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Well, it’s been a while since I sat down to the keyboard for a Disney related bit of writing. One could say I had lost my mojo. Living in upstate NY and being a business owner there, has really taken a toll on me this year. I feel that upstate NY is slowly turning into Detroit, Michigan sans the car factories. Every school function has been littered with talks of divorces, job losses, and fear. Every advance toward my dream for my family is taken away by tax increases, insurance increases, and lack of business.

With that said, this has been a year of evaluation for me. I have had plenty of time to think about what means the most to me. I have had plenty of time to reflect on my past. I have witnessed the destruction of families and friendships all with one common denominator – MONEY.  From all this, I have come to the conclusion that many times people live their lives like they are climbing a mountain. The mountain I speak of refers to the uphill battle for material things.

What am I talking about you ask? Well relax, I’ll tell ya. You see, many people I know go through a life of acquisition with no regard to those around them, myself included. They feel the need to acquire things. And when those things get boring, it’s off to find bigger and better things. They want the biggest house, the best cars, supersized plasma screen televisions, boats, etc. You get the picture. The rat race of acquisition is often times their main focus. All of these things bring joy, I cannot lie, but they just don’t add value to a person’s life.

If you really want to know what’s important in life, ask a senior citizen. Ask someone who has lost their home. Ask someone who has lost a loved one. Ask a parent who has buried their child. I don’t mean to be so glum, but I am trying to make a point; that point being, why climb the mountain at all. Why do all the acquiring of “things” just to have to sell it off at a loss, or give it away because you can’t afford to keep it on your way down the mountain? Every one of those people I mention above would say the same thing…. I wish I shared more, cared more, and loved more, with the people that meant the most to me.

 I say, the secret is to walk around that mountain holding the hands of the ones you love. Skip all of the material acquisitions and just collect the love and joy of your dearest friends and family. Give of yourself to them. Be available to your spouse and children when they need you. Build friendships that last more than a lifetime. Focus on those that matter most to you, and leave the rest to climb the mountain alone. You’ll find that you will become part of a new crowd – a crowd that loves to gather and celebrate family, fun, and the joys life has to offer. What better place to join this crowd then at Disney World, “The happiest place on earth”.

This year I need the “Magic of Disney” more than ever. I will breath in every scent, I will admire every color, and I will hear every note. I will walk not in front of my children, but just behind. I will let them lead the way. I will give them memories of love, togetherness, and family. I will fill their vacation with smiles, hugs, and laughter they will never forget. When my wife and I are at Disney World this Christmas, we will be giving our children the best gift we could ever give them without any expense at all…ourselves.

See ya real soon’

From the Examiner this morning:

A Disney Imagineer sculpts a model of King Triton, which will stand 35 feet tall at the new resort. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

The Orlando Sentinel’s Daily Disney and Walt Disney World News Today announced early this morning that for the first time in seven years, Walt Disney World will begin building a new 2000-room hotel, scheduled for completion in 2012.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will feature 1,120 suites that can house up to six Guests each, and another 864 traditional hotel rooms will be added, as well. The new hotel will be a value resort, in the same hotel cluster as the All-Star and Pop Century Resorts, with rates starting at $82/night. Art of Animation will have roughly the same capacity as Pop Century.

The theme will revolve around four of Disney’s most popular animated movies: The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Cars. Each section of the resort will have separate courtyards featuring icons from the movies, including King Triton presiding over the Mermaid section, and will feature the bright colors and lavish scenery that all resorts at WDW proudly exhibit.

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A woman was injured in a boating accident on Thursday at Walt Disney World near the Treehouse Villas.

Barbara Wormald, 61, of Celebration and Skipton, England, was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center to receive treatment for a collapsed lung, fractured ribs and back pain.

She and her husband, Michael, had rented a small boat at Downtown Disney and began to make their way through the Walt Disney World Resort waterways. At some point, according to the incident report from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the two found themselves in the path of a ferry.

Michael Wormald told a sheriff’s deputy that he turned to the right too late to avoid the ferry.

William Green, the captain of the ferry, told authorities that he put the ferry in reverse when it crashed into the boat.

The Wormalds’ boat went under the ferry, and Barbara Wormald was wedged between the ferry and the small boat.

The sheriff’s office continues to investigate the incident.

Copyright © 2010, Orlando Sentinel

Walt Disney World installed GPS-equipped computers in each of its nearly 300 buses, with a goal to reroute buses in real time to handle the heaviest crowds. But critics of the program say the initiative has been a hindrance, with drivers complaining that working with a computer while they operate their vehicles has proven to be a distraction, according to the Orlando Sentinel

The program, called Magic in Motion, has led to more-efficient bus scheduling and lower wait times for guests, according to Disney. Features such as prerecorded passenger announcements broadcast automatically rather than by the drivers has made it easier for drivers to concentrate on the road in front of them, Disney contends.

Under the new program, whenever a Disney World bus completes a round trip, it is issued a new destination based on which stops currently have guests waiting. As soon as a bus finishes one route, a new one is calculated and then displayed on a small computer monitor to the driver’s right.

But some drivers say the system can be distracting. Each time a bus is nearing the end of its route, the driver must radio to a dispatcher to get a five-digit code that the driver then enters into the computer. The computer then displays the new route, updates the bus’ marquee and even changes the music.

Adding to the complaining drivers’ argument was the fact that Disney’s bus system recently recorded three crashes in two weeks.

To help solve the problem of driver distraction, the resort is developing software to automate the process entirely. Disney hopes to roll that out within a year.

Disney also puts all of its drivers through a four-week training program that ensures they are comfortable with the system and that they have driven all of Disney World’s bus routes, during the day and at night.