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WDW Radio # 752 – Top Ten Moments in Walt Disney Company History – Part 1

Have you ever wondered which pivotal moments shaped the Disney legacy? As we celebrate Disney 100, and the hundred years of magic from the Walt Disney Company, we are going to deep dive into into the top ten milestone moments that created a legacy of dreams and transformed the world of entertainment forever. Our journey will take us from first steps through triumphs, tribulations, and transitions, and from individual moments to monumental shifts. We’ll look at not only how they got us here, but their continuing impacts on the future, and the people that made the dreams a reality.  

We have a special episode in store for you as we dive into the rich tapestry of Disney history, exploring the Top Ten Milestone Moments that have shaped the legacy of the Walt Disney Company. From the visionary minds of Walt and Roy Disney to the financial challenges they faced and the strategic partnerships that propelled them forward, we’ll uncover the stories behind the magic. Additionally, we’ll discuss the significant impact of Walt Disney’s passing, the rebirth of the company under new leadership, and the immense success of landmark films like Cinderella and the birth of Disneyland. So grab your Mickey ears, sit back, and let’s embark on this journey through Disney’s storied past. It’s time to celebrate Disney 100 and the moments that have forever changed the world of entertainment.

Join host Lou Mongello and special guest Tim Foster as they embark on a magical journey through Disney’s milestone moments on episode 752 of WDW Radio. Delve into the rich history and iconic moments that have shaped the Walt Disney Company and transformed the world of entertainment.
In this episode, Lou Mongello and Tim Foster highlight the visionary minds of Walt and Roy Disney, praising their unparalleled innovation in creating Disneyland and pioneering television ventures. Discover the financial challenges they faced and the instrumental role of corporate partnerships in bringing their dreams to life.

Learn how Disney’s mutually beneficial partnerships turned Disneyland into a living advertisement, without ever feeling like one. From reducing financial burdens to expanding the company’s reach, these partnerships played a crucial role in Disney’s success saga.

The conversation also documents Walt Disney’s incredible resilience in the face of adversity, including losing the rights to his beloved character Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his animators. Discover how this setback led to the creation of Mickey Mouse, one of the most recognizable and beloved characters worldwide. Uncover the fascinating journey that ultimately laid the foundation for the Disney empire.

Lou Mongello reminisces about the Disney Renaissance in the 90s, the revitalization spearheaded by Michael Eisner and Frank Wells. Together, they oversaw the expansion of Disney, introducing Epcot, the Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios), and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Explore the impact of iconic films like “Beauty and the Beast” becoming the first animated picture to be nominated for Best Picture. Witness how Disney overcame near-hostile takeovers and experienced a resurgence in quality animated films, opening new parks across the globe.

Join the lively conversation as the duo unravels their top 10 milestone moments that have forever left an indelible mark on Disney’s storied past. From the birth of Mickey Mouse to the opening of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, their discussion is packed with inspiring stories and monumental achievements.

Don’t miss this captivating episode, filled with adventure, nostalgia, and exclusive insights into Disney’s remarkable journey. Whether you’re a Disney enthusiast, a budding entrepreneur, or simply love the magic of Walt’s world, this episode will leave you inspired and eager to explore the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Test your Disney knowledge with our trivia question of the week, brought to you by Who Smarted, a kid-safe and parent-approved podcast that blends storytelling, characters, and sound effects to teach science and history facts to children, our trivia contest gives you a chance to win an exciting Disney prize package.


Thanks to Tim Foster from Celebrations Magazine for joining me this week.

The key moments in this episode are:

I. Introduction

  • Overview of the episode
  • Host and guest introduction

II. Praise for Waltz and Roy Disney

  • Recognition of their vision and innovation in creating Disneyland and television ventures
  • Discussion of the financial challenges they faced in bringing their ideas to life

III. Significance of Corporate Partnerships

  • Emphasis on the role of corporate partnerships in securing funding and support for Disneyland
  • Highlighting Disney’s ability to create mutually beneficial arrangements with companies
  • The transformation of Disneyland into a living advertisement without feeling like one

IV. Financial Burden Reduction

  • The speaker acknowledges the skepticism Walt Disney faced when conceiving Disneyland
  • The role of corporate partnerships in reducing Disney’s financial burden

V. Introduction of the Speaker’s Services

  • Overview of the speaker’s services, including one-on-one coaching, mastermind group, events, coaching and mentoring services, and speaking engagements
  • Encouragement to visit their website and spread the word about their show
  • Emphasis on choosing the good and being a positive inspiration for others

VI. Celebration of Disney 100 and Milestone Moments

  • The inspiration and importance of celebrating Disney 100
  • Recognition of the impact of milestone moments in Disney’s past
  • The speaker and Tim Foster’s top 10 milestone moments in Disney history

VII. Walt Disney’s Setbacks and Mickey Mouse’s Birth

  • Discussion of Walt Disney’s loss of the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
  • The creation of Mickey Mouse as a result of this setback
  • Recognition of Mickey Mouse as a global icon and pioneering character merchandising

VIII. Expansion and Resurgence in the ’90s

  • The leadership of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells in revitalizing Disney
  • The expansion of Disney’s theme parks, including the Epcot resort area and the creation of new parks
  • The Disney Renaissance in animation and the success of “Beauty and the Beast”
  • The near-hostile takeover and the departure of Jeffrey Katzenberg to start DreamWorks
  • The impact of Frank Wells’ absence on Disney and Michael Eisner’s departure

IX. The WDW Radio Show and Community Engagement

  • Introduction to the WDW Radio Show hosted by Lou Mongello
  • Invitation to participate in the WWADO Clubhouse community and conversation
  • Mention of a Disney trivia question and a chance to win a prize package
  • Sponsorship mention of Whosmarted, a kid-safe podcast for children

X. Admiration for Michael Eisner and Dream Interviews

  • The speaker’s admiration for Michael Eisner and interest in interviewing him
  • Recognition of Eisner’s impact on Disney’s strategic acquisitions, expansion of theme parks, and commercial focus

XI. First Steps and Small Studio Beginnings

  • Walt Disney Company’s beginnings with a small studio in Los Angeles
  • The success of the Alice comedies as the genesis of the company’s influence
  • The synergy between Walt and Roy Disney in laying the foundation for sustained success

XII. Walt Disney’s Death as a Milestone Moment

  • The significance of Walt Disney’s death in 1966
  • The void left in the company and concerns about its future without Walt
  • Roy O’Disney’s postponement of retirement and the completion of Walt Disney World
  • Leadership changes, corporate strategy, and diversification following Walt’s passing

XIII. Conclusion

  • Recap of the topics covered in the episode
  • Encouragement to continue listening and engaging with the WDW Radio Show community

Timestamped summary of this episode:

  • [00:04:09] Disney 100 milestone moments celebrated, impactful, nostalgic.
  • [00:08:45] Mickey Mouse: Symbolic icon with enormous impact.
  • [00:11:38] Walt Disney’s entrepreneurial journey and legacy.
  • [00:19:26] Cinderella revolutionized Disney animated films, impacting animation.
  • [00:21:59] Cinderella’s timing leads to Disney’s expansion. Disneyland opens in 1955.
  • [00:31:11] Disney’s innovative funding idea: corporate partnerships
  • [00:37:24] Concern and wonder about the company’s future led to Roy O’Disney postponing his retirement. Walt Disney World became his passion project. Leadership changes brought a shift towards corporate strategy and diversification, including acquiring ABC and expanding into television and film.
  • [00:43:14] Eisner and Wells saved Disney, Disney Renaissance.
  • [00:48:01] Dream interview: Michael Eisner revitalized Disney.
  • [00:51:59] Frank Wells: Underrated Disney executive with significant influence.
  • [00:59:23] Have fun watching WDW radio live shows.
  • [01:05:38] Visit loumangelo.com for Disney coaching and speaking.
  • [01:06:56] Hope your week is the best yet!

