I’m a big fan of Disney, let’s be honest. More so are my friends Cathy and Eric King, especially of the Disney Parks, which they visit once or twice a year. Well, since they’re addicted to the mouse, we thought of a way Disney fans could get their Walt Disney World fix… Mouse Guest.
The site originally started as a placeholder and a podcast, Mouse Guest Weekly, which continues to produce shows every Sunday. The podcast drummed up interest and support for when we released the main focus of Mouse Guest a year later, the virtual tour of Disney Parks and Properties.
We started with the Magic Kingdom and later added Epcot. Visitors could tour the parks through our park maps, stop at attractions and page through the galleries of images. Registered users could also watch ride-along video of the attractions, collect autographs from the Disney characters, rate the attractions, and catch scheduled special events on video, such as the afternoon parades and evening fireworks.
This was my first foray into programming with PHP, CSS and mySQL, a crash course if you will. But it taught me what I needed to know for future endeavors, such as Loony Cat Lady and Bento Comics.
Due to time and budget constraints, we’ve since shuttered the virtual tour portion of the site and have reduced it to just the podcast and Disney news posts. It’s unfortunate, but it’s what happens when people have children and don’t have the time to devote to something that only returns dividends of pennies per hour.