Dean R. (NDD#228) (10 Posts)

Raised in Minneapolis in the 1960's meant Dean was privileged to a very wonderful period of time. Sunday nights meant Dean's family would gather around the color console TV and watch Walt himself introduce them to an hour of "The Wonderful World of Disney". This is where his imagination was truly ignited. A cartoon showing Goofy driving a car through Autopia was the real hook, he made a request that they go someday. Though that trip didn't happen until he was 14, Disney has always been the place that embraced the kind of dreams he had as a child. Now at 51, father of three and computer guy by trade, he's more passionate than ever to chase his dreams and encourage others to do the same. As owner of Dreamers Empire his goal is to showcase the dreams of folks like you and I.

With so many Disney related web sites out there, do you ever find yourself taking a quick peek at newly discovered ones without much investigation? I do, and after discovering I’m rethinking my web browsing indifference’s. contains a treasure of both new and vintage Disneyland photos. Along with an entertaining blog and some of his own artwork, Dave is proving that the art of truly great content is perseverance.

“My website started as a means to share my art and photography with others; sort of an online portfolio. The creation of my site began around the same time that Disneyland was celebrating its 50th Anniversary. As Imagineers began sprucing up the park and making improvements that hadn’t been seen there in years, I found myself going much more often and taking more photos. I stumbled upon a few blogs that posted vintage photos of the park and as a result, I started collecting those as well. As an additional way to share those photos with others, I began my blog. That’s when the runaway train left the station. It has been quite a journey since then. Over five years of blogging and countless amazing friendships and connections since, I have to say that I have been truly blessed with so many serendipitous moments.”

What makes worth a closer look is the depth of content and attention to detail. “I’m a nut for details. I have tried to capture almost every angle and attraction of Disneyland Park, especially the attractions that are no longer there.” If you are looking for rare and unique photos of Disneyland you will probably find it at

As a child Dave was first influenced by Walt Disney through his movies. “I remember my parents used to take me to the theater whenever one of the animated classics was pulled out of the vaults (I believe it was every 7 years). I used to look forward to seeing them, as it was a real treat.” David took his first trip to Disneyland at age 6. “My mom took me to Disneyland for the very first time in 1970. I still have vivid memories of that trip, and I have been hooked ever since.” The early signs of an artist were showing when Dave received a special book from his mom. “I began to have a real appreciation for Disney when my mom gave me the HUUUUUGE book, ‘The Art of Disney’ by Christopher Finch.”

The work to maintain Daveland with fresh content is a huge time zapper. “There have been a number of times that I question why I take the time to do this, especially when there are stupid or negative comments left on my blog, but I have to say the majority have been extremely positive and supportive.” But all the work has yielded a number of magical moments. “One of my favorites was when I accidentally acquired some Knott’s Berry Farm vintage slides that were part of a batch of (what I thought) were strictly Disneyland slides. Long story short…those slides included three vintage shots of Steve Martin making his stage debut there back in the 1960s. Martin saw the photos on my blog and contacted me about them. That was pretty cool; what are the chances of that?” Dave has also had an opportunity to interview Julie Nixon Eisenhower, but he says it all comes together when he receives an encouraging email from folks who say his photo’s brought back happy memories for them.

Dave hopes to publish his photo’s in a book someday, as he also continues to pursue his painting and photography. Go spend a few minutes (quite a few) at or follow him at Twitter or his Blog.

This story is also available on the Dreamers Moment podcast, to listen on any device that connects to iTunes you can search for ‘Dreamers Empire’. If you want to listen to it online you can go to the page at iTunes. If you don’t have access to iTunes you can find all the podcast here at our podcast-directory. This is episode #13.

Contributed by: Dean Rice (NDD#228) Dean is the DDL Dreamers Blogger. He is also the creator of Dreamers Empire.

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