Friday, November 9, 2012

Dreaming Disney - Orlando Attractions Magazine

Cover of Orlando Attractions Magazine showing the Hatbox Ghost standing outside the Haunted Mansion
As you know, I’m a reader.  I read books, magazines, blogs, tweets, statuses and etc., especially if they are about Disney.  I currently contribute to one Disney focused magazine and have contributed to another in the past.  So I am somewhat familiar with Disney periodicals.  Therefore, I have been familiar with Orlando Attractions Magazine, I follow the Attractions twitter account, but I have never picked up a copy of the magazine.  One can only read and subscribe to so much!  And with covers that sported non-Disney parks and attractions I have felt pretty safe not picking up a copy.  And from a distance it was difficult to tell the difference between Orlando Attractions Magazine and travel magazines that one can pick up for free in hotel lobbies. 
Recently, I decided I had to give Orlando Attractions Magazine a try due to a feature article on the Hatbox Ghost of the Haunted Mansion.  With a classic Disney attraction and a beloved fan boy topic, the time had come to purchase a copy. 
So, here is what I found.
My first uniformed comparison had been to travel magazines that you can pick up when you go to a tourist city.  I would say Orlando Attractions Magazine outshines this type of travel magazine.  The articles are informative, but do not have the urgency to sell the dinner show, attraction, or park being profiled.  For me I was most excited to find an article on Sonny Eclipse, one of my favorite Audio-Animatronics, which I did not even realized was included until it arrived.  And I was surprised to see that the author of this profile was Simon Veness of The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Planner.  I did enjoy the article on the Hatbox Ghost, due to my love of history and the attraction.  Orlando Attractions Magazine is likely the only magazine that will enter my library that has information about the WhirlyDome!    
The contents do include a fare amount of news and coming events for parks around Orlando.  And some of the articles, like “Skipper Ben’s Top Ten” highlight attractions from across Florida parks, including the Walt Disney World Resort.  Additionally there is a hotel report, which was for me shocking in not being about a Disney property hotel!  Though luckily for me the featured restaurant in this issue was one on Disney property.  There are also some “fun” content such as cartoons and games.
For me the real value is covering attractions beyond the Disney property.  I am trying, reluctantly trying, to become more familiar with the theme park landscape in general and the content about non-Disney attractions, hotels and dining does fit that bill.  But there is still enough Disney content to make sure I am not completely lost in its pages. 
So what to do, what to do?  Orlando Attractions Magazine is quarterly and has a reasonable subscription price.  The next issue appears to be filled with New Fantasyland content and I definitely want to take in as much New Fantasyland as I can get my hands on.  At the least I believe I will purchase the next issue, but may wait until then to decide if I will subscribe.  There is always a risk two covers from now may have a wizard on it, and I just do not know how I feel about that yet!      

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