Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

I will be resuming the additions to The Earchive starting today.  I was gone for most of a week, attending Destination D: Attraction Rewind, then wanted to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving.  Now, I’m really excited, recharged, and ready to get back to offering you all more pieces of Disney theme park history.

Speaking of history, Destination D: Attraction Rewind was an absolutely amazing experience!  I can’t believe I had the opportunity to personally meet people like Bob Gurr, Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter.  The presentations on the 1964 World’s Fair were really great, but I especially enjoyed the second day, where they talked about attractions at the theme parks, or in the case of Discovery Bay, lands and attractions never built.  Thank you SO much to the D23 staff for putting on such a memorable event!

BIG NEWS: Starting the online Documents/Ephemera collection!

So you probably figured that a guy this obsessed with Disney theme park maps would probably have lots of other types of stuff in his collection, wouldn’t you?

Well, you’d be totally right!  I have so many vacation guides, timetables, other maps, cast member education, even ride operating guides!  I have always wanted to share these with everyone as well, but the maps seemed like a good place to start.

So starting right now, you can click on the newly added “Documents” menu item on the site to be taken to the online documents.  There is also a counter on the right side of the home page as well, just like for the maps.  As time goes on I will also add a “New Additions” link like the maps as well, so that you can just jump to the latest additions for the past 30 days.  For now, they’re ALL added in the last 30 days….

I will be creating a similar search process for the items, like with the maps.  For now it just shows everything, but that won’t be a problem until the online collection gets a bit bigger.  Which it will–I literally have THOUSANDS of items that need to be scanned and added.  And if you see an item duplicated, it’s not a mistake.  The way the database is structured, I have to create a duplicate entries for items associated with multiple resorts.  Once the results are categorized the duplicates won’t be visible.

If you’re still reading, first: thank you!  Second: If you have anything in your personal collection, I would love to be able to offer it an online home.  Contributors are properly acknowledged, and I can even create a link to your own site or blog if you have one.  My ultimate goal is to create an online archive that offers a central place for people to look when doing research or just revisiting happy memories.  I would love to have your help in making that a reality for everyone out there in Internet-land!

Celebrating the 500th Disney map milestone!

So 500 sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

It’s amazing how a total can creep up while you’re not looking.  If somebody put 500 maps in front of me to process, I would just get up and walk away from the overwhelming magnitude of the task.  But taken little by little, it’s a fun-filled, educational experience instead.  I still get excited as I open up each new map to find what they hold.  Sometimes it’s a new or updated attraction, sometimes it’s a person’s handwritten notations that give a little glimpse into their vacation.

I definitely owe huge thanks to the people that stuck with me when this collection was just a shared drive with really no organization at all.  People like Jim and Dotty Hart as well as Arthur Na gave me the encouragement to keep pushing onward even when I was discouraged.

I also have to thank my VERY understanding wife and family that supports and tolerates this obsession.  It’s gotten to the point that any time the mail shows up with something that has an eBay mailing label, my 9 year old daughter scolds me that my wife is mad that I’m spending all the money on Disney auctions.  Which she NEVER has, by the way!

Lastly, I need to thank you people on the internet, wherever you might be.  Even if you never email or leave a comment, just seeing the traffic numbers is encouraging itself.  Anyone out there that has done a website, blog, podcast or published can attest to the fact that it’s scary to offer a piece of yourself.  This site has definitely turned into a pretty big piece of me!

I hope you will all continue to visit, and tell your Disney loving friends as well.  I hope to continue adding to the site for a long time to come!

Oh, and one more thing, be on the looking in the next couple of days for a major addition to the website, something that any respectable Disney lover should appreciate!