In your opinion, what are some of the most significant milestone moments in Disney history that were not mentioned in this episode? Why do you believe they had a significant impact?

Share your thoughts in the WDW Radio Clubhouse at WDWRadio.com/Clubhouse, or call the voicemail at 407-900-9391 (WDW1) and share your story on the show.


Episode Transcript

Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript

Lou Mongello:

Hello, my friend, fellow Disney Enthusiast, dreamer and Doer. Welcome to the WDW Radio Show, your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is episode number 752 and together as we have been since 2004. We're going to celebrate the magic of the Disney parks, movies, and more help. You have the best possible vacation experience when you go to the parks and bring you a little bit of disease, magic, wherever you are here on the podcast, my weekly live video on Facebook, every Wednesday night, blog events, weekly newsletter, and more, please join the community and find everything at WDWRadio com. So have you ever wondered what pivotal moments helped to shape the Disney legacy? Well, as we celebrate Disney 100 and the 100 years of magic from the Walt Disney Company, we're going to deep dive into the top 10 milestone moments that created this legacy of dreams and transformed the world of entertainment forever. Our journey is going to take us from first steps through triumphs, tribulations, and transitions. And from individual moments to monumental shifts, we're going to look at not only how they got us here, but their continuing impacts on the future and the people that made the dreams a reality.

Lou Mongello:

Then stay tuned for our Disney trivia question of the week and more updates at the end of the show. And if you like what you hear, please share the show and tell a friend. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this week's episode of the WWE radio show. Ladies and gentlemen, the creator of Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphony cartoons, Mr. Walt Disney. But it was not until Walt Disney made the first cartoon in sound, ladies and gentlemen, that Mickey attained star proportions. That film was called Steamboat Willie. Anyway, how do you feel about it? Well, Mr.

Lou Mongello:

DeMille, any picture's a gamble. But we're betting two quarters of a million dollars that Snow White will be good entertainment. My bets on you. Do you remember the A, B, C after school specials? Like where they always start off with on this week's very special episode. Well, for WDW Radio, this is one of those as well. So. On this week's special episode of WDW Radio, we're going to journey through the enchanting tapestry of Disney's legacy. From a humble studio in Los Angeles to a global entertainment empire, the Walt Disney Company has captivated our hearts and imaginations for a century.

Lou Mongello:

In countless ways, but what were some of the pivotal moments that made this all happen? Well this week we're going to explore those top 10 milestone moments that have defined the disney's illustrious 100 year history From the birth of an iconic mouse to groundbreaking theme parks and game changing acquisitions Join us as we explore the magic challenges And innovations that have made Disney the storytelling Titan that it is today. And joining me once again is someone who has been part of WW radios, nearly 20 year and 750 plus episode history. He puts the Tim in top 10 because he is little Timothy Foster from celebrations magazine.

Tim Foster:

Thought I was going to get a crossover, a Titan of Disney history crossover, but you went with my name. You went with my name. That's good. Okay.

Lou Mongello:

And I said, as we were getting ready to record, I said, someday soon we'll look back and we'll do the top 10 milestone moments in the hundred year celebration of Celebrations Magazine.

Tim Foster:

Celebration. We should just do that now. This show. This right here. Number

Lou Mongello:

36. It really is going to throw off my whole Disney 100 motif that I'm going for here.

Tim Foster:

Exactly.

Lou Mongello:

So we didn't, um, as always, we didn't talk about this ahead of time, but I did, I was sort of inspired by this celebration of Disney 100. And I think as we embark on what is going to be a very nostalgic journey through Disney's storied past, I think it's, it's, it's essential almost to recognize the sheer impact of some of these moments, because every milestone we're about to share, not only Helped shape the trajectory of the company, but also, you know, not to sort of be too sort of hyperbolic about it, but it really left an indelible mark on global pop culture. Like these are pivotal chapters in Disney's own story and there's events that have helped make us laugh and cry and Dream and believe in this magic we talk about so often and I think these are just 10 ish of Countless moments big and small that have made not just magic but have changed lives my own included and You know, Tim, we didn't talk about this ahead of time in terms of how we approached it. But when I suggested this topic and Disney 100 and sort of these top 10 milestone moments, what was the first thing that came to mind? How did you sort of decide to approach it and then go right into? What you feel is your, your first of 10 ish important milestone moments in Disney history. Well,

Tim Foster:

it's a, it's a topic that's on our minds a lot lately. So I've been wrestling with this. Actually, the first thing I thought was there's a lot of obvious ones and I guess we'll hit them, but. I feel like we know the obvious ones. Let's maybe dig a little deeper and find the not so obvious ones that were just as impactful, but not well known. We all know the parks opened and da da da da da. Although I'm sure we will get there. So I just thought we would go way back, because as you were talking, I was reflecting on how a lot of the milestones we're going to talk about, they're not just milestones in Disney's history.

Tim Foster:

These are milestones in entertainment history, animation history. For all you kids out there who don't know that Walt Disney was an actual person, he really was. It's, it's um, it is interesting to look back and realize... That Walt Disney wasn't just, uh, an innovator in animation of something that was already going on. He and, and several of the people that he worked with basically invented this. Um, and that, that's, that's a fun, interesting thing to note. So I will start my list with going way back to the 1920s to, and I'll say it this way, when Walt Disney was fired. We'll put it that way.

Tim Foster:

And. For a lot of reasons, actually there's a few instances of this and one, there's a constant thread we might pick on a few of these instances where Walt Disney and the studio in general seemingly having a rough go of things, things look bleak, and then something miraculous happens, um, changes the course of the company, and one of the first things was when, and this story is well known, but when Walt Disney went to New York to visit with, um, Universal, Charles Mintz, to get his Oswald the Lucky Rabbit contract extended, and was told, Oh, no, no, we're not extending your contract, you're actually getting a pay cut, we've hired all of your animators away, and, oh, by the way, that Oswald character, Belongs to us, not to you. And Walt Disney travels home, dejected, having lost his character, his team, and seemingly his business. Mickey Mouse is born, um, as we all know, the stories are legend. My, my favorite version is when he declared that the character's name was Mortimer, and Lillian said, that's a stupid name for a mouse, we're gonna call him Mickey. Um, but, it's one of the first, actually not the first, but one of the most early examples of Walt Disney Being confronted with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and instead turning it into an opportunity. To not only carry on, but to take himself in the studio to, uh, loftier places they'd never been before. Mickey Mouse, of course, going on to become Mickey Mouse.

