Wednesday, February 15, 2012

99. Growing Up Disney


One of my favorite things about being involved in the Disney online community is discovering people with similar stories. There are millions of Walt Disney World fans who come from all over the world. Many have taken their first trips as young kids and others have become hooked as adults. Sometimes, however, I find people like myself who really "grew up Disney." Does growing up Disney mean living in Orlando or being raised by Disney World cast members? Not necessarily. I feel that you fall into this category if you took your first trip at a very young age and returned on a frequent basis. Although we didn't go every single year, I certainly feel that I grew up Disney, as all of my family's major vacations were to that magical spot in the center of Florida. There is one more prerequisite to being a member of the "growing up Disney" club. You still must have as much excitement for this place as you did as a kid. This is certainly the case for Amy and her family who created GrowingUpDisney.com.

The Growing Up Disney blog was started by Amy back in 2010. Her parents first took her to Walt Disney World as a preschooler and they bought into the Disney Vacation Club when she was in high school. While in college she was a cast member at the Crystal Palace while on the Disney College Program. Her wedding was at Disney World, and like myself, her honeymoon was aboard a Disney cruise ship. Although her husband (like my wife) isn't nearly the fan as Amy, he certainly supports her "habit" as they are raising their daughters to be the family's next generation of Disney geeks.

One of the things that makes GrowingUpDisney.com unique is that it isn't written by just one person. Although Amy is the creator and biggest contributor, she is joined by her dad and her brother in putting out great content on a regular basis. Many people start blogs and they fizzle out after a few months. This is certainly not the case with this family as they have over 500 posts in just under two years. Like Digital Disney World, they are posting something almost every day, and they also include great photos with their articles.

Another great feature of Growing Up Disney is the way that it is organized. Like most blogs, the most recent posts are on the home page in chronological order. There is also the standard "archives" in the left hand margin.  However, Amy did a nice job of using tabs across the top to categorize some popular topics related to Walt Disney World. For example, you can read her dad's articles under the "Disney Vacation Club" tab or check out her brother's features under "Around the World with Ridge." Amy also assembled a team of moms who contribute their discussions under "Minnie Moms." Overall, this blog is very well laid out and professional looking.
GrowingUpDisney.com is a fun site for all Disney fans to check out. For those of us who are raising third- generation Disney kids, it is simply a must read. Amy and her family really embody the spirit of what Walt desired when creating his theme parks. He wanted a place where moms and dads could enjoy spending time with their kids. It is obvious that Amy's parents embraced this idea and have passed it along to their children and grandchildren. Although we may come from different parts of the country, I feel a connection with this family as we have a similar passion and we are also raising our son to "grow up Disney."

Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!


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