It’s not often that I become the news.
Oh sure, I write about myself all the time on this blog, but that’s to share my thoughts and experiences.
This is different. REALLY different.
Back in April 2009, United Vacations and Walt Disney World held the “Fairytale Vacation Giveaway” to find the “biggest Disney fan.” As part of the contest, those entering would briefly describe why they should be considered Disney's biggest fan.
As a news release issued in April stated:
In celebration of those who simply can't get enough of the most enchanting destination on earth comes a trip giveaway from United Vacations that is their biggest and most magical yet.
For the first time ever, the team at United Vacations has custom-designed a vacation giveaway in celebration of the Disney fan base from around the world. From the 70-year old who sports a Mickey Mouse watch to the first grader whose bedroom is decorated in pixie dust and Dalmatian spots, Disney fans are truly one of a kind.
“They span generations of every age, race and culture. Disney is known worldwide and is still to this day considered one of the most magical places a family can visit together,” said Rick Karnes, vice president and general manager of United Vacations. ‘It is for this reason that we have chosen to target this special group and seek out our own ‘biggest Disney fan.”
Well like thousands of others, I entered this contest. I wrote about my love for the parks and how Disney brings out the magic in all people and that’s part of my goal in life – to share the magic. While I may not be 70-years old (just yet), I do sport a Mickey Mouse watch.
Afterward, to be honest, I forgot about it. I enter many contests to win Disney vacations and have never had any luck.
This time, things were different.
In early September, on a Friday afternoon, I received a thick envelope from United Vacations.
You guessed it. I am the biggest Disney fan.
The letter from Disney says it best: “We are so happy to award you with an experience that is truly magical and fitting only for a Disney Fanatic.”
Yup. I think I fit the description of a Disney Fanatic.
I can think of many other people who are probably more deserving than me, but now that it’s sunk in, I’m proud to be a Disney Fanatic and to be considered the biggest Disney fan.
So what do you get out of this? I’m going to take part in some things most people don’t often do at Walt Disney World, and I’m going to bring you all kinds of reviews, photos (when I can take photos) and descriptions of some things my fellow Disney Fanatics might want to experience on their next WDW trip.
I also want to thank United Vacations and Walt Disney World for awarding this package to me and my family. You set out to create the most magical trip ever and I know you’ve succeeded. The people at United Vacations and Walt Disney World were so great to work with and to get schedules arranged.
It’s all going to happen sometime in 2010, so stay tuned! I know I can’t wait!
And in case you’re wondering… here’s what I sent in:
I am the biggest Disney fan! Why, you may ask?
I am the father of three children and married to Mickey (seriously, that's my wife's name!). We are a Disney family. No matter where you turn in our house you will see something related to Disney, be it figurines of Mickey Mouse to artwork to drawings.
When I am at work, I listen almost exclusively to Disney music (both park and movie music). When my family and I go to Walt Disney World, I end up taking nearly 2000 pictures each time. About half are of the family, the rest are of the park, fireworks, inside rides, you name it. When not in the parks, I'm creating my own Disney posters.
My kids and I are so into finding hidden Mickeys, that we will spot them all over the place outside of the parks. It's become a fun game between us.
I am so into Disney that I have created my own Disney blog (http://disneydaddy.blogspot.com) and have been featured several times on Walt Disney World-related podcasts.
And yes, I have a Mickey Mouse watch purchased on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom (what true Disney fan doesn't?).
In summary, I am the head of an entire Disney family. We appreciate the magic and joy that only Walt Disney World can bring out in all who visit the Happiest Place on Earth!
I often hear the phrase asked of my children, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I often counter with, "Do you want to grow up? - I haven't and don't plan to!" My goal is to stay a child at heart and I hope to spread that magic to others. Walt Disney World has helped me so much to stay young.