This past Monday marked the six year anniversary of Studios Central (formerly MGMStudios.org) and I can't help but take some time to look back at the past few years and the next few as well. Each anniversary is special for me because I love working on this site daily and it's become a real treat for me. This site has opened a lot of doors for me to meet a lot of different folks who visit this site. I've met many of them and I'm proud to say over the last year a lot more of the visitors than in years past. We've held some fun events over the past year, such as a private Fantasmic! dessert party that was held this past December. We had about 100 people who showed up and had a really fun experience eating desserts, watching Fantasmic! and chatting with some new friends. I thought the event was a real hit and it's the sort of fun experience that I hope to be able to hold a lot more often to help expand the wonderful community we have at Studios Central so we can foster these personal connections that have developed thanks to this site.
There's been a lot of change this past year. We changed our name this past fall from MGMStudios.org to Studios Central because of the name change of the Studios itself and the name change for this site reflects the changeover we've been working to here. We added a new columnist, Jennifer von Hoffman, to the staff, we've retooled the Star Wars Weekend site and we've also introduced a new effort to bring news and updates to the site in a much more timely manner. After living in the northeast United States, I've moved to the Orlando area in January and since then the site has been able to have weekly photo updates of what's changing in the park to help those of you who can't make it down to Walt Disney World as often as you'd like to keep track of what's happening in the park as well as sharing a little Disney magic with you each week. I'm proud of all of these changes that have occured and I expect for the site to continue to blossom in its new form with more quality writing and information in the months and years to come.
Speaking of the future, I mentioned earlier I wanted to take a look forward at what's to come in year number 6 of Studios Central. The Fantasmic! Dessert Party we held this past December was great and we're actively working on bringing that back for 2008, but we're also working on some more community based events. For the first weekend of Star Wars Weekend, we're holding a private dinner event inside the Studios which I'm extremely excited about. It's going to be a fantastic event that is going to be very unique and if you haven't booked yet, I encourage you to take a look and come down for the weekend to join us. Beyond that, we're also holding a Super Soap Weekend meet to put faces to the names of Super Soap fans that come to Studios Central for information on the event. I also want to continue to place an emphasis on creating an engaging online experience for visitors of the site. That includes the interesting online columns and articles you've come to expect from Studios Central on a daily basis but also some more useful information to continue the original goal of this site to become the source of information on Disney's Hollywood Studios.
I also want give some thanks to some of the folks who have helped over the course of this past year (and beyond) because without them, there would be no 6 year anniversary. I want to recognize Glenn Sonoda and Jennifer von Hoffman for their continual dedication to their respective columns each week and I know all of our readers enjoy reading each of their latest columns. Colin Kean also deserves thanks for his Star Wars Weekend Blog and everything he does to help folks plan their trip to Star Wars Weekend (as well as "encourage" others to attend Star Wars Weekends). I want to also thank each of the visitors to this site that I've had the opportunity and privilege to meet over the year and who have taken time out of their vacations to say hi to me.
I'm ecstatic that we've reached the year 6 milestone and can't wait to see what will be coming down the pipeline over the next year. Thank you to everyone for visiting this site and I'm looking forward to sharing my love of Disney's Hollywood Studios with each and every one of you in the year to come!