Tim Foster:

It all started with the mouse and so on. So that's the first stop on my journey is when Walt Disney was fired,

Lou Mongello:

more or less. So I love that. And I love that you are looking to some of the, you know, almost potentially more obscure ones where I actually went to some of the more obvious ones, but really wanted to. Dig a little deeper into them, but I did have the introduction obviously of Mickey Mouse in 1928 as marking that this you know What really became the birth of a global icon and and a lot of things I found that I focused on Tim were seemingly small things that had monstrous amounts of impact and I think you know this which I which I obviously did have on my list it This was not just the introduction of an individual character that was among the first ever to be extensively merchandised, right? We know about the toys and the watches and, and comic strips and, and really, Mickey was one of the first character, excuse me, to become a merchandising phenomenon and would sort of be a model for character based merchandising that Disney and other companies would follow for decades. I think more importantly. He became not just a symbol of the company and the face of Disney, but it is the most recognizable corporate logo that represents this company worldwide. I think what this did too, right? From a business perspective was it. Provided the foundation for all of the success that Disney would have to have after it gave The studio the stability and the recognition that it needed to grow it obviously led to the creation of other iconic characters, but You know Mickey Mouse has sort of transcended Animation and as a corporate symbol to become a cultural icon, you know, if you think about the way Mickey has been referenced in countless forms of art and media and fashion and the influence the character has had on other artists and filmmakers and designers, not to mention paving the way for all the other things that the Disney company would do and we'll sort of get to things like the theme park, et cetera, but it was more than just the birth of a single character.

Lou Mongello:

Um, and I think. Yeah. you know, his, the fact that his enduring appeal, excuse me, and adaptability, um, really sort of solidified his status as a, a timeless icon. And obviously it needed to be on the list because it played such a pivotal role in this success and the ongoing influence of the Disney company as a whole. It does irk me to

Tim Foster:

this day when people say Mickey Mouse in terms of what a Mickey Mouse operation it is.

Lou Mongello:

In a neat way. I wish I had a Mickey Mouse operation, right? Like, it should be a good thing.

Tim Foster:

I think I take

Lou Mongello:

that as a compliment. Yeah, absolutely. Um. So I went, um, you know, a lot of things I think I find on my list I looked at from, excuse me, not just a Disney perspective, but almost from personally, from a sense of entrepreneurial inspiration. And the first item that was on my list is actually something that we celebrated, or maybe you didn't celebrate it, but sort of quietly celebrated just a few days ago, which was in 1923, Walt and Roy Founding the Disney Brothers studio in Los Angeles, right? So you talked about this story and I love, you know, and when I, I give a lot of, of presentations at conferences and events and for corporations, I'm talking about Walt Disney's legacy and, and, and leadership lessons we can learn from Walt Disney. And you talked about, like, I want to interview the guy that fired Disney from a newspaper for lack of creativity. Like I want, that's the guy I want to talk about, but you know, Before 1923, when he was working in Kansas City and he faced bankruptcy like over and over again, and you know, with the Laugh O Gram studios. The fact that he faced adversity over and over and over again, even after he started to have, you know, mild and then major successes, but when he was joined by Roy, who clearly had a very keen business acumen that maybe did, that was not Walt's strongest suit, um, the formation of this studio and what led them to get there, right? I love, you know, You know, my dad was my inspiration, but from a business perspective, so was Walt because of the risks they took, the leaps of faith, more importantly, the belief that they had in what they were doing.

Lou Mongello:

And, you know, they take a loan from their uncle. They, they buy some secondhand equipment and they set up. A studio in the back of a small real estate office, uh, like in Los Angeles, which was originally named the Disney Brothers Studio, became the Walt Disney Studio, and now is obviously the Walt Disney Company. And that first real quote unquote success they had was with the creation of the Alice comedies. But again, this small little space, that small little bit of success was that first sort of domino. To fall and and be sort of the genesis of what would become The most influential entertainment company in the world, right? It's not about where you start, right? It's about where you end up and whether you know, especially if and I think about this from a Uh, a business inspirational perspective, right? You know, when you, when you're scrapping to try and just get your start and all the things that it came, that came from that, not just with the introduction of other characters, but the innovations in animation and the business model that developed from that, right? With, with Roy's business strategies, Walt's creative genius, you know, establishing a business model that is so. It's the blueprint for repeatability, right? It's the, it's the balancing of creativity and profitability. And that synergy that the brothers had laid the groundwork for not just immediate success, but sustained success.

Lou Mongello:

And, and the foundation of that studio back in 1923, I think sometimes over It's overlooked because it's not sort of this high profile, like, you know, thing that you can sort of celebrate, but that was the pivotal moment, like for me, that sets the stage for not just Disney's global brand recognition, but really the century long legacy. And, you know, nothing else happens without that.

Tim Foster:

And I, in a humorous way, solves the mystery for many D23 called D23 anyway? So there you go. So in case you're wondering, but um, yeah, well said. It's actually funny because I, I realized as I was doing Research for my own pieces on the hundred year celebration. I know about the Alice comedies. I've seen stills. I, I know the lore. I realized I'd never actually seen it. Alice comedy, stop

Lou Mongello:

it. No, you need to come over. We're going to get some snacks.

Tim Foster:

No, well, I have, I found, I found them and it's, it's they're, they're fun. I mean, it was fun to watch, but I will say for anybody. And I'm going to jump ahead a few years. I don't know if you're going to go back into the 20s and 30s, but for anybody who hasn't seen, uh, you know, the Alice comedies or even Oswald or Steamboat Willie or Flowers and Trees or any of those, like, uh, with Disney Plus and the magic of the Internet and all that, we can see these things again. So do go check them out if you haven't seen them. And I would venture to say a lot of newer Disney fans probably don't even know about these things. And, uh, and actually, if you watch them, they're compared to today, right? Yeah. But they're just fun.

Tim Foster:

They're fascinating. Donald Duck in his first cartoon. Cannot be tough. Still

Lou Mongello:

no pants.

Tim Foster:

Well, yeah, I mean, we won't talk about that. Actually, we just did talk about that, but that's okay. We'll move ahead. I'm going to jump forward to the 1940s. This is another, another time where Walt Disney and the studios themselves were in a bit of, uh, bit of, bit of trouble. And so that we're talking, we're at the end of the Latter half of the 1940s, World War II has come and gone. That had a massive impact on the studios in lots of ways. They lost European revenue for the film, so the money wasn't coming in.

Tim Foster:

The studios themselves, uh, got, uh, taken over for the war effort. Uh, in various ways. Walt Disney made his trip to South America. There was an animator's strike, which they got through, but left scars that I don't think ever really went away for the company and Walt Disney. So you're entering the 1950s at a crossroads here. You haven't done a feature film, full length feature film in quite a long time. This is when the package films were there. Fun and fancy free and make my music and so on and so forth.

