Creating Magic – Who Inspires You?

3/8/13 12:00 PM PST – The contest portion of this blog post has now ended. The winner will be announced once he or she has been notified and has responded.


3/8/13 12:16 PM PST – Congratulations, Melanie! You have won the drawing and your choice of DVD or Book! Thanks for entering, everybody! Looking forward to another giveaway in the future!


Hello, dear readers and fellow DisNerds! Today’s blog post will be a little different, as instead of focusing on any “Limited Time Magic” promotion within Disney Parks, I’m turning the table to discuss the magic that lasts longer, and open up the conversation with all of you.

More often than not, when looking at the Limited Time Magic events, the ones that appeal to me the most are tied into company history; to those magical moments that resonate and inspire me. From the history of The Golden Horseshoe and Wally Boag to Disney movies that teach positive lessons about love, there’s so much to be celebrated regarding those who created the magic.

Of course, Walt is the first person that comes to mind as far as someone who truly inspires in the Disney universe. The man, his vision, work ethic and stubborness created an amazing world with a mix of fantasy and reality that have been unmatched.

And for that, I thank him.

But he’s not the only one. The Sherman Brothers, Robert and Richard are a huge personal influence, and a huge reason I love the music of Disney. The animators and songwriters behind the 80’s and 90’s resurgence of Disney animation brought Disney to the forefront in a time when animation was not looked upon favorably, and for that I am eternally thankful. Imagineers have done amazing things at Disney Parks worldwide and continue to truly create the magic. John Lasseter and the team from Pixar have brought amazing storytelling to the forefront, managing to make us laugh one minute and reach for the tissues to dry our eyes the next. If that’s not a definition of making magic, I don’t know what is.

A little closer and more personally to me, there are people in my life who have inspired me in my love for Disney as well. My wife, my fellow Disney fan, for her continuous support. My daughter, whose enthusiasm for Disney is unmatched, perhaps even by me. My friends who have encouraged me and shown me that I’m not the only DisNerd out there.

Then, there’s you, the readers and followers of this blog. The fact that you follow me here as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest…well, that means the world to me. It keeps me writing, to share my love of magic. I thank you all for reading, and it means the world to me.  Therefore, I’m going to throw a little bit of my own “Limited Time Magic” out there. As a thanks for those follows, which have hit 200+ followers on Facebook and 100+ followers on Twitter, I’ve got a little giveaway planned for one lucky reader (Sorry, immediate family of mine. You’re not eligible).

What do you have to do to enter? Simply reply to this entry in the comments section with your answer to the following question:

Who inspires you when it comes to Disney and creating magic?

The answer is all yours. It can be a celebrity, imagineer, friend or family member. I’d just love to see your answers.

From all of the responses posted on this blog between now and 12:00 PM PST on Friday, March 8th 2013, I will choose one random winner (For an explanation on the random choosing process, please check the explanation on my previous giveaway here). The winner gets to choose ONE prize from the list of the following pieces of media:

Waking Sleeping Beauty DVD

The Boys: The Sherman Brothers DVD

Walt & El Groupo DVD

Frank & Ollie DVD

Walt: An American Original book by Bob Thomas

Designing Disney book by John Hench

The Vault of Walt (Revised) book by Jim Korkis

Who’s Afraid Of Song Of the South book by Jim Korkis

Quite a few choices, as you can see, but all books or DVDs I personally recommend that show or tell about the people, many times behind the scenes, creating the magic. You win the drawing, you get to pick your choice!

I look forward to reading your responses as to who inspires your Disney magic!

33 thoughts on “Creating Magic – Who Inspires You?

  1. Wow…it’s a hard choice. I’d have to say my 5 and 3 year old boys inspire me. I’ve always had a love for Disney, but seeing and experiencing Disneyland, Disney movies and cartoons through their eyes gave me an entirely new love for Disney.

