23 August 2008

Lifetime journey

Today is the Main Street Gazette’s 1st birthday. Over the past few weeks I have come up with a myriad of ideas of how to celebrate. A State of the Disney Union, which would include all of my thoughts on the current condition of Walt Disney World, contests, an article revealing the source of the past year’s article titles, guest writers, a D-I-Y (Disney It Yourself), and even just a regular daily article which would allow the day to pass without notice, I’m not really one to want to draw attention to myself any way.

Over the past several days, as most of you who have been following my Twitter updates, my family has been going through a rather difficult experience, and it got me to thinking about what really matters. So, today, I’m going to talk about why Walt Disney World matters to me. Forgive me if I ramble or wax poetic, or if I find a way to do both at the same time.

Walt Disney World, in the scheme of life, seems insignificant. It is, after all, only a collection of fiberglass, boards, paint, nails, lights, and concrete. My family has traveled the world from Korea and France, from the mountains of the East to the deserts of the West, and untold passport stamps in between, and, yet, we always come back home to Walt Disney World. Why? Because Walt Disney World is so much more than the sum of its parts.

Some would call it corny, or roll their eyes, but it takes magic to turn a vast amount of building supplies into a seemingly inhabited world. Every corner is a part of the story, and every corner of the stories brings with it a memory, or series of memories. Not just for me and my crew, but for everyone who has ever seen Swiss Family Robinson or has dreamed of a future that never was. There is something for the scientist, child, literary critic, historian, zoologist, actor, foodie, and outdoors-person in each of us to enjoy. Walt Disney World pulls from every corner of the great big world out there and gathers it all together in one place that is accessible to the masses.

This worldview is evident not just in its architecture, but also in its accessibility, culture, and people, the people who work for Walt Disney World and the people who come to visit, or come home to, Walt Disney World. It is people who remember their last trip on one of Mike Fink’s Keelboats or recall the time that their Dad made them put on those awful Mickey Ears for a family photograph (for the record, I love the ears). People are at the heart of what makes Walt Disney World just as, I assume since you are reading the Main Street Gazette, Walt Disney World is at the heart of what makes you the person that you are.

Like Walt Disney World, we are all more than the sum of our parts. My history with Walt Disney World includes a first trip when I was under 1 year old with my Mom and Dad and a pup tent in Fort Wilderness (yes, you are correct in assuming I was almost basically raised there) to my aunt working in Walt Disney World security and having a car accident on her way to work, my memories run from my wife’s first visit to the last visit I had with my father before my wedding. Walt Disney World is as much a part of my family, even those who claim to disown it, as all of you whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting or talking to. Walt Disney World means so much to me because, to me, it means family. That crazy group of people that I love the most, the people who put up with the constant blathering about news, rumors, and the details that make people like myself stop our entire group so that I can take a picture.

Thank you for being a part of my family, and for putting up with my blatherings, for the past year. I hope to share many many more with you.


Greg said...

Happy Birthday MSG! Hopefully this will be just the first of many years to come.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Main Street Gazette!!

DebWDW said...

Amazing words! Thanks for putting into words what so many of us feel.

The Viewliner Limited said...

Happy Birthday. Keep up the great work Ryan. Enjoying all of it.

Eric Hoffman said...

"Thank you for being a part of my family, and for putting up with my blatherings, for the past year."

Ryan, it's been our pleasure to read your blog - keep up the great work.

Jen said...

"Some would call it corny, or roll their eyes, but it takes magic to turn a vast amount of building supplies into a seemingly inhabited world."
Yes! Exactly! Thank you for sharing this. You've put into words EXACTLY how I feel about Disney parks.

Happy Birthday MSG!

Craig Wheeler said...

Happy Birthday. Keep up the great work!

Princess Fee said...

Better late than never - Happy 1st Birthday!!!
And an amazing entry - like Deb said, thanks for putting our feelings into words.

Unknown said...


How did I know that DOC would be first?

Now you can start planning the 2nd Anniversary!

Andy said...

A very belated happy b-day! Here's to another great year.