Jeff Barnes is the best selling author of 2 of my favorite books – The Wisdom of Walt and Beyond the Wisdom of Walt! He teaches the only accredited college course on the History of Disneyland and believes the Disney parks teach us some of life’s greatest lessons, as long as you know their history! Learn all about Jeff at TheWisdomofWalt.com !
Detailed information on the film and how to get tickets can be found HERE.
The film will debut at 8 p.m.at the Cobb Plaza Cinema Café (Located at 12 at 155 S. Orange Avenue) in downtown Orlando. The screening will be preceded by a red-carpet event at 6:30 p.m.
The festival will offer more than 250 films through Oct. 24. The Disney documentary will screen again at 6:45 p.m. Oct. 24.
Cortese wrote, directed and produced the film. He also narrates the story of Walt Disney’s contributions to the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, the creation of Walt Disney World and the work of Imagineers to bring Epcot to life. The film salutes Disney, who died in 1966, as a mentor, visionary and urban planner. Details on the festival, the films and tickets are at OrlandoFilmFest.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the festival box office, which will be in the Cobb Plaza lobby during the festival.
Walt Disney World Railroad – Main Street, U.S.A. is an attraction located in Main Street, U.S.A. at Magic Kingdom Park. Just one look brings on feelings of classic Americana.
As I write this, it is September 2019, and the train is not circling Magic Kingdom park, due to track refurbishments. But when this happens, did you know you can still have a magical train experience? I want to say a special thanks to my friend Michael Broggie for the tip!
When in service, the steam from the locomotive will often be too hot to get up close. Sometimes the train is just moving too fast four our cameras. But when the attraction is undergoing a refurbishment – the train is often available as the perfect backdrop for a memorable photo at the Main Street U.S.A. station. You can enjoy a blast from the past by taking advantage of an enchanted photo opportunity with one of the park’s 4 meticulously restored, narrow-gauge trains—originally built between 1916 and 1928. Stop by, break out the camera and say “All Aboard!”
If you think about it, there just aren’t a lot of places where you can gather loved ones and strike a pose with an authentic steam-powered locomotive!
You can take a few moments to imagine the clamor of the engine, chug of the wheels and call of the Walt Disney World Railroad whistle!
Trains were Walt’s life long passion. He built his first railroad right in his backyard. The Carolwood Pacific Railroad, a 1/8-scale train, debuted in 1950 and featured a custom-built, steam powered locomotive that encircled his property.
Delighted with his miniature backyard railroad, Walt decided to share his love of trains with the whole world. The result was the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, a favorite of Guests since the park opened in 1955.
Join me, won’t you? Let’s check out the keynote address of the Carolwood Society’s annual UnMeeting with Disney Legend, Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador, and inaugural “Heart and Heritage” honoree, Tony Baxter together with Society Founder, Michael Broggie the morning of Friday, September 27, 2019 at the Disney Springs AMC 24 theater at the Walt Disney World Resort!
Catch our interview with Michael Broggie about this interview in podcast form HERE
Doors will open at 9:15 am and this address will begin promptly at 10:00 am.
When I first found out about this event, I skimmed over it, and assumed it would be held in California. Upon closer look – it’s happening right here in my backyard. I couldn’t be more excited. You read that right! You can catch this amazing panel in the Orlando area!! Event check in will be at the AMC Theater entrance near Splitsville (not the one near Planet Hollywood) and parking in the Orange garage is suggested.
Society member seating is SOLD OUT but general admission tickets are still available HERE. General admission tickets ($35) are available to all who are interested in attending and can be accessed from this page. And every attendee will be provided with popcorn and a beverage!
Even if you (not unlike myself) don’t think trains are “your thing”, this event promises to give us all a charming insight into what was such an important part of Walt’s life. I spoke to Jim VanOstenbridge – the event organizer. He explained to me in great detail that he hopes this meeting will be a stepping stone to more frequent Carolwood Society events. He’s inspired by monthly meetings that are happening at Walt’s Barn in California.
