A little over 10 years ago I discovered the Disney online community through websites and listening to podcasts. At first, I couldn’t believe there were so many people out there that had the same passion for Disney as I do. I was consumed with finding and exploring all the Disney fan websites and I listened to as many Disney fan podcasts as I could fit into a single day. I was hooked!
Over time, some of the Disney fan websites and Disney fan podcasts I came to love were no more while others flourished and new ones popped up. There are a couple that stood out to me from the very beginning and I still frequent today and that’s Lou Mongello’s WDW Radio site and podcast and Deb Wills’ AllEars site.
I am a very shy person and it took me quite a while to get involved in the Disney community. Once I did, I discovered the greatest and nicest people in the world. The lifetime friendships I have made and continue to make only drove me to become more involved in the Disney community. My dream and desire to do more for the Disney community became a reality with the help of Lisa Battista, and on January 18, 2011, WDW Fan Zone was born. I am proud to say that the “Zone” as I refer to the site, will celebrate it’s 6th anniversary this month. This would not have been possible without the tremendous and consistently great contributions from the writers, the site’s visitors and readers, our sponsor Mouse Fan Travel and it’s founder Beci Mahnken.
A few years back, as the site started to grow, I created a monthly podcast with one of the writers, Shelley Scholl, the WDW Fan Zone BlogCast. Since then, I started a weekly podcast with fellow writers, Lottie Ferguson, Darlene Nagi, and Kurt. The monthly show has continued with Shelley and Diane Butler. Over time, a monthly DVC edition of the WDW Fan Zone BlogCast was added with Darlene and Ron Thompson, as well as, a monthly Sunday night edition with Jamie Robbins and Jennifer Young.
The last couple of years have been particularly tough ones for me, specifically, last year. But, I never let that get me down. With 2016 is in the past, I am looking forward to 2017 with great anticipation. If anything, the last two years have made me stronger and more resilient. At the end of 2016 I posted on Facebook that if I learned anything from last year it was not to take life for granted and not to leave anything to chance. So, this year my goal is to check off another bucket list item and finally visit Disneyland. Then it will be time to begin the process of making one of my longstanding dreams a reality, moving close to Disney World and my friends that are already there.
There are some things I would like to accomplish this year with the Zone and Disney community to give back more to the friends that have become my family. So, I guess if I had a resolution this year that would be it.
This year challenge yourself by thinking of something you have put off doing or something you have hoped would happen for you and begin doing something to make it happen.
The holidays may be over but, let this year’s celebration begin. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and successful 2017!