Confessions of a Fan

Happy 2015 to all of you, devoted readers and fellow DisNerds! I realize it’s been too long since I wrote a post or shared anything here, and I would like to apologize for that. While I could blame the crazy time of year, work, or general business, the truth is, I think my time away consisted of something more.

I think, in a way, I forgot how to be a fan.

 

no-wrong-kind-ehghls

 

You see, I love Disney. I always have, even when the preteen in me was afraid to admit it. If a new movie came out, I had to see it right away. New CD collection? It didn’t matter if I had most of the songs elsewhere, this one had a few new ones – a must have! Trips to the park were always amazing, from rides on the newest rides to strolls through the shops to see all the new merchandise. If you knew me, you knew of my extensive love for all things Disney.

I also have a second passion: Writing.

Oh, how I love writing. While never formally educated to do so, I feel I’ve adopted a style that’s my own. Long winded sentences, dashes, ellipses, parentheses that allow me to stray off topic a bit.. They’re all very much a part of me as well, and I feel very much freed when I’m able to sit at a keyboard and type. To me, the written word is my chosen method of communication, and if I could find a way to make a living out of doing it, I would jump at the chance.

With that being said, Confessions of a DisNerd was pretty much a no-brainer for me. Write about my favorite subject? Of course! As you have seen, over the past (nearly) three years, I have poured out my heart on the subject of Disney, covering a range of everything from television shows to movies, from music to theme parks. And I have loved every minute of it. However, in the past year, I seemed too determined to focus on the News side, and less on the fan side. In searching for news on the company to report, I missed out on how excited I would get as a fan of all things Disney. And that’s never been who I am.

If I were to be honest, I’d say that experience drained me, maybe even slowed my passion for writing a bit. Never for Disney – just writing about it. I had stopped writing about the chills I felt in hearing “When You Wish Upon a Star.”  About the giddiness of seeing a castle at the end of a turn-of-the-century town. About the anticipation of a new film, and the joy of seeing it through a child’s eye. Instead, I looked for bits of news to share with you, the readers and fellow DisNerds, and report on it when possible. But the truth is, there are plenty of sites that do just that, and they do it well. I realize now a need to return to what I do best: Being a fan.

Does this mean that I’ll stop reporting on “News For DisNerds?” Not necessarily, but I think it will be reported from this fan’s point of view. I recently posed a question to friends of mine. What does it mean to be a fan? While the answers varied, I think the number one resounding  theme was one word: Passion. The more I thought about it, the more I realized a simple truth. If I’m going to report on something I find interesting or exciting, I need to let that interest and excitement show! If I feel something is newsworthy, I want to present it with the passion that hits me as I find out about it.

So what does this mean going forward? It means, that I’m hoping to invoke some of that passion and fun back into the blog; to truly approach things as the Disney fan I am. This year I’ll be experiencing a few firsts, such as my first ever RunDisney event, as well as the D23 Expo. My genuine hope is to be able to convey the experience as a first timer, and share that with you, the readers. As well, I hope to share more stories of some of my favorite things: Disney books, music, movies, and of course, trips to Disneyland. Also, Mrs. DisNerd is very eager to share some of the things that we as fans have done with birthday parties and projects that show off our true DisNerds!

I’m truly excited to see what the future has to offer, and want to give you my sincere thanks for sticking out this journey with me so far. Here’s looking forward to a Disney filled 2015!

Season’s Greetings From Confessions of a DisNerd!

Although it’s been said many times, many ways…

20141121_131017

20141121_130930

20141121_131051

20141121_131141

20141121_131315

20141121_131411

20141121_131554

20141121_131632

20141121_131750

20141121_130821

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or any other holiday… May this season be joyous and happy for each and everyone of my fellow DisNerds. I thank you for your continued support, and wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday!

20141116_201850

See you in 2015!!!

Making Walt Proud

I was backstage at Disneyland, just behind the backstage entrance near “it’s a small world”. My high school marching band had just finished parading, marching down Main Street USA and beyond Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. With the gates now closed behind us, the band began setting down their instruments, taking off their uniforms, relaxing. I, however, was not. I was crying. I was happier than I had ever been in my entire life. I had just marched down Disneyland, an absolute dream come true. As I sat there backstage, alone and still crying, a hand patted my back, and a voice told me simply… “Walt would be proud.” (That certainly didn’t help stop the tears, if anything it brought on an onslaught of more, but only because it resonated so deeply in my sophomore-age heart.) Certainly, that sentiment seems fluffy and shallow, and if you were to think too much about it, you might be able to disqualify the statement entirely. But such meant so very much to me then, and still continues to mean so very much to me now.