“Animators, Imagineers, historians, authors, Disney Legends, and fans come to Walt’s Barn to enjoy each other’s company, but really, it’s to spend time with Walt Disney. Diane Disney Miller, on the barn’s dedication in Griffith Park highlighted that “our heart and heritage are here in this place”. So, that’s what I’m hoping this group will evolve into. Not just a group that assembles with railroad interest, but one that celebrates the path that led to and through the barn and those who carry the torch to this day.”
Jim says he wants to do it in a way that helps bring people together in a real and genuine way. Who wouldn’t want to support that?? Let’s get in on the ground floor, together. All Aboard!!
More on Tony Baxter: This is a great opportunity to learn about the design and creation of the range of Big Thunder Mountains at Disney Parks around the world from Tony Baxter, the man who brought them to life!Throughout Tony’s 47 year career at Walt Disney Imagineering he made numerous contributions and offered guidance and leadership that is evident at Disney Parks the world over. Among his best known achievements is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Join us to hear the story of how this attraction came to life and how the distinct characteristics of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris helped to make each one of these attractions remarkable in it’s own right.
The 2019 UnMeeting Keynote with Disney Legend Tony Baxter and Michael Broggie
More on the Carolwood Society:
The Carolwood Society is a private worldwide membership organization dedicated to preserving the personal railroad legacy of Walt Disney.
“We accomplish through our members’ love of railroading which is shared with everyone; to teach our children to understand the role that railroads served in building this great nation, and to encourage the continual appreciation of railroading.”
Carolwood hosts several members-only social events each year which have resulted in the creation of lifelong friendships.
Did you know The Carolwood Society has a membership program? Check it out HERE and consider joining Club 173! Same dues since 1995!
The following video will take you on a tour of Walt Disney’s Backyard Train Railroad The Lilly Belle (aka The Carolwood Pacific) as Walt himself narrates and describes what it took to build this amazing miniature locomotive. Images are Courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Michael Broggie is an authority on the life and legacy of Walt Disney and the global empire he inspired. In just a few days, I will have the honor of interviewing Michael about an upcoming event, and this month, I will meet him in person. It’s about time we all get to know Michael Broggie a little better. There are some great stories here, and I am excited to help share them with the world as part of our new series: Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries!
Michael Broggie got advice from Walt himself and now shares with others all he has learned. He’s written books (more on those later) and edited hundreds of articles for national publications. As a public speaker, Michael has toured throughout the country lecturing at universities, libraries, organizations and railroad conventions on his first-person experiences with Walt Disney and many of the Disney legends. Michael’s father, the late Roger Broggie, was selected personally by Walt Disney to be his first Imagineer. Imagineers, of course, are the designers and engineers responsible for so much at Disney Parks and Resorts all over the world. Michael Broggie also has the same birthday as my Mom – June 19th. The year is different though, Michael was born in 1942.
Michael Broggie’s Mom, Thelma C. Broggie, was a concert violinist. To this day, the family sponsors annual music scholarship awards to a graduating boy and girl in honor of Thelma.
As a small child, Michael Broggie got to ride on Walt Disney’s backyard 1/8-scale model Carolwood Pacific Railroad, which his father helped to build.
The kid behind Walt is none other than Michael Broggie! Photo Credit: Steve Broggie
When he was just 12 years-old Michael Broggie’s first Disney assignment was to test drive the Autopia prototypes on the back lot of Disney Studios in Burbank, California. That lucky kid!!
His first official job with Disney was in 1960, when he was on summer break from college. He worked as an attractions Cast Member (ride operator) at Disneyland on the Autopia and Mine Train. I guess it all goes back to cars and trains for Michael Broggie! After completing his undergraduate education, he joined the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, as a publicity writer in the motion picture marketing department.
His career led to management and consulting positions with Marriott, Boise Cascade, Lake Arrowhead Resort and General Motors. He served on the ABC Television Network sponsorship team for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
Michael had a lot of education beyond high school. He earned his MBA and a Doctorate in Marketing at Pacific University, San Diego; a BA in Communications at California State University, Northridge; and, an AA in Journalism from Los Angeles Valley College. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. (Thank you for your service Michael!)
Michael Broggie is a Veteran of the US Air Force. Photo credit: Steve Broggie
He attended law school at Lincoln University, but we won’t hold that against him. Ha!