Tim Foster:

Money was scarce. Not sure what to do. And this is when one of the greatest films in Disney history. Not just the greatest, but the most impactful and maybe the most important films came in 1950 in the form of Cinderella, and this film, much like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs before it, is so important, not just from an artistic standpoint, just from a historic standpoint. Not only saved, basically saved the studio, um, because it was a wild, wildly successful, gave them a great influx of cash that they sorely needed at the time. Um, set the company on a path to bigger and better things in the fifties, which I'm sure we will talk about. There was a little park that opened a few years later. And really, though, set the stage for the princess film.

Tim Foster:

Snow White is a Disney princess, of course, but I think the concept of the Disney princess and the Disney princess film really did get started with Cinderella. And, of course, you know, the castle has become the very icon, the very logo of Walt Disney World, Walt Disney Studios, and so on. So, uh, I, I put Cinderella as, uh, my next important event for not only saving the company but for doing a lot to, as Mickey Mouse did, set a lot in place for the, the imagery and the, um, the branding of the company for untold years going forward.

Lou Mongello:

Well, I, I think you're right, right? I, again, if you want to sort of... Deep dive into the significance of Cinderella from a character's perspective, starting to pave the way for this, the iconography of, excuse me, Disney princesses. But you're right. It also helped to literally reverse the studio's fortunes or lack thereof. It also did things like receive Academy Award nominations. Like it, it Disney, you know, again, you talk about things like the importance of, of Snow White, which, which. Came very, very, very close to making my list because it was the first full length animated film and, and what that meant. But I think to your point about what Cinderella did, I think it is almost overlooked in terms of the impact that It ended up having for not just the Walt Disney Company, but animation as a whole.

Lou Mongello:

And again, there's this lot, this continuing legacy of the quote unquote, Disney princess. Yeah. I

Tim Foster:

mean, the, the, like, again, the idea of, of the princess. You know, did technically start with Snow White, but I think really came to the fore with Cinderella, uh, and so on, and the castle, my

Lou Mongello:

goodness,

Lou Mongello:

the castle and the merchandise, right? And

Tim Foster:

Bibbidi Bobbidi

Lou Mongello:

boutique. Well, I mean, it is because I think, I think it was one of the films that really started to, you know, beyond sort of Mickey and the fab five characters. Cinderella was. One of the things that led to this, this continuing introduction of new lines of merchandise, which continues to further boost the company's revenue, right? It's not just about it being a box office success, which, which helped to, to ensure this, uh, the financial stability of the company. But what it meant to, and I think it really was, it was the introduction of, of, you know, this, this new golden age of animation, which led to things like Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty and the Little Mermaid, et cetera. So,

Tim Foster:

and I think too, it did a lot to, um. Maybe from the public's point of view at the time to reinstill the confidence, let's say in Disney, because the years had been lean and then that fun and fancy freeze and the make my music and three coming hours were fun. But I think Cinderella. Even in the public's mind, put Disney back on the map. Like this is Siri, you know, these are wonderful classic films and

Lou Mongello:

so on. And I think, and, and, and please forgive me if I, if I step on any toes, but I think the timing of Cinderella in 1950 without Cinderella, other things don't happen, right? Yeah. In it later on that year, I think on Christmas in 1950, the Disney's first ever television show, One Hour in Wonderland debuts on NBC. What out the, the financial fortitude to make that happen, it doesn't, they get into live action films with treasure Island, right? The Walt is able to expand his already expensive vision for animation into dipping his toes into live action, not just shorts, but feature films with things like treasure Island. So next on my list is the obvious because I couldn't. not put it on my list and, and, you know, my, my, my heart is in the theme parks. My primary focus is in the theme parks and that we cannot overlook the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Now, again, There are things that lead up to this that are significant as well, right? So three years earlier when when enterprises is founded to help create Disneyland which obviously becomes Walt Disney Imagineering but and we could do an entire episode on this but this this desire there's there's this Romanticized sentimental part of me, and I smile as I say this, that really wants to believe that Disneyland was created because he wanted this place for children and adults and grandparents to have fun together, not necessarily it being a revenue generating thing.

Lou Mongello:

This is the next big thing. To make money. I think it did come from his own personal desires. I want to believe and I do believe the stories of Walt and his daughters at, at, at Griffith park and riding the carousel and eating peanuts because that's, you know, it's Walt's fairy tale that is, that is rooted in reality. But again, I also sort of switched to there's, there's the business side of me too, right? That opening day, that black Sunday with all the issues that it had from counterfeit tickets to own finish attractions, a heat wave plumbing that didn't work like Walt, you want the toilets to work or do you want, the fountains to work? You know, and women's, we heard stories about women's heels because he used to wear heels to the park. Women's heels sinking into the. Pavement, those initial challenges and hiccups did not deter the parks or waltz or the company's long term success. What does this do? Right? What does this single park do? Not just for us as Disney fans, but it revolutionizes the amusement park industry.

Lou Mongello:

There is no theme park before Disneyland before Disneyland. There were just amusement parks that had collections of rides. They weren't even attractions with no central themed. Disneyland introduced this idea of themed land. It's a hub and spoke immersive storytelling. Walt wanted you to live these fairy tales in three dimensions. He literally, again, sets a new standard for the interest for the industry from an economic impact. This is not just impacting the Walt Disney Company.

Lou Mongello:

Anaheim is not on the map before this, right? Disneyland literally transforms this quiet suburban area into this very bustling, which is an understatement, tourist destination. And the businesses and the revenue that comes into this part of California and impacts the lives of in this monstrous ripple effect, you know, can't be understated. It also creates the way it paves the way for. The creation of the expansion of the brand worldwide, not just in Florida, but Japan and Paris and Hong Kong and Shanghai and insert next destination. But, you know, I, Tim, I tried to think about this. In, in the most expansive way, because I think there is this, this huge cultural impact. Maybe this is a separate show and a separate conversation for another day. The cultural impact, the global influence that this park has.

Lou Mongello:

And, you know, we've seen countless other theme parks, amusement parks, entertainment destinations attempt to replicate the Disney model, but it's always sort of this. Building on the foundation and trying to tweak and innovate on the foundation that Disneyland sets. And, you know, I think about Walt Disney, the person, which for me is such an important part of everything we talk about. And I think Disneyland. Was a very personal project for Walt and, and continues to stand as really a testament to his vision and creativity and, you know, this embodiment in, in a belief that there is a magical place where stories can come to life. And more importantly. Families can and have and will continue to create lasting memories together. I, yeah, I'm a sappy guy.

Lou Mongello:

I can't help it. I'm sorry. Uh,

Tim Foster:

yeah, you got me. You, the tears are flowing. I mean, yeah, Disneyland, obviously it's on list. Actually, I'm going to piggyback on this. This may count as my next entry or not, depending on, well, what you think. So I'm going to go with this because Disneyland. Obviously important, it's the park and, and, and so on, but there were several other reasons why this was a big milestone event, a big important time period Disney history. One thing, just reflecting that before 1955, it's kind of funny to think about this, before 1955, Disney, the company, was cartoons and movies, that was it.