Today is Walt Disney’s birthday, and in honor of such, I simply wanted to share a bit of what this man has done for me in my life, much of which I am certain you will heartedly agree with. I have never met Walt Disney. I will never meet Walt Disney. My knowledge of him only extends so far as the knowledge his closest associates have shared. Yet in learning more of this “man behind the mouse,” I found a man who helped to create my dreams, and then taught me how to make them come true. He taught me, and still teaches me, of imagination, optimism, spirit, and ingenuity. Walt Disney has inspired me and will continue to inspire me.
At the end of each and every trip to Disneyland, I sit myself on a bench near “Partners”, the commemorative statue of Walt with Mickey Mouse. I sit under the twinkling lights in the trees, with tired guests walking past me for one last photo of the castle. Many families stop and look at Walt and Mickey, and many small kids have turned to their folks to ask, “Mom, who was Walt Disney?” Their answers never fail to bring tears to my eyes. “He was a magical man who made Disneyland,” some say. “He was remarkable, he had so many dreams.” “He’s who you have to thank for the wonderful time we’ve had at Disneyland.” I stay on that bench until security asks me to leave, but until they do, I have little conversations with Walt. I report back on my dreams. It’s a tradition of mine I’ve been doing since I was 12. I make sure I am doing him proud. And to all of us dreamers, hoping to carry on ol’ Uncle Walt’s legacy, I’m sure we’re doing him proud.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – The Storyboarder

Hello, and happy (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday, fellow DisNerds! With this week being the week of Walt Disney’s birthday, I felt it only appropriate to share what may be my favorite picture of the man himself.

 

Storyboarder

I wish I had a bigger picture of this to share. I wish I had a framed print I could hang in my office somewhere (I recently found this hanging in the 1901 Lounge of Disney California Adventure and wished I could take it home). This picture, taken from a storyboard session of Pinocchio shows Walt in rare form: working hard, using all he has to tell a story. It’s a picture that shows him using his imagination in full force – how I would have loved being able to sit in these sessions! For some odd reason, this is the picture of Walt that seems to inspire me the most; but more on that in an upcoming post….

Nearly Wordless Wednesday: Range Sunset

10306252_1497831813773981_1464075811712477465_n

I enjoy shooting CarsLand from time to time, but I feel like so many people have done it a lot lately, so I’ve been laying off posting photos about it. However, I feel like this is a good shot to share, since I can’t seen to find another shot I like right now. This was taken a year ago during the summer time at sunset walking around the park, just having a good evening with my wife. It’s nothing too fancy, just a picture I enjoy, and hope you do as well. – Jake

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday: The Dream Kid

IMG_0885.JPG

I usually like posting photos that are more artistically inclined. They’re easier to post about, because the photos stand on their own. But this week is more in depth. This is a photo of me as a little one waiting for the parade. Anxiously, as you can see. Going through old family photos I stumbled across this one, and it’s (vainly) one of my favorites.

Why is it one of my favorite photos, you ask?

Well, as you see other photos of children in the parks, and you see this one, there is something wonderful about children and Disneyland. Never before in any other place I’ve been to in the world have I seen such pure, unadulterated joy and innocence.

Kids believe in Disneyland like they believe in Santa Claus. Flying with Peter Pan isn’t a dark ride with special effects. It’s real to them. The fear of Indiana Jones or Haunted Mansion is true fear. And it’s wonder and awe for them when fireworks soar over the castle to the beloved songs they know.

Unfortunately, the world outside that berm takes hold and reality sets in. But that’s not what should happen. We all need that wonder and awe, and pure innocence in our lives. It could be different than what it was like as a child, and we know the world is a cold place, but today or later this week, take time to find some pure happiness and innocence in your life. Take a smaller family member to go see Big Hero Six, or sit on the couch with your significant other and catch an old Disney film you haven’t seen in awhile, and rekindle that youthful happiness.