Sunday, November 30, 2008

Magazine Review: Celebrations Premiere Issue

Celebrations Magazine. Volume 1, Issue 1, September/October 2008 (Premiere Issue).

With the death of the Disney Magazine in 2005 and the end of The E-Ticket with the next issue, there is a definite gap in the periodical world. When I first learned of Celebrations, I was excited. I am familiar with Tim Foster's books and Lou Mongello's books and audio products, so I knew that the magazine would be high-quality. As a caveat, frequent readers will know that I am a frequent guest on the WDW Radio show and that I am good friends with Lou and many of the contributors of Celebrations. I am very proud of what they have produced, but I also want to present a look at the magazine for fans of Walt Disney World.

Celebrations is printed on a very durable and glossy paper. The layout is very attractive and contemporary. Tim Foster has a great eye for design and it shines inside the magazine. Celebrations clocks in at 80 pages with something for every level of Walt Disney World fan.

So, the real question is, what is on the inside?

Interspersed are articles to help you enjoy your next Walt Disney World vacation or to relive the memories of vacations past; photographs of attractions, resorts and buildings; and activities for the young and young at heart. Each of the contributing authors offer insider tips, secrets and fun facts in the Mouse Views section. Tim Devine explains photography terminology, Cara Goldsbury discusses choosing a resort, Steve Barrett shares his favorite Hidden Mickeys, John Rick talks pin trading and Allison Jones dishes the best times to visit.

The major articles of the magazine present some special and entertaining looks at the magic of Disney. There is something for everyone: nighttime at Walt Disney World, an interview with Richard Sherman and Halloween mischief. Each article is well-written, informative and fun. Glenn Whelan (from Passamaquoddy) authored the article about the scarier side of Disney, including Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween party. Glenn offers ways to enjoy the party and the Magic Kingdom. As a hardcore enthusiast, I was thrilled to read the first part of the interview that Lou conducted with Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman. I can't wait for the rest of the interview.

One of the surprises is the detailed look at an attraction, a resort and a film. If the magazine stays true to form, there will be a different focus each issue. The editors share little known facts about Splash Mountain, Wall-E and the Wilderness Lodge--you will walk away with a new appreciation for each. There is also a closer look at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with all of the trivia and hidden details that Lou is famous for. The Wayback Machine makes an appearance as Lou discusses Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

Of course, I have to mention the article by Ray Harkness concerning the Chef's Table at Victoria's and Albert's at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Ray has been telling me about this restaurant for years and his description of the grand meal is enticing and tantalizes your virtual tastebuds. Now, if only I could find someone to watch my kids and pay for a meal!

I really enjoyed this magazine. Future issues should be even more promising and exciting as the editorial staff and the writers grow in this new venture. I would love to see more photographs, but I do understand that publishing can be a very expensive venture.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of the Walt Disney World Resort, then you need to add a subscription of Celebrations to your reading list. There is something for everyone contained within the covers of Celebrations. The voices are familiar and it is obvious that everyone involved is passionate about Walt Disney World and passionate about helping you make fantastic vacation memories.

For more information on Celebrations Magazine, visit the website.
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