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Carousel of Magic has been a pet project of mine since 2003. I had taught myself HTML out of a book I had found, and was slowly improving my web design skills. A friend of mine, learning of this, offered to give me some of his server space for free so that I could host my own site online. All that was left to do was get a URL. Choosing a URL name was tricky, I wanted something that sounded creative, and was also open-ended enough for me to do whatever I wanted with it. I eventually settled on Carousel of Magic, so named after my favorite Disney attraction, the Carousel of Progress. Carousel of Magic 'opened', if you will, in September of 2003 with just one page, a menu with three buttons, relating to my html and magic skills, as well as some links. The buttons, however, led to nowhere. This began a long line of unfinished websites that would call themselves Carousel of Magic.

The first Carousel of Magic site

In 2004, my ambivilent site gained a new focus: my love of the Disney theme parks. Carousel of Magic, sporting a new logo and better looking site design, would now focus on Travel Tips for the Disney Theme parks as well as other useful info. Though the new design, partly inspired by The Disney Experience (which has since changed it's design many times), featured flash and was much prettier then previous attempts, the links were still broken, and the site still unfinished.

Carousel of Magic 2.0

Carousel of Magic 3.0

Though Carousel of Magic looked spiffy, it was fairly void of content. Once thing it did have was an award. There was only one application for the Carousel of Magic 'All Around Good Site Award', and one winner.

Carousel of Magic 3.0

The One CoM " All Around Good Site Award" Winner: The WDW Trivia Group

The site was partially redesigned once again, removing the flash. Since the Disney-themed content remained unfinished, links to it were removed, and a blog was added to help keep visitors (if there were any) entertained.

Carousel of Magic 3.5

Carousel of Magic 3.5

The blog, for various reasons, was disbanded, and the site remained unfinished. A new burst of creativity came in mid-2005, when an idea that had been in my head for months manifested itself as the new Carousel of Magic logo. Instead of the old greyscale look, the new logo and design would feature color, and would once again top previous designs as my skills improved.

Carousel of Magic 4.0

With the new design, however, came old problems. Aside from a downloads page and a coming soon page for CoMobile, the WAP version of Carousel of Magic, the site remained unfinished, and the menu design made it difficult to add new items. Finnally, the site closed once again, with the promise to open three months later, on February 14, 2006.

Carousel of Magic 5.0: Coming Soon

This version of Carousel of Magic improved upon its predecessors with another new and improved site design, but most importantly some actual content. In addition to some photos and wallpapers, I began taking my videocamera down to Disneyland and shooting video, which along with the help of Google Video would be posted on the site. Along with the video, the new site was indended to feature interactive maps of the Disney theme parks both domestic and international, but that project never got very far.

Carousel of Magic 5.0

As usual, the site was rarely updated. This was in part due to the difficulty of making updates; since all of the code for the site was written by hand in HTML and PHP, any changes would require manually editing the code. Thus began a search for a better way, which meant a real content management system for Carousel of Magic. After looking over many options, I ended up choosing e107, along with a custom skin inspired by the previous site design.

Unfortunately there is no screenshot of this version of the site because I forgot to take one before it was deleted. Whoops!

Though the new site sofware came with many cool features and made site updates easier, my free time and interest waned and the site once again stopped recieving updates. An announcement was made, and the site vanished off of the internet in late 2007. A new coming soon page went up, and this time I was determined to create a fully-functioning site before opening it to the public. Focusing on the strengths of the previous incarnation of Carousel of Magic, the new site would be dedicated to providing high-quality video, both original and from partners.

Carousel of Magic 7.0

The current version of Carousel of Magic is by far the most complex yet. As has been the case since the beginning, all of the site code (including all of the software) is hand-written by me in Notepad. The current site utilizes HTML, Javascript, PHP, MySQL, AJAX and Flash to create a rich and user-friendly experience. It may have taken nearly 5 years, but Carousel of Magic is finally a proper website that I am proud of.

What does the future hold for Carousel of Magic? It's hard to say, though there are many plans on the drawing board, and I am as excited as ever to see what the future holds. -C33

Thank you to Matt of Juicy Creations for providing the server space and bandwidth for Carousel of Magic.

Carousel of Magic ™ & © 2018 BWMagic Media. Carousel of Magic is in no way associated in any manner whatsoever with the Walt Disney Company, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates. The official Disney website can be found here. This is a fan created site and is intended to provide original content pertaining to Disney and the Disney theme parks. All artwork and site software is ©2018 BWMagic Media. The Disney name, logo and various other names, logos and trademarks are ©Disney and/or its affiliates or subsidiaries.