Friday Five: Random References & Reflections

1. So, there was a bit of controversy over on the discussion boards this week. I don’t want to go into too many details of that here, but I did want to thank my fellow DISDads for the overwhelming support. I was blown away by your kindness and generosity.

2. The time may have come for the clubhouse to have it’s own message boards. I think we need a place where we can just hang out and be guys, a place where the standard is more, “what you’d say out at a sports bar with your buddies” than “what you’d say at Chef Mickey’s surrounded by small children.” Would you be willing to pay a very small subscription fee – say $1/year – for access to message boards here at disdads.com? This would serve multiple functions: a) assure that only adults are accessing our boards; b) create accountability, by tying screen names to real identities; c) help defray the one-time cost of the message board software and the ongoing hosting and support costs; d) cut WAY down on spammers and trolls.

3. TouringPlans.com has announced improvements to their Crowd Calendar estimation model, which should help make their Crowd Calendar less subject to last-minute changes. Essentially, they’ve compiled several years worth of Walt Disney World final park hours schedules. This information is being used to more accurately predict future park hours, which are a key component of Crowd Calendar estimates. (Disney often releases initial park hours, but then extends the hours as dates get closer).

4. To celebrate their 1 year anniversary, Kingdom Strollers is giving away a FREE 7 day rental on any stroller along with a $100 Disney gift card. The rental is valid until December 31 2012 and the gift card will be mailed once a winner is announced.
To enter, just head to the Kingdom Strollers website and then “Like” them on Facebook. You will automatically be entered into the giveaway.(Full disclosure: I won a previous Kingdom Strollers giveaway, and found the owners to be friendly and responsive and their product to be of excellent quality).

5. I’m headed to WDW for Reunion in just 12 days. This will be a trip full of firsts for me: first solo trip, first December holiday trip, first trip without a dining plan. I already have plans for the Osborne Family Lights (thanks to a special event that’s part of Reunion). What else is a Disney holiday must-do? Anything in particular I should take advantage of with this being a solo trip?

21 thoughts to “Friday Five: Random References & Reflections”

  1. An emphatic yes! We need a home of our own! Our community has gotten too big and it’s time to move out of the parents basement and stretch our legs a bit! Not that I’m looking for a frat house, but occasional PG-13 comments should be allowed. Especially when you’re among friends. Plus, the trolls have got to go.

    You might want to consider levels of financing, Aaron. I’d hate for some of our family not to join because of finances.

  2. Aaron, I’m on board with whatever the group decides. I think $1 a year is more than reasonable and I believe many dads would be willing to contribute more.

    I also should mention that I don’t believe we should abandon the DIS all together.

    Thanks for doing this and I’m glad you’re back!

  3. I agree that the time has come for us to grow further. I think the majority of us would be willing to contribute toward the cost of the site. However, like Scott said, I don’t think we should totally abandon the Dis…that is going to be how we get the majority of our new members. It would be nice if we could manage to over time achieve something that could offer what Dis does and possibly even rival them as THE place for people or Dads to go to for Disney information. Maybe we could have a public section and then a pay section that is by invatation only..I dunno just throwing that out there to think about while this is all in the planning stages. I am willing to do whatever I can to help this become a reality if this is the direction we decide to go!

  4. Where do I pay! Just say the word. I was thinking how thankful I am that I found the DisDads the other day and how it is such a great resource and refuge, it is great to know that other “guys” exist with the same thoughts about Disney and just being all around Dads.

    Let us know Aaron

  5. I would support a separate set of forums here at the DisDads. As for costs, I would think that $1 might be fine, but I would also consider levels of support like Daisy = $5, Donald = $10, Goofy = $20, Minnie = $35, Mickey = $50. This would allow for those who choose to help support more and provide some incentive to go along with it. (Goofy level or above gets a free t-shirt / coffee mug, etc.)

    Just some thought.

  6. The $1/year charge seems very reasonable.

    My wife and I are going to be down there around the same time as you, so grabbing a drink with me is a good holiday idea.

    There’s also the Very Merry Christmas Party. It’s an extra charge, but that’s not as bad on a solo trip as it would be if you had to pay for tickets for everyone in the family.

    Finally, check out the Gingerbread House at the Grand Floridian and the Christmas decorations at WL, both of which get very good reviews.

