The Contributors

This Happy Place Blog is so lucky to be home to many fantastic guest writers who pop in with their creativity and awesome writing whenever they feel the urge.


Michelle ( twitter) | Michelle grew up surrounded by Disney characters and movies. As an alumni of the College Program, she has Disney’s Wishes constantly looping in her head when it isn’t filled with Alan Menken music.  She has a deep love for Donald Duck since they both have self-proclaimed short tempers and she may very well be the biggest fan of Beauty and the Beast. As a fan of listening to Disney news podcasts  at work. Michelle is always planning her next trip to Disney World so she could spend hours riding her favorite attraction- The PeopleMover. Tweet her @fierypixiedust


Alex Mastrianni ( twitter ) | Alex has been a Disney fan since her first visit at the age of 4. Since then, she’s been back at least once a year, and has successfully converted her husband into being just as Disney-crazed as she is. She believes that a stroll on the BoardWalk is the best way to start the day and the perfect way to end the day is with Illuminations.

Alexa Yupangco ( web | twitter ) | I grew up believing I would live the life of a Disney princess, complete with the prince of my dreams, a castle with a huge library (a la Beauty and the Beast) and a constant animal companion to keep me company. Obviously, that hasn’t happened (yet). In the meantime, I run a blog about books (Alexa Loves Books), another one about friendship, fashion & New York (In Our City) and blog about my life (With Love, Alexa)

Andrew Tipton ( web | twitter ) | Andrew Phillip Tipton is a failed musician, failed artist, and failed art historian.  He does however make a living styling hair.  He is obsessed with Hayley Mills in a totally unhealthy manner…and enjoys life in Montclair, NJ with his husband Adam.  Andrew constantly dreams of his next trip to Disney World, staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge. (He also currently co-hosts the Disney Hipster Podcast.) 

Anthony Methvin | In the years following his quarter-life crisis, Anthony Methvin found himself turning to Disney for comfort. After much film-watching, music-listening, book-reading and park-going, his brain was so overwhelmed with Disney-related information, opinions, queer readings, musings and other assorted orange thoughts, that he started a blog, Moved by the Mouse, to prevent his poor little head from exploding.

James King ( twitter ) | James is a fun-loving character who wishes he could just ride Space Mountain all day, every day, instead of sitting in his office at work.  He first visited WDW as a young teen but didn’t really catch the Disney bug until a more recent trip with Estelle, when he realized that you don’t have to grow up just because you grow older.  He loves to play video games and listen to loud music in his free time but nothing compares to the joys of roaming the Disney parks with his beautiful wife. When’s the next trip again?

Jeff Birou ( web | twitter ) | Jeff Birou never wants to grow up. Believe you me, Disney really has had a profound impact on Jeff, to the point where he, at age 26, sports a Toy Story luggage tag and also insisted that “Part of Your World” be included in his wedding playlist.  Jeff writes/draws the cartoon-infused “gay marriage and more” blog Lance+Jeff, in an nod to his childhood dream of becoming a Disney animator.

Melissa Knight ( web | twitter ) | Mel is a Disney enthusiast who writes about her experiences at Walt Disney World from the perspective of a wheelchair user. She started her blog, Disney on Wheels, to not only share her love for all things Disney but to give tips and advice to others who visit Walt Disney World with physical limitations.

Melissa Sue Sorrells ( web | twitter ) | Melissa is a magazine editor in New Jersey, where she lives with her cavapoo George. She blogs about all things Disney at Mouse on the Mind


Amandatwitter ) | Daring to venture into the wild and oftentimes wacky blogosphere, Amanda is a reader and writer of film and television commentary. When not transfixed with the world of entertainment, her daily life serves as a down to earth look at the humor in living with disabilities and the joys of everyday triumphs. Her favorite TV shows are [H]ouse and “Phineas and Ferb”; and her favorite movies change by the hour.

♦ Elena ( web | twitter ) | Elena is a student who spends way too much of her time (window) shopping. When she’s not indulging in consumerism, she blogs about YA books at Novel Sounds.

♦ Jeff Heimbuch ( web | twitter ) | Jeff Heimbuch recently moved to California, where he lives 20 minutes from Disneyland. Jeff recently released a book with Disney Legend Rolly Crump called It’s Kind Of A Cute Story, and writes way too many weekly columns  for He also co-hosts Communicore Weekly, the greatest online show. He firmly believes Animal Kingdom is a Full Day Park.

♦ Josh Spiegelpodcast | twitter ) | Josh is a textbook example of a pop-culture obsessive. He’s been a film buff since he watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit at age 4, and ever since he watched The West Wing and appreciated what TV could do, he’s been just as avid a fan of small-screen fare. After growing up in Western New York, he moved to Arizona where he studied creative writing and film for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Now, he lives in Phoenix with his wife and six cats. (One more and he can be just like the cat lady on The Simpsons.) In between his day job, devouring as many TV series and movies as possible and reviewing new films at Sound on Sight, Josh hosts Mousterpiece Cinema, a podcast where he and co-host Gabe Bucsko deliver in-depth reviews of Disney movies once a week, and writes a weekly column on all things Pixar at The Pixar Times.

