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Let the Memories Begin!
by Debra Martin Koma
AllEars® Senior Editor
This article appeared in the January 4, 2011 Issue #589 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
This is generally the time of year when we all reflect on the year that was -- you've probably seen lots of Top 10 Lists of the Best This or The Worst That in 2010... but this year, I thought I'd do something a bit different with you all. Inspired by Disney's promotional campaign for 2011, "Let the Memories Begin," I'd like to share our vision for the coming year with you.
For us here at AllEars.Net, 2011 promises to be an amazing year.
As you may have seen, this month marks AllEars.Net's 15th anniversary. What started back in January 1996 as Deb's Disney Digest, with a few pages of Walt Disney World related content, has evolved into the website you all know and (hopefully) love -- with thousands of pages of photographs, information, restaurant menus, blogs and more, all augmented by this free weekly AllEars newsletter, which now reaches more than 127,000 subscribers from literally around the world.
Back when Deb Wills started "Deb's Disney Digest," she was sitting all alone at her computer, trying to share information about Walt Disney World with a few friends. Today the AllEars.Net Team consists of both regular and guest writers, photographers, and technical people who volunteer their time and skills to keep this website and newsletter accurate, up-to-date and running. We cover not only the Florida Disney theme parks, but the Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, and even occasionally feature the Disney theme parks in Europe and Asia and trips with Adventures by Disney.
For some time now, our tagline for AllEars.Net has been "Sharing the Magic Worldwide" and this year , more than ever before, we're hoping to make that a reality. Our heads are of full of ideas, and our calendar is covered with scribbles of upcoming plans, ranging from casual get-togethers with our readers at the various Disney theme parks and on the Disney Cruise Line, to more formally organized affairs that will provide AllEars.Net readers with access to some exclusive events.
And we're looking at lots of other ways to share the magic with you and get you involved with us, like with our AllEars Trading Cards. These collectible cards, patterned after baseball trading cards, feature gorgeous photography by AllEars photographers of scenes from around the Disney parks and are available exclusively from AllEars Team Members. You can pick them up at any AllEars meet. They're fun to trade with other AllEars fans, or just to collect and keep as souvenirs. You can read more about them here:
While lots is still on the drawing board or in the process of being finalized, we did want to whet your appetites with some teasers and tastes of what we are concocting in the hopes that you'll get as excited about it all as we are!
JANUARY -- The "15 Years of AllEars® Anniversary Celebration" has begun! You'll see our celebratory logo appearing on all our pages, and we're going to begin rolling out some changes throughout the site. Be sure to take advantage of our new Google-driven search engine to help you find answers to your questions more quickly. Also this month, the Disney Cruise Line will launch its newest ship, the Disney Dream, and AllEars will be there to provide you with every last detail! Team members Deb Wills, Deb Koma and Laura Gilbreath will be aboard for the media preview in the middle of this month, then Deb Wills will be taking the inaugural cruise to document all the lavish Dream has to offer. In addition, we'll be hosting a few team meets this month at Walt Disney World, starting with this coming Marathon Weekend. You can visit with Deb Wills and other AllEars Team Members on January 7, 2011 at an informal meet and greet from 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. at the Boardwalk Inn's Belle Vue Lounge. And on January 24, 2011 join Deb Wills and others at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast and Soarin' in Epcot's Land. Stay current with all the upcoming Team Meets at
FEBRUARY -- Mark your calendars for the 9th, when we'll again be hosting AllEars® LIVE -- a call-in show for listeners to speak with Deb Wills and other members of the AllEars.Net Team. During that show we'll be making a big announcement -- you'll have to tune in to hear exactly what it is, but just between you and me, Ssshhh! I can tell you that the words FREE and PRIZES are involved.
APRIL -- This spring, AllEars.Net takes to the high seas again, as Deb Wills, Laura Gilbreath and Linda Eckwerth embark on the Disney Cruise Line's first sailing to Alaska (May 3-10). Before they sail, however, they'll be hosting a meet at Disneyland Resort -- watch for details!
MAY -- May will see the team Sharing the Magic back at Walt Disney World for the highly anticipated debut of the renovated Star Tours attraction. Walt Disney World will also host D23's Destination D Event May 14-15, preceded by a two-day Scavenger Hunt (May 12 - 13), and AllEars.Net Team Members will be on hand to cover the festivities, and bring the magic home to those who can't be there. AllEars.Net readers will also have plenty of opportunities to meet up with Team Members, and participate in a few other activities along the way during the month.
JUNE -- We're dotting our I's and crossing our T's to make sure everything is in order for a very special event in a non-Disney location, but with a VERY Disney theme! We'll be announcing the specifics of this event very soon, but all I can tell you now is that you'll want to keep June 18 open, especially if you think you'd like to take a bite out of the Big Apple with AllEars.Net!
AUGUST -- Disney will once again hold the D23 Expo in Anaheim this August 19-21. AllEars.Net will be there to provide full coverage and Share the Magic, as we did two years ago, with readers who can't make the trek to California. Be on the lookout for an announcement concerning a Disneyland meet sometime during the D23 Expo dates.
OCTOBER -- This October marks the 40th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, and AllEars.Net plans to be on hand to mark the occasion. In addition, the annual Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is the perfect time for us to gather with AllEars.Net readers. And just to dangle another carrot -- those words FREE and PRIZES are penciled in on my calendar for this month as well. Specifics are still being ironed out.
DECEMBER -- Yes, it's the end of the year, and we have saved the best for last. Our year-long anniversary concludes with what we hope you'll all agree is a "premiere" event -- A December to Remember, December 8 -12, at Walt Disney World. We're arranging an array of activities, from casual to out-of-the-ordinary, that will take place in all four Florida Disney theme parks, to appeal to all ages.
Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it all! But extremely excited as well!
As proud as we are of this accomplishment -- and we think that 15 years on the internet is quite a milestone! -- we realize that we couldn't have become the most comprehensive Disney vacation planning website on the internet without the love and support you all have shown us. That's why this year-long celebration is not JUST about AllEars.Net -- it is about how we all can and do Share the Magic of Disney worldwide.
So it's time... let's start celebrating "15 Years of AllEars®!" and as our friends at Disney say, "Let the Memories Begin!"
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Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.