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2019 UnMeeting Keynote with Disney Legend Tony Baxter and Michael Broggie

Published September 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com

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.

More on Michael Broggie: Micheal has been featured in our series DISNEYWAYS MAGICAL SPOTLIGHTS: DISNEY LUMINARIES  You can read about him in great detail HERE!

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!

Follow Carolwood Society on facebook HERE.

Check out the event page on facebook HERE.

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 ~ Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries

Published September 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Michael Broggie ~ Disneyways Magical Spotlights: Disney Luminaries

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!!

Autotopia Prototype

 

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 HERE to 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.

Learn more about Michael Broggie’s passion on his website http://www.carolwood.com.

 

The Disney Parks Podcast Interviews Original Mouseketeer Lonnie Burr

Published April 9, 2014 by Disneyways.com

We are super excited to bring you The Disney Parks Podcast interview with Lonnie Burr – one of the original Mouseketeers from the Mickey Mouse Club TV show!

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Photo Credit
DisneyByMark.com

Lonnie Burr has had an amazing career, and he is not done yet! In addition to Uncle Walt, and Annette Funicello (see Lonnie’s photo with them above) Lonnie has worked with Julia Roberts, Robin Williams (in Hook!), Ginger Rogers, and one my personal favorites – Elvis Presley himself. With years of acting, singing and dancing to Lonnie’s credit – it is very likely you have seen him in many of your favorite TV shows, movies or plays. It has been a tremendous honor for me to get to know Lonnie over email and we are delighted that he has been one of our very special guests on the podcast. Check out Lonnie’s website HERE.

Lonnie’s book “The Accidental Mouseketeer” is now available from Theme Park Press – and you can buy your copy HERE!

lonnie

Want to win a FREE copy? Listen to Tony’s interview with Lonnie HERE – to hear the answer to this question:

During the podcast Lonnie mentioned a question Walt Disney asked him on one occasion, when they saw each other on the studio lot.

What was the question Walt asked Lonnie?

Hint: it is only 5 words.

Send us your answer to Disneyparkspodcast@gmail.com – by April 15th, 2014. We will draw one winner from all the correct answers to win a free printed copy of Lonnie’s new book!  The winner will notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond before we pick another winner.

Video Bonuses!

Check out this awesome video of Lonnie that was created in tribute to him for his 70th birthday!

Here is another fun one from way back in 1975 featuring Lonnie and several other original Mouseketeers!

Disney Parks Podcast Show #85 – An Interview With Jim Korkis Part 1

Published December 11, 2013 by Disneyways.com

I have listened to Jim Korkis speak on many of my favorite podcasts for years, and maybe you have too. I remember seeing Jim at an event at Disney – and just flipping out that I actually got to see him in person! Never in a million years did I dream I would one day be able to speak with him myself. Jim is someone that you can talk to for 5 minutes, and he makes you feel like you have been friends forever. When Jim and I first began communicating – I immediately began teasing and bragging to my friends that “Jim Korkis is my new BFF!”

I am nothing special though, I think he makes most everyone feel that way.

Many of us recognize Jim Korkis as an internationally respected Disney Historian who has written hundreds of articles about all things Disney for over three decades. He is also an award-winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and the author of several books. For those interested in reading more about Jim Korkis’ “Vault of Walt: Volume 2”, including an excerpt from the book, please click HERE.


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In the sequel to his best-selling Vault of Walt, Disney historian Jim Korkis returns to the Vault and brings back 28 more behind-the-scenes stories about Disney films, Disney parks, and Walt himself. We were VERY fortunate to get to interview Jim about his new book The Vault of Walt Volume 2! I have enjoyed this book so much and the podcast team and I wanted you to know more about why you need to buy this for your collection!! We are going to talk with Jim about Mickey Mouse’s birthday and some other fun stuff too. Jim is not afraid to give you the real story – and the whole story – so get ready for some GREAT information! Just a few of the of the highlights include:

  • Jim reveals how luxurious our podcast studio really is — complete with milkshake machine and foot massages! (HA!!)
  • What makes this volume of Vault of Walt different than the first
  • How you can help insure there is a Vault of Walt 3
  • What is Disneylandia?
  • Where can you see a model built by Walt himself inside Disney World?
  • How Walt’s housekeeper died a millionairess….

