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March 2009 Archives

March 5, 2009

Blogging Live - What's That All About?

Last fall we did a survey on the AllEars® newsletter and also asked a few questions about this website. We received a LOT of constructive feedback -- thank you! We've been trying to address the issues, concerns and suggestions, making changes here and there where appropriate, and we are still, albeit slowly, sifting through your comments.

Here's one comment we received that I want to share -- below are my thoughts:

"This is not a comment on the newsletter, but rather one on the website. I think that it is unprofessional to promote blogs from a particular trip and then not blog daily -- e.g., a guest blog I followed with anticipation, and then there would be days with no update. Also, the Deb and Steve cruise was very poorly put together (blogging-wise). Day One, update, fast-forward and it still is not updated and the Magic is in drydock now. I just think that if the site is going to promote 'follow along with me' type of blogs, then the bloggers should update daily."

Let me begin by saying that whenever AllEars® has promoted "Live Blogging," we have had every good intention of making sure that the blog was updated on a daily basis. We want to provide our readers with up-to-date information and "live blogging" is one of the ways we can do that. I promise it wasn't a gimmick to get you to click on the links every day. We honestly felt it was something we could do; sadly, we have found it is not always going to happen.

Sometimes while on a trip the unexpected or unanticipated happens -- bad weather, lack of connectivity, illness, or just plain exhaustion! We intend to post a blog, but life sometimes gets in the way.

Our guest bloggers have an especially hard time with this. They are excited, want to share particular aspects of their trip, but have no idea the amount of time it takes to do a blog. They may start out well, but find the task of submitting a blog at the end of a very long day a bit overwhelming.

I can do no more at this point than tell you I hear you loud and clear and offer an apology for not following through on our commitment at times.

To remedy this situation, we've run the last several multi-part blogs from guest bloggers after the fact, rather than "live." Take the recent Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge blog, for example. I waited until I had all the entries and all the photos before making the blog live online. I'll continue to do that, most of the time, but we still may experiment with "live blogging" now and then.

One other point I would also like to mention is that we are all volunteers. No one is getting paid to blog. That said, we certainly do not mean to appear unprofessional in our presentation, not in the sense of being sloppy or careless. So the point of the remark is valid and has been given consideration.

Last but not least, I want to give KUDOS and a huge shout out to AllEars® team member Laura Gilbreath! Laura is really quite good at blogging each day (or darn close to it) when she commits to doing it! Thank you, Laura.

So, I thank you for this comment -- and all of the feedback you all submitted on the survey and the emails you send us every day. We will make every effort to follow through on all of our commitments -- not just when it comes to "live blogging," but in all aspects of bringing you the AllEars.Net website and the weekly AllEars® newsletter!

March 9, 2009

Disney twenty+three D23 Premiere Issue

UPDATE - The Official Website is now live:
http://d23.disney.go.com/

For a number of weeks now, the Disney online community has been buzzing about D23 trying to figure out exactly what it meant! Speculation began to turn towards a new Disney Fan Club and early last week a few websites were displaying photographs of what appeared to be D23 membership pins.

Over the last several days, the premiere issue of Disney twenty+three (slated to debut on March 10, 2009) began to surface in book stores. So this morning, as I passed my local Barnes and Noble store, I decided to stop in.

In the magazine section was a small black stand with a couple layers of the new magazine.

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

It was packaged very nicely in cellophane to protect the pages, or perhaps to keep folks from thumbing through it before they pay the list price of $15.95.

A simple black and white cover with Walt, the magazine is on heavy glossy paper and measures 11 x 12 1/2.

"Welcome to the premiere issue of Disney twenty-three, the new quarterly publication exclusively for D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans."

Below are some snapshots of the issue. It even includes photographs from the February American Idol Press Event!

You'll see a wide range of topics from Walt himself to themeparks, dining, movies, imagineers, and broadway.

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

 Disney twenty+three Premiere Issue

More to come as I look through the magazine.

March 14, 2009

Walt Disney World Trip

I was really hoping to do video blogging this trip, but I am having lots of technical difficulties. Hopefully after I get home I can work through them.

Weather is awesome! Today is my first time in a park this trip. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I play Where in the World Am I? with photos.

Twitter

Deb's Facebook Page

AllEars Facebook Page

If you are in Orlando, come see us Sunday, March 15th at Animal Kingdom. We will be meeting at Kilimanjaro Safari at 11am. After our ride it's lunch at Flame Tree.

March 15, 2009

Video Blog Trip Snippet BETA

Weather is supposed to be awesome again today.! I'll be in Animal Kingdom at the All Ears Meet and Greet at 11am! Then lunch at Flame Tree!

Here is one of my video blogs that managed to get uploaded. Please remember, I"m testing this out!!!!



You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook. I play Where in the World Am I? with photos.

Twitter

Deb's Facebook Page

AllEars Facebook Page

Shuttle Launch March 15, 2009

Photos taken from Wilderness Lodge - standing on the balcony at Artist Point.

 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge

 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge


 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge

 Shuttle Launch from Wilderness Lodge

March 18, 2009

All Ears Meet and Greet March 15, 2009

The weather was beautiful and we had a great turn out at the Meet and Greet at Animal Kingdom.

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

Matt Hochberg from WDWToday Podcast:

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

On the left, Jack Spence, AllEars Feature Writer and Blogger:

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet


Special Offer - the first 5 folks to show up wearing an AllEars, Hat, Button or lanyard received a special gift! Here are the winning families and they each received $10 Disney Dollars.

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

I then asked Bri and Anna to come up and explained to folks they had a special role with Walt Disney World. I had an AllEars t-shirt for whoever knew who they were! Folks shouted out a few things and then someone said " Are they the moms?" And indeed, Bri and Anna are members of the special Disney World Mom's Panel, an online forum where you get personal answers to your questions about traveling to WDW and the Disney Cruise Line. Oh, and there is also a Disney Dad, a Disney Grandma and Moms from Canada (Bri) and the UK.