He and his wife Sharon reside in Prescott Lakes, Arizona, where they are active in civic and charitable endeavors including volunteering on Prescott Police Department’s Citizens On Patrol unit. He is a founder of the Prescott Police Foundation, a member of the Central Arizona Model Railroad Club and the Westlake Yacht Club.
As if that wasn’t enough, he is chairman of the board of governors of The Carolwood Society, which he co-founded with his wife Sharon. He’s chairman emeritus of the Carolwood Foundation, and the operator of Walt Disney’s Carolwood Barn Museum in Griffith Park, on behalf of the Disney family.
The above photo of Michael was taken at one of my favorite places in the world. The Carolwood-Pacific Room at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Villas. This display at the Wilderness Lodge Villas is worth seeking out. Even if you (not unlike myself) don’t think trains are “your thing”, the Carolwood-Pacific Room offers a charming insight into what was such an important part of Walt’s life. This room is like a mini-museum dedicated to the Carolwood-Pacific. Here, you will find photos, letters, and other unique artifacts and memorabilia that tell the story of how Walt, along with his friend and fellow Disney Legend, Roger Broggie, (Michal’s Dad) built the miniature train that wound its way through Walt’s backyard. I hope you’ll stop in and absorb some of the amazing things you can see inside the Carolwood-Pacific Room including two of the actual cars and sections of train track that were donated to this unique and amazing collection, as well as the original smaller mock-ups that were built in the Studio’s machine shop. I hope to get more of the story of how Michael was involved in all this very soon.
In the video below from 2015 – you can fast forward about 20 minutes to get a quick tour of the Carolwood-Pacific Room.
Now let’s talk about just a few of the books that Micheal has had a hand in!
His published books include “Walt Disney’s Railroad Story,” which earned the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for Best Biography. Click HERE to be taken to our affiliate link on Amazon.
“Many of my stories are drawn from my personal experiences of growing up with Walt, who selected my father to be his first Imagineer – the engineers and designers who built Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and themed amusement parks around the world. My book, Walt Disney’s Railroad Story, provides the first account of how Walt’s love of trains led to the development of Disneyland. I enjoy inspiring my audiences with Walt Disney’s Words of Wisdom, a message directly from Walt on how to live a quality life.” – Michael Broggie
Thousands of books and articles have been written about Walt Disney and his organization, yet few people realize the significance railroading played in the evolution of the Disney empire. Encouraged by Walt’s family and railfans inside and outside the Disney organization, Michael Broggie has chronicled the tale of Walt Disney’s personal involvement in railroading.
This book unveils the private realm of Disney railroading through hundreds of photographs, many of which have never before been made public, and interviews with Mrs. Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller, Ward Kimball, Ollie Johnston, Bob Harpur, Bill Cottrell, Roger Broggie, Bill Evans, and many others.
“Walt Disney’s Words of Wisdom” is a book he wrote in 2010. Click HERE to be taken to our affiliate link on Amazon.
Walt’s Words of Wisdom by Michael Broggie
Authors and historians have been challenged to understand how Walt Disney accomplished such an incredible array of achievements that defined family entertainment throughout the world. Directly addressing this question from then 12-year-old Michael Broggie in 1955, Walt referred him to Four Cs: “Somehow I can’t believe there are many heights that can’t be scaled by anyone who knows the secret of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four Cs. They are Curiosity, Confidence, Courage and Constancy, and the greatest of these is Confidence. When you believe a thing, believe it all over, implicitly and unquestioningly.” Inspired by Walt’s advice, over several decades Michael compiled and defined a list of 30 Cs including the four he learned from Walt. This handy sized booklet is designed to inspire, encourage, motivate, stimulate, and cheer the spirit!
He also wrote an illustrated biography, “Walt Disney’s Happy Place” in 2001. Click HEREto be taken to our affiliate link on Amazon.
