I am excited to be celebrating our First Birthday this week! One year ago I made the decision to move The Affordable Mouse from a little blog with occasional posts to a “grown-up” website and blog. Just a year later, we have grown to be quite the community, with a Facebook page now as well, that is closing in on having 350 fans…and growing!
As I begin our second year, it is a great time for me to share with you a few things that I am working on, that will all hopefully be finalized before the end of 2010…as well as some ideas I have for the coming year:
- Website re-design: As our community has grown, it is important for me to be able to provide a better way for you to find the information that you need to save money at Disney World. In addition, I have things that I have been wanting to add to the site as well so this is the perfect time to for me to do some re-designing. My plans are that the finished product will be done before Christmas and once complete will provide an improved experience for you! Stay tuned for details!
- Affordable Disney Dining Guide: This project that was born as a result of your responses to a survey that I ran in the spring, is in the editing stages now, and so is nearly finished! I currently expect to release it as an e-book right after the 1st of the year, just in time for your 2011 vacation planning!
- The Affordable Mouse Community: In many ways, this part is the most important to me, because it is at the heart of why I started The Affordable Mouse in the first place. My vision for this site has always been one of a community of Disney World-lovers, where ideas, tips, and suggestions for saving money on a Disney World vacation are shared. I may have started it….but my hope over the coming years, is that this site and blog will eventually grow into a place where anyone who needs help making Disney vacations affordable, can come to ask questions. Our online “family” is pretty diverse: many of you are experienced Walt Disney World veterans, with many visits under your belt…but many of you found us because you are brand new, and looking for help. And one of the things that I love about Disney folk…is that we are a friendly, helpful sort of folk, willing to share advice and provide help to other Disney folk!
So, it is my hope, in 2011, to grow The Affordable Mouse community by getting more of YOU involved! Our Facebook page is certainly a start, where a number of you already comment and share ideas, and I hope that will continue to expand. But beyond that, please feel free to ask questions there as well, and don’t be shy or worry about it being a “dumb” question: we’ve all been there once! Please also share your thoughts and ideas by commenting on our daily blog posts: I would love to see some real conversations begin to start in the comments every day! If you have experience with the topic, please share. If you have something helpful to add, please share that too!
It is here with the Blog that I am truly hoping to grow our community! As you know, Brenda recently began contributing articles on a weekly basis and she has done a wonderful job of adding an additional viewpoint, as well as some fresh, new ideas. I would love to expand on this and have more of you share your expertise as well! So if you like to write, and would be interested in contributing articles to The Affordable Mouse blog, please let me know! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know your background and Disney “history”. Professional experience is certainly not required: what is needed however, is a love for Walt Disney World, and an interest in sharing ways to save money on a Disney vacation. It is also not necessary to contribute weekly either: if you just wish to share an article once or twice a month that would be awesome too! (Please be aware though, that this is, unfortunately, not a paid position: your only pay will be sharing the Disney magic with others. )
Lastly, I would really love to know what ideas YOU have for growing our Disney World money-saving community! Message boards/forums? Monthly podcasts or webinars? YouTube videos? Something else? Please let me know your thoughts: Growing our community is one of my goals for 2011, but clearly it can’t be done without you! So send me an email, post on the Facebook page, or comment on a blog post and let me know your ideas for creating a sharing community!
Thanks so much for reading, and thanks so much for making 2010 such an amazing year for The Affordable Mouse! “Meeting” all of you is something that I am truly thankful for…and I can’t wait to see what great things 2011 has in store for all of us!