Dear Readers,

April 23, 2010 was a day like any other in most lives, it was in mine also. Until the sun went down. It was then that I started the Unknown Magic within Walt Disney World. I hadn’t really planned on it, but it just kind of happened. I read a lot that day about blogging. I was thinking about it, because I had been reading the Relocated Tourist; a great website by two very courageous people, who are living their dream, by moving to Florida to be closer to the Mouse. I thought how great that would be and then I thought I have some knowledge about Disney World I could share. So, I read and looked into a few different formats and then I started. By the time I had figured out the name of the site, (which for those of you that do not have a website, is much tougher than it seems) and bought the domain name, it was actually the next day. I posted my first article that day; on April 24th. It was a Saturday and all it really said was hi, I’m new. Actually this is the original post:

First of all,

Hello! I hope you had a Magical Day.

I am starting this blog after talking with friends about an upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. As we talked I realized that we (my family and I) Do Disney our own special way. I’m not saying our way is best or even original, but it is relaxing, enjoying and memorable.

I’ve read books, magazine articles, websites, even APPS on how to plan your visit, how to maximize your trip and even how to go cheaply. These materials are out there. They all offer great advice for the first time visitor.

So how will my blog be different? I honestly don’t know, but I will share what I do know about Walt Disney World. How if you look at things from a different point of view, you can enjoy the little things most first timers (and even Disney Die-hards) miss. I hope I can help a few people enjoy their first trip to Walt Disney World, and maybe even show some people who have been there quite a few times some things they may have missed.
I hope you enjoy the Blog. I have a feeling I am going to, just because it will be about one of my favorite things in the world.

So, looking back I guess it is different enough from other websites out there; I still try to share the things that people miss when they go to Disney World. I still talk about the Unknown Magics that Disney has to offer. Over the past year, the look of the website has changed and I hope it has gotten better. I think I have grown as a writer and as a Disney community member. But that’s easy, because there are so many people that accept you into the Disney On-line Community and share your passion. One of my first contacts was JL Knopp of the Disney Driven Life. I commented on an article on her website and she responded. She was (and still is) very kind and gracious and was
very welcoming to the Disney neighborhood. With her encouragement, I knew I could write about Disney World and people would accept it.

Over the next few months I found others that I connected with. And although I haven’t actually met most of these people in person, I feel like we are friends and linked in a common purpose. I was approached to contribute an article to another site; wdwfacts. (If you don’t have this site on your daily read, you are missing out on some great stuff). That was how I met Tom Cahill, who runs the site. Tom is a very generous man who doesn’t think you should have to pay to share in the love of Disney, Disney history or Disney fun. Through this site I also met Bill Iadonisi. If you haven’t had the opportunity to talk with or interact with Bill, you should know that, although he was never a Disney cast member, he is the epitome of the Disney Spirit. He not only spends as much time as he can taking pictures in the parks and contributing to four different websites, but he is willing to share information, pictures and even a meal with the rest of us Disney people. On more than one occasion, he has given me a picture or even gone to the parks or Downtown Disney to take a picture for me (and I still haven’t met him in person; Bill I owe you a meal).

It wasn’t long after meeting these two men, that I joined Twitter and met a few other friends, who would change my writing. I was lucky enough to become friends with the writers of Growing up Disney (who also will celebrate their one year anniversary in a few days). They were kind enough to allow me to share an article about the Greatest Thing I ever saw in Walt Disney World (my son on our first trip there together). Since then, we have become close friends and they have allowed me to contribute a few more articles to their great site. Another person I met around the same time is Janine Pipe, who doesn’t have a website of her own, but contributes too many others. Just like Amy and Ridge at Growing up Disney, she is one of the people who have continued to be a supporter and a friend.

Soon after, I was approached by two different websites for contributions. I am honored to have met Stuart Sternberg (actually in person) and Lisa Battista of the wdwfanzone. I also met Bob McLain of the Disney Dispatch, who is not only a very creative person, but very driven. He has given me an outlet for some of my more creative Disney writings, which I appreciate.

I also have had the opportunity to meet some very great Disney people that read my writings and share my passion; my friend Chad and his partners write the Days in the Park website. When I first found it, I thought I could write with them, they sound like me (Which I hope they don’t take as an insult). They are a fun group that enjoys the park and the Magic that Disney has to offer, much the way my family and I do, although not in the same way, because they don’t go to Disney World, they go to Disneyland.

Which brings me to my biggest fans, my family; my wife Heather and my son John not only put up with my writing, but encourage it. They understand that I spend hours of my free time sitting at the computer writing, because I not only need to, I want to. They offer suggestions and criticisms and they also participate. John is now my co-author on Tuesdays, for those of you that don’t regularly read, and Heather proof-reads just about every article I write whether it is for my website or any of the others I am lucky enough to be contributing to. They are the unsung heroes of the website and I am very lucky to have them.

So, I think I mentioned everyone, I think I talked about everyone that have helped me throughout this past year. Everyone that is except You the reader. I need to thank you all also. My friend Chad and I have had many conversations over the last few months talking about our readership and why we do this every day. It comes down to enjoying what I do. I enjoy sharing my knowledge about Walt Disney World. I hope I am helping you to learn something about Disney World that maybe you didn’t know. Or at the least reminding you of some Magical Experience you had in Disney. Either way, Thank You for coming by the Unknown Magic Within Walt Disney World. I hope I have informed, entertained and enlightened you over the last 12 months and I hope to continue to do it in the months and maybe years to come.

Thank you,



You can follow us on twitter @umwdw.

And we now have a You Tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/umwdw?feature=mhum

The websites Bills Iadonisi contributes to: wdwfacts, The Disney Driven Life, The Disney Food Blog and Mickeynews.com.

Lisa Batista is also author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers and her own website Beyond The Attractions

Background Picture courtesy of Growing Up Disney.

Disney Animated Gifs by Disney’s World of Wonders.