Imagineer Podcast
Mary Blair (Interview with Niece, Maggie Richardson)

Mary Blair (Interview with Niece, Maggie Richardson)

January 16, 2021

Mary Blair is an iconic Walt Disney Imagineer and Disney Animator, a prolific artist, and a celebrated fashionista. Starting at Disney in 1940, Mary worked on iconic films like Cinderella, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. She also created the unique look of "it's a small world" for the 1964 World's Fair in New York (later moved to Disneyland) and designed the Grand Canyon Concourse mural at Disney's Contemporary Resort among many other pieces of fine art. Famous for her blending of unique color combinations, Mary's modern style redefined Disney's artistic approach, influenced fashion, and impacted pop culture. A force to be reckoned with, Mary is certainly a legend in the world of Disney.

Since Mary has unfortunately passed, in this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Mary's niece, Maggie, about her aunt's life and career. Be sure to check out Maggie's website dedicated to Mary Blair's life, https://magicofmaryblair.com.

Which of Mary's many pieces is your favorite? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Enjoy the show!

Best Meals at Walt Disney World with Lou Mongello

Best Meals at Walt Disney World with Lou Mongello

January 2, 2021

Lou Mongello has set the gold standard for Disney podcasts. He is not only a podcast host but also an author, entrepreneur, speaker, and lifelong Disney fan. His wildly popular show, WDW Radio, is not only well-known in the Disney community but has also been named the Best Travel Podcast for 9 consecutive years. Lou’s audio tours, Walt Disney World Trivia Book, 102 Ways to Save Money for and at Walt Disney World Book, and his newest book, “The Disney Interviews Volume 1”, will delight and educate any Disney fan, whether you’re new to the Disney community or a lifelong fanatic. His mentorship and consulting opportunities through LouMongello.com, including his Momentum Weekend Workshop and Retreat in Walt Disney World, will help anybody turn what you love into what you do. Perhaps most moving of all, Lou’s Dream Team Project, has helped to raise more than $350,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. Lou’s mantra to “Choose the Good” is one that he seems to exemplify through his own work.

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Lou about his podcast and his new book. We then spend most of the episode talking about something we both love: food at Walt Disney World. In particular, we count down our top 10 favorite meals at Walt Disney World, including options you can find at Disney Springs, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and a few Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

Be sure to follow Lou on Social Media, download his podcast, and check out his new book:

What's your favorite meal at Walt Disney World? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Enjoy the show!

Brian Collins (Walt Disney Imagineer, Show Writer)

Brian Collins (Walt Disney Imagineer, Show Writer)

December 26, 2020

"As a former Walt Disney Imagineer, Brian helped create the magic for some of the world’s most beloved  attractions. At other times in his career, he has produced work for a who’s-who list of corporations, as well as small entrepreneurial ventures. A passionate educator, Brian has served on the faculty of several schools. His deep understanding of new and emerging technologies and, most importantly, how they apply to business, has  helped fuel his unique career. Given that, a “normal” day for Brian might include exploring augmented reality,  synthetic environments, blockchain, or some other exotic “sci-fi” tech that’s out there…or on the way.  

Now, as a sought-after Innovation Consultant through his practice known as The Brainstorm Institute, he  combines his design-thinking skills with a strategic business acumen. In addition, Brian formed  WDWithMe.com to further leverage his background as a Disney Imagineer and writes a monthly column for  WDW Magazine. An accomplished speaker, Brian is often interviewed on podcasts and asked to deliver  keynote addresses, lectures and workshops or other corporate presentations.  

Brian earned his Master’s degree in Marketing from Webster University where he was a Distinguished  Graduate. His Bachelor’s degree was awarded by Texas Tech University. He is also an officer in the United States Air Force Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol), active in his synagogue, and has served on the Boards of Directors for the Central Florida STEM Education Council, Forward Thinking Initiatives and the Central Florida Children’s Safety Village."

