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We have a special note for you today from Richard Kraft, announcing the winners of the FIND YOUR WAY TO KRAFTLAND contest. Everyone here at MiceAge/MiceChat would like thank Richard along with all who submitted their entries. What a delightful project this has been!

Finding your way...

FINDING KRAFTLAND is the story of Nicky and Richard Kraft.
FINDING KRAFTLAND is the true story of Nicky and Richard Kraft.

I dread making choices. And like with most things in my life, it all started with Disneyland.

As a kid I would agonize over those Ticket Books. No matter how much my brother and I plotted and planned, there were never enough of those cursed colored stubs to get us on everything we wanted to cram into a day. A trip to the Happiest Place on Earth™ was also a journey to the Most Frustrating Place, too.

Who could decide? Was it better to splatter in a train wreck on Mr. Toad or risk regurgitation on the Tea Cups? Better to explore Innerspace, liquid space or Space Mountain? Haunted Mansion vs. Matterhorn?? Peter Pan vs. Snow White? To B ticket or not to B Ticket? That was the question. And the answers were never easy. Sort of like Sophie's Choice with PeopleMovers and Skyway Buckets.

The only part of a trip to Disneyland that did not require Solomon-like wisdom was deciding what to do with your A tickets. That was never a problem since every option was pretty lame (how many times could you feign interest in a scratchy print of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Main Street Cinema?) Besides, there was always a drawer's-worth of A Tickets left over from your last trip. I swear, those A tickets would breed in my chest of drawers just to taunt me with how plentiful they were and how those magnificent E Tickets were truly elusive.

The elusive E Ticket promised the exotic and the exciting.
The elusive E Ticket promised the exotic and the exciting.

I mention all of this because I was just faced with such a dilemma in trying to chose the winner for the FIND YOUR WAY TO KRAFTLAND essay contest on MiceAge/MiceChat. Every day I would fire up my computer in anticipation. There were dozens and dozens of wonderful postings from dozens and dozens of complete strangers, all sharing tales of their own Disneyana Holy Grails. Some made me smile, some pulled at my heart. But they were all so unique and terrific in their own special way.

Yikes! I was going have to chose my ten favorite local and my ten favorite out-of town-entries. It was that freakin' Ticket Book all over again! No! It wasn't fair. I didn't want to choose. How could I pick favorites after reading so many cool things?

A Kraftland welcome.

There's Dcs287 forever paddling around the Rivers of America with his dad and family in a Davy Crockett Canoe. There is the joy of discovering the peak of the Matterhorn with my fellow mountaineer Mr.Snappy. Or how about reading the the plaque welcoming Threviewer and Superstacie (and Yoda-Dland) into the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Fantasy?

And then there's AKComic who wants the whole entry tunnel to escape his real world of cat hairs and unwashed dishes! How could I chose between Daliseurat and DoppeeIV proudly displaying Herb Ryman's original Disneyland painting and Guaghey finally getting his drawing of Lil' Toot. Artist PirateMunkee is making peace with his father. It is a small world for Neverlandtink, Xclipse129, and BFJen and even smaller for Pezzlightyear and Ed43bauhaus in their Atomobiles. Pop Goes the Weasel for PixieChick and her America Sings figures.

The birds sing words and the flowers croon for Thsawrp's grandmother in the eternal and enchanted Tiki Room. Up at Club 33 Dizneyfan and her family are sharing a meal with Walt, thanking him for all those wonderful memories. Netenyahoo soars over Fantasyland along with Dumbo joined by Pratt55, Nunz, SoulRebel and SharonDC floating above London in their Peter Pan Pirate Ships. The poet, Skyfirescar, glides through the night on the Skyway to Fantasyland.

Dumbo hovers over Kraftland.
Dumbo hovers over Kraftland.

Over at the Haunted Mansion there is TheJoshualee who never follows directions and allows Gus, the hitchhiking ghost to follow him home while Nojarama is hanging with the Hatbox Ghost. Down in the ballroom, Mission Seagull witnesses life's eternal duel. Is that Frogberto gazing into Madame Leota's crystal ball? DisneyNancies#41 is hangin' with the hanging ghost. Checking it all out is GrimGrinningDan cruising by in his trusty Doombuggie.

I was so touched by R1hert2 discovering the magic of meeting new friends on a park bench in the hub along with fellow benchers Disney1978 and Peoplemovermisser. It's a jolly holiday every time Mufasa'sboy flies with Mary Poppins' practically perfect umbrella. Musiken never needs to share the steering wheel touring in a private Mr. Toad car. RalphatUAL is behind the wheel again of his magnificent keel boat. ScottDisneyFan is over at the Castle drawbridge down on one knee proposing to his tired and freezing girlfriend Kelly knowing they would magically be together forever.

The Hoedown never ends for Mouseinphilly, LukeManning and the Country Bears. Just ask Melvin, Max and Buff and their close friend Yensid70. That's Saturday97 shrieking every time she hears Blood on the Saddle. Sometimes an orange juicer is just a machine, or sometimes it is a symbol of a wonderful man like DisneyIPresumes' uncle. Rixter's dad is cashing checks over on Main Street. And did you know the path through Adventureland is 15 feet wide because of Wec's cousin? Gigi leaves the glee club to join Sophie832 in the Tiki Room's exclusive bathroom. The Tiki Room itself is now run and programmed by its new owner, Melonballer.

Kraftland visitor Richard Sherman takes a spin in the library.
Kraftland visitor Richard Sherman takes a spin in the library.

