I feel so old today. Isn’t the Internet this new fangled thing? And here we are celebrating 10 years of LaughingPlace.com. That’s right, LaughingPlace.com turns 10 years old tomorrow, August 1st. It’s really, really hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 10 years. What started as an interesting computer programming project has turned into my life. And in all honesty, if you’d asked me if I’d be doing LaughingPlace.com 10 years later, I would have laughed. No way, no way, no way. At the time my work history showed I liked to do many different things, and while I may have said LP would survive as a hobby for 10 years, it certainly wouldn’t have remained the focus of my life for so long. And yet, here we are, and I’m nothing but happy about it.
And why wouldn’t I be? LP has provided my family and friends opportunities I never would have imagined 10 years ago. I can remember standing on the “other side of the ropes” at Disney events wishing I could have a better view, and now I’ve had the best view. I remember seeing Disney legends and celebrities wishing I had the opportunity to talk to them, and now I’ve talked to the best of them. I remember wondering how someone got the opportunity to go to a Hollywood red carpet movie premiere. Now I’ve been and our friends Doug and Dave go regularly. But best of all, I remember thinking how amazing it would be to do a job I love, to be able to do it at home and do it with the person I love the most, my wife Rebekah, and for the past 10 years, I’ve happily found out it is, indeed, amazing. And with the birth of our first son, Gideon, last February, I realize how truly lucky I am to be able to be with him all day every day and watch and help him grow up. Thanks LP.
It would, unfortunately, be impossible for me to thank all of the people who’ve made LP what it is over the past 10 years. The numbers are simply too large and my memory to bad. But I do want to mention a few that stand out for specific reasons. To those I haven’t mentioned, please don’t take it as a slight in any way.
After I realized my little programming project could perhaps turn into something more, there was a group of friends that met with Rebekah and I to discuss what this might be. Some of these went on to work with us for a while, some didn’t, but all were very important in making this happen. Most of our meetings would take place in the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland in between Billy Hilly and the Hillbillies shows and it’s there that John Frost, Kaz Liput, Bob Barber, Dave Mastanich, Rebekah and myself figured out what LP would be. So I specifically thank the five of them as well as the list below.
- Dave Mastanich (again): The man who takes cares of the boards along with a couple of anonymous helpers
- Doug Marsh: When we left the west coast for the east we pretty much left Disneyland in his hands and he does an amazing job.
- Ken Pellman: You can’t have a website without discussion boards, can you? For a while we did, but Ken pushed hard for us to add them ASAP.
- The crew of the LPP: FanBoy and Captain Jon. Nothing about LP is as much fun as doing the podcast.
- Lee MacDonald and Lindsay Cave: Publishers of Tales from the Laughing Place Magazine which gave us some real credibility at a time when we needed it.
- The Legend, Bob Gurr: For reasons I still don’t know agreeing to write a column for this unknown website so many years ago
- Kirby Holt: A rock solid writer almost from day one. And he makes it look so easy!
- Denise Owsley, Linda Kaplan, et. al who do the hard work at the LP Store
- Denise Preskitt: Making sure we still have WDW pics even though new baby Gideon takes quite a bit of time.
- Mark Wharff: He takes care of the trivia contests and does a great job.
- Greg Maletic: He pushed me to start blogging which means now I write at least sometimes.
- Rhett Wickham: Because he writes so well about topics I know nothing about
- Rick West: He gave us our first change at a media event covering Tarzan’s Treehouse for his publication Theme Park Adventure. That helped us a lot.
- I57, Ursula, Lulu and others: For making the LP meets so memorable
- Mouse Ear Vacations and Howard Johnson: Anaheim: The reasons should be obvious 🙂
- The LP Community: Without mentioning specific names – those who spend any amount of time on the boards know who the regulars are who have set the tone for the past 9+ years
Of course, the biggest thank you goes to my wife Rebekah. Not only do I get to be married to the most wonderful woman in the world, I get to work with her, too. We’re together almost all day, every day which is a great thing. Is it any wonder people call us Doobekah?
For those new to LP, I recommend a topic on the Discussion Boards created last year called Your best LP memories. To quote myself from last year … When we started LP we knew we could create a website that served the Disney fan community and helped us make a living. That was our goal. But the stuff in this topic was stuff we never expected to occur. Thanks so much for sharing, everyone. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so by clicking here.
Finally, I want to officially announce our 10th Anniversary Official LaughingPlace.com Annual Meet. Normally our meet is held on or around July 17th, Disneyland’s Birthday. This year, it wasn’t (you may have noticed). At the request of many in our community our 10th anniversary meet will be held in December this year on Candlelight weekend. Specifically, Sunday, December 6th at 11:00 a.m. at Naples Ristorante (upstars) in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney. At this time, that is the only information we have available. But in the next couple of weeks we will things and begin selling tickets. Until then, just mark that date and we hope you can join us. 10+ years in the making – it promises to be a good one!