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Brian about his career at Walt Disney Imagineering and asking him questions from Imagineer Podcast listeners.

Be sure to connect with Brian online:

What other questions would you like to ask a Disney Imagineer? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

 

Enjoy the show!

Never Been Answered Questions (Volume 1): Star Wars and Marvel

Never Been Answered Questions (Volume 1): Star Wars and Marvel

December 12, 2020

In this round table episode, we'll answer some clever and challenging questions that merge the Star Wars and Marvel universes. For example, we'll kick things off by asking if a lightsaber could cut through Captain America's shield. With about a dozen questions to answer, we'll put our Star Wars and Marvel knowledge to the test, and I have the perfect group of friends to help me answer them all.

How would you answer the questions we presented in this episode? What other challenging questions would you add to this list? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Enjoy the show!

Disney Family Memories: Stories from the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland

Disney Family Memories: Stories from the 1964 World’s Fair, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland

November 28, 2020

Disney vacations in my family are a tradition, a legacy that began long before I was born. Since the time my parents were young children, they have been visiting Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and even the 1964 World's Fair. After I was born, my family continued the tradition of visiting the Disney Parks and Resorts, which inevitably led to my love for all things Disney, my decision to become a Disney Cast Member, and my efforts to start Imagineer Podcast in my post-Cast Member days.

In this episode, I gather around the [virtual] table with my Mom and Uncles to hear the Disney stories from their childhood and reminisce about our Disney adventures in modern times. My hope is you'll find these stories to be heartwarming and reflective of your own family traditions, whether those traditions involve Disney or not.

What are your Disney family traditions? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

 

Enjoy the show!

A Tribute to Disney Cast Members

A Tribute to Disney Cast Members

November 26, 2020

If you've been to any Disney Park or Resort, you know that Disney Cast Members are the ones who truly make the magic. From designing and building the places we know and love to operating and maintaining those Disney places on a daily basis, both on stage interacting with Guests and behind the scenes, Cast Members are the fuel that keeps the Disney magic alive. This year more than ever, I felt that the Disney Cast Members needed reminding of how much we love and cherish what they do for us every day. As a former Cast Member, my heart breaks for those who are no longer making magic and am hopeful that they will be able to return in 2021.

In this bonus episode, we honor Disney Cast Members through heartwarming stories submitted by listeners like you. We'll go through about a dozen of these stories as a way of thanking the wonderful Disney Cast.

What is your favorite Disney Cast Member memory (as a Cast Member or as a Guest)? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

 Enjoy the show!
Rolly Crump (Disney Legend, Imagineer, Animator)

Rolly Crump (Disney Legend, Imagineer, Animator)

November 14, 2020

Rolly Crump is a retired Walt Disney Imagineer, Disney Animator, and Disney Legend who began at The Walt Disney Studios in 1952. After working on classic films like Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, and Sleeping Beauty, Rolly was recruited by Walt Disney to join WED Enterprises (now called Walt Disney Imagineering). From 1959 until the early 1970's, Rolly worked on projects for the 1964 World's Fair (most notably "it's a small world" with Mary Blair), Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdom. Rolly left the company to work on some non-Disney projects and then returned to help support the development of Epcot. Rolly also has his own autobiography called "It's Kind of a Cute Story" and has recently been featured in The Imagineering Story on Disney+.

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Rolly about his life, career, and legacy.

Which of Rolly's many contributions to Disney do you admire the most? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Imagineer Society "Hero" Members:
  • Jesse Park
  • Jessica Brand

Enjoy the show!

ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter

ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter

October 31, 2020

The most terrifying attraction to ever be constructed at the Disney Parks, and perhaps the most controversial, was the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. Replacing Mission to Mars at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, Alien Encounter had a soft opening in December 1994 and officially opened in June 1995. For the next 8 years, Alien Encounter grew a cult following with many Disney fans, especially those who loved sci-fi horror, but its terrifying and violent sequences targeting a more mature audience was inevitably not the right fit for Tomorrowland. Inevitably, the attraction closed in 2003 and was replaced by Stitch's Great Escape, which in many ways was simply a [very] toned down, kid-friendly version of the attraction.

