Eight Weeks

When Life Invades Disney

Life Invades Disney

When Life Invades Disney

By Mike Ellis.

Those of you that have been around since we kicked off our blog way back in September 2010 have probably noticed that I haven’t been around very much lately.  There’s a lot that goes into this, so for those that wish to know why, please keep reading.  As we wind down the calendar year 2015, I’ve got to tell you that I think this is perhaps the hardest year I’ve had to endure in my 47 years.  While certainly not every day has been a Debbie Downer, this year has had so many more significant events happen than in years past that it almost feels like all of the bad is being cashed in during this year. When life invades Disney, sometimes Disney has to take a back seat for a while…

It all kind of started back in April, with the passing of Cindy’s Uncle Ted.  He was a fine man, a Godly man, perhaps even a man after God’s own Heart, as was described of David in Acts 13:22.  After Uncle Ted’s passing, scarcely 6 weeks passed away before Cindy’s Uncle Sam unexpectedly passed away.  It was sudden, it was tragic, and it left a family that was grieving one loss having to grieve a second loss way too soon.  While we were in Montana for the funeral, our dog Regan got sick, and just a couple of days after we got back, we had to put him down because his hips stopped functioning — his quality of life was not good at that point, and we knew that he was suffering.  It was a hard decision, but it was the right decision.

In July we were looking forward to going to California for #Disneyland60.  Unfortunately, though, at the last minute, only Sophie and I could go — and while we had fun with Stephanie and Shane and loved seeing Sheila, Randy and Jagan, for me at least, the trip was not nearly as fun because my soul mate was not able to enjoy it with me.  Then, while we were there, I learned that Cindy’s Uncle Walter passed away — also unexpectedly.  So, in 12 weeks, we had lost three of Cindy’s uncles as well as Regan.

Then, to pile on while “they” could, I learned on August 3rd, 2015 that the company I used to work for, UNC-TV, had made the incredibly stupid decision to outsource their entire IT department effective October 31st.  Just like that, with 18 1/2 years of permanent time with the state of North Carolina, I was losing my job, as were the men and women that I worked with in that department.

UNC-TV is a state agency, and also a member station for the PBS — and if you contribute to UNC-TV, that’s your decision to do so.  However, if you knew some of the things that I know, you would probably not donate to that organization.

All of that takes us to today.  Where are things right now?  Well, for starters, I’m still looking for work.  If you know anyone that is looking for a networking or network security guy, then please have them take a look at my LinkedIn profile.

As I mentioned earlier, things are not all bad — I have a family that loves me and cares for me, we have savings to see us through all of these difficult times, we know God and know that He has a plan for us, and we are listening to what His plan is.  The right job will appear when it is time, so right now I’m learning some patience to see me through these days.  It’s going to be okay.

As I’m sure you are aware, though, when life invades Disney, unfortunately life wins, and Disney has to take a back seat.  I’ve been thinking really hard about what I should write, if anything, to talk about my absence, but I like what I’ve written here.  Being able to reflect on it allows me to see it for what it is, and also for what it isn’t.  For example, this isn’t the end by any stretch.  It was a break, a time to step away for a while, to focus on things that needed to be focused on more, and a time look inward to see what direction this blog is going to take.  Now, after many months of stagnate pixels, I think I have an idea, and I think I’m ready to pick up the writing some.  Thank you for reading this far, and thank you in advance for your prayers, thoughts, Pixie Dust, and everything else you will do for my family in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

My hope and wish is that My Dreams of Disney will once again become one of the places you go to in your day to get a Disney fix.  I don’t know when that will be, or how often, but I hope it does become one of those sites you turn to.  Until then, thanks for stopping by, and let’s go have a great Disney day!

Would Walt Disney have Enjoyed Blogging?

The official Disney Blog once asked readers that very question. It was interesting to note that almost every single person who responded said ‘Yes’ without any hesitation.

What would you have said?

I was a little surprised to see that not many people thought the answer would be ‘No’. Now, I didn’t read all of the comments for that post, so maybe more had other ideas. But the first few comments seemed to support the positive view.

I’m going to go against the crowd here and take the other path. I don’t think Walt Disney would have taken the time to Blog, or to Twitter, or to set up and maintain a Facebook page. And I’ll tell you why!

With so many books written about Walt Disney, it is easy to get a reasonably clear picture of the man and his methods. And by reading up on his early years up to the days before his passing, one thing seems to stand out: Walt Disney didn’t do all of the actual work himself. He didn’t animate his films. He didn’t build the technology used in the Parks. What he did do, and did better than anyone else, was come up with the ideas that no one else had thought of.

