Season’s Greetings From Confessions of a DisNerd!

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

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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!

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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.

 

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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

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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

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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.

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

Happy Wednesday, all! Yes, I know we haven’t even hit Thanksgiving yet, but at Disneyland Resort, decorations are going up at a fast and furious pace on order to be ready for the holiday season kickoff on November 13. Today’s picture comes was taken this time of year a couple years back.

One of my favorite times of year to visit Disneyland is Christmas time. From the sights, sounds, and even smells, there’s something quite magical about it all. This picture was taken on a foggy morning before “rope drop” – that period of time where Main Street is open, yet the rest of the park sits quietly just beyond the ropes that separate the guests from their first destinations. With the fog in the air, and snow on Sleeping Beauty Castle, it gives an air of true winter, with the holidays just around the corner.

 

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I know I’m ready to visit a Disneyland decked out for the season. What about you, fellow DisNerds? Do you have a favorite time of year at the parks?

 

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday – Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland Park

 

Happy (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday, all! This week, we’ve got a treat for you as Confessions reader and fellow DisNerd Crystal so graciously shared a few pictures she took while attending Mickey’s Halloween Party at DIsneyland Park!

 

 

 

 

Looks like a fun party with just a few of your closest friends!

 

Crystal (Jessie) and her parents, dressed up for the occasion!

 

Thanks for the pictures, Crystal. Looks like you and your family had a blast!

I’ve never been to one of these events myself, but it looks like a lot of fun. What about you, dear readers? Have you attended a Halloween party, either at Disneyland or Walt Disney World? I’d love to hear your thoughts!