About the Webmaster:
For those really curious visitors.
(Updated on 12/18/2017)
Allen took his first trip to both Disneyland and Disney World during a whirlwind family vacation around 1975. His dad, who had also visited the park as a child, showed him brochures of the park. Allen was fascinated by the description of the Haunted Mansion, picturing "dune buggies" rolling through a haunted house. While his vision wasn't quite accurate, a decades later the Mansion remains his favorite attraction.
During most of the 1980s and early 1990s, summer vacations were taken to Walt Disney World. In those early days, The Magic Kingdom was the only Disney park in Florida. Trips usually involved also visiting Busch Gardens, Sea World and/or places like The Mystery Fun House to fill up the week. The excitement of seeing E.P.C.O.T. being built from the Sea World observation tower further made the appeal of returning even stronger. Opening year of the E.P.C.O.T. (without a single Disney character in sight) created a new favorite Disney place for Allen (specifically Future World).
Meanwhile, in 1981 Allen received his first computer (a Commodore VIC-20), and by 1982 (with a TRS-80 Color Computer) he was online in Houston with local bulletin board systems. By the end of the 1980s he had joined a national text based online service operated by General Electric. GEnie had an area called "Destination Florida" which featured a very active Disney theme park discussion group. This reactivated Allen's interest in the Disney theme parks and, specifically, Disneyland. The detailed postings about the building of the Indiana Jones Adventure made Allen vow he'd return to Disneyland. Maybe then he'd find out where all those cool attractions went to he remembered but could never find in Florida. (Gary B., the former SysOp of GEnie's Destination Florida RoundTable, went on to operate the Theme Parks area at MSN.)
As summer of 1995 approached, a new job opportunity moved him to Des Moines, Iowa, and he would soon be traveling across the U.S. regularly. An early trip has him visiting Irvine, CA. Consulting his friends on GEnie, he discovered Irvine was just down the road from Disneyland so he started planning. Picking up a season pass allowed him to explore the park in the limited evening hours he had each day after work. Soon he was reliving all those grand memories from nearly 20 years before. During that December 1995 visit to California, Disneyland became his favorite place to visit.
Similar trips followed to Florida, and Allen has held annual passports at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World for many years after. Several trips have put him one week in California followed by one week in Florida, giving him numerous chances to compare the Magic Kingdom's side by side -- this provided a unique outsider view of both parks.
Today, much of his travel has come to end (meaning most of his recent visits were things called "vacations").
Stay tuned for more updates from the parks as Allen continues to open up his online photo album to web surfers around the world.