    We all look forward to new Disney movies and our next Disneyland adventure. I love their excitement, and how they truly believe in the magic of it all. I love that they think the Parana’s are real in the Jungle Cruise, and how they jump at Frank on Radiator Springs Racers and wonder where he lives. I love that they love movies like Wall-E, where they understand that he is like a human and that makes them love Wall-E and Eve even more. I love creating wonderful memories with them while experiencing anything Disney. I hope when they grow old, it will be memories they will treasure. And I love that the boys make me look at the world in a more fun and whimsical way. It reminds me of Walt and his childlike zest for life and imagining great and wonderful new adventures.

  2. Glad that your wife is a Disney fan as well! I hope that whoever my future wife is will be obsessed with Disney as I am!

    In terms of mentioning who inspires me in Disney (besides Disney himself and the Sherman Brothers), I’ll have to mention all the Disney animators of the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance was the time of vastly improved Disney quality movies from what they were bringing out in the late ’70s and ’80s. And as such, the stories were better, the songs were better, the reactions were better, the reception was better, and above all, the animation was better.

    The animation during this time is arguably Disney’s best, maybe even better than the ones from Walt’s Golden Age himself! Whenever I see the CAPS technology used in “Beauty and the Beast” or “The Rescuers Down Under” or whenever I see the detailed in-depth coloring and backgrounds of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, or the carefully crafted song sequences of “The Lion King”, or the Deep Canvas technology of “Tarzan”; it all just makes me feel amazing inside, loving Disney, and have a dream to be an animator or at least connected with Disney animation.

    And that’s why I choose the animators of the Renaissance as my inspirations!

    • Great answer – I agree with how brilliant the animation had become during that era. I do still think, however, that considering the time period and how fresh and eager animators were. Pinocchio remains one of the most amazing completely hand-drawn pieces of animation ever!

      Thanks for your answer! You’ve been entered into the drawing!

  3. So many people inspire me with respect to the Disney magic. I love watching frontline Cast Members interact with guests and bring smiles to their faces. Seeing a child’s eyes widen in awe at their first view down Main Street. Even the artists whose job it is to design a character, or a ride, or a location, or a scene in a film. Those initial sketches have to convey so much emotion and feeling and that magic with very little. I tend to find the most magic in the littlest moments.

    • Great answer. And you’re right on with the Cast Member interactions at the parks – it’s amazing to watch them make people’s day!

      Thanks for your answer, Adam. You’re entered into the drawing!

  4. For me the main one is Ward Kimball. He was a feverish genius with an incredible streak of madness and good humour. His film work would be enough in itself, whether we’re talking about his character designs for Jiminy Cricket and everybody in Alice in Wonderland, or the insanity of sequences like the Three Caballeros number, or the curious antiquarianism and experimentalism of the Man in Space trilogy or his short features. But on top of that he led the Firehouse Five Plus Two AND had his own backyard narrow gauge railway. His creative output is astonishing and he’s the sort of person I’m pretty sure I would have gotten along with really well if we ever had the privilege of meeting. Seeing his work pushes me harder to do what I do.

    • I’m sad to say I spent too much of my life thinking of Ward just as “the man with the funny glasses.” The more I see, hear and read (Disney Record reference there) of him, the more I’m convinced he was one of the few true Renaissance men. Admire the heck out of him.

      Thanks for your answer, Cory! You’re entered into the drawing!

  5. I have many different inspirations in each area of my life. So many of my teachers during school have inspired me to follow in their footsteps and pass on that love of learning to others. In my personal life, my son inspires me to be a more patient person and a better mother every single day. He deserves nothing but the absolute best, and I strive to supply that to him all I can. So many of the men you mention in the realm of Disney inspire me as well. Their passion, imagination, creativity, and willingness to go beyond and accept nothing but the best is something I hope for myself and my kiddo, as well. That history is a large part of what creates the magic of Disney for me.

    • Agreed that the legacy left is such a huge part of Disney inspiration. And much of that ethic does carry on to the rest of life outside of the Disney realm as well!

      Thanks, Rachele! YOu’re entered into the drawing!

  6. So many to choose from….. Walt, the Sherman Brothers, Mary Blair, the Disneyland cast members (who help keep the dream real), John Lasseter and more.

