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We're Four Years Old Today!
Four years ago today LaughingPlace.com welcomed its first official visitors after months of development and a beta test with a Disneyland-only version. Back then we thought we might be able to do a good job of filling a niche in the Disney fan community, and we thought we had a decent chance at being successful. But the thing I didn't count on was becoming a part of people's lives. But through our discussion boards and the community that's developed there, that's exactly what has happened.
That was never more evident than at our annual LaughingPlace.com Meet Celebrating Disneyland's Birthday held on July 17th at the old Big Thunder BBQ. This was the first time we had a meet where we rented out a space from Disney. That was necessary because the previous year the meet was too large to fit comfortably in any public space in the park. So we talked to Disney, they worked with us in a big way, and we were able to have an event where we only had to charge $12 to attend. However, given that, for the first time, we were charging for the meet we really worried that not too many people would come. We were really just hoping to break 100 people to keep from embarrassing ourselves.
Nearly 200 people attended the meet. Far more than we expected. The majority of the attendees were people who've gotten to know each other on the discussion boards. The excitement evident in the weeks preceding the meet was amazing. Many of them stayed in the same hotel and there were several smaller meets held before and after the big one. In the weeks since people have posted their pictures and talked about the great time they had getting to meet and spending time with the people they've all come to know so well.
The discussion boards - especially the Community and Play Pen sections which are where most of the people have gotten to know each other - pretty much take care of themselves. I read regularly but don't post too often. The community has developed because of the people that are a part of it, not because of what I do. Still, it's a great feeling to know the existence of LP, and the content that has caused thousands of people to come on a daily basis, has played a part in helping all these people who love Disney come together and make friends. And that, more than anything else we've been able to do at LaughingPlace.com, is what puts a smile on my face.
I want to give a special thanks to all the volunteers who helped with the meet - taking time from their own enjoyment to help the enjoyment of others. And thank you to all those who contributed extra money so those who were not able to afford the $12 could still attend. And a special thank you to those involved in the Golden Doobies, especially LuLu and Inspector 57 - and EdisYoda who made sure those who couldn't be at the meet could still keep up with everything via the discussion boards. Another thank you goes to everyone who contributed to the scrapbook given to us. Readers from around the world sent in postcards with a tourist attraction from where they live. They were put together into a scrapbook and presented to us at the meet - a wonderful surprise! And special thanks to Just Duckee and Disney Chica for putting it together and presenting it to us. You all have no idea how much that meant to Rebekah and I. I'd also like to thank NFFC for giving us an award of appreciation at the meet for the help we've given them. And finally, I want to thank Dave for creating (at his own expense) a cloisonne LaughingPlace.com pin - the very first one - that was given to everyone who attended the meet.
Lots of people took pictures at the various meets. Rather than select a few of them to show here, I'm going to link to all of them. Browse away and I'm sure you'll agree - LP is one great community!
- Peeaanuut's Pics: Group 1 Group 2
- DeLorean Motors Pictures
- Ursula's Pictures
- Big Thunder's Pictures
- wendebird's Pictures
- threeundertwo's Pictures
- SusieQ's Pictures
- covnut's Pictures
- FaMulan's Pictures
- MissCandice's Pictures
- Darkbeers Mean Old Pirates meet Pictures
- -em's Pictures
- roberts1398's Pictures
- goodgirl's Pictures