♦ JP ( web | twitter ) | JP is an animator and filmmaker from New York. Growing up surrounded by cartoons, it is JP’s dream to work on an animated feature. He is a big fan of Mickey’s animated shorts and such animated shows as Avatar: The Last Airbender and Venture Brothers.  A recent graduate from the School of Visual Arts, JP’s work can be seen on his website and his blog

♦ Katherine ( web | twitter ) | Katherine Rautenberg was raised on Disney movies, Mickey Mouse stuffed animals and regular trips to Walt Disney World. These days, she dwells in Brooklyn, where she works as a writer and editor and spends her spare time eating, running and obsessing over all things Disney. She chronicles her interests, thoughts and adventures at Food Fitness Fantasy.

Karen ( web | twitter ) | My first trip to Disney was at 14. I took my husband on his first trip when he was 24 but it wasn’t until I took my children at ages 4 and 2 on their first trip that I became a true Disney freak. That was 7 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I dream about it, sing about it, listen to music about it, and my best friend and I blog about it! Together we’re a red headed Disney nightmare and I love it.

Katie ( web | twitter ) | My name is Katie and I’m a Chicago area native who happily migrated to my husband’s hometown near sunny San Diego. I love to cook, dress up, write, read and tweet, and we love to hike, garden and go to Disneyland. I’m addicted to lattes, shopping at thrift stores, and changing my hair-style. I blog about my domestic adventures, travel escapades, style experiments and daily musings at Latte Love. I share some of my weekly outfits at my tumblr, Latte Loves Style.

Katie ( web | twitter ) | A Detroit girl living in the South with her two cats and quirky family. I travel (a lot), take photos, love Disney and am an Apple fangirl. I can be snarky and sarcastic at times, so don’t take anything too seriously! 

Kimberly Michelle ( web | twitter ) | Kimberly Michelle has been a lifelong Disney fan since her mom bestowed the nickname “Tink” on her as a baby. She’s an avid collector, a former passholder with literally countless visits to the Happiest Place on Earth under her belt and a former Disneyland “Zoo Crew” cast member. She happily married a Stitch collector, and together they share their love of all things Mickey with their 17-month-old daughter. She share the exploits of her life on her blog at 

KJ Simpson ( web | twitter ) | KJ Simpson is an ardent Disney fan who blogs about her passion at There’s no place she’d rather be than Epcot, and she’s always planning her next trip…

Kyle Ostrumyoutube | twitter ) | Kyle is an aspiring writer and director of animated films. He’s a big animation fan, Disney enthusiast and a collector who blogs about the animation industry, animated films both old and new, music and several other things that interest him. He also has a YouTube channel where he posts reviews, vlogs, and videos about his collections.

Matt Esquire ( podcast | twitter ) | Matt has been visiting Walt Disney World since his early childhood. Now, as an adult, he visits the domestic parks multiple times a year and is known for his literal “backstage connections.” Matt hosts a roundtable Disney news podcast, The Hub Podcast, and previously hosted the in-park audio show, Mouse Droppings. When he’s not busy visiting a Disney park, Matt is a lawyer living in Philadelphia. 

Marshal Knight ( twitter ) | Marshal Knight is a high school Disney freak living in Tampa, FL. He tries to get to the world at least once a month. His favorite Disney movie is Hercules, his favorite Disney song is anything of the On The Record album, his favorite park is Disney California Adventure and his favorite season is Oscar season. His dream is to be friends with Peter Pan during his College Program…then work his way up to C.E.O. (the obvious career path…).

Morgan Ditta ( tumblrtwitter ) | Morgan is a current Walt Disney Imagineering intern, focusing in the Show Design department where she works on a lot of awesome stuff she can’t talk about. (So stop asking her.) She enjoys drawing Oswald the Lucky Rabbit on any scrap of paper she can find and reciting the production history on Lilo & Stitch to anybody, regardless of whether they want to hear it or not. Disney has been part of her world since birth.

Rachel ( web | twitter ) | If I had to pick a Disney princess that best described me, I’d probably be a cross between Ariel and Belle.  An endlessly curious daydreamer, with a HUGE love of books.  Too bad I can’t sing or swim though because that I would be kinda nice too.  But I digress.  I run a blog called hello, chelly which is filled with book reviews, photos, music and my random ramblings. You can also tweet me @hellochelly.

Rich Tobin ( web | tweet ) | Richard is a West-Coaster who considers Disneyland his home-away-from-home (just like a lot of other DL regulars), and wishes he could get out to Walt Disney World more often. Long ago, he spent many Sunday nights watching Walt Disney introduce each weekly episode of The Wonderful World of Color, and is very grateful for a childhood blessed with opera-singing whales, talking mirrors and tantrum-throwing ducks.  He writes every chance he gets and — when not working — loves music (all kinds), great animation, reading and games. He likes entertainment with happy endings (bittersweet’s okay, too) and wishes Mary Blair could have designed an entire city.

Sarah McGovern ( web | twitter ) | Sarah McGovern is a 25-year veteran visitor to Walt Disney World.  She and her husband are now DVC members and Annual Passholders, and frequently travel down from the Northeast.  While at the World, you can usually find her checking in to the Hollywood Tower Hotel, wandering World Showcase in the evenings, or enjoying sushi at California Grill.  Sarah is the creator of Running at Disney, a site dedicated to runDisney events, race training, and other fun Disney activities.

Stephen ( twitter ) | Steve is a huge fan of theme parks. Since a young age he has been captivated by his experiences at places like Disney World and Busch Gardens. After visiting “One Man’s Dream” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios several years ago Steve discovered a new passion in learning about the history of Walt Disney. It is a rich and fascinating history that he is excited to share.

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