In today's episode we'll explore the history of Disney's Alien Encounter, including how George Lucas was brought to the table to consult on the project. We'll also discuss some of the details of the attraction for those who were not able to experience it, and I'll take you with me for a truly terrifying visit back to the Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center for this X-S Tech demonstration.

Were you able to experience Alien Encounter? Had this attraction been built in another park, do you think it would have surpassed its 8-year lifespan? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Imagineer Society "Hero" Members:
  • Jesse Park
  • Jessica Brand

Enjoy the show!

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

October 17, 2020

In 1964, Progressland debuted at the New York World's Fair. The original concept dated back to the 1950's, and new technologies allowed Walt and his Imagineers to finally bring the idea to life. Sponsored by General Electrical, Progressland (which later became known as the Carousel of Progress) was an instant hit and saw waits of around an hour at the fair despite an hourly ride capacity of 3,000 guests per hour. After the World's Fair, the attraction was moved to Disneyland, then to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. With only a handful of changes over the years, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress is one of the most historic attractions at the Disney Parks, reminding us that "there's a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day."

In this episode, we'll explore the detailed history of the Carousel of Progress. I'll also include a binaural audio recording so you can virtually experience the current version of the attraction.

What do you love most about Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

This episode is sponsored by WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World. I'm personally a subscriber and LOVE their content. If you love this show, I have a feeling you'll love WDW Magazine, too. Visit wdw-magazine.com/imagineerpodcast and use promo code IMAGINEER to save 10% on an annual digital subscription.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Imagineer Society "Hero" Members:
  • Jesse Park
  • Jessica Brand

Enjoy the show!

Blaine Gibson, Disney Legend, Animator and Imagineer (Interview with Son, Wes Gibson)

Blaine Gibson, Disney Legend, Animator and Imagineer (Interview with Son, Wes Gibson)

October 3, 2020

Blaine Gibson was a Disney Legend who worked both at the Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering (then known as WED Enterprises). As an animator, Blaine worked on classic projects that included Bambi, Fantasia, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Recognizing Blaine's remarkable talent for sculpting, Walt then asked Blaine to join WED Enterprises, where he worked on Disneyland, the 1964 World's Fair, Walt Disney World, and more. Blaine sculpted such iconic figures as Abraham Lincoln (Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln), the pirates from Pirates of the Caribbean, the family from Carousel of Progress, the ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, and many more. Blaine also supervised the sculpting of every U.S. President in the Hall of Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush (he acted as a consultant for Barack Obama before passing away in 2015). Perhaps his most visited work is the Partners statue, which is the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in the Hub, as well as the Sharing the Magic statue of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse in Town Square.

In this episode, I have the pleasure of chatting with Blaine's son, Wes, about his father's life, career, and legacy. Wes also shares some first-hand experiences about meeting Walt, experiencing Disneyland opening day, and witnessing his father's work behind the scenes.

Which of Blaine's many contributions to Disney do you admire the most? Send me your feedback via email or through direct or public message at any of the following and [with your permission] I'll include your message in a future show:

This episode is sponsored by WDW Magazine, the premier magazine focused on Walt Disney World. I'm personally a subscriber and LOVE their content. If you love this show, I have a feeling you'll love WDW Magazine, too. Visit wdw-magazine.com/imagineerpodcast and use promo code IMAGINEER to save 10% on an annual digital subscription.

Disney news and travel tips: Be sure to visit our Disney news partner, The Kingdom Insider:

Vacation Planning: Planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, or another Disney destination? Visit our trusted partner, Academy Travel: 

How to Support the Show

Special thanks to our Imagineer Society "Hero" Members:
  • Jesse Park
  • Jessica Brand

Enjoy the show!

Play this podcast on Podbean App