  This one you might not be able to duplicate, but I experienced this bit of Disney magic once upon a time as I entered the queue for the Tower of Terror.  The solemn, gray-uniformed bellhop welcoming me, called me “Miss” and as if that wasn’t magical enough, I commented on how nobody had called me “miss” in many a year – he held out his hand to me and, on that oh-so-hot-and-humid summer day in Florida, when I placed my hand in his – his grip was ICE COLD!

What Disney details and surprises make your vacation magical?  

Follow Curtis on Twitter:  @GeekinOnWDW, follow his blog here.

You can find me on Twitter @life_of_green.

 

The Disney Twitterverse – Week ending 11/16/13

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What the Disney Peeps Were Tweeting About Last Week:

  • Disney Holiday Celebrations – still a very hot topic.  If you’re interested in seeing what’s up, check out the Disney Parks Blog for awesome pics and details.
  • Magic Bands and Fast Pass Plus – rollout and testing continue right along with the controversy about the whole MyMagic+ project.  Many tweets linked to this article in the Orlando Sentinel about the project’s scope, schedule and delays.
  • Disney Cruise Line announced and opened booking for early 2015 itineraries.  AllDSCN1683 four Disney Cruise Line ships (Magic, Wonder, Dream, and Fantasy)  will begin 2015 cruising out of Florida.  If you’ve been dreaming of a first Disney cruise, that might be a great opportunity to take one.  Rumors persist of possible Mediterranean and Baltic cruises later in 2015 aboard the newly redesigned Magic – I’m holding out for one of THOSE!  Learn more about the 2015 cruises here or at Disney Cruise Line.
  • Saving Mr. Banks – This movie is generating tons of interest.  The film stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson. From the official website: “Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep.”  Opens in select theaters December 13th and everywhere on December 20th.  Personally, I’m excited to see what all the hubbub is about.

What were YOU tweeting about last week?

Disney Twitterverse – Week Ending November 9th, 2013

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Oh, there was some major tweeting going on this week!  Here’s what Disney fans were talking about…

RunDisney Events – This week was the lead up to the Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Disney World.  Saturday morning included the Jingle Jungle 5K with the half marathon on Saturday night.  The twitterverse was humming with tweets from runners and fans alike.  If you’ve ever dreamed of completing a runDisney event, these races looked like great ones.

Halloween is over and Christmas has arrived in all places Disney.  The holiday decorations have gone up, the “snow” has started falling, and the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party of the year is over.  What happened to Thanksgiving?  Anyway, if you’ve been or are going to Mickey’s Very Merry, I’d love to hear about it!

Tony Baxter, Imagineer and Disney legend, received a Window on Main Street USA in Disneyland on Friday, November 1st.  Mr. Baxter’s new window, installed above Main Street Magic  pays tribute to a man who has contributed so much to the Disney we all love.  Please take a minute to read this excellent article at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings blog.

Still more Thor!  As Thor: The Dark World opened in theaters this week there have been quite a few excited fans.  I caught this newest installment in the Marvel Avengers movie series yesterday.  Now I feel qualified to tweet about it too.

What were YOU tweeting about Disney last week?  Follow me @life_of_green