Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Day With Walt Disney

My Day With Walt Disney
(Part 1 of 2)
  September 16, 2015

Jeff Dixon is a "Disney Author", a GREAT storyteller and my friend. He has written three books; "The Key To The Kingdom", “Storming The Kingdom” and "Unlocking The Kingdom".
I turned the page and then my mind drifted……  It must be true. There it was, right on page 258 in Jeff Dixon's Book "The Key To The Kingdom". "Grayson Hawkes stood in front of the "Cryonic Suspension Cylinder". Dr. James Bedford was the first to be "Suspended" in 1965, and so the urban legend goes that Walt Disney desired to have his body frozen. "
"Yes Hawk, you have the key to the lock on the chamber and the "Kingdom". This is the key that unlocks the rest of the "Kingdom". Would Hawk place the key into to lock and bring Walt back to life? You will have to read the book to find out.
 As I finished Jeff's first book, I asked myself the question: "If Walt Disney came back today, where would I take him in Walt Disney World", to show him how his dream has continued for the past 60 years.

 June, 1959
Nice start to a summer job. Chuck Corson, told us, “Boys, if you can climb it, the job is yours.”   Dick Erb and Chuck Wilks were on their break in the hidden room at the top of the structure.
(Photo credit : by Paul F. Anderson : Disney History Institute

They were talking about their next climb when the door opened and in walked "Yensid". "Mornin boys" he said. He seemed very focused on heading down the hall and then quickly disappeared into the elevator. Under his arm was a box labeled "2021-VR" (Virtual Reality)
"That was strange", said Dick. "There are only 9 of us that know about this break room and the elevator."

What Dick and Chuck did not know, was that the contents of the box included secret development tools and future technologies the "Imagineers" were developing for 2021, the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
6:32: May 22, 2014
Walt Disney placed his "Magic Glass Headset" on his head and said "Glass on." A map of the Walt Disney World Property displayed on his screen. The time travel was quick but always takes his breath away each time he does it. Under his arm was a box labeled "2014-VR".

This was his first trip to Walt Disney World and he needed to store the contents of the box in "Walt's Vault". He disembarked the monorail and headed to the MagicKingdomPark. As he entered the park he placed his "D23 Headband" on and passed through the secure "Optical Turnstiles" He turned right at the hub and headed to "TomorrowLand". The park would not open for another 30 minutes so he had time to store the contents of the "2014-VR" box inside SpaceMountain, sphere #1975-11. He removed 4 items from the box and placed them in his coat pocket.

A Model B-201 Audio-annimatronics was at the door marked AB-1975. Walt presented his "Century Magic Pass" as the B-201 did a retina scan and then the door opened. Walt said, “As Built-1975” and the blueprints displayed on his virtual display. He turned right and then up the stairs heading to sphere #1975-11.
(Photo courtesy of Howie DiBlasi – Inside Space Mountain-Lights ON)

He placed the contents of the box in the cylinder, secured the time lock and cod, thne headed out of the park and back to the Monorail station.

Next stop : Disney's Contemporary Resort.
7:00 AM: May 22, 2014

I meet Walt Disney at Disney's Contemporary Resort. My goal today is to share with Walt, places at Walt Disney World that would emphasize:
Family Fun; Children being happy; Storytelling; Characters; Evolving Technology; Community; Cast Members; True Life Adventures; Park Benches; Dining and Imagineers.

As we board the Monorail, I notice a twinkle in his eye, while he observes excited families that are heading to the "MagicKingdom". The monorail passes the Polynesian Resort and he smiles. As we round the next bend, he grabs his "Smart Phone" and takes a photo of Disney's "Grand Floridian Resort" and winks at me.

We exit the Monorail at the MagicKingdom and head to the entrance. He displays his "CenturyMagicPass" and we walk down "Main Street". As we walk towards the "CrystalPalace" for breakfast, he stops and sits down on a bench. "When I was growing up some of my favorite memories as a boy were in "Marceline Missouri." Thirty minuets later..."Let's get some breakfast."

Walt had a "ADR" (Advanced Dining Reservation) for 8:05 and the cast member guided us towards our table. The characters had just started the “friendship parade” around the tables and then I noticed the line with kids and characters changed direction towards our table. As Walt stood and watched, every character and child gave Walt a "High FIVE' as they passed. At this point I lost it. I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to march around and be friends with Winnie The Pooh, Tiger and Walt Disney?! As a tear rolled down my face, I realized the day had just started.

 TY to for the photo

 8:07 AM: May 22, 2014
As we walked towards the "Walt Disney World Railroad, Train Station", Walt located a park bench and sat down. Forty-five minutes later, I had a history lesson from Walt on his love for trains.

 TY for the photo credit to:
 We headed towards the "Lilly Belle" train and Walt stops to visit with the Disney engineer. As if by magic, Walt Called out "All aboard". As the train headed toward the "New Fantasyland ", I notice Walt's ear to ear grin.
Stepping off the train, Walt picked up a scrap piece of paper on the ground and placed it in a trash can. (Old habits never pass).

 Walt reached into one of his pockets and then handed me a new device that the "Imagineers" had just developed called "Magic Glass" and taught me how to wear them and adjust them.

He then placed his headset on and said "Display New Fantasyland". A map appeared in front of me as a "Hologram". It was so real, I reached out to touch it and did not realize it was interactive. I had touched the "Icon" of the New "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" attraction". Walt said, "Concept art" and in front of us was the concept art for the attraction. As Walt called out, "Imagineers, Interactive Queue, Storyboard, Pitch, Costs, Engineering, Audio-Animatronics, they appeared as 3-D Holograms. I did not realize I had stopped dead in my tracks. There were 14 people all staring at me.

Walt said "Wait time- "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train"?". We started walking and in the next 4 minutes we were at the entrance. Walt whispered something to the "Lead Cast Member", Denise. We were directed to the front of the queue and loaded into a Mine-Train car. As we waited, I asked Walt what he whispered to the cast member.

He said, "Arrow Development".

Most guests do not know that Arrow is the company that Walt used to design the first tubular coaster at Disneyland called the "Matterhorn". There are 7 secret code words that cast members must remember for special guests. They learn them in the "Traditions Class" whereas new cast members they are taught the heritage that they are stepping into.

WATCH For PART 2 on September 30 -2015

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