Here are some ways to tune in:

You can catch Jim’s episode by visiting DisneyParksPodcast.com directly from your computer. Look for the small grey circle with the sideways white triangle inside. Click on that circle and make sure your speakers are on. The show will begin immediately.

We are so very grateful to Jim for coming on the show! He was extremely generous with his time, and to our delight, this interview is only the first of two parts! Please head over to iTunes and subscribe so you can be one of the first people to hear Part 2!

Toys for Tots and Krista on the WDWNT Podcast

Published November 29, 2013 by Disneyways.com

WDWNTLivecharity2013WDWNewsToday.com is hosting a live podcast that will feature a drive for Toys for Tots begining at  8 p.m. eastern November 29th. Here you will have a chance to donate what you can to Toys for Tots through the FirstGiving fundraising page or in-person at the Theme Park Connection store. I am super excited to be  joining a team of 6 other hosts live on the show on Saturday November 30th from 5-7pm eastern. The entire broadcast will be streamed live on WDWNT.com by going directly to WDWNT.com/listen. WDWNTunes also streams through several mobile applications available at WDWNT.com/apps.WDWNT: The Radio Show is a live, weekly radio program on AM 1520 WBZW in Orlando that began airing in August 2013. The show can be listened to online at 1520WBZW.com

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More on the show, details and how to tune in were published by WDWNT – and here is what they had to say:

LISTEN
Join Us at 8 p.m. EST November 29th for Our Live 25 Hour Toys for Tots Drive
After an 8 month hiatus, the only late night Disney talk show, “See Ya’ Real Late” with Tom Corless, will return for one special episode on Friday November 29th at 11pm EST.
Game shows to be played during the event include WDWNT: The Match Game, Where in the World is Tom Corless?, and Disney Don’t Forget the Lyrics.
The WDW News Today Podcast will kick-off a new segment counting down the most important moments in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios contend down to the 25th anniversary of the park in May. You can be a part by voting for the 25 Biggest Moments in the History of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at this link.
The entire 25 hour broadcast will conclude on our newest program, WDW News Today: The Radio Show, on Saturday November 30th from 7-9PM. WDWNT: The Radio Show is a live, weekly radio program on AM 1520 WBZW in Orlando the began airing in August 2013. The show can be listened to online at 1520WBZW.com

Every year since 2008, WDW News Today has hosted a charity drive to raise money for the Toys for Tots Foundation. To date, we have raised over $11,000 for this amazing organization with donations through our website and those made during our annual WDWNT Live! program on Thanksgiving weekend. This year, we will be doing the same with the help of some new sponsors and partners, and we are asking you to be a part of this holiday tradition where we continue Walt Disney’s dream and try to make a difference in  the lives of those less fortunate.

Over 60 years ago, Walt Disney became one of the original sponsors of the Toys for Tots foundation, which ensures that every underprivileged child receives a toy during the holiday season. Walt and his animators personally designed the original Toys for Tots train logo that is still used today and the first poster created for Toys for Tots.

In this spirit, WDW News Today and our many friends and partners are putting on a 25-hour live broadcast this year to raise money for Toys for Tots. We hope you will join us beginning at 8PM ET on November 29, 2013 when the broadcast begins and will help us by making a donation to this great cause at toys.WDWNT.com.

We are proud to announce Theme Park Connection as the official sponsor of this year’s show and charity drive. As part of their sponsorship, they are accepting cash donations in-person at their store and providing prizes for all of the many games that will be played during the course of the live program. A portion of our 25-hour broadcast will also be conducted live from their store on Saturday, November 30th, from 9:00AM until 3:00PM EST. Theme Park Connection can be visited online at ThemeParkConnection.com or at their new store location at 2160 Premier Row in Orlando, Florida, near the Florida Mall.

