by AllEars Guest Blogger: Michelle Scribner-MacLean
MouseFest 2007 is over and I am left with one question: How can it be possible to pack so much into a few days?
As I waited at the airport, ready to leave the cold New Hampshire weather, I ran into my AllEars® buddy, Mike Scopa, who, of course, was also off to MouseFest.
We spent the day visiting EPCOT and listening to storytellers from around the world. One of the things I really enjoyed about this was watching the way many of the performers really tried to make special connections with the children in the audience by asking them questions, involving them in the skits, and by displaying artifacts from their lands.
Illuminations at EPCOT is one of my "can't miss" experiences when I visit, but I'd never seen the "holiday tag" before. At the end of the regular Illuminations during the holiday season there about seven minutes of additional show featuring narration by Walter Cronkite and music by the Harlem Boys' Choir. The ending is a blend of spectacular fireworks, lasers, and holiday music".The only thing I can say is that I was speechless. So I had to see it again two nights later".
Being a MouseFest veteran, Mike was able to make suggestions about how to get the most of out my experience. The next day Mike and his co-presenter, Mark Goldhaber, later shared many of his suggestions with a crowd of nearly 300 at the highly-successful MouseFest 101.
During the meet, I also got to meet Masayo and her husband, Marumu, from Japan. We were surprised with Scopa Towers sweatshirts - Masayo for coming the furthest to MouseFest, and me for helping out a teeny bit with the development of MouseFest 101.
The view from my balcony at the Boardwalk on Saturday morning provided a terrific view of the site of the Mega Mouse Meet on Saturday - The Dolphin.
What a thrilling experience to be surrounded by so many webmasters, podcasters, writers, photographers, and fans who all love the mouse! In addition to meeting many of the other AllEars team members, I had the opportunity to meet dozens and dozens of AllEars readers from all over the country.
On Saturday night I attended the Fantasmic Dessert meet hosted by Matt Hotchberg of StudiosCentral.com. As we waited in the courtyard to go backstage to join the party, I got a nighttime glimpse of my favorite ride at MGM - but with a 70 minute wait, I opted to forgo a ride until my next trip. During this meet with had the opportunity to chat and visit with friends as we ate dessert and watched Fantasmic. Very fun!
Although this isn't really MouseFest news, I just have to mention that I was lucky enough to get a chance to ride SpaceShip Earth during one of the infrequent soft-openings. I didn't get to hear the entire audio program because it broke down toward the end (which, of course, is probably the point of a soft-opening - to fix those things). However, with Dame Judi Dench narrating a new script, several difference scenes, and personalized touch-screens (which very much reminded me of the ending of the extinct Horizons), it is significantly different than the last version.
So ...now I've participated in two MouseFests.
I met so many interesting people from all over the country and around the world. There were families with children, people traveling on their own, senior citizens, and grade school kids. I'm not sure I would call myself a MouseFest veteran (I made "rookie" mistakes like forgetting to eat"and sleep), but I do know that I'm thrilled to be part of the Disney committee and can't wait until next year.
Michelle Scribner-MacLean is a college professor by day and a Disney fanatic in every other bit of free time. She first visited WDW when she was a teenager and now is a DVC owner who visits Walt Disney World two or three times per year. Michelle lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two boys and loves roller coasters, the fantastic food at Disney, and always cries when she sees IllumiNations. She is also a Disney podcast addict and adores WDW Today.
Michelle is a guest columnist for the AllEars® newsletter. Here are links to other articles by MIchelle:
MouseFest Primer: http://allearsnet.com/btp/issue421.htm
Tune In to a Disney Podcast (or Podcasts 101): http://allearsnet.com/ae/issue417.htm
Vero Beach with Kids: http://allearsnet.com/ae/issue403.htm
Navigating WDW with a Picky Eater: http://allearsnet.com/ae/issue395.htm
Science in the Parks: http://allearsnet.com/ae/issue390.htm