Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

I'll try not to make this the obligatory Happy New Year post. Really! I'll try.

You know, if you had told me back in August 2006 that starting a silly little blog about Disney World would be so personally satisfying and actually help me start achieving my personal goals, I probably would've ended up thinking twice about it. Since I've started forcing myself to have to keep a consistent writing schedule I find my time management is getting better and I'm able to churn out some basic analytic prose much easier for school or whatever. I've also become better about answering e-mails! Imagine that!

Still, it wasn't exactly a perfect start. I chose an awkwardly long blog title in a fit of nostalgia tripping which has resulted in all sorts of exciting abbreviations of that immortal bit of Tomorrowland poetry, now longwinded (in every sense!) blog of "rigorous exegesis": "Passport 2 Dreams", "Passport to Dreams...", "PazprtIIDRMZ", etc. I failed to post weekly in my first few months, so although I've technically been around since August '06, I probably didn't start to really make an impression until November of that year.

My original idea of this blog was an outlet for my park photographs, digital editorials on the state of the park, and occasional essays. Occasional. Then sometime around the time I was preparing to really start writing about Marc Davis and his theatre shows, I was suddenly riding a wave of theory. I was devouring Eisenstein's writing for a terrible film class, and suddenly felt liberated to take Disney seriously. So I started to. Around the time I posted "Dialectical Montage and Disneyland", I knew this was where I wanted to be. I may be crazy, I may be wrong, but at least I'll be interesting, right?

So allow me to take a moment to thank everyone who reads or follows this blog, seriously or casually, quietly or loudly, for your time and paitence. Wading through short-story length dissertations on the importance of the color orange to Walt Disney World pre 1980 isn't always easy, and my own style of writing can't make it much easier, but every glance, every thought, every time I make a single person think just a little bit more about something, even if they totally disagree with me, is a great honor to me. So the first thing to be thankful for this new year is you, the long suffering reader.

The second thing to be thankful for is a recent and vibrant community of Disney-minded folks on The Blogs. Looking through the no-longer-short list of worthwhile Disney postings over there to the right of this nonsense, it's pretty interesting that mid 2006 must have been pretty exciting for all of us out there in blogland. In a year-and-change I feel there's been a strong and exciting revitalization of interest in Disney's good, bad, and ugly online, all of it above and beyond the easy complaining you can find on any message board. That's quite an accomplishment for a community. I've been in a lot of online communities while they're falling apart, it's been pretty exciting to have been there while one was coming together. So whether you contribute photos, essays, vintage material or just plain fun, you are a light and an inspiration to me and many others.

Let's be thankful for the good things Disney gave us this year:
- Ratatouille, a bold movie for a Mickey Mouse Operation
- A de-wanded Spaceship Earth
- An arbitrary but pleasant official celebration of EPCOT's 25th
- A beautifully and tastefully refurbished Haunted Mansion
- Improved dining facilities at EPCOT
- Improved maintainence standards at Magic Kingdom, including:
+ Restoration of the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon, with new paint, wallpaper, dressing, facilities, lights, varnish, spit, polish, blood, sweat, tears, and most expensively of all -- love.
+ Beautiful new Crystal Arts shop on Main Street
+ Repaving package for Magic Kingdom
+ Reshingling package for Magic Kingdom
+ Frequent repainting and repair of many small areas
+ New lighting packages for many attractions, such as Pirates
+ Promise of improved Jungle Cruise and Space Mountain in 2008

And finally, some due credit where credit is due:
The good folks at Re-Imagineering and EPCOT Central, who first planted the idea in my mind that a blog could be something to take seriously. Mr. Epcot82 also gave me some early exposure at his place, which I am still very grateful for. Continue fighting the good fight.
Mike Lee and his excellent Widen Your World, which first fired my spark of interest in taking the artistry evident in the parks seriously. I spent a summer reading and re-reading his site before I started my own blog, and if I stand on the shoulders of any one person's accomplishments, it's probably his.
Jeff, George, Andrew, Ray, John, and the other people I've felt I've gotten to know over the past year through this forum. Thanks for dealing with me! =D
And finally, everyone who comments or helps with this project. Writing a blog is like being in a bubble, and any contact with the outside (world/opinions/etc) is like a breath of fresh air. George may make light of the importance of comments, but they really are the only payoff we sad, lonely little blog authors get for our efforts. =)

So here we are at the 65th post on this blog and I'm at something of a loss for words. I've already avoided two big anniversaries on my blog this year: rather than celebrate one year in August I launched the Vanishing Walt Disney World series, and rather than make a big deal out of my 50th post I talked about the 36th birthday of The Vacation Kingdom of the World. Well now New Year's and it's my resolution to continue to make this site worth everyone's time. Thank you everyone!!


Biblioadonis aka George said...

65, huh?

You don't look a day over 30 posts--seriously!

Whenever I see your blog come up in my bloglines account, I get a little excited at the prospects. Whether it is a treatise on skylights, the placement of the Haunted Mansion or a look at the color orange, your blog always satisfies.

I know I can speak for Andy that our MouseFest visit was made so much better from reading Passport.

After the first trip through the revamped Mansion, my eyes were open like never before.


-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

The stunning detail, clearly the result of much hard work, adds so much to topics that seem to have been otherwise brushed under the carpet. I have definitely come to one or two, probably an understatement, realizations while reading your work!

Here's hoping that the next 65 posts, or year and a half, whichever comes first, bring just as much enlightenment!

D.O.C. said...

Happy New Year and congrats on 65 posts. I agree about comments. I am relatively new to the community and I really appreciate the feed back. I appreciate the attention you give to each of your posts and how they challenge us all to look at the parks with more of an eye to detail. Thanks and best wishes on the next 65.

Josh said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful blog! I love that you see and are able to articulate on so many little details and how they all work together to create this stunning place.

I don't comment often, and I apologize for that, but I do enjoy this blog very much and wanted to let you know!

krueg said...

Your blog is great. Keep it up. I can't wait to go back to the World because I have such a deeper appreciation of the nuance thanks to you!

Twirlnhurl said...

Thank you so much for the blog. I hope this year will be as amazing as the last.

1983horizons1 said...

I just found your site about two hours ago and have had the pleasure of reading just about all 65 articles within the past two hours. Your writing is fantastic and you probably have the best grasp on what Disney is doing right or wrong than anyone else - employees and fans alike. I look forward to reading (and rereading) your articles as often as you post them.

Epcot82 said...

Thank you, Foxfur -- I appreciate your comments, and love reading your fascinating blog!

Combustibillion said...

I just started taking Disney seriously, and wondered if anyone else did too without falling into fangirly messes of themselves. Finding and reading this blog has been a lot of "YES! That's so true!" or "Hmm...didn't think of that" and sometimes, "Uhh...no".

But I think the biggest impact you've had on this reader is that you've inspired me to look at things more seriously, to not be afraid to look at things more crtically, and to start writing.

Thank you!