Walt Disney’s Happy Place by Michael Broggie
This is a book to be shared by adults and children featuring two sets of text designed for easy reading. Text is accompanied by sketches drawn by one of Disney’s veteran illistrators, Carson Van Osten. The cover art of Walt Disney was painted by Bob Byerley, America’s leading artist of children at play. The story tells about the milestones in Walt Disney’s life using a series of barns that actually existed. A sub-theme is the importance of every family saving their own history for future generations. The postscript suggests ways to begin the process of saving family stories. A basic family tree diagram is included at the front of the book.
In this video, Michael Broggie, co-founder of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society and the Carolwood Foundation, describes the importance of miniatures to Walt Disney. Son of Roger Broggie – Walt’s first imagineer, Michael knew Walt Disney personally and witnessed first hand how Walt always cared about even the most miniature of details.
The Story of a Wannabe Disney Princess and a trip to Neverland.
Once upon a time in land called Orlando, a Wannabe Disney Princess was called upon to write and narrate a project that was literally – what her dreams were made of. She had always fantasized about guiding her friends to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. I guess you could call her a wannabe Disney Princess with Tinker Bell-like navigation skills!
Disney fans all know what happens when you wish upon a star. Anything your heart desires, will come to you!
My name is Krista Joy, and I am that wannabe Disney Princess!
Along the way of achieving my dreams of becoming a real Disney Princess, I feel like I am (already!) the Princess of manifesting my own dreams. The truth is that it only comes with the blessings the Lord chooses to give me, my heart full of gratitude, acceptance, living with intentionally and the help of lots and lots of good friends – of course!!
Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight all started with a dream – Jerry Cornell’s dream! Today we want to give you a little more of the backstory on how this dream turned into reality. It took a little more than faith, trust and pixie dust!
It all started when my dear friend, the fantastic, amazing and awesome Jerry Cornell, producer of documentaries extraordinaire – had a dilemma. He was ready to produce a new spectacular DVD for his Theme Parkology fans. “Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight” was to be a DVD that would pull back the curtain on this magical attraction – in all of it’s versions – in Disney Parks all over the world. As a bonus, Jerry wanted to take Peter Pan’s Flight from concept to construction, to changes through the years. It was no small task. Jerry’s other writers were not available, and that’s where I wanted to step in and help.
The Wannabe Princess hoped to be the heroine of this story! Of course in every fairytale there is always a villain or two. Time stealers, my daily responsibilities, and needing money to keep my household going, are always there… like the proverbial Maleficent to the Aurora’s baby shower of my Disney dreams…ready to impose at any time and wreak havoc! After all, this is volunteer work – and I knew I would not gain money from any of it, or the sales!
In spite of it all, I was inspired by my own childhood memories of the Peter Pan attraction, the Disney magic that ensues each time I ride it, and ALL that it means to me. I felt that it was very important to portray and tell the story in a way that would help bring that magic to others. I understood the significance, weight and the magnitude of the task. I STILL wanted to be the one to take it on – and give it my best shot. My determination was like the sword of Prince Philip and the encouraging voice of Jerry Cornell was like the magic that guided the sword in the fight.
I explained to Jerry it would be my delight to help, at no charge, but I would probably need a lot of time. Jerry was very understanding, as he always is, and emailed me the outline to work from, along with some talking points he wanted me to cover. He assured me that I could take as much time as I needed. I took a deep breath, read his email, and whispered to myself, “Come on everybody, here we goooooo!”
This project was on my mind and in my heart. There was no turning back now!
During the time span of several months, I worked on it in bits and pieces. To me, it felt like fighting Captain Hook and his crew. Wannabe Disney Princesses have a gift for sprinkling pixie dust and leaving a trial of sparkles and happiness where ever they go. Writing facts and figures and being historically accurate does not come quite as naturally. It was essential and beyond important – that I write the information in this project as timelessly and accurately as humanly possible. I was feeling the pressure because just like with my own brand, Disneyways, it is essential that Theme Parkology keeps it’s reputation as a trusted source for Disney content.
The pieces started forming over a span of a few months. Ultimately, the most work was done in the 2 to 3 days in a row that I was able to carve out of my schedule to make the writing a priority. I shut out all forms of distraction and got to work. I pieced together all of the research I had done, doing my best to not leave out any sections. I wanted the language to be breezy, conversational english, while trying to keep it as fun and light as possible.
