If you were successful in slogging through my tome of text that I call my trip report for MouseFest 2007, I congratulate you. From my statistics, it appears there were quite a few of you that at least attempted the feat (the stats aren't smart enough to tell me who finished just who started).
I hope that it was conveyed through my trip reports that my wife and I had a blast during MouseFest. Now that some time has passed, my wife and I have been able to ruminate on the events that had transpired. Writing the trip reports have helped with that reflection as well.
I think my wife would agree with me when I say that this was our best trip to Disney to date. This trip even ranks high when compared to our September 2006 trip when we traveled on the Magic Your Way Platinum Plan. Yes, that trip had many memorable events, but this trip had something that couldn't be had on the previous trips.......experiencing the parks with a group of friends.
The meets were all fabulous, but they really were just a catalyst to get like-minded individuals in the same location. Often, you met people you previously only knew by screen names. If you were lucky they were people who you have expanded beyond Private Messaging through forums and have moved onto Instant Messaging, E-Mailing or phone calls. A rare few even have each other's cell phone numbers programmed in their phone books.
When it comes to those people who attend MouseFest, I would have to say that they fall into a few different categories:
- Meet Hounds: These people you see at practically every meet. Sometimes you think they have managed to clone themselves because you swore you saw them at two meets that are scheduled at the same time. These people are very prolific in the community and are members of most of the forums and listen to practically every podcast. When looking at pictures posted from MouseFest, they seem to be in every one of them. Disney Geek George is one of these kinds of people.
- MouseFesters on Vacation: These people used MouseFest as an excuse to take a December vacation to Disney World. They attend some of the meets, but their main focus was to connect with people they talk to online and get some rides in. The MouseFest meets were just interludes between rides, meals, and nighttime extravaganzas. I would have to say that I fall into this Category. But that didn't mean I didn't get to interact with people in the "Meet Hounds" category. George, Andy and my group spent alot of quality time together.
- Cast Members Incognito: These people are in the employ of the Mouse. When they were not on the clock they donned yellow MouseFest lanyards and mingled amongst the Disney Fans. The reason they are doing this is because they are one of us. They are working for Disney because they love Disney for the same reasons we all do. Events like MouseFest just help solidify their love for the company and reminds them why they do what they do and that people out there "Get It". I could name a few of these types of people, but then I'd have to call the MIB to use their little flashy thing to wipe out your memory of this post...haha
I didn't get to network and mingle with members of the community as much as I would've liked, but I wouldn't have traded the fun and friendship building that I did get to experience. After those 5 days it seems like I have a few more brothers from another mother.
To everyone I met, shook hands with, acted goofy with, rode an attraction with, dined with or just stood in line with I want to thank you for helping me and my wife have a Grumpaliscious time at MouseFest.
Till we all meet again, we can keep in touch on our blogs, podcasts, and forums.
To use a new term I learned at MouseFest....
Keep it Grumptasic folks and remember it's all about the Attitude!