Tim Foster:

After 1955, Disney is... Movies, cartoons, parks, cruise ships, uh, destination. It's, it's, it's like part two and it's realizing where that line falls. It's kind of interesting to look back in, in, in Disney history and see where that divide comes. But with Disneyland, there were a few other things that happened, uh, hand in hand with it that were important for their independent, independent reasons as time moved forward. One of them was. You mentioned Roy and Walt and Roy's business acumen and that being not, uh, Walt's strong suit necessarily, but it would always, it kind of perpetually always, uh, had a little tension between them. Walt wanting to push the The boundaries and the frontiers of what could be done and Roy saying, wait, how much is that going to cost and and back and forth and back and forth.

Tim Foster:

So Disneyland was 1 of these and this scenario led to a couple of things. 1 of these was Walt coming up with the idea. Well, Walt and Roy coming up with the idea of how do we finance this? Well, here's an idea. There's this newfangled thing out there. This television thing. Have you heard of this? It's pretty cool. Why don't we approach one of the television networks and see if they would be willing to go in with us to help us finance this idea you have and that's how they got together with ABC and in exchange for doing a show for ABC Uh, the Disney show that ABC would love to have, because it's Disney, we put them on TV, that'll help us, and ABC agreed to help finance the park. So that, that's how the very close relationship with Disney and TV got started, because of the necessity of, how do we pay for Disneyland? And of course that led to all the Sunday shows that we all know and love, the live action shows that we adored.

Tim Foster:

The other thing that came about was when Walt put together a group of people to work on ideas for this park. And... He wanted to separate a little bit from the movie people and the studio part. So in 1953, he formed a separate company called Walt Disney Inc. to work on some of the ideas for this park, taking some people with him to do so. This is a company that eventually became Walt Disney Imagineering and was born out of necessity for We need an R& D section of the company to work on ideas for this thing that nobody's done before. So, it's, not only was Disneyland important just by, for starting the whole theme park idea in the first place, but it also started the, the Disney TV relationship, started Imagineering, and really started, honestly, a whole second Big part of the story of the Disney story now. It's not just movies.

Tim Foster:

It's movie movies plus all this other stuff

Lou Mongello:

So I love that you you have this and you sort of separated it out because I think Waltz and Roy, right? I think We've done a show in the past about the importance of Roy Disney and maybe I'll bring that up this week as our archive episode because Their vision for Disneyland and the television ventures were groundbreaking, but the financial challenges of bringing these ideas to life were significant to say the least. And I think it was innovative and Additionally, groundbreaking at the time to recognize the potential benefits of things like corporate partnerships and leveraging them to secure funding and getting support. Why one? Well, because you create these mutually beneficial arrangements, right? Disney gives companies the opportunity to showcase. They're products and service in this novel, engaging storytelling environment, which now turns Disneyland into a living, breathing 360 degree, all five senses advertisement without feeling like it's an advertisement. In return, obviously Disneyland and Disney gets the capital to build and maintain the attraction. So now Disney's financial burden is reduced, which is a brilliant, innovative funding. Idea again, born out of necessity, because when he first conceived of Disneyland, he faced skepticism is the understatement of Walt Disney. Listen, you only need one.

Lou Mongello:

Yes. Right. And I talk about this all the time. Walt Disney was turned down, not once, not twice, hundreds of times by potential financiers being told that Disneyland was a bad idea now by turning to the corporate sponsors. He's able to secure funds from companies like Coca Cola and Ford and Monsanto, which allow them, allow the companies to sponsor specific attractions, showcasing their brand in a way that they could not do On their own, they get funding for Disneyland, but you're right. It continues because when he strikes the deal with ABC, ABC, you know, to produce a Disneyland show, Disney ABC now provides significant funding for the construction of Disneyland. Same thing, dual purpose, entertains audience access, a promotional tool for the upcoming park, like absolutely brilliant in, in concept and execution. And I think from a, from a corporate perspective to Tim, it allows the companies to.

Lou Mongello:

Well, it allows both of them, right? It allows Disney and the companies to integrate and showcase new technologies into the park. Think about things like Monsanto's House of the Future that had not just futuristic designs, but new and innovative material that were You know, brand new to people. It also establishes, I think for not just the park, but for Disney as this, this continuing and growing reputation of being a place and a company of innovation. And I think also too, from a corporate perspective, There's also, you know, these are not short term, you know, sponsored for a year. It creates these long term relationships and trusts that many of which are still, you know, continuing to this day. And I think that longevity is a testament to those benefits and that trust that was established between Disney. And the partnerships, you know, enhancing the brand image for, for both sides and, you know, diversifying the revenue streams as well. I think I love the fact that you pull this one out because I think Disney's foresight in, in establishing these corporate partnerships was nothing short of brilliant.

Lou Mongello:

So

Tim Foster:

next time you see that sign brought to you by. Whoever, give a little, give a little applause. It's easy to look at those, uh, relationships cynically, I guess, but they are vitally important and, you know, you explain why they are and we'll, we're going to hit on this, I'm sure, later in the show, how so much of the Epcot concept, not just the city, but the park as it became, had so much to do with partnerships and sponsorships and all that, but that's a story. For maybe if, uh, 10 or 20 minutes later in the show, I'm sure

Lou Mongello:

because it's your turn. Well, hold on a second, Tim, because I need to have a sip of my icy cold Coca Cola. No, I'm Um, so I'm, I'm going in, in relative chronological order and I don't I hate to be the guy that, that is going to bring down the room, but I need to, because in 1966, Walt Disney passes away on December 15th, because of complications from lung cancer, and, the reason why, I feel it necessary to mark this as a milestone moment in, in the history of the company was, you know, look, and, and if you've seen, and please make the pilgrimage to the Walt Disney Family Museum, which is a remarkable place and has a very. Respectful and beautiful and moving tribute to Walt and his passing, but you know, he was such a hands on leader and was so actively involved in not just the numerous ongoing projects, but the future direction of the company that the immediate aftermath of his passing led. You know, again, understating a significant void in the company. I literally imagine executives just gathering around the table, just staring at each other like, what do we do next? Because we've lost our leader. We've lost the face and the voice of the company. We've lost this creative genius.

Lou Mongello:

And I think there was probably concern and wonder. Can the company, I'm sure it could continue, but could it continue to innovate and thrive in his absence? Now the, the, you know, there's always a silver lining to every, you know, sad thing. I think the, the, the good that comes out of this and understand how I, what I mean by that is in this, this moment of sadness and turmoil and frustration and concern Roy's brother. Walt's brother, Roy O'Disney, postpones his own retirement. To ensure and oversee the completion of not just Disney World, but what would be Walt Disney World, right? Walt's true passion project and When this all happens, you know from a from purely corporate and sort of executive perspective. There's a lot of shift happening Right, there's a lot of changes in in leadership and direction. And while the company continued to focus on animation and theme parks, there was also this shift towards corporate strategy and diversification and expansion, which, you know, I think when we think about Roy and what he did in finishing Walt Disney World and the incredible impact that that have and that selfless sacrifice that he gave to ensure that his brother's vision became a reality, it also did lead. From a, uh, a longer term impacted influence, it led to, you know, this, this continuing shift in, in focus on expansion and diversification again, into television, right? As a acquire ABC into film, they started establishing, uh, um, and, and acquiring.

