THE ALL EARS® NUMBERS GAME: OUR 200TH ISSUE
by Deb Wills
ALL EARS® Editor-In-Chief
This article appeared in the July 22, 2003, Issue #200 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
Let me throw some numbers at you:
They seem kind of random, don't they? But in truth, they are some of the most important numbers in the world, at least to us.
The first number, 1999, is the year that we began this newsletter. It was September 1999, and we were looking for a way to communicate with readers of our website, www.wdwig.com They wanted to know when the site was updated, and what the newest news from Walt Disney World was, and we wanted to pass that info on. We started a mailing list that quickly grew.
After a few months, it became clear that there was a demand for more, more, still more information. We reexamined the newsletter's format, then redesigned and relaunched it formally as ALL EARS® on August 1, 2000, with the goal of sprinkling a bit of Tinker Bell's pixie dust in your email inbox each week.
So for nearly four (that's the "4") years, we've been coming to you weekly, providing you not only with the most accurate and dependable Walt Disney World news and information available, but with what we hope have been entertaining and informative features on your favorite vacation destination: reviews, previews, interviews and our own personal views on what's doing at the House of the Mouse.
It hardly seems possible that it was a mere two years ago, on August 21, 2001, that we celebrated our 100th issue. At that time we had just 17,500 subscribers.
Today, we mark our 200th issue, and there are now more than 45,000 of you, helping us as we continue "Sharing the Magic Worldwide"®! And we do mean WORLDwide -- ALL EARS® reaches families, couples, and single travelers all over the globe, from our neighbors in Canada to far-flung friends in Japan, Australia and even out of the way locations such as Sri Lanka. Our readers are not just moms and dads planning family vacations, but travel industry professionals, Disney employees, Disney Vacation Club members, doctors, lawyers, nurses... everyone and anyone who has an interest in the Walt Disney World resort.
In the years since we began publishing ALL EARS®, there have been lots of changes at Walt Disney World -- some exciting and some not so. We've witnessed cutbacks in both Disney staff and Disney customer benefits, and some shows that we loved dearly came to an end. At the same time, it's been announced that new and innovative attractions are on the drawing board. As the Disney Company continues to struggle to achieve pre-9/11 numbers, the Magic that lives inside of us has continued to shine.
As we reflect on the last four years, we're amazed at the Disney milestones we've reported on: Disney's Millennium Celebration; the Villas at Wilderness Lodge and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge openings; Disney World after 9/11; the 100 Years of Magic Celebration; the Beach Club Villas opening; Hunchback of Notre Dame stage show and Tapestry of Dreams closings; Epcot's Mission: SPACE preview and Animal Kingdom's exciting Expedition Everest announcement.
And we know there's always going to be something new to cover just around the bend!
Special thanks goes to each member of the ALL EARS® team -- they work so diligently to maintain the high quality of the newsletter you see: Senior Editor Debra Martin Koma; our Copy Editor Mary Brennan; our regular Feature Writers Rose Folan, Pete Saroufim, Zamgwar, the Czarina, the Mousy Mindboggler and Glo from Miami; and our all-around Jack-of-all-trades, Jack Marshall. Our many occasional contributors and behind-the-scenes helpers are no less important, lending moral support and inspiration when we need it most.
We also owe a very special thank you to our advertisers. These merchants not only provide us the financial support to continue our operations (and believe us, putting out this newsletter does get expensive!), but also offer our subscribers great deals on quality products and services. In addition, they very generously provide us with terrific contest prizes, including hotel accommodations in and around WDW, Disney Dollars, books and so much more, which in turn allow us to share even more Magic with you, our readers.
Which brings us to that final number. The number 1. One, as in each one of YOU, our very special friends who support us in so many ways. We do what we do in this newsletter with each one of you in mind, hoping to share with you the Magic of Walt Disney World that we feel. Your willingness to share your tips, news bites, observations and firsthand reports are key to ALL EARS® staying current on what's happening at the WDW resort. As loyal subscribers, you support us by using the products and services of our sponsors. Without each one of you, ALL EARS® would not be the success story that it is today.
Our future is bright, as bright as that of Walt Disney World itself. We've worked hard to become the premiere unofficial Walt Disney World newsletter available, and with your help we cannot fail to continue on that path as we bring you the NEXT 100 issues of ALL EARS®.
We are always open to suggestions and encourage you to email us any time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all so very much for subscribing and being part of this great community of Disney fans.
Here's to seeing you soon at Walt Disney World!
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.