THEN… I got to the parts where Jerry wanted me to get technical about the mechanics of the ride, physics, and the thinking process of the Imagineers. YIKES!
I remember calling Jerry and asking him…is this REALLY necessary?! This stuff is so BORING to me! Who really cares about all this anyhow??
In his reassuring way – Jerry once again calmed me down and told me, “Yes Krista. It’s essential. Theme Parkology fans LOVE this stuff the most. The more technical and detailed you can get on this part…the better.”
He acknowledged that out of “Fantasy” and “Technical” I am one of his writers that he puts in the “Fantasy” category. WOW isn’t THAT the truth?!!
Even so, he believed in me, and gave me courage to give it my all. I reluctantly agreed to it, and then set out to explain pulley systems, physics, and the scientific creative process for Peter Pan’s Flight – in the best way I knew how. Judging by the success and sales of this DVD – I hit the mark.
Overall, it was a project that stretched me, and flexed my creative muscles to the max!
I have been reading aloud and narrating as long as I can remember. This is my wheelhouse and it’s where I feel very, very comfortable. Jerry used my narrating skills for the “Disneyland Secrets” DVD so he knew I could do this part with ease. It was all recorded in my own home and I sent it in separate parts to Jerry over email. Reading what I had actually written was a joy. I was able to put inflection, emphasis, energy and even pauses…in all the places I wanted them to be. Jerry’s editing, graphics, and music are fantastic and really tie the whole thing together. His entire team worked in harmony together for one cohesive and immersive experience. Watch it and see for yourself!
I think you can really hear my heart and my feelings about Peter Pan’s Flight as you enjoy this DVD. My deepest hope is that you are taking the journey WITH me and feeling all the same magic and nostalgia that I feel when we take this ride together. I hope that I have brought you to a very happy place with my part of this work. I hope that you feel educated, too, in the parts that really tested me. I hope your curiosity about the mechanics of the ride is beyond satisfied. I hope that you will watch and enjoy this DVD over and over.
Through this Theme Parkology DVD… let’s travel off to Neverland together, for years and years to come. Normally, at his part, the Wannabe Disney Princess would ride off into the sunset with her prince and live happily ever after. But our story is not over! There’s so much more Theme Parkology fun to be had. Just like Peter Pan, we never really have to grow up and we are JUST GETTING STARTED!!
Come one everybody, here we goooo!! This whimsical documentary explores the history of the attraction and was written and narrated by the talented Krista Joy, intro music by James Presley, and animated title sequence by C. Andrew Nelson.
This will be a wonderful addition to your Theme Parkology collection.
**Theme Parkology is a fan publication not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. I am not compensated for my work on these 2 projects. I was gifted with a few copies of them Parkology presents The Dark Rid Series Peter Pan’s Flight in exchange for my review. This in now way influenced my opinion and all thoughts are my own.***
At Living the Dream Podcast, we know it’s not just about achieving your goals in the future – it’s also about enjoying your journey along the way! Our goal is be your number one source for all things related to living your DISNEY dreams and so much more… through creative experiences and inspiration. This just in! We are adding a new feature called “Disneyways Magical Spotlights ~ Disney Luminaries” with our ultimate goal being to bring you closer to each Disney celebrity – in the form of several magical layers and multi-media experiences. Through Living The Dream Podcast we will also bring you interviews with athletes, entrepreneurs, authors and other people of interest in the Disney community and beyond. We introduce you to awesome places to visit, keep you up to date on activities, and cover restaurant and food reviews. We offer tips, products, ideas and FUN to enhance your day! No matter where you are in life, there is definitely something for you here.
How it all began…
Back in July of 2015 Living The Dream Podcast was born! Originally it was launched the help of my good friend Joe Pardo. I will always be so grateful to Joe for his many hours of work and helping me get the show started. I could have never done it without him! We picked up the show again in 2016 with Jerry Cornell of ThemeParkology.com as co-host! The episodes with Jerry will be shared soon! You will always hear me, but, don’t be surprised if we pick up more guest co-hosts along the way. I love the variety that they offer.
I am so very proud to have the amazing Mike Brassell – voice of the Living With The Land and People Mover attractions at Walt Disney World – introduce every episode of Living the Dream Podcast.