Lou Mongello:

Other companies. And then later into things like computer animation, right? They, you know, remember the late seventies and early eighties, there was this decline in the quality and success in some of the animated films. And it wasn't until the late eighties and nineties and with that Disney Renaissance, that Disney once again, regained its prominent, uh, prominence in animation with things like. Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King, and, you know, I think, I think even after Walt's passing, and after Roy came and then did what he did and then left the company, I think even though Walt was gone, his influence was definitely seen and felt on so many projects, obviously, you know, Epcot being his vision for a utopian city, while, while maybe What we have now is certainly different from his original vision was inspired by, you know, his ideas. Um, but I think Walt's passing

Tim Foster:

sort

Lou Mongello:

of, I don't know how to articulate this, like, I think it sort of reinforces perception that Disney was not just a company, right? It's not just this... This corporate entity, but it was a brand who's it was a company whose brand was so deeply associated with the values and dreams and visions of his found of the founder and Walt's continuing personal touch and the storytelling ability and the emphasis on family entertainment, like Really solidified those as being the foundational pillars for that brand. So even though there was growth, even though there was diversification, those ideals and visions and those that continuing emphasis. And I think we're seeing it again on creativity and innovation continue to shape the company decades after his passing.

Tim Foster:

You covered a lot there. I think you knocked out a few

Lou Mongello:

that I was going to talk about. Sorry. Because as I'm talking, my mind starts going in a different direction, so.

Tim Foster:

Well, I was trying to think of how to talk about Walt Disney World and Epcot. And I guess you kind of did it in a way I was going for. Like, not, yes, like Disneyland, New Park. So, but it's more, it's much more complicated than that. And, um, uh, especially with Epcot, like you said, it was not just the opening of a new park and a park in Florida, but how the company moves on after Walt and how they bring Epcot to life, uh, what they end up doing. Um, but I think as you're going forward, as you're talking about milestone moments in Disney history, for better or worse, and again, another one of those tumultuous times, you kind of talked about it, but I guess we should talk about the, uh, the, Near hostile takeover bid that did take place in the eighties and, um, and what it meant a, you could tie this to the Disney Renaissance, which you talked about too. And I mean, the story of how the takeover almost came to be, how Roy E. Disney was involved, his role, how Eisner and Frank Wells came in.

Tim Foster:

It's a long story. It's complicated. I've written it again. I still don't understand all the nuances. That's why I'm not. Flying in a jet plane right now, but, um, I guess the short of it is it was another time when now that Walt's gone, Roy's gone, uh, the Disney leadership is, is moving into people's hands that aren't part of the Disney family anymore. So, you know, there is a decline in, uh, quality of animation and films. Some people see it that way.

Tim Foster:

The upshot of it is as eisner and wells come in for whatever you want to say later that happened basically saving the company bringing in what a lot of people call the disney deck out decade now of the nineteen nineties and how eisner oversaw the expansion of. The epcot resort area added two new parks, the studios and animal kingdom, uh, the disney renaissance started getting underway in the late eighties and, uh, had full steam in the nineties and beauty and the beast becoming the first animated picture to be nominated for best picture. Um, it was a time when, uh, disney could have fallen off. The rails and gone a different direction and, uh, it's, it's again, the story of it is very long and complex, but going through it and seeing how they came out on the other side with not having gone a, a corporate route that might not have turned out very well, but instead us getting. Not one, but two new parks in Walt Disney World, um, breaking ground in parks around the globe, a new resurgence in the quality of animated films, uh, leading to several that are classics to this day. Um, you, you have to look at that as one of the most important. Periods in Disney's history, um, hard to explain and, and like I said, I think looking back on Michael Eisner's place in Disney history, uh, it's kind of all over the place, many of you talked to, but at the time, really came in and saved the company and, and I still remember watching, what was the movie you were watching? Probably Rescuers Down Under or something like that with Michelle and seeing them and them talking about the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and we're going to win a Stanley Cup and thanks a lot and all that, but it was an exciting time. In disney history think a lot of us look back on the nineties is a great time to go to the parks there was you know and and the movies and so forth so the renaissance and the near hostile takeover.

Tim Foster:

Not the only hostile takeover bid that would come, but one of the first of many, but a very important time in Disney history, you

Lou Mongello:

know, I remember, um, I remember this in, in like the fall of, of 1984. And remember, this was pre internet. So our access to information and speed of information, et cetera, was, was, you know, exponentially limited versus what we have today. But I remember all of this happening and you're right. It was. It was very complicated, you know, from a corporate perspective, but, you know, looking back, if you sort of take a 30, 000 foot 2020 hindsight view, you know, during the eighties, the, the company from a movie making perspective, right? Walt Disney productions, huge decline in the film business. And even the theme park revenue. Was sort of stagnant and Ron Miller, who was Walt's son in law and was CEO at the time, was really getting, and maybe appropriately so, a lot of, if not all of the criticism for the lackluster, to say the least, of the company, and there was this massive perceived undervaluation of the company, and when that happens, other companies target these undervalued companies as A possible target for corporate raiders, right? What they do is they'll come in, they'll break up the company and they'll sell its assets.

Lou Mongello:

And there were a number of different, um, takeover attempts that were sort of happening kind of all at the same time, because the shareholders are dissatisfied with the leadership. The company is struggling. The management style decisions are not making anybody happen happy. So. You, you see it, the name Disney and you think this is the person that's going to be like the savior and he's not like Roy E. Disney, the son of Roy O. Disney plays a very pivotal role in sort of what happens next and he, he sort of redesigned the board and with Stanley Gold launches this campaign to get Miller out and then Sid Bass, who's a billionaire investor, became A huge significant shareholder of the company and sort of led that move to change the leadership. So the, the, the good that happens from this, like you said, is that Miller is out, but Michael Eisner, who was the CEO of Paramount comes in and, and Michael Eisner sort of like my dream.

