I'm looking at the calendar and realize that in one week I'll be on a plane headed to Orlando for my 12th December Disney fan meet! This will be MouseFest #5! I can't believe it! WOW!
At my very first meet in December 1996, there were 23 folks. It was my first time meeting people from THE INTERNET in person at Walt Disney World. You remember what "they" used to say about meeting folks from "THE INTERNET", right? Well, they all were very friendly folks and we had a great time!
This photo sure brings back memories. A few of the people in the photo I still am in touch with, although not as much as I'd like. Some of these people I met only the one time and never saw or heard from them again. Sadly, one dear friend is no longer with us. Then there is Kenny - who, like me, has attended a December meet in WDW every year since this one in 1996! Kenny, a huge Disney fan, also is a periodic contributor to AllEars® as well!
Back then it was only one meet on one day. It was called a RADP meet, for rec.arts.disney.parks newsgroup. Back then, we didn't have the message board communities we do today, in fact, RADP was it!
Our annual December events have come a long way since then with 109 meets this year, combining 87 on Land with 22 on the Disney Wonder.
Each year MouseFest has grown in official participants and attendees. Each year it's an opportunity to see old friends and make new ones. It reminds me of being young and not wanting to sleep a minute for fear of missing something!!!
Here are just a few of my memories from MouseFest 2006!
MouseFest is Magical Moments... Like surprising folks who think a friend is taking them to the Port when instead they travel by limo!
... it is when the only language you need to speak is laughter and joy...
...it is spending time with the AllEars® team that works so hard all year long to bring you the magic...
it is hugs and tears of joy with a dear friend...
It's what memories are made of...... It is a very special time of year.
Here at AllEars® central we are busy shipping the last of our boxes to Florida with goodies for the meets. We also will be bringing several suitcases filled, not with clothes, but more goodies and items for the meets!
I'm up to my eyeballs in pens, postcards, lanyards, buttons, first aid kits, signs, magnets... Oh and I have to finish gathering my accessories for my Pirate costume for Pirate Night on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship.
Preparations began months and months ago. Decisions have to be made as to what logo merchandise to bring to the meets, ordering, receiving, organizing, assembling, shipping... my my. Did I mention we have a new logo to unveil at MouseFest? We do indeed with many many thanks to our graphic artist Brian!
I've got lists and more lists.. what's in the box, what still needs to be done, what has to be done before we leave town, what needs to be done once we get to Orlando... it goes on and on. Be glad you don't live with me this time of year! I call it my MouseFest Frenzy Mode...although I'll admit; those close to me have other names for it, LOL.
The AllEars® team is hosting a number of meets onboard the Disney Wonder MouseFest Cruise and also 3 meets on Land. And once again All Ears® is co-sponsoring (with MouseFanTravel.com) a special private IllumiNations party on Sunday night of MouseFest. Last year we had a contest to give away 5 pairs of tickets. This year, we had a contest to give away 10 pairs of tickets. We have many entries to re-read before making decisions and announcing the winners by November 26th. And I'll tell you, it's not an easy task!
I look forward to meeting many of you very soon. If you see us out and about in the world or on the cruise ship; please come introduce yourself...we love meeting our readers!
Safe travels to you and yours and have a Magical MouseFest!