Podcasting has been on my list of things to do since I began blogging here at Disneyways, because it fits in to our missionand goal to bring you Disney magic where ever you are! I can’t begin to tell you how thankful I am for this wonderful opportunity. I truly love being a part of the many different facets in front of the mic, and behind the scenes. The show has been very successful and has a large audience, but if you aren’t yet listening in – we need YOU!
Thank you so much for the support you have already shown me in this endeavor. Disneyways readers and subscribers are AWESOME and I appreciate you all more than you will ever know.
Have a magical day!!
PS Do you want to be a part of Living The Dream Podcast? We are looking for individuals and businesses who offer only the BEST products and services! Please let us know if you (or someone you know!) is interested in sponsoring a future event, giveaways, or even future episodes!
He spent almost 40 years with the company, starting as a ticket-taker on the Jungle Cruise in 1955 and ending his career as Vice President of the Magic Kingdom in 1994. You can get his book and learn all about him in detail, by clicking below on our affiliate link.
My first selfie with Disney Legend Bill “Sully” Sullivan taken in 2014
After studying architecture in the 1950s, Sully actually got his first job in the aircraft industry. But then, after tuning in to ABC’s live broadcast of Disneyland’s opening and dedication, he made a decision that would change his life forever.
On Sunday, July 17, 1955, William “Sully” Sullivan was tuned in to ABC-TV. “I watched the opening ceremonies for Disneyland. The following Saturday I went down and applied for a job. “Monday I quit Northrop Aircraft, and Tuesday I reported to work as a ticket-taker at the Jungle Cruise.” Sully was just 19 years old at the time.
As he worked at the Jungle Cruise for nearly three years, Bill earned the title of “jungle bunny”—an unofficial name given to the attraction’s hosts in the ’50s. This experience gave him the opportunity to move around the park, rising through the ranks of park operations and supervising various attractions.
In fact, Bill helped pull off some of the most historic events in Disney history. Bill soon earned a place on the opening team for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games in Squaw Valley, for which Walt Disney served as chairman of pageantry.
What did Bill think of the man, Walt Disney?
“Walt was a really warm individual,” Sully remembered fondly. “He had a great sense of humor, and he loved people. He was an executive, but not what you perceive as an ‘executive.’ He was a real team guy.”
A few years later, he became assistant manager for the groundbreaking Disney attractions at the 1964–65 New York World’s Fair and eventually helped with several famous Disney film premieres. Examples include the premiers for Mary Poppins at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (1964) and The Happiest Millionaire at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre (1967).
Sully also helped develop the world’s largest private construction project – two times! But first, he moved to Orlando in 1969. From here, the construction plans began for the park’s opening day in 1971. Sully spent several years assisting with the preparation and opening of Walt Disney World, which was the world’s largest private construction effort until the development of EPCOT Center a decade later. For Epcot, Sully coordinated operational design input and installation of owner-furnished equipment as as director of PICO (Project Installation and Coordination Office) and, after Epcot opened in 1982, he served as director of park operations. The two largest construction projects in the world, and Sully was there…preparing, coordinating, and assisting with it all!
But Sully wasn’t finished yet. In 1987, still working hard and growing his career, next up he would be named vice president of the Magic Kingdom, and was responsible for operation of the Park. It was a long list of operations including attractions, merchandising, transportation, entertainment, ticket sales, guest relations, costuming, foods, custodial, maintenance, planned work, and even horticulture.
Sully’s contributions have earned him two tributes on Main Street, U.S.A.! He’s got a window on both coasts. One for Disney World and one for Disneyland! In Orlando at Magic Kingdom Park, look for the one that lists him as a charter member of the “Windermere Fraternal Hall.” Bill actually served as Vice President of the Magic Kingdom from 1987 until 1993, during which he oversaw the openings of experiences from Delta Dreamflight and Magic Journeys to Mickey’s Birthdayland and Splash Mountain. In Disneyland, you will find a window on Main Street listing him as Chief Guide of “Sully’s Safaris & Guide Service” (a reference to his first role at Disneyland.)