The choice to do a 25-hour broadcast this year over 24 was not a coincidence. To commemorate the upcoming WDWCelebrations event “Studio 25″, we are matching every year of Disney’s Hollywood Studios with an hour of live broadcasting. Also, during the course of the show, registration will officially open for this fan event at WDWCelebrations.com.

During the course of the show, we will be presenting many of the shows, segments, and games for which we are known:

  • After an 8 month hiatus, the only late night Disney talk show, “See Ya’ Real Late” with Tom Corless, will return for one special episode on Friday November 29th at 11pm EST.
  • Game shows to be played during the event include WDWNT: The Match Game, Where in the World is Tom Corless?, and Disney Don’t Forget the Lyrics, and WDWNT: The Price is Right
  • The WDW News Today Podcast will kick-off a new segment counting down the most important moments in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios counting down to the 25th anniversary of the park in May. You can be a part by voting for the 25 Biggest Moments in the History of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at this link. The segment will take place at 9PM EST on Friday November 29th.
  • WDWNTunes’ Around the Hub (the show of competitive Disney banter) will also be part of the show, taking place from 6PM-7PM EST on Saturday, November 30th.
  • The entire 25 hour broadcast will conclude on our newest program, WDW News Today: The Radio Show, on Saturday November 30th from 7-9PM. WDWNT: The Radio Show is a live, weekly radio program on AM 1520 WBZW in Orlando the began airing in August 2013. The show can be listened to online at 1520WBZW.com

This entire broadcast will be streamed live on WDWNT.com, accessed by going to the WDWNTunes tab and clicking listen. You can also go directly toWDWNT.com/listen. As well, WDWNTunes streams through several mobile applications available at WDWNT.com/apps.

We hope you will join is for this fun show starting on November 29th at 8PM EST and will donate what you can to Toys for Tots through our FirstGiving fundraising page or in-person at the Theme Park Connection store.

 

On This Day in Disney History: November 21st

Published November 21, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Nov21

 

1929:
The following snippet appears in this day’s issue of The Film Daily
(a daily Hollywood publication):
Walt Disney, with his “Mickey Mouse” and “Silly Symphonies” series, is paving the way for
a bigger and better year. Grauman’s Chinese, Carthay Circle, Fox Palace, and Criterion
theaters have signed for the product. The Disney boys are making rapid headway with
their creations, adding new sound effects with each cartoon.

1942:
Mouseketeer Ronnie Steiner is born in Canada.
He joined the Mickey Mouse Club in the first season as a dancer.

1955:
The Mickey Mouse Club airs on ABC-TV. Today is Fun With Music Day. Musical numbers include Roy Williams dressed as the “boy at the dike” singing Roy at the Dike and Jimmie Dodd dressed as Tom Sawyer (along with a handful of the Mouseketeers) singing Painting Aunt Polly’s Fence.

2001:
Disney World unveils its holiday lights and decorations with The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights at Disney-MGM Studios.
(Arkansas businessman Jennings Osborne received worldwide attention when he first created the luminous light show for his daughter more than a decade ago.) The glowing bulbs light Residential Street, Washington Square and New York Street in merry holiday displays that include 170 flying angels, two 30-foot-tall carousels, illuminated trees, and 50 lighted Mickey Mouse figures.

Disney Parks Podcast – An Interview with Tinker Bell…

Published August 30, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Margaret Kerry

Recently the Disney Parks Podcast team was extremely fortunate to interview Margaret Kerry, the one and only reference model for Tinker Bell, in Walt Disney’s classic 1953 film Peter Pan. We hope you will listen in  as she shares what she really thought of meeting Walt Disney, what it was like to work with Marc Davis, Clyde “Gerry” Geronimi and even Marilyn Monroe.

MargaretKerryIP

Margaret was such a delight to talk to and I was truly humbled and honored to be a part of this experience of getting to speak with her.

As a reminder – to listen to the show – just click HERE to go to the DPP page.
Look for the small grey circle with the sideways white triangle inside. Click on that circle and make sure your speakers are on. The show will begin immediately.

By the way….did you know Margaret was also the voice of the red-headed mermaid in Peter Pan?

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