Happy Birthday, Bob!

On May 1, 2010, my last birthday, I hadn't even come up with Disney Dispatch. Now here I am, another year older, which is more crappy than happy, but something does make me happy, and it has to do with you...

May 1 is my birthday.

I'll be older than Disney World, younger than Disneyland.

As a kid, I loved birthdays. As an adult, I'd like to spread them out a bit, maybe schedule one birthday every four or five years, or at least cut back on the candles, please.

But seriously, I'm not that old. I still have a kid in elementary school. And I can still remember what I gummed for lunch yesterday.

This isn't about me, though.

It's Not About Me (for Once)

I'm writing because I was inspired by one of Walt Disney's famous quotes: "It takes people to make the dream a reality."When I launched Disney Dispatch in August 2010, it was just me writing daily hullabaloo, and the website looked uglier than the zombie apocalypse.

It was a really bad site.

Then I had a great idea. Why not ask others to write for me?

Site traffic was pretty good, and getting better every day, but that was happening despite my best efforts to screw the site by not generating reams of content, daily.

I'm not good with schedules. Or deadlines.

So I floated the idea of weekly columns to a few cool Disney folks. They accepted! Pretty soon, I had nearly two dozen people writing for Disney Dispatch, including Disney Legends like Rolly Crump. (And that number will go up, up, up.)

But I said this isn't about me. And it's not.

It's About You!

To the throngs who visit the site daily: thanks!

To the Cast Members at both Disneyland and Disney World who have written to tell me how much they like what we do here: thanks!

To my kids, Robby and Allie, whose love for Disney rekindled my own passion for the parks: thanks! (Plug: Robby has his own self-made site where he sells self-designed T-shirts.)

And to my columnists, very special thanks:

  • Amanda Sykora [Practical Pointers from the Pink Ear Pixie]: One of the newer columnists, Amanda sprinkles her practical pixie dust in portions perfect for those who prefer their pointers pithy.
  • Amber Sewell [Amber Earns Her Ears]: As a past participant in Disney's CareerStart Program and an imminent participant in the College Program, Amber truly is earning her 'ears' and her stories about working at Disney World shed light on what Cast Members do when they're not smiling at you.
  • Ashley Metz [Because I Stinkin' Love Disney World]: There's plenty of stinkin' love to go around, and much of it goes right back to Ashley in appreciation for her warm, funny stories of good times spent at Disney World.
  • Benson Myers [It's All in a Nametag]: What started as a simple column about Disney nametags blossomed quickly into Benson's concise but comprehensive stories about lesser-known Disney projects and events.
  • Chris Taylor [MouseMerch]: Not only does Chris write engagingly about the multitude of merch available at the Disney Parks, he often designs it himself, and I'm waiting for Disney to realize how good it is and make Chris an offer he can't refuse.
  • Dan Sisneros [Disney Tale of the Tape]: Formerly a boxing judge and sports interviewer (check out his chat with Mr. T!), Dan brings the world of professional boxing to Disney Dispatch with his nail-biting bouts between two contending Disney rides, events, or shows.
  • Greg Gaines [The World of Vinylmations]: My newest columnist, Greg adds to the expanding coverage of Vinylmation on Disney Dispatch with concise reports of the latest hobby news.
  • JB Conway [Mouse of Zen]: A police officer working in Alabama law enforcement, JB writes far more haiku than he does tickets, and his hundreds of haiku express the often inexpressible joy that Disney World brings to most of us.
  • Jeff Heimbuch [From the Mouth of the Mouse | The 626]: Jeff writes two weekly columns, but his contributions extend far beyond content. Maybe it's my imagination, but when Jeff joined Disney Dispatch in January, the site seemed to shake off its slumber and start growing faster than ever before. (Nah, it's not my imagination.)
  • Jessica Clawson [It Came from Disney!]: Of all the beautiful, strange, and downright kitschy stuff that people proudly bring back from Disney World, Jessica (with keen eye and trustworthy taste) selects her favorites, then with crooked finger and slightly sinister smile invites us over for a look.
  • John Stanley Donaldson [Squeak of the Week]: Author of Disney Legend Herb Ryman's biography, John writes lyrical stories about Walt's early, early years; you've read nothing else like them, and despite the title of his column, his stories never squeak, they sing.
  • Keith Anderson [Disney Travel Tips from Mouseketrips]: When it comes to helping others plan perfect Disney trips, Keith Anderson is a magical machine, dispensing succinct, essential tips to bring vavoom to your vacation.
  • Kelly Firth [Vinylmation 360]: What Kelly Firth forget about Vinylmation is more than I'll ever know. Kelly's lengthy, well-researched tutorials serve as the instruction guide for Vinylmation that Disney never wrote.
  • Kristin T. Scroggin [Disney Diva's Favorite Things]: Although she no longer writes very often about Disney, Kristin was my first columnist and the inspiration for the upcoming 'super-column', Seven Disney Divas.
  • Lee Beatens [Why Did Disney DO That?!?]: Don't get me started! And don't get Lee started, either. His Sunday rants about Disney's worst decisions reveal that even the Mouse messes up. I'm glad Lee's on my side.
  • Lesley Sawhook [Happiest Tips on Earth]: Not only are Lesley's Disney World tips very happy, they're very helpful, too. Lesley shares startlingly fresh ideas about how to maximize the magic. I always learn something new from her.
  • Robert Mathis [Running with the Mouse]: Now taking a breather, Robert wrote with authority about the world of Disney marathons, and with any luck, he'll be back with us soon at the helm of a new project.
  • Rolly Crump [The Truth of the Matter Is]: Mr. Crump, of course, is a Disney Legend, one of the few remaining Legends left alive, unfortunately, from the very early days, and he spins entertaining, essential, funny tales about working with Walt Disney and helping to create some of Disneyland's most iconic attractions. My telephone chats with Rolly are always full of laughter!
  • Tom Nabbe [The Adventures of Tom Nabbe]: Mr. Nabbe, a Disney Legend like Rolly Crump, began his career selling newspapers at Disneyland in 1955, was hand-picked by Walt himself to play Tom Sawyer in the Park, and stayed with the company in various important positions for decades. Now retired, he writes for Disney Dispatch, and yes, I do sometimes pinch myself.
  • Walter Octavius March [Wandering the World with Wally]: Last but not least, Wally is the most famous fictional Disney character besides, well, the Disney characters! In his weekly wanders, Wally seeks adventure, delivers entertainment, and certainly one day will have his own window on Main Street. Bruce, er, Wally: KUNGALOOSH!

I'm proud to call these folks 'Disney friends'.

Walt Disney was correct. It does take people to make the dream a reality.

My birthday wish: granted!

Exit Singing

My friend Jacques Mees sent me this song, his acoustic cover of a Bob Dylan classic and one of my favorite tunes, which I'm happy to share:

[an error occurred while processing this directive]