 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

We had a few AllEars trivia questions and folks with the correct answer received either an AllEars hat or Tshirt.

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

Soon it was time for our group photo:

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

Thanks to Matt Pezzulo who I quickly volunteered to take photos of the Meet and Greet. Also thanks to Brenda helping distribute AllEars pins.

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

Special thanks to AllEars team members Jack Spence and Glo from Miami!

 AllEars March 2009 Meet and Greet

We spent lots of time chatting and getting to know each other and then realized the standby line for the Safari was 50 minutes. After a quick show of hands, we decided to head straight for the Flame Tree and grab lunch. About half the folks found their way to our area and we continued to chat with each other. It was a great afternoon.

March 20, 2009

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

Here are a few photos I took during my trip last week. These are all pre-opening.

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

For more Flower and Garden Festival Information visit:

An Interview with Eric Darden, Horticultural Manager

Our Flower and Garden Festival Information Center

March 22, 2009

Training Walk

I thought I'd take a short break from all things Disney to share some photos from my training walk this morning.

As a 23 year breast cancer survivor, I have participated in raising funds and awareness for the cause since 2001. I have walked 60 mile walks, 36 mile walks and crewed.

This year I am walking in Washington DC the first weekend in May 2009!

I belong to a training team called Seneca Sisters. They have been around for 10 years!

On this chilly morning, about 25 folks set out to walk. We were on the Capital Crescent Trail in Maryland and Washington DC. My goal this morning was 10 miles and I accomplished that!


twalk31.jpg

twalk61.jpg


Mile 5

twalk51.jpg

twalk21.jpg

twalk41.jpg


One Mile Left to Walk - Had to make a pit stop:
twalk11.jpg


My story can be found here!

If you'd like to support my Breast Cancer Walk, just click here!

You may also send a check made out to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk
Deb Wills
3520 Sugarloaf Parkway
SUITE F03-105
Frederick, MD 21704
Thanks!!!

March 24, 2009

Video Blog Beta Test - Take 2

A few days ago I began to share video clips from my recent trip. As I mentioned, these are Beta Test Videos. First time with the recorder, first time getting them in a blog.

Originally I had put together my first day videos into 2 blogs,but they turned out to be way too huge and I couldn't get them uploaded. I've now broken them into segments and they loaded much easier.

This first one is from my room at the Dolphin, shortly after I checked in:

Next is a short look at the Boardwalk Inn, Villas and the Boardwalk itself:

Dinner was at Flying Fish with my friends Tod and Sue and Vickie and Steve (Mr. Hidden Mickeys).

Let me know what you think of the videos. I know they are still really rough, but are they the types of videos you would like to see? I have more I'll load in the coming days.

Thanks for helping me beta test the videos!

March 28, 2009

The JAMMitors!

The JAMMItors have been playing Epcot's Future World well, as long as I can remember. At least since the 1990s!

On a recent trip, I got to enjoy their special brand of music for the entire set. Here are some photographs followed by a (beta test) video of one of their songs. Enjoy


 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors

 JAMMItors


See my October 2008 blog of the JAMMin' Chefs

According to DisneyWorld.com: "Feel the beat of the JAMMitors, the percussion-playing clean-up crew that really cleans up! Using regular trashcans, dustpans, hardhats, flyswatters and more, this trio of custodians are actually percussionists who bang, clap, clip and clomp to your heart's delight. The JAMMitors show runs approximately 8 minutes and, in addition to percussion, features syncronized choreography that adds to the jammin' good time. "


What can you share about when the JAMMitors started playing in Epcot?

March 30, 2009

Breast Cancer Training Walk - March 29, 2009

Yesterday's training walk was mostly in the rain. I actually debated whether to go or not. 11 miles in the rain makes for a long soggy time.

And then I remembered when I was going through radiation and chemo and how I would have LOVED to have the energy to simply walk around the block.

So out of bed and down to the kitchen for the all important coffee :)

Many of the ladies were doing a "back to back" this weekend. That means that on Saturday, they walked 20-26 miles and were getting up Sunday to walk another 11. This simulates what will happen on the actual Avon Breast Cancer Walk.

We gathered in a parking lot and as you can see, the rain was a steady drizzle and we had our rain gear on.

This is Helene Block and myself. Helene has been a walk leader since they began in 2000. She captains the Seneca Sisters, celebrating their 10th year as a team! And if you are wondering what is on my head, it's a baseball cap with a shower cap around it to keep it dry.

Breast Cancer Training Walk


This was an 11 mile training walk through lots of neighborhoods in Maryland. One nice part of the walk was around this lake.

Breast Cancer Training Walk

Breast Cancer Training Walk

At the 8.5 mile point, we stopped for a rest at a Chevron Station. Everyone took a few minutes to be dry and warm and have a snack.

This is Thuy and Gina, 2 ladies I have met this year. Thuy is a 3 year survivor and has a great attitude about life.

Breast Cancer Training Walk

As we were nearing completion of the 11 miles, the rain had stopped and I saw the beautiful yellow daffodils letting me know spring is just around the corner!

Breast Cancer Training Walk

I want to thank everyone for your words of support and your donations! As of today, I am 71% of my goal! Just one month left until the walk.

My story can be found here!

If you'd like to support my Breast Cancer Walk, just click here!

You may also send a check made out to the Avon Breast Cancer Walk
Deb Wills
3520 Sugarloaf Parkway
SUITE F03-105
Frederick, MD 21704
Thanks!!!


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About March 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Deb's Digest in March 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2009 is the previous archive.

April 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.