WDWNT: The Magazine – A Spanish Disney Fan Community
Una Comunidad de Fanáticos de Disney en Español
A Spanish Disney Fan Community
By: Brandon Brush
The Disney Parks have always been a source of family entertainment for guests of all ages, nationalities, and languages. While many Disney fans enjoy learning the history and future of the parks through community websites, it appears that most sites cater specifically toward English speakers. In 2007, Oscar Feito decided it was time for a new Disney fan site. Disney Hispana has been a popular blog among Spanish Disney fans for five years and has expanded its reach to message boards, social networks, podcasting, and Disney travel books.
Oscar Feito, originally from Madrid, Spain, has been a fan of Disney for as long as he can remember. He has lived in London and Washington DC and is fortunate enough to be fluent in both English and Spanish. Once fluent in English, he began exploring the online Disney fan community by listening to popular podcasts such as WDW Today, Inside the Magic, and Lou Mongello’s old show MouseTunes. Feito explains, “I was amazed at how much more enjoyable the Disney park experience could be if you participated in these communities, read the blogs and listened to the podcasts.” He was sure that there were other Spanish speaking fans out there that may not be as fluent in English, and they were missing out on a great experience. Feito questions, “What good is the Internet as a global information and entertainment tool if the content you like is not in your language?”
As a solution, Feito launched Parques Disney en Español in 2007–http://disneyhispana.blogspot.com. This later helped developed a message board, http://www.magiadisney.com, and a “Disney Adictos” Facebook community of over 30,000 fans. The site’s presence in the podcasting world started with El Podcast de el MagiaDisney.com. While the team working on Disney Hispana isn’t sure if they have been the first in everything for Spanish fans, they have “definitely been pioneers in delivering quality Disney content to Spanish speakers worldwide,” according to Feito.
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“El Podcast de el MagiaDisney.com” focuses mostly on the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. However, they do cover Disneyland on some episodes. The show covers news, offers travel tips, shares memories, and delves into the origins of Walt Disney Imagineering. The episodes cover topics from the Lucasfilms acquisition all the way to how to deal with post-Disney depression. While their podcast usually only covers the parks, Disney Hispana’s blog focuses on all aspects of the Walt Disney Company. They have written extensive articles about the origins of Disney animation, music, books, and video games. Recently, they published the largest Spanish Walt Disney World book, La Guía Esencial de Walt Disney World which is available as an eBook on Amazon for five dollars. Eventually, Feito hopes to have print copies in circulation. The text acts as a guidebook with some history and fun facts. It is a great addition to the Spanish Disney fan community.
Unlike the Disney online fan community that most of us are familiar with, Disney Hispana’s fans are usually very “cooperative and civilized.” Feito comments, “To be honest, there have been very few cases of inappropriate behavior, rudeness or extreme reactions from our Community.” Many of Disney Hispana’s fans are always eager to help out, and they love participating in fun activities offered by the site. Last year, Disney Hispana organized a “Disney Short Story” contest. They received around twenty terrific submissions.
Disney Hispana reaches fans from Spain, Mexico, Argentina, United States, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. Feito has established great friendships with many readers and listeners who are extremely appreciative of the work the site does. Feito recounts, “A fan recently told me that it’s become a tradition in their family to listen to our show while they have dinner, since it’s definitely happier than the news we see on TV nowadays.” The relationships with the fans is the most rewarding part of all the work put into the sites.
If you are interested in any of Disney Hispana’s sites or projects, you can find them on Facebook at the page “Disney Adictos.” They consistently deliver interesting and unique content catering to all types of Disney fans. Their sites can expand your Spanish understanding of the parks far beyond a simple “¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!”