Lou Mongello:

If anybody listening, if you know Michael Eisner, he's my dream interview. I don't want to talk to him because I think. People remember Michael Eisner for the way he came out not the way he came in and the work that he did But Eisner and Frank Wells who was brought in from Warner Brothers. He was appointed president of Walt Disney Productions and under the two of them and I mean this with the utmost reverence and respect Like a Walt and Roy right? There was the creative face of the company with Eisner. There is the You know, sort of the, the, maybe the more business savvy, you know, person, not that, not that I was not business savvy, but between the two of them, there is this revitalization, right? The Renaissance in the animation division, the expansion of the theme parks, strategic acquisitions like ABC and ESPN, and I think they also. Help to refocus the corporate culture and being a little bit more aggressive in terms of more commercially driven. And, um, you know, while some people liked it because it helped raise the bottom line, some people didn't like it because they felt that maybe Disney was moving away from some of their. Original values, although I'm sure Walt like making like making money too, but this change setting the stage for Disney's growth into being the dominant entertainment company that is

Tim Foster:

today and you actually, you explain that takeover bid very well,

Lou Mongello:

that is such a complicated, it's very complicated and I'm, and I'm, Forgive me if I got any of the details, you know, incorrect, but, um, but I remember

Tim Foster:

that's why that's why we're not playing in the arenas,

Lou Mongello:

you know, and I remember Tim, I remember like being worried, um, at the time, like, I'm like, what, you know, Because Disney seemed and continues to almost seem like, you know, it's more than a company to us, right? It, it means more. And the idea of someone quote unquote, from the outside, or in this case, from the inside, wanting to break up this thing that Walt created, like there, there is like, there's an emotional component to that. Which I don't think you necessarily see in, in other corporations because of the, the, the meaning that Disney has to us and when it starts to become sort of black and white and numbers on a spreadsheet and corporate takeovers, it almost taints a little bit this romanticized vision of what we have, you know, the company to be.

Tim Foster:

And the funny thing is, and we talk about this a lot, is your, your, go with me here, your notion of what Disney means to you, personally. I mean, it's different for everybody. And it really depends on, actually, it solely depends on when you first started having your, when your Disney life started. Um, that's why some people love some attractions and some could care less. It's the one they grew up with. That the Jeremy Irons Spaceship Earth is my Spaceship Earth. That's the one I want. It wasn't the first, it wasn't the last, but that's mine.

Tim Foster:

And for us, we, uh, meaning my family, nineties is when we really got into Disney. That's when our daughter was born. That's when she started watching the films. That's when we started really going to theater to watch films as a family. That's when we started going to the parks a lot. I mean, we had been when we were little, but not so much, but the nineties is when we started. So the, the Eisner Renaissance Disney, that's the Disney we grew up with. So to me, Michael Eisner is like, my hero, because that's why we loved Disney in the 90s.

Tim Foster:

We loved going to see The Lion King and Little Mermaid and all that. So, it's funny, because that's, to someone who grew up in, you know, the 50s and the 60s and 70s, their Disney is, Walt Disney and ours is more it's the Michael Eisner Disney that brought us in so, you know It does mean a little something

Lou Mongello:

extra special Well, and you know as we were talking about this too, and I don't know that I've ever done an entire show about him But I think I I haven't I will you know, I think to a certain degree like Walt like Roy Frank Wells does not get the attention and the recognition he deserves. And, and I mean this, you know, one for the, what he did, you know, in terms of the work he did, but I think of also what he did for Michael Eisner, because when Frank Wells died in 1994 in a helicopter crash, right, we know he was an avid skier, he did the seven summits, his death had an impact on Disney. That I don't know Tim if any other person other than Walt may have have had such a huge ripple effect and what I mean by that is because he was sort of the the yin and yang to Michael Eisner who and you know, he was from what I understand and what I've read and from even folks. I've talked to he was You know, he helped sort of balance Eisner and was very much a calming force and without him Eisner sort of pulls back becomes a bit more isolated and now There's a, there's a domino effect because Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was the chairman of the studios, have this huge falling out. Katzenberg leaves Disney, they start DreamWorks with, uh, David Geffen and Steven Spielberg, and I think Michael Eisner unfortunately did lose that person, he lost his Roy, he lost his person who was able to... Help balance him to to whatever you want to want to call it, and it ultimately led to, you know, Eisner, you know, leaving a number of years later. Um, but yeah, I think I think Frank Wells, you know, sometimes doesn't get get what he deserves in terms of of notoriety and recognition. That concludes part one of our look at the top 10 milestone moments from the past 100 years of the Disney Company.

Lou Mongello:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on what we've discussed so far. Come be part of the community and conversation over in the WWADO Clubhouse. It's time for our Disney trivia question of the week, where if you think you know the answer, you can enter for a chance to win a Disney prize package. And this week's trivia contest Is brought to you by Whosmarted. Are you a parent, an educator, or a caretaker of kids? Are you looking for another podcast you can listen to with your kids? Well, if you're looking for a screen free, yay, way to entertain your kids, while showing them how fun and exciting educational learning can be, then Whosmarted is your perfect podcast. Because this is one of those... Rare podcasts for kids and adults that kids actually enjoy listening to and that means all Content is kid safe and parent approved from the creators of brain games and brain child is the funniest most creative educational Podcast designed for awesome five to eight year olds and their parents and who smarted combines funny Storytelling cool characters and surprising sound effects to create a world that curious kids and their parents and caretakers Love to enjoy kids are taught amazing science and history facts on fascinating topics for the parents as well And there are so many great episodes But I recommend checking out the one on Lego learn how they were invented and what does Lego even mean? And there's a really interesting one on body temperature like how your body regulates its temperature and what happens when we get too hot or too cold and yes, I'm really looking forward to checking out the history of stuffed animals, but You and your kids, I'm promised, will be binging the entire feed of Who Smarted before you know it. So join this educational universe created by STEM consultants, writers, and producers who strive to ignite, amplify, and satisfy children's natural curiosity.

Lou Mongello:

You can find Who Smarted on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Now, before we get to this week's trivia question, let's go back, review last week's, and select our winner. So we are in the Halloween season and I've recently done a couple of episodes on the archives part of the feed with Jim Korkus about the history of Halloween and last week I asked you to tell me. What was the very first year that a Halloween party was held in Walt Disney World? Notice I said a Halloween party, not the not so scary Halloween party. Thanks to all of you who entered, got this one correct, and knew that the answer was... 1972. That's right, less than a year after the park first opened on October 28th and 29th, 1972. Walt Disney World advertised in newspapers, Halloween Weekend.

Lou Mongello:

Now, while that might not have been the most creative name in the world, it conveyed what it was, and part of the highlights included free, yes, free admission into the Haunted Mansion, which was a big deal, because if you remember, at that time, Walt Disney World was using the A through E ticket books, and the Haunted Mansion was an E ticket, which was the most expensive. There were also character appearances, but not necessarily in Halloween costumes. There was a screenings of cartoons, like the legends of sleepy hollow. There were magic shows, and this was not a separate ticketed event. You just purchased regular admission on those two days, and you could participate in all of the Halloween weekend activities. It was so popular that they repeated it next year in 1973, on October 27th and 28th. And then, as we mentioned on that show, it started to evolve. And in 1979, there was a Halloween party called.

Lou Mongello:

Halloween Hysteria at Magic Kingdom, which is part of their World Series of Entertainment. This was the first sort of separate ticketed event that eventually led to the creation of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, but I digress. Anyway, I took all the correct entries, randomly selected one, and last week you were playing for a new WWE Radio 3D Keychain and a Halloween themed Mystery Disney Prize. And last week's winner, randomly selected, is... Dean Caldwell. So Dean, congratulations, I have your address and we'll get your prize package out to you right away. And if you played last week and didn't win, that's okay, because here's your next chance to enter in this week's, not Walt Disney World, but Disney Trivia Challenge. So we are talking about the legacy of the Disney Company as we celebrate 100 years and some of the milestone moments, including, but not limited to, and I know there was a lot that we didn't get to talk about, including...

