23 August 2017

Hang on to Them Hats and Glasses - Part II

I’ve put off this article longer than any other I’ve ever written, mostly because I have no idea what to say. Today, the Main Street Gazette turns 10 years old.

I am overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received over the years. I have been blessed by the number of friends, many as close as family, I have found through our first decade. I have learned so much from so many, and I am thankful for even more of you out there. Family and friends that have been there though some of my favorite memories and through some of the hardest times I’ve seen.

Some of you might have heard this story before, but I started the Gazette as a way to share everything I had learned about Walt Disney World from the love my family had of the resort. It was also at the directive of my wife (then fiancé) who told me if I didn’t find a place for all of this knowledge, other than randomly performing monologues for her alone, she was going to cause me some sort of creative physical harm. To her credit, I’m surprised she lasted as long as she did, considering we would be married only a couple of months later and we were both deep in the implementation of our wedding plans.

I thought I had a lot to say about Walt Disney World, but once I had my platform I found I had less to share than I thought, but I still had a passion for educating and making sure others had as amazing a trip as I could possibly help them create. I started from the ground up on how to document the subject of articles through photography. I had some ideas for how to create regular content around core theme areas, some of which persist to this day and some of which are best left in our archives. Those early years found a ton of great writers who built each other up while challenging each of us to be the best versions of ourselves. Through this labor of love known as the Gazette, I’ve had some amazing guest writers over the years and I have had the joy of being part of some amazing projects, such as Celebration Magazine, WDW Radio Show, and the Disney Magic Hour.

I say this every year, and every year it is even more honest, I wouldn’t be here without the dedicated readers that each of you are. Some of you come for history, some for food reviews, some for the explanation of details, some for my opinions, and some of you come back again and again, no matter what I’m discussing. You truly are the reason that I get behind this keyboard every day. Thank you, one and all, for being a part of these last ten years. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or since last week, you are important to me and I hope that if you ever need anything I can be here for you.

I closed out the Main Street Gazette’s first article with a few words from Roy O. Disney’s dedication of the Magic Kingdom, including, “May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place… a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together.” If I’ve been able to live up to even a tenth of that ideal, then I’ll consider these first 10 years a roaring success.

I don’t know where the next decade will take us, or what we’ll be doing, but a lot of that will come from what you tell us you want to see! Thank you for coming on this journey as I have blathered through the past decade, stumbling and bumbling my way to create a distinctive, personal voice in the crowded and incredible field of Disney enthusiasts and personalities. I cannot wait to see where we all go next.


jaime said...

Happy blogiversary, Ryan!!

Greg said...

Happy 10th Anniversary Ryan! And here's to the next 10 years!