Last week I wrote a little introduction to myself (and my introduction to Disney) in my post along the Magical Blogorail. For me, my Disney experience began, and I'm sure will end one day, with my family. As a kid, my parents were huge Disney proponents and my favorite television shows and movies were all Disney oriented, save Star Wars, and even that has a Disney tie-in. The best vacation of my life was when I was 17 and my parents took me to The World for the first time. I'm planning my own trip back there with my parents, my family, and my sister's family sometime in 2012. We can't wait.
Now that I have my own family, well, you can see how important an aspect of any Day In The Park that is to me. I could spend hours (and do sometimes) just scrolling through old pictures and remembering all the magic we've had at The Parks. For us, the ability to be Annual Passholders has truly been a blessing, and it's something we enjoy immensely.
|Chad and Fam in the Disney Animation Building (2006)|
|Chad's wife and kids outside Monsters, Inc. in Disney California Adventure (2010)|
Not just my own immediate family, either, but we really do see each and every one of us here (all two of us!) as family. Mark and I didn't just fall into this by accident. We've spent a lot of time together over the years, and we've logged countless in The Parks together. We may not be blood, but there's no doubt we both kind of view each other like brothers, so when we're there, we're family; no question.
The really cool thing, though, is that Mark also does get to spend time at The Park with his own "real" family. Being able to spend time in The Parks with our own immediate families, as well as each other, just adds to the wonder of it all.
|Mark and his niece Christyana enjoy the fireworks at Disneyland|
Amazingly enough, it doesn't stop there, either. Neither one of us really knew what to expect when we started our website. I guess we figured the most we could hope for was to gain a small amount of readership over time, and maybe a comment or two here or there. Maybe just get something out there that someone enjoyed reading.
When I initially signed up for Twitter, it was solely for the sake of advertising. I'd never been on Twitter before, and I didn't even know how the whole thing worked (What's an RT? What does that @ symbol mean?).
What I discovered, and very quickly I might add, was that there is a thriving community, a family, of Disney people alive and well and raging on Twitter. If anyone had told me beforehand that we would meet such wonderful people and make such good (and true!) friends through our website, I would probably have scoffed at the notion.
Yet, there you are. Our family has indeed grown. Over the past several weeks we've met and spent many hours with some of the people we've met through our website. It's been nothing short of amazing. People talk about Disney Magic and Disney Family all the time, and to see it in real life and watch it at work is just astounding.
We should be upfront about this, too. I'm not an extrovert. Typically I abhor crowds and I'm not into meeting new people at all. I'm incredibly shy and don't usually do well around new people. I challenge you though to ask any of our new friends if they could tell that about me. I've had nothing short of an all-out blast the last few weeks, and I have our new friends to thank for that.
|Chad (l) and Mark (r) with Rosemary from FindingMickey.com|
|Chad and Lynnette outside the Plaza Inn on opening day for the Holidays|
|Chad, Julie (f-l), Amy (r-r) and Jenna (r-l) riding California Screamin' - Disney California Adventure|
I guess that I'm learning as we go along just what it means to be a part of the Disney family, and that it doesn't have to stop with our own immediate families, either.
There's plenty of room for everyone in our family.
It helps to make each and every Day In The Park just a little more magical than it might be otherwise.