    I think my ultimate inspiration is my aunt, who first introduced me to Mickey Mouse, as a very young child and later the idea of one day traveling to Disneyland. She had a love of Disneyland (from what she had seen on TV ) and never got to see it in person, but always told me that if I worked hard and I really wanted it, I would get there. Now whenever I walk through the gates, I take a deep breath and have two thoughts – 1) I’m here, Aunty Des and 2) Aaah, I’m here! (All is right with the world).

    Lastly, my Disney friends who agree that’s its normal to love all that is Disney and don’t roll their eyes when I say I’m going on another trip to Disneyland.

    Great question Craig, it’s interesting to see what everyone writes!

    • I love that you mention your Aunt. I never realized it until recently, but I really seem to have inherited a lot of my love of the parks from my dad.

      Great response, Kerry! You are entered!

  7. I would have to say my brother. He always brought out the kid in me. He was the one person who you could watch and see he was taking it all in. He would egg me on (as a grown man) to ride the one ride that made my stomach churn. The Tea Cups. Did I do it? Yes. I did it for him. What happened? We both literally almost lost our cookies. I have never felt more sick in my life rising a ride. But, it was worth it for the sake of those few minutes of magic. The laughter dancing in the air. I was never able to coax him into riding Screamin’. But, when it came to riding Big Thunder, he was on board (pardon the pun) everytime. Every second with him was like being 5 all over again in the parks. Now, every time I go. I can’t help but feel guilty in being there. Which sounds ridiculous. But, he was my Disneyland buddy. It almost seems wrong being there without him. However, the joy begins to exude the second I’m on the Haunted Mansion. Because I feel like I’m actually sharing it with him. Deep down, I know I am.

  8. Too many choices so I am going with a character. I am inspired by Woody. He is loyal and a true friend. His attitude is always positive and he always wants to have fun in life.

  9. I try to be touched and inspired by everyone around me, as everyone has something different to offer. If I had to choose just a few, my kids would be at the top of a great big list. They inspire me to do more, be better, try new things, and not give up!

      • I’m honestly surprised that more people haven’t said Walt! Not that the other people and reasons aren’t good, I’m just surprised there weren’t more “Walt people.” Great answer – of course, he inspires me still as well!

        You’re entered, Melaine – thank you for reading!

  10. I am inspired by Walt Disney and his vision of Progress City and EPCOT (The REAL EPCOT) as a center of a community. His powerful idea would have transformed society and the way we live…

  11. Having worked at Disneyland, what inspired me was all my fellow Cast Members who came from diverse backgrounds and ages but all worked together towards common goals and strived to give guests memories that they have still to this day.

    • James, great solid answers. Never having worked at a park, yet for the DIsney Store, I can attest to the level of teamwork. And yes, to look at what Walt envisioned as a true Tomorrowland…wouldn’t that be wonderful?

      Thanks, James – you are entered to the drawing!

    • There are many who inspire indeed – having just returned from a trip there were quite a few inspiring cast members that helped make it magical!

      Thanks, Lego606 – you are entered to the drawing!

  12. Who inspires me? Well first and foremost, Jesus! He inspires me to love others and to share his heart with others. Second, my daddy. He is an amazing man who inspires me to take any challenge and run with it. Third, Walt. He inspires me to follow my dreams and chase them. 🙂

    • All very inspiring! I have to say, with Walt listed as a life AND Disney inspiration, the more I think of the man’s visions that never got realized fully, the more inspiring he becomes to me!

      Thanks, DeeMagicGurl – you are entered into the drawing!

  13. So I know that the contest is over. But I do want to say that as far as the Disney universe goes, Ward Kimball is the one who inspires me. I just wrote an article about him, but to sum it up. I really like how zany and cartoony his artwork was, but it still held and air of sincerity to it. I wish I could be as good as an artist as he was.

    • I read recently about the issues with getting his biography published. This is one of the instances where I will completely disagree with Disney and say straight out that it needs to let this one go and stop blocking it from being made. I for one want to learn more about the man!

      Thanks for replying, Kenzie, and I’ll just say, keep your eyes out for more contests in the future!

      • I couldn’t agree more! I was super excited for that biography. I love Disney movies, but Disney the Corporation bothers me. They’re trying to keep their artists in a mythological state, and almost own them like they own their characters.

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