  7. There is no reason we couldn’t have the best of both worlds. Based on the usual settings on forums there can be a private area set up that only certain members have access to. We need to keep in mind that while it would be nice to have an anything goes kind of area a lot of the guys access the boards from work and need to be careful what they are pulling up (or what is being cached on their computer). Also, a lot of our “everyone gets along” kind of vibe is due to the keeping it clean nature of the DIS. There are many levels of faith on the boards among the regular users and opening up the posting guidelines might drive some people out.

  8. A few responses to issues that have been raised so far – and I really do appreciate the thoughtful input:
    1) One of the big drivers from my perspective for the small fee is that it’s just about the most effective way to keep the spammers away. They’ve gotten really good at subverting just about every method of spam preventer out there. But they’re unlikely to pay for the privilege. Fighting spammers got so overwhelming here on the blog that I had to completely turn off subscriptions.
    2) I’m not looking to go to “anything goes” at all. Just to acknowledge that our conversation is a conversation among adults, and some of the things we talk about sometimes stray into non-kid-friendly areas.
    3) I expect we’ll have forums for conversation in topic areas that don’t really “belong” on the disboards anyway – sports, movies/television/music, etc.

  9. Sign me up!

    Haven’t posted much on Dis since the “event”. I been way to mad and I’m afraid I’ll say something that will get me kicked off since I now have a warning against me.

    I hate trolls!

  10. I appreciate the frustration with his behavior, but I’ve said several times already, I’m not in favor of a witch hunt. We’ll settle on a place soon where we can relax a bit and be ourselves and play by our own rules. Until then, we play by disboards.com’s rules. He’s free to participate there on the Disboards, and I’m not in favor of giving him any kind of special attention one way or the other. Should he choose to follow us to a new discussion location, he’ll be agreeing to play by our rules. I suspect that means he’ll choose to not follow us. That’s his prerogative.

  11. I’d be ok with it too, Aaron. I might be a bit of an outsider on this as I can’t really be too upset with the Disboards… they do have rules which are stated and they are well within their rights to do as they see fit in dealing with inappropriate content. However, I do think that coming to the group asking us to remove anything deemed inappropriate would have worked just fine and accomplished the same end result.

    If we do continue with our own boards here and try to grow the community, I’d like to see a way to include men who may not be Dads. I found this place just a few months after I became a Dad, but even before that I would have loved to have been a part of this group of Disney loving guys.

  12. Are we wanting to keep it Dads only? Or are we wanting a board where anyone can participate and having a “exclusive members only” area that is password protected or invatation only. I would like us to have a board that when it reaches its full potential would be a resource for everyone like the Dis has been for us.

  13. Im in!!! If you will have me. I recall when eyesonears.com was on the disboards and they started there own site. they have the same posting format as the dis. a section called “disdad club house only”or something like that would be good. have a password type thing to keep “kids” from getting in.not that we have ever gone in a bad direction.i guess we do talk about non-disney like things but i dont think we go to far off course. lets do it!! we can have things like a web cam section,(which we you have already)chat,you already have the site and the pod cast aaron. i think the pod cast would be a good way to adverise it. theres alot we can do. maybe work on some sponsers? it will work!! all these other sites have taken off and they have alot less the the disdads.com has. go for it!!!

  14. If we started posting message boards here, I’d be in. $1/year seems a small price to pay, and I’ll hang out with this group anywhere.

    A couple of notes: like Randy, I would be concerned about seeing something NSFW if I’m logging in during the day from the office. So I think we would still want to police ourselves that way. And like Andy, I can’t be too upset at the DISboards. Yes, banning folks was an overreaction, but it was obvious from reading the webmaster’s post that she spent time going back through our history, and figured out that we’re a good group of men and that banning was an overreaction. So they did own up to a mistake.

    That being said, I’d be excited to see how we could grow this site. It’d be neat to see what the possibilities are.

  15. I think I can swing a $1. And, I really like the idea of just adding the membership onto a mug purchase, if that can be easily done. I would probably still check the Dis site & sub forum, although the traffic has been slow there. Just a perspective thought – is all this really necessary? I mean, this wasn’t new behavior. We just had a little tattletale. Are we doing a lot of extra work? Would we have made this move if not for the event? Again, I like the idea of the less censored site, but are we being too reactionary?

  16. I also would have no problem paying $1 a year. If you can get most of the dads to pay the dollar you would probably end up with close to $600 (because some will not pay or would forget or what ever) Then with swagshop sales and maybe a donation spot too, I think you could get things started with no problems.

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