For some reason, RickNStuff wants a Rocket Rod. And even stranger, Ersatzrainfactory enjoys an endless loop of Captain EO. Circarama and Tigerlilly survived Grad Night to become the proud owners of Submarine Voyage dueling lobsters. Mattato finds the missing Treasure Island ticket given to him by his grandmother. And ScotHoly finds the heart of Disneyland at the marker in front of the castle. That's Totrider16 climbing up the castle to look out over the spire. You can't run away from trouble because Lafitte has the Splash Mountain sign. Fantasmico gets into even big trouble down with her lil' devil pals from Mr. Toad.

There are familiar and beloved sounds everywhere. The clang of the bell from the C.K. Holliday for both Suaspont and Yendorb and the motor putt-putt-putt of A-Goofy's beloved fire engine as she rides along Main Street with Walt. Vistaboy92084 catches a ride back with Mr. Disney as they travel together on the street car. If you haven't seen Yoyoflamingo for a while, it's because he's in Town Square jammin' to his collection of every sound from Disneyland. Heading on up Main Street are BDBopper and the Tin Soldiers as they parade past JiminyCricketFan sitting in the Carnation Delivery Truck. Magical experiences is what JimFromEastPA collects. So does Whamo who was there on opening day using his First Day ticket.

small world that Tomorrowland.
small world that Tomorrowland.

Life is fickle... Chesirecat wants The Red Head while TheRedhead wanted the disembodied head of Madame Leota. No1Here would be happy just owning Honest Abe. A plush Mickey is still inspiring Disneyphile as is the glassblower's Castle for MollyTrolly. Guiding travelers through Storybook seas is MRBboy2005's light house. Equally bright is the Light Magic sign mounted on the back of KpKenny warning everyone of how easy it is to slip from Magic to Tragic. SosaiX becomes an honorary cast member with his massive collection of Cast Name Tags. And Princess626 has the whole Kingdom in her control as she surveys her diorama of the park while Schnebs oversees the glittering model of Progress City.

AnimatornickB and his fiance share a love that lasts as long as that petrified wood out in Frontierland. The number 18 Skyway Bucket carries Chasengel as he proposes to his wife and discovers that missing Kodak camera that captured it all. LinweElensar finally gets a good parking space under her Bambi parking lot sign. Nursemelis374 in saluting Captain Blackbeard. Forever young in their silhouette portraits are the sons of 30milesnorth.

There are magical train rides on the Lilly Belle for MisterDisneyland, Sadwina, and Janfrederick as well as monorail journeys for Club3. BugsBunny, Abe22222222 and Sbk1234 choose to chug along in their PeopleMover. They reserve a special seat for MaryAnninWndrland's mother who is in perfect health. WVnative and daughter spin endlessly in that Purple Tea Cup while Snowflakey lives forever in the great big beautiful House of the Future.

FINDING KRAFTLAND host Stacey Aswad and co-director Adam Shell find film festivals fun.

So many wonderful essays. How could I possibly chose when JohnSquad sums it up so well; that it is the memories that mean the most to us. It never ceases to amaze me how Disney has touched so many different people in so many different ways.

And as I read the final posting I gasped with that horrible realization that I was going to have to start picking favorites. It was back to the days of the Ticket Books and those lousy, limited options. Back to choosing between "either"/"or" when what I really wanted was "this" AND "that."

After reading about so many great people and their Disney wishes I decided to make one, too... I wanted them all to win! Then, I realized that they got rid of those stinkin' Ticket Books a longtime ago. You can now take a Jeep (oh, excuse me... a personal transport vehicle) through Indiana Jones a gazillion times if you so desire. You can conquer all the dark rides in Fantasyland and still explore all of Frontierland. You really can have it all. If there was now unlimited access to all of Disneyland, why not swing open the gates and do the same for Kraftland?

So, this past midnight I wished upon a star and decided to make my dream come true. Last night I decided to make everyone a winner! Every person who took the time to share their fantasies in the FIND YOUR WAY TO KRAFTLAND forum has really found it. Today everybody wins!

Kraftland may need an Emporium.
Kraftland may need an Emporium.

Every local who submitted an essay gets a pair of tickets to the Los Angeles premiere of FINDING KRAFTLAND at the Cinema City International Film Festival at Universal Studios City Walk at 5pm on Sunday, September 30th. Every local gets a pair of V.I.P. After Party invitations. Every local gets a KRAFTLAND swag bag full of cool collectibles, including a limited edition, promo KRAFTLAND bobble-head. Every non-local gets the KRAFTLAND swag bag with the limited edition bobble-head, too.

Sure, it's not Oprah giving away cars, but it sure beats a drawer full of A Tickets. And as a fellow dreamer, I wish to thank everyone who participated.

- Richard Kraft

Winners will be contacted via e-mail about claiming their prizes. Any questions may be directed to [email protected].

To discuss the contest (and provide winners a place to post their thanks), this MiceChat thread has been set up.

To read all the winning postings on MiceChat, CLICK HERE. | To read the original MiceAge page announcing the FIND YOUR WAY TO KRAFTLAND contest, with background information on the film (and the list of official rules) CLICK HERE. | Werner Weiss interviewed Richard Kraft for MiceAge, to read his article CLICK HERE.

Tickets for the Universal City 9/30 screening may still be available; for purchasing information CLICK HERE | The official FINDING KRAFTLAND website can be accessed if you, yes, CLICK HERE.

Al Lutz & DustySage, along with all the staff and crew behind MiceAge & MiceChat would like to thank Richard Kraft for his kind efforts, suggestions and assistance in putting together this project. Of course our thanks also go out to all who participated; the outstanding quality of your efforts inspired and enriched everyone involved. Congratulations to all the winners!

© 2007 Richard Kraft / MiceAge.com / MiceChat.com

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