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I like to pause and reflect on my passion for "Disney." I am a Day 1 D23 Member – D23 is the official community for Disney fans. The funny thing is, anyone who knows me will tell you that I have been a Disney fan practically since birth.

I even hesitated to put Disney in quotes above. Walt Disney, his company, the history, merchandise, cast members, magic and memories at the theme parks all equate to what-is-Disney for me. For most fans, Disney is much more than a brand.

I will always love and admire Walt Disney's ideas that started it all. There are few legendary ideas with both creativity and guts, but I think Mickey Mouse and Disneyland are on the list.

My visits with Minnie Mouse or Cinderella at Disney theme parks are almost as exciting as they were when I was a girl. I still dream about the new attractions (not "rides") at the parks, and I still wish that I can visit Tokyo Disney someday (a Disney park built 1:1 scale)! Also, Disney often features state-of-the-art renovations and technologies, so I love to read information on social media and websites, and now from the D23 magazine & Expo, to learn even more! I always wanted to learn behind-the-scenes secrets by meeting the Imagineers and Cast Members. Over the years, I feel lucky to have done things like the 7-hour "Backstge Tour" at Walt Disney World (Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom) to satisfy my curiosity!

The history of its animation, the theme parks, the magic... it's a part of my life. Without the Disney company, the characters, the entertainment, the animation and cartoon shorts, the dolls and soundtracks: I would not be the same person without them.

All of this may sound unreal to some of you, but a few of you might have nodded your heads to what I wrote. Are you this way too? It's amazing how Disney can evoke these feelings from us.

On the flip side, you may not be as infatuated with The Mouse as Disney fans. Some of you may even feel negatively toward a company that appears to be a typical multi-million dollar conglomerate that serves its shareholders and seeks to multiply its profits. As a student of advertising and media studies, I understand these views. I also regularly interview people and I have befriended Disney fans around the world. If you're not a fan, I only ask if you can keep an open mind before judging us.

Tthe idea of owning a piece of the magic is appealing to Disney fans. Disney fans care about this magic so much that we will set aside money just to have some of it in our lives. Critics with alternate sources of escape may not need Disney magic as much or at all. Escape from reality is common: people browse the web, read, socialize, play sports, even travel... to escape.

Disney is partially powered by these ideas of escape and it sparks the imagination. For you see, unlike everyday life... with Disney magic, fans find that age has almost no limits. –>

(continued:) The Walt Disney Company has created outlets for its consumers. Fans and guests not only acknowledge, but are pleased, that Disney's intent is to lead them to a new and exciting, experience, entertain and spread happiness!

All of this spreading happiness and imagination is a serious business. Disney is non-discriminatory and non-confrontational, and it is providing a form of escape; they try to ensure that everyone they meet is comforted and cared for.

As a company, Disney definitely profits. It is consistently reviewed as an excellent and trusted family entertainer – "worth the price tag." This company provides a colorful, happy utopia of fantasy and imagination, magical worlds where one can be

It certainly does not sound like the origins or intentions of a regular Fortune 500 company.

Did Walt Disney's namesake sell out? No, I don't think so. It was Walt himself who first agreed to the mass merchandising of Mickey Mouse! (At the time, it was the only way he could to fund high production costs.) To refer to Roy Disney, the Disney company wouldn't have been able to continue if they had seriosuly worried about Walt, his choices and methods, after his passing... I do wish Walt Disney could see his legacy now.

New methods are sometimes good and can solve new problems. Epcot might not be what walt envisioned, but I think he would enjoy riding Soarin' or walking around the World Showcase. In one recent issue, the Walt Disney Company took measures to educate children that Walt Disney was indeed a real person... I think that was a step in the right direction. Mickey Mouse is timeless, but he did not appear out of thin air!

I will always be a Walt Disney fan, and I am glad there are others who appreciate this company as much as I do. I hope there will always be Disney fans who love to BE in Disney parks, not minding a wait in a ride queue (Fastpass helps, so there should be fewer complaints). Notably, the D23 Expo in September 2009 felt like a mecca, even though I was one of the few adults who dressed up in Disney costumes / cosplay for this first year.

Disney movies will hopefully continue to have beautiful animation, and Disney World vacations will hopefully stay as magical. I trust it to be my source of escape.

For those still interested in Disney work, I welcome you to browse my Disney pages. Topics include Walt Disney World, my personal Disney doll collection, my tribute to Walt Disney and my D23 Expo experience (coming soon). I will use my PrincessMonkey Blog to post the latest tips and information. The menu on the upper-left can help you navigate, or return to PrincessMonkey.com.

It is such a Wonderful World of Disney, a whole new world, a new, fantastic point of view... There's so much that we share, and it's time we're aware, it's a small world after all.
Let's not forget, there's a great big beautiful tomorrow.
I welcome you to share it all with me °o°

Walt with his Mickeys
minnie and mickey, a timeless reflection
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