Lou Mongello:

What were Mickey Mouse's first on screen spoken words? That's your question for this week. What were Mickey Mouse's first on screen spoken words? You have until Sunday, October 29th at 11. 59 p. m. Eastern to go to www. radio. com and click on this week's podcast. Again, you're gonna play for a WW Radio 3D keychain and another mystery prize.

Lou Mongello:

So good luck and have fun. Thank you for taking the time and tuning in this week. I understand how valuable your time is and I appreciate you spending and sharing it with me. I hope you had fun, learned something new and that the show brought a little or a lot of happiness and some Disney magic to your day or week. And speaking of bringing some Disney magic direct to you, wherever you are, if you can't get to the parks, it's one of the reasons why I love doing live video every Wednesday night at 7 30 PM Eastern. This coming Wednesday is one of my favorite Live shows of the year where we get a golf cart at Fort Wilderness Resort and campground and tour all of the incredible Halloween decorations, attractions and experiences that campers put up on their campsites. It is a lot of fun and it's a great way for you to enjoy it. From the comfort of your home, your desk, your couch, bed, wherever you watch from this Wednesday, 7 30 PM Eastern at WDW radio live.

Lou Mongello:

com or on the WDW radio page on Facebook at facebook. com slash WDW radio. Please continue to be part of the community and conversation over in the WW radio clubhouse at WW radio. com slash clubhouse. You can also connect with me on social. I am at Lou Mangello on all the social platforms. If you have a question you'd like me to answer on an upcoming episode, you can email me Lou at WW radio. com or call the voicemail with a comment about this week's show, a question, or just a hello from the parks at 407 900 9391.

Lou Mongello:

Special thanks go out to our new and longtime members of our WW radio nation family. I appreciate your love, support, friendship, and help, and I love being able to give back to you each and every month and collectively support our Dream Team project, which benefits the Make A Wish Foundation of America. Thanks to you and your support of the nation, you help bring every episode of the show to life for as little as a dollar per month, and you can get cool exclusive rewards every month, like scavenger hunts, trivia quests, we have our monthly group video call, get access to our private Facebook group, there's shirts, stickers, monthly care packages, Early access and discounts to special events and much more. I want to thank some new and longtime members, including Vicky, Lindsay Conforto, Amanda Messina, Josh Olive, and Aaron. None of this happens without you. And if you want to find out how you can help the show, you can visit www. com slash support. Speaking of our dream team project, which benefits the Make A Wish Foundation of America.

Lou Mongello:

It is the most important part of what I do. It is something I've been supporting since I started writing my very first book. back in 2004. And thanks to you and our collective fundraising efforts, we've raised more than 550, 000 to date, granting countless wishes to help children with life threatening illnesses and their families visit Walt Disney World. I specifically mention this again now because thanks to a generous anonymous benefactor who has stepped forward and has made an incredible offer and invitation because every donation made to our Dream Team project. between now and November 1st will be matched up to 10, 000. That means that your contribution will have double the impact in making dreams come true for these kids. Whether it's a dollar or anything more, it will be matched up to a total of 10, 000 until November 1st.

Lou Mongello:

If you want to find out more, including how to donate, you can visit www. com slash dream team and make your donation directly to make a wish. Remember your gift, no matter how much the size will help create life changing wishes for these children. You'll also be emailed a receipt for your records and any tax purposes. So let's harness the power of this incredible community that you have helped to create to bring smiles. Hope and joy to these kids who need magic most and speaking of making magic huge Thanks to my travel partner and sponsor and my friend becky mankin from mei and mouse fan travel who have made A, an incredibly generous donation to our dream team project once again this year, and just for everything they do on a daily basis to help you, my friend, whether you're planning a next trip to Walt Disney World, Cruise Line, Disneyland, or any vacation or business travel destination. Visit mousefantravel. com for not just the best possible prices, all available discounts, but most importantly, the level of personal care, attention, and service that they give.

Lou Mongello:

And of course, all of their services come at absolutely no cost to you. Again, visit them over at mousefantravel. com. And in addition to staying connected and everything that we do together online, I still believe that nothing beats a handshake and a hug. So go check out our events page at www. com slash event and find out how, when, and where we can get together again, or for the first time, upcoming events include, but are not limited to our next meet of the month, which is going to be the weekend of November 4th in magic kingdom, just in time for the wine and dine weekend. I'll be at the swan and dolphin food and wine classic Friday and Saturday, November 10th and 11th. It is my favorite foodie event of the year.

Lou Mongello:

You can learn more and get tickets at foodandwineclassic. com. Your ticket entitles you to unlimited, unlimited food and beverages on the causeway. Plus there's live entertainment, educational seminars, and much more. Again, learn more at foodandwineclassic. com. I'll also be at Jollywood Night at Disney's Hollywood Studios, brand new event this year on Monday, November 20th. There's no official meetup or anything, but I'm calling it WDW Radio Night at Jollywood Nights for anyone who's there and wants to get together and enjoy this brand new event.

Lou Mongello:

together. This is a separated ticketed event, not by me, but directly through Disney. And we have two cruises upcoming, including October 21st through the 26th, 2024, our five night first time Halloween on the high seas group cruise on the Disney magic out of Fort Lauderdale to Nassau and lookout key at lighthouse point, the brand new private Island port from Disney. And of course we have to sail on the brand new Disney treasure. February 8th through the 15th, 2025, Seven Night Western Caribbean, Cozumel, Georgetown, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, and Castaway Cay. And oh, by the way, we're also going to be celebrating WDW Radio's 20th anniversary. To learn more and get a free new obligation quote, you can visit wwradio. com slash cruises.

Lou Mongello:

Please also visit loumangelo. com because in addition to everything I do here, At WW radio, I'm also a keynote speaker and coach on a mission to share the magic of Disney and to help entrepreneurs and solopreneurs build their brand and business through one on one coaching, a weekly mastermind group, which is forming now and events, including my momentum event in the fall and retreat coming up this spring. So if you're looking to turn what you love into what you do, you can reach out and find out how we can work together for coaching and mentoring, or. If you're looking to bring a speaker into your organization, your event, or your conference to leverage customer service strategies from Disney, leadership lessons from Walt Disney, as well as inspiring practical and tactical lessons through presentations and workshops. Again, you can reach out to me directly by going to loumangelo. com. And if you like this show, and I hope that you do, all I ask that you please help spread the word, tell a friend that you're listening, rate or review the show. Over an apple podcast or spotify go answer our question of the week in the spotify podcast player app and finally and most importantly Always remember to choose the good and be a positive light and inspiration for others and please always know just how grateful I sincerely am to you and for you for Allowing me and giving me the gift of being able to share What I love so very much with you.

Lou Mongello:

I hope that this is your best week ever. If there's ever anything I can do to help you, please reach out and let me know. So until next time, see ya.


Upcoming WDW Radio Cruises!



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