A farewell

by Sue Holland, contributing writer

Several years ago when Brian Bennett of MousePlanet approached me about writing a regular column for the site my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic. There were many reasons to decline, including being too busy and not wanting something fun to become “work.” Trip reports were easy to write, and they came with the added benefit of being on a Disney trip!

Sue hangs out with a muscular shark in front of Last Mango In Paradise, one of St. Maarten's shops she visits during a Disney cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. From Sue's July 13, 2001 article, “Disney Cruise Line's Eastern Caribbean Itinerary.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

About a year later Brian approached me again, and this time I decided to give it a try, with concern I was getting into something way beyond what I was capable of.

Sue and her friend pose in the Disney–MGM Studios back lot. From Sue's October 26, 2001 article, “Going Solo – Walt Disney World as a Solo Traveler.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

Here we are four years and 96 articles later. Who would have thought there was that much to talk about outside of the Disney theme parks? I know I never imagined the column would run that long. It's been a wonderful four years for me but it is now time to take a break and retire from writing for the column on a regular basis. Professionally and personally life is good—I just no longer have the time to devote to writing and I find I am not able to visit Walt Disney World as frequently as in the past.

Sue with Pluto at the now-closed Annual Passholders' Lounge in an air conditioned room above the Living With The Land ride in the Land pavilion. From Sue's April 12, 2002 article, “Annual Passholder Perks.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

From time to time, as a topic of interest presents itself, a new article will appear, but it will not be on any set schedule. Also, I still plan to visit Walt Disney World and the offsite Disney Vacation Club resorts several times a year and will continue to provide trip reports to MousePlanet.

Sue poses next to a beautifully crafted clock on board a Holland America Line cruise ship. From Sue's July 26, 2002 article, “Comparing the Cruise Lines, Part II.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

The people at MousePlanet are a terrific group of hard-working people, and I'm grateful to them for everything they've done these past four years. Writing professionally was something that never entered my mind before they recruited me, and it's something I most likely never would have tried if not for them. Joining the staff ended up being one of my better decisions, as it gave me the chance to step outside of the boundaries I'd set for myself and do something I never thought I could do.

Chef Gordon with Sue. From Sue's June 13, 2003 article, “Disney Dining With a Private Chef.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

The readers have been great, too. I've had the pleasure of meeting many of you at the Disney parks, on the Disney ships, and through e-mail exchanges. The Disney community is a special one, made up of a diverse group of people who share an appreciation for all or most things Disney. Reading some of your stories, particularly when one of my articles has made a positive impact has been very rewarding and kept me writing month after month. Thank you for all of your support and feedback over the past four years!

Captain Henry mingled with guests at the Castaway Club (repeat Disney cruisers) reception. From Sue's November 14, 2003 article, “A Wonderful Disney Weekend.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

I will continue to be available to answer questions through MousePlanet, whether the question is related to one of my articles or not. Some day I may return on a regular basis, but until then I hope to “appear” every now and then between visits to Walt Disney World. Keep an eye open for me there most likely at the Comedy Warehouse!

Sue with her dad sitting at Zeus' feet at the Adventurer's Club. From Sue's December 3, 2004 article, “Walt Disney World A-Z, Part II.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.


A note from the editor

Working with Sue has been nothing but sheer pleasure. Sue is the most organized person I know; she planned out her twice–monthly articles a year at a time, and never in her four years has she ever been late turning in an article, or even asked us to adjust our publishing schedule because she couldn't meet a deadline. That in itself is impressive. But when you realize that Sue kept up this schedule through personal challenges, family illness, and four hurricanes in a row, you start to get a sense of what a truly extraordinary person she is. I'll count myself as one of the lucky ones; on a past trip to WDW, we ran quite by accident into Sue and got to meet her in person—at Comedy Warehouse, of course!

I always looked forward to reading her articles—before everyone else, since I got to edit her articles—I will truly miss her. And I will definitely look forward to her trip reports now.

You're probably wondering what we will run on the second and fourth Fridays now that Sue is retiring. Well, you know us—we publish fresh content every weekday, and we'll continue to do so. We'll be shuffling our schedules a bit, but you'll be happy to know that we'll still provide Walt Disney World–focused articles for you on Fridays. On the second Fridays, we'll be running my Walt Disney World Marathon Guide series. On the fourth (and occasional fifth) Fridays, Brian Bennett will be taking the helm with his Eyes On Orlando photo tours and articles.

Sue's a winner with us! Wearing that all-important finisher's medal. From Sue's March 11, 2005 article, “Walt Disney World Half-Marathon: Sue challenges herself to her first distance event… with a bad knee.” MousePlanet file photo courtesy of Sue Holland.

Please join all of us at MousePlanet in a hearty round of applause for Sue Holland. Best wishes for a wonderful life, Sue!

— Lani Teshima, staff editor