Celebrations Magazine recently marked its two year anniversary, which made me look back on what a wonderful, fun and amazing, journey it’s been.
I met Tim Foster from Guide to the Magic about 5 years ago, when he was walking around the MouseFest floor, quietly clutching his Guide to the Magic for Kids book in his hands – something he wrote, designed, printed and even bound himself. He didn’t know a soul, and when he came by my table and asked me to look at his book, I immediately ran over to my publisher’s table, pulled him aside and said, “Sign this guy! Now!” Well, Tim went on and self-published not just that book, but a number of books in the series. And from that first meeting, I also met a great friend.
We talked for years about collaborating on a project together, and the ideas came fast and furious. And while (like Imagineering), no good idea ever dies, one thing that we continually spoke about was putting together a magazine. With the official Disney Magazine folding in 2005, many of us felt a void that was left by it ceasing publication. And although we’re in the age of the iPhone, iPad, netbooks, podcasts and other technological revolutions, we still love to hold something in our hands, see the photos, flip a page, and collect it on our shelves.
Fast forward a few years (and many, many meetings at the Sheraton lobby & restaurant more than an hour away from each of us) later, the idea for Celebrations Magazine was born. Born simply out of a desire to produce something that we, as Disney enthusiasts, would like to read ourselves. We talked, scribbled notes, did our due diligence, talked and scribbled some more, and before you knew it (well, maybe a year or so), we had the makings of a magazine. And almost immediately, Tim came up with the name “Celebrations,” as that was what he had hoped to accomplish – to celebrate the true “magic” of the Disney parks and films, and so much more
But we knew we couldn’t (and shouldn’t) do it alone, and in order to put out the best magazine possible (one that not only we would be proud of, but that would hopefully live up to the expectations and standards that Disney fans have come to enjoy), we wanted to reach out to others in the community to contribute as well. We wanted to find people who were the best at what they did, and could contribute and share their passions with others as well. So we talked with people like Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickeys Guide books, Beci Mahnken from MouseFanTravel, and eventually authors and historians like Jim Korkis, Ryan Wilson from the Main Street Gazette, Cast Members such as Mike Lyons and countless others (please forgive my inability to list and thank everyone here).
I’ll never forget opening the folder and taking a look at some of the same pages from our first issue in early 2008. I was literally giddy, as I wanted to read it as a fan, as much as I was proud of it as a publisher.
Tim became a regular on the WDW Radio Show, as our Top Ten (with Tim) segments afforded us the opportunity to work together and talk about some of our favorites in Walt Disney World in a fun, conversational environment. But in July, 2008, on Show #76, we had an announcement to make.
With a deep breath, we revealed that for more than a year (maybe two?), we had been working on a project together, and we officially unveiled Celebrations Magazine. The immediate response we received through emails and forum posts was wonderful and exciting, and in August of 2008, we went to press, and the magazine was officially born. Now to tell everyone else and wait and see what they thought about it….
I still have the very first email I ever received from a charter subscriber who described her reaction to the magazine. She was so excited that whether we had sold another issue or not, I felt truly proud of what we had put our names on, and that we were able to share our love for Disney with other people in this way. Of course, this magazine would not be possible without the amazing work from all of our contributors, and to YOU, the reader – so our biggest thanks goes out to all of you for allowing us to do what we llove doing so very much.
I never expected what an incredibly journey it’s been over the past two years. Heck, we didn’t even know if we’d MAKE two years, let alone two issues! But you have all been incredible in your enthusiasm and support of the magazine, and because of you, we are even more excited about not just what the next issue, but hopefully the next many years will bring through the pages of Celebrations Magazine… and everything else we may be working on…
I was reminiscing as we approached the two-year anniversary and was looking back at past issues. I laid all of them out on my office table one night, trying to choose which cover, and overall issue, I liked best. I was first able to narrow the field of twelve down to… well… eleven, and then ended up with three or four that I enjoyed for one reason or another.And that gave me an idea – I wanted to know (since I couldn’t decide on my own, anyway), what cover and issue YOU enjoyed most. More importantly, I was curious to know WHY.
So, whether you subscribe or not (you can at CelebrationsPress.com, by the way), whether you have one issue or the complete collection (oh yeah, you can get back issues there as well), let us know:
Vote for your favorite cover in the poll and tell us which is your favorite cover and issue (and why) in the Comments section below
We will randomly select one comment posted from September 14 – 30, 2010 to receive a $25 Disney gift card, limited edition Celebrations Magazine pin, all FIVE Audio Guides to Walt Disney World AND a signed copy of Issue #1!
Click the individual covers for a full view