Sully retired in 1993 after 38 years with Disney, and without a single regret. “If I had to do it all over,” he said, “I’d do it all again tomorrow.” He would be named a Disney Legend in 2005.
New Series! Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries
These blog posts will be just one aspect of “Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries” with our ultimate goal being to bring you closer to each Disney celebrity – in the form of several magical layers and multi-media experiences. In the sea of Disney fan media out there – my vision is to bring you an experience you won’t get any place else.
You might be asking yourself – how is this even possible?
Well, many of our spotlighted luminaries are in the business of making dreams come true. Many have been doing it for decades. And then … there’s me. Disneyways treasures you won’t find any place else. I will be adding my own special Krista Joy “magic” to each magical spotlight feature.
I will have the goal in mind of helping you to feel like you know each luminary personally – through the multiple magical layers we will bring you. It is critical for Disney fans to be aware of these amazing people and learn more about them, because they contribute so much to the Disney magic that we enjoy today. The stories of who they are and why – are just fascinating – and that’s an added bonus!
Other magical spotlight layers on these famous Disney Legends, authors, voices and more (many I call friends of mine) will include:
Personal Audio Interviews (on air with Krista) for our global online radio show “Living The Dream Podcast” with syndication on other broadcasts coming soon….
and even LIVE EVENTS.
Sometimes it will be events that I am hosting, sometimes it will be news on events you and I may both attend as guests. I want you to meet the luminaries in person so you can start your own “Wall of Fame.” There’s even talk of cruises, musical concerts and more. I hope you can join me for it all, but even when things don’t fit in your schedule to be there in person, I will offer you live coverage whenever possible, so it feels like you are right there. Let the “Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries” series begin…and in the words of Walt Disney may “all who come to this happy place… welcome.”
It was my thrill and honor to be invited to the media preview of Live Action Lion King July 10, 2019 – before it was released to the public 9 days later.
Regarding this version of Disney’s Lion King it is officially stated like this:
“Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way.”
Well, you might be wondering, like I was, how it could possibly stack up to the original. Is it possible they could improve this masterpiece? I mentioned before that I have very personal and very loving feelings about this movie that started all the way back in 1994.
Surprisingly, I found some things that I never expected (in spite of the story not really changing much!) even with the 25 year time difference in film release dates. You might be inspired to make your own list of shocking revelations!
Before we get to my list of surprises, I want to share a little about the day I saw this movie. I started practicing my best lion cub roar.
Practicing my best lion cub rawr…
After all, my maiden name is Rohrer. I lost count of how many times I said, “It’s pronounced ROAR..like a lion!” It’s no surprise that I should be pretty good at the Rohrer’s roar by now. Practicing was still fun. I contacted my friend Beatrice to join me for the viewing of this film, and our big day finally came. We both put on our favorite safari shirts and makeup for the occasion. We were definitely “feeling the love tonight” for Live Action Lion King!
OK OK OK – let me stop here for one second. We know it’s not really “Live Action.” No lions or baby ostriches or baby warthogs (OH MY!! More on those later!!) were harmed in the making of this film. But for the sake of this article, we will use the term “Live Action” Lion King to represent the version coming to theaters July 19th 2019. “Live Action Lion King” is easier to say than “Lion King…the photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name.”
Now let’s get to those 5 surprises.
Surprise #1: Mufasa at first glance – caused an audible “WOW!”
You may have already seen him – in the previews – or maybe in photos – like the one below.
So had I.
I didn’t think much of it at the time. When you are sitting in the darkened theater and the film begins, everything seems different. I don’t know if it was the build up, maybe the music, or the herds of exotic animals on the big screen? But, you are going to see Mufasa’s valiant face pretty early in this film, and when you do….it just might make you turn to the person next to you and say an audible
Because that is what it did to us!!
