Written by Robert Niles
Published: December 21, 2005 at 11:46 PM
The weeks between Halloween and Christmas typically are the slowest of the year for theme parks. Most parks are closed, and even the SoCal and Orlando-area parks have some of their slowest weeks of the year. Which is part of the reason things have seemed slow around here for a bit.
The other reason is that I've been busy... working on a completely redesigned ThemeParkInsider.com.
The new site will debut sometime this weekend, heaven willing. For those of you interested in the back story, this site gradually evolved in the six-plus years since I debuted my "Interactive Guide to Disney Attractions" (yes, that ugly title was the site's first name). As a result, I have a ton of "spaghetti" code and weird URLs all over the place. Maintaining the site is a bear, and information for all put the most popular parks quickly gets stale.
The new, from-scratch publishing system redesign should change all that. Registered readers will be able to add to and correct listings throughout the site, using wiki-style technology. In addition, registrants will continue to be able to rate and review attractions, restaurants and hotels... plus we'll have new pages dedicated to annual park events, like Universal's Halloween Horror Nights.
The site's visual look will be cleaner and more professional, as well. And the back-end coding will be streamlined, making the pages load much faster, with much less strain on the server.
I've been meaning to get this redesign done for two years. And I've had to cut back on my participation on the site for the past few months to make it happen now. For those of you who haven't heard from me privately for a while, I apologize. Really, I've been unforgivably terrible about personal correspondence lately. But with my day job and a much-needed overhaul on my other site, the TPI redesign has sucked every other available moment I've had on the computer.
Starting next week, I will be back with a vengeance. In fact, I'll be writing a new blog that will appear on the front page of the site, updating you each weekday on all the latest news and features on TPI, plus theme park-related news from around the world. (You'll be invited to submit items to this blog, too.) And I promise to do a better job reading my e-mail.
So, please, help me spread the word. Theme Park Insider is coming back, better than ever, and I want every theme park fan in the world to know about it.
See you soon, and thank you for your patience,