I've waited all year to use this word. A word I love to use, but it never seems to fit....Until now! Confluence: A gathering, flowing, or meeting together at one juncture or point. This weekend marks another year where travel agencies, Disney podcasts, and Disney websites show us their appreciation by hosting several unique meet and greets inside (and outside) the Walt Disney World resort for its loyal customers, listeners, and website visitors. All of the different communities and Disney fans come together at one time and one place creating a confluence of events and activities. If for anything else, this weekend gives us a chance to connect on a more personal level with Disney Park fans that we speak with online all the time, but never get to meet face-to-face. Its our opportunity to put a face with a name and hopefully get to know these people on a more personal level.
This year we'll see some of the most popular community events taking place at the same time over this weekend, 12/8 - 12/11. We are celebrating 15 years of the allears.net website, which for some is the bible for all Disney parks related information, with a "December to Remember"! . Congratulation to AllEars for 15 years of great service for Disney planners. Also back this year is the WDWToday Podcast Reunion celebration. Listeners will have the opportunity to meet with other listeners and podcaster personalities with a unique schedule of events throughout the weekend. These are just some of the highlights over the weekend where fans will be treated to some great events and activities.
I've always been heavily involved in the Disney fan community, but I never really became involved with meeting Disney park fans on a personal level until 2005 when I attended my first meet. You tend to get a little nervous when you meet people you've never met before. What will you talk about? Will you have anything in common other than the weather? Will your personalities mesh? A lot of things go through your mind the first time you attend your first meet. After all, it can be tough to walk-up to someone you don't know at all and introduce yourself. Keep in mind, we all have something in common for sure; our enjoyment of the Disney theme parks. If for anything else discussing the parks is a great ice-breaker. Its typically a topic we have a lot of knowledge about and opinions to share. Who knows, after you've broken the ice you may find out you have much more in common than just the parks. You may be from the same city, or know some of the same people in the Disney fan community. You may share some of the same hobbies. Before you know it you are engaged in a full-scale conversation that may never seem to end. The point is don't be shy or afraid to approach anyone and introduce yourself. It may be the beginning of an acquaintance or friendship that will last a long time. These meets are designed for us to get to know one another. Its easy to mingle with people you already know because you are comfortable with them immediately. But, just remember the people you already know are probably people you met for the first time a year or two ago. At some point, you had to "break the ice".
If you are planning on attending this weekend's fan events and meets at Walt Disney World please don't bring your shyness with you. Come ready to interact with people. That's really what this weekend is all about. A chance to meet people like you who are fans of the theme parks. I've met some great people throughout the years from these meets. People who I consider life-long friends today and that have shaped my life in a positive direction. This is true for many others fans. Creating and building a new friendship shouldn't be taken for granted. This weekend more than any other we have the opportunity to meet new people and build friendships. If you've never attended one of these meets don't hesitate. Each meet you miss is an opportunity missed. You never know when you didn't cross someone's path who could have become a personal friend or acquaintance.
I hope to see you this weekend!
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