Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!
Unless you happen to be one of the lucky few who work at WDW or live close by, most of us don't have the opportunity to experience the wonder and magic of Walt Disney World every day. Those of us who get to the parks only a few times a year (or less), have to find other ways to keep the Disney magic alive and to find our "Disney fix."
As I was thinking about what to write about this week, I took stock of all the Disney activities I'm involved in. I run a Disney fan blog, I occasionally appear on a Disney podcast, I'm frequently on some Disney message boards and chats, I'm constantly talking to Disney friends on Facebook, I participate in Disney contests, I've applied (again) for the Disney Mom's Panel, it goes on and on.
Basically, I realized that I rely on a number of sources to keep my Disney magic going each and every week. I also realized that I need to rely on sources to keep the magic alive, then others probably are too and may even be looking for other ways to connect with the Disney fan community.
So this week, I'm sharing how I keep the Disney magic going each week through different Disney related activities. I hope you will find this list helpful and maybe you'll discover some new resources for a little extra Disney magic. Please note that this is not an endorsement for any particular business or service.
First up are some official Disney sites...
The Official Disney Parks Blog: Since the official blog started a little over a year ago, it quickly has become one of the top sources for Disney news. I think Disney realized that if the online community was going to break Disney news, they might as well be the ones breaking the news online and they do a fantastic job of it. I have the official blog in my RSS feed reader so I'm alerted to new items as they are posted.
The Walt Disney World Mom's Panel: In a similar manner to the official Disney Parks Blog, the Disney Mom's Panel Web site is a great site to get questions answered. I keep an eye on this site to see if there are answers to questions I might not know the answer to.
D23: I am a proud Charter Member of D23 and, personally, the membership is very much worth it even though I have not been able to attend any D23 events yet (I hope this will change soon). The D23 Web site is a great resource for some historical information and I enjoy the old Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck comics.
WDWNews.com: This is Walt Disney World's official Web site for the news media. You need a login to access most of the content, but you can read the latest news releases and announcements.
Ok, now for the fan sites/publications, and I frequently visit a lot of them! First up is...
DisneyDaddy Blog!!! Ok, ok... shameless self promotion... had to do it!
Celebrations Magazine: Yes, I'm a writer for Celebrations, but I'm also a subscriber. I read each issue cover to cover and often go back to re-read articles. This really is a fantastic magazine and I'm always closely looking at Tim Devine's photography to see how he creates those beautiful images.
The WDW Radio Show: I have had the honor of being a guest several times on this podcast. Lou Mongello has turned this into an audio-version of a Disney magazine with in-depth segments about different Disney topics, often featuring the actual people who make the magic happen. I never miss a show!
WDW Today: This is another podcast I listen to every week. They usually have three episodes a week and a monthly live show. What I like about WDW Today is the banter. I tend to think of WDW Today as late-night Disney talk. There's a lot of humor, quite a bit of sarcasm, plenty of negative views about Disney (which I appreciate the honesty) and some good information at the same time. Lou also has a vast message board system with tons and tons of information and posts.
Inside The Magic: This is the third weekly podcast I listen to. Unlike WDW Today or the WDW Radio Show, Ricky Brigante's podcast is much like the nightly news. Ricky has a nice standard format with lots and lots of news, some extra item, a commentary from "Skipper Ben," and a little bit of Q&A.
Mouse World Radio: Ahhh, there's nothing like listening to Disney music while you're working (or writing blog posts!). Mike Newell (who is one of the hosts on WDW Today) has so much Disney music, I still am amazed at how in the world he gets it all. His library of Disney park audio may rival Disney's itself. Recently, Mike added some new features so you can listen to MWR on your smartphone -- I've done this a few times and the quality is pretty good.
D-Cot: One of the downsides of Mouse World Radio is that you don't have control of the playlist. D-Cot solved that problem with their online jukebox. You pick what you want to listen to and it plays. Disney park audio on demand -- pretty sweet! The library isn't as vast at MWR, but new files are added all the time.
Scrapping the Magic: This is a different side to Disney fandom. April Baker has developed a fun site with all sorts of craft-related ideas. She holds monthly photo contests with real prizes and has a fun list of message board-based games. You'll find me on here all the time. April also holds a weekly live trivia contest via chat. It's every Friday night starting at 9:30. It's a lot of fun and I'm on this chat often.
The Daily Disney: This is a Web site created by The Orlando Sentinel. This site is a great resource for Disney news and a bit of commentary. If there's breaking news at Disney, this is a great resource to get the news fast.
AllEars.net: If you're looking for information about the Disney parks, say you need to find a menu for a restaurant or are looking for park hours or when Fantasmic! is playing, AllEars.net is one of two sites I recommend.
WDWInfo.com: This is the other site. Both have a wealth of information.
So there you go -- some more ways to keep the magic alive in between trips to Walt Disney World. I hope you will find these helpful and will be active in the Disney online community -- we're a fun bunch!