Mufasa is gorgeous, regal, and stunning. You can see his wise eyes up-close. Watch his fur and mane blowing gently in the soft wind. The detail is astonishing. As my eyes gazed upon him in that moment …things got serious. I started thinking about the majesty of God and His beautiful creatures that are roaming this earth. For just a little while, I tried to grasp the thought of beautiful and exotic animals in the thousands or millions, so very far from my home, on a giant continent like Africa. God made each and every creature and I believe God cares for each one. I know God cares for me too, even as I sit in my small world, and look at my computer screen to write this for you. He cares for you – as you are reading it! If you believe the Bible then you know that God given us dominion over these beautiful creatures. Just imagine that! God is everywhere. Beautiful, majestic lions are such a small part of what God has created… and when you see Mufasa on the big screen… Mufasa almost leaves you breathless!!
Surprise #2: Rafiki is the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock
The average life expectancy of a Mandrill (Rafiki is not a baboon, he’s a Mandrill) in captivity is 46 years. Who knew?? Well, Rafiki doesn’t even live in captivity, and he has to be at least 100 years old. I think this means Simba’s Kingdom, and Pride Rock, have been very good to him. He is such an amazing character and he holds up beautifully in live action. Have you noticed Rafiki never seems to age throughout the Lion King franchise? He’s portrayed as a wise old man as far back as 25 years ago in the original film, yet he remains spry and active for years and years. There is a beautiful scene in Live Action Lion King where Rafiki gets Simba to follow him through the dark jungle. Rafiki has no problem with his physical fitness, and let me tell you, he can really swing! In fact, young Simba loses Rafiki a couple of times in that scene – and has some trouble keeping up. Rafiki inspires me to keep my joy and remain forever young! I’d bet he’s a great dancer, too. Maybe he could host his own version of Pride Rock Bandstand or even a New Year’s (Pride Rock)in’ Eve. Yep, I am pretty sure that makes Rafiki the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock.
Surprise #3: The Baby Animal Cuteness Factor is OFF THE CHARTS
Something for old and young here. During the big opening song, if you look closely, you will see little speckled baby ostriches running around. They look something like this.
I thought those little chicks just might be the cutest babies I’d ever seen until……later on … during Hakuna Matata. Pumbaa sings about how he was a young warthog. AND THEY SHOW HIM…oh my goodness. The realistic imaging on the big screen was almost too much to handle.
While Simba sings “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” you will need to brace yourself for more baby animals of all kinds!! Grouping together, walking together, frolicking in pairs… SO much baby animal super cuteness all in one place! Off the charts adorable. I don’t remember this many cute babies in the first Lion King. They surprised the heck out of me!
Surprise #4: “Be Our Guest” (the song!) makes an appearance
I don’t want to give too much away here because I loved the way they put this in the movie. I think you might enjoy it too!
Surprise #5: There Are Two NEW Songs
I was surprised to learn there are 2 new songs in this movie! One from Elton John and one from Beyonce.
I noticed a portion of Beyonce’s “Spirit” during the film. I recognized her singing voice right away. On a side note, it’s cool hearing Beyonce voice Nala’s speaking voice, as well.
I think you have to stick around for the end credits so you can hear “Never Too Late” by Elton John. I don’t recall hearing any portion this during the film, but maybe I missed it. Surprise!
A bonus surprise for me was how I sat through the whole film comparing it shot for shot (in my head) with the original. Apparently I am not the only one that thinks this way. I found a little video that gives you a side by side comparison of a few scenes. The video is a minute and a half long. I have put a link to it HERE.
In closing, the story we think we know so well just might have some surprises in store for you too! If you love the original film and you want to admire exotic wild animals up close on the big screen, go see Live Action Lion King! I enjoyed it very much, and it made for a fun afternoon of spending time with my friend Beatrice. Here are some links so you can follow the official accounts for more fun!
**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on July 10, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**
We all know Simba just can’t wait to be king! But apparently he is looking forward to our movie review, as well!
Today is July 7th 2019, and my oldest son is turning 25 today! The Lion King movie always makes me think of my son Bradley because the original animated film came out just about 2 weeks before he was born.
Today felt like the perfect day to announce that I am delighted and honored to have been invited for the media preview for Disney’s The Lion King!Yep, Disney is bringing the “live action” Lion King to you in theaters July 18th – but you’ll be able to read our full review here at Disneyways.com on July 11th! Even if it’s not your birthday, it’s a little like getting an early birthday present from Disneyways to you. Remember to check it out!!! And as Mufasa says,