He was an Idea Man.

Of course, as an Idea Man, he would have considered the use of all available technology and how it could enhance his connection to the public. Anything that could have promoted his latest project would have been explored. So the various aspects of the Internet would have been explored.

But once explored, would Walt Disney himself have utilized them? Would he have taken the time to build a Facebook page and regularly chat with all who visited? I think it is safe to say that Social Media would not have appealed to Walt. For here was a man with few regular friends. A man who seldom attended parties or public functions if he could avoid it. And something else is of interest.

When asked for autographs at Disneyland, he would often refuse, because it slowed him down and made it impossible to get his work done. Instead, he would give them a pre-signed card (which you can see portrayed in the movie Saving Mr. Banks), or he would recommend that the person(s) write the Studio and request an autograph, and that then one would be sent to them. Did Walt himself sign those autographs? No. Often, he had someone else sign his name for him!

With these things in mind, it’s hard to believe that Walt would have taken the time to set up and maintain any of the Social Media accounts that we make such free use of today. But he may have had someone else do it in his name!

The Point: Walt likely wouldn’t have Blogged himself. But really, would we want him to use his time telling us what he had for lunch? Or would we rather he used his time to Imagineer?

What’s the Disney Social Media Moms Conference?

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Rumor has it that the next set of invites from Disney will come out this week — for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration!  Known by those Disney bloggers in the know by the hashtag #DisneySMMoms, many of my friends have been chosen in the past to participate in a special conference hosted by Disney about getting and improving their Social Media presence in the Internet community.

I have never been to one, but from what I understand, the conference is a great event to participate in, and I’d really enjoy being able to go one day.  I think everyone has a chance to get an invite, simply because you can only go to the conference three times — Disney wants to make sure that new bloggers are able to go.  However, I don’t do very much with Twitter and the other Social Media platforms outside of the occasional tweet, comment, and link post share.  Do you think that will make a difference? That is one facet of my blogging strategy that I would like to improve on, even if it’s just for the opportunity to increase my readership to my blog.

Are any of you Social Media experts in general, and particularly Disney Social Media experts?  If so, then you may want to take note of this conference and see what you can do to get an invitation!  The Disney Social Media Moms is, of course, on Twitter at @DisneySMMoms, although they don’t tweet very much outside of the times for the conference.  They do have a fairly active hashtag, which you can see at the top, and chatter for that certainly is ongoing.

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Would you want to participate in the Disney Social Media Moms Conference?  If so, let us know in the comments, and if you have any tips or tricks you want to share, please feel free to do so also!  Thanks, everyone, now go out and make it a Disney Day!

Congratulations to our winners!

1000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway-Red

After eleven days and 289,134 entries, we have our winners in the $1,000 Disney Gift Card Giveaway!  Since we were offering one (1) $500 Disney Gift Card and two (2) $250 Disney Gift Cards, that means that we have three winners!

Congratulations go out to these winners, who have been selected, but need to claim their prizes before they are official winners!

The winner of the $500 Disney Gift Card is Cori Shifrin of White Plains! Cori won on entry number 80,246 for liking A Disney Moms Thoughts on Facebook!  Congratulations Cori!

The winner of the first $250 Disney Gift Card is Troy Stepp of Vista!  Troy won on entry number 63,732 for tweeting about the giveaway!  Congratulations Troy!

The winner of the second $250 Disney Gift Card is Lori Peugh of Arlington!  Lori won on entry number 209,018 for liking My Dreams of Disney on Facebook!  Congratulations Lori!

I have sent each of you an email congratulating you on winning.  Now, you need to claim your prize by replying to that email.  It would have come from the email address mickey@mydreamsofdisney.com, and you have 24 hours from the time of the email to claim your prize.  For you three, I must have a reply email by 7:45AM on Wednesday, November 13, 2013.  If I have not heard back from you via that email, I will be forced to select a new winner and your prize will be awarded to another!  Please don’t force me to have to do that!

You may see your name announced as the winner on various Social Media websites, including Facebook, Twitter, or others, but for the purposes of claiming your prize, I must hear back from you via email.

Once again, congratulations to our three winners!  All of us that sponsored this great giveaway wish that you each could win, but we hope that you have learned about some new great Disney blogs, and that you’ll stick around and read our posts!  It’s for all of you that we do these giveaways and write our Disney blogs.  Thanks, and we’ll see you on the Internet!