Walt Disney was the dreamer who inspired us to dream. That to me is his greatest legacy, though the parks are a close second. Inspired by the visionary, my brother and I prepared for four months to put on a miniature version of Epcot at his home on July 4th, 2008. Besides our own Illuminations show and a Mexican themed deck with all the music and even a “Club Cool”, our biggest hit was our own ride re-creation of Soarin. When we posted the Minicot – Backyard Soarin at some of the forums I enjoyed feeling like we connected with what you call Neurotic Disney folks here. One of my dreams is to connect folks like you and I who don’t find such efforts to be just a manifestation of a mid-life crisis.
My earliest recollection of some dreaming “issues” was in the fifth grade. We were given a brief introduction into drafting and the assignment was to draw up our dream house. Did they really say that? Finally, an assignment I can sink my creative teeth into! I spent the night drawing the most wonderful house and imagined that the teacher would feel compelled to hand out the first A++ in the history of Evergreen Elementary School. A few days later while preparing my acceptance speech “how to dream like me” the graded work landed on my desk, C+.
After class I desperately sought out my obviously confused teachers attention and asked why OH WHY did I get a C+? He said “You didn’t draw a house, this is a shopping mall.” To which I proudly smiled “Yes sir!” Needless to say, I thought the object of the lesson was how big we could dream. My good friend Dave got an A and went on to become a bridge architect, he got the point of the lesson. Meanwhile I had no intention of taming my dream to have a home theater, bowling alley and restaurant, C+ or not!
I didn’t get to Disneyland until I was 14, it was the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights that first exposed me to Walt. I liked everything they did. I especially recall a cartoon of Goofy driving one of those cars at Autopia, that silly little cartoon was when I really connected with my imagination. In truth I imagined Autopia a lot bigger than it was, but fortunately there was Pirates of the Carribean 🙂
My company name is Dreamers Empire, largely influenced by Walt. Because he persisted in his dreams, we dare to dream. Many of you have pursued your dreams by exploring some Disney venue through a blog, forum, podcast, written a book, and many other ways. If thats you I want to talk to you, I’m bringing together those like JL who have created something special about Disney. I’m numbering those dreams from 1 to who knows what, my goal at Dreamers Empire is to encourage and even help people chase their dream. My contributions here at DDL will be focused on Disney pursuits and connecting us neurotic Disney people.
Like a lot of you I have a number of dreams but I have mainly focused on two. One is a distance tracking website and this is not a pitch for that! In fact I’m still trying to figure it out, I think it has something but I haven’t connected it with folks yet. My second is a movie I’ve written that is called Dreamers Empire. If you are wondering how my movie can also be named after my dream chasing web site, well, trust me it works. You can read more about those efforts here in the near future. But in chasing my dreams I’ve found what I’m sure a lot of you have, its hard! What I have read about Walt demonstrates how different he was than others. A venture capital person, for instance, looks for any weakness they can find and then wisk your dream out the door. Walt looked for anything good in a dream and then helped make it a reality. This, I believe, is the reason we will forget the names of most wealthy entrepreneurs but always remember Walt with such fond affection. My efforts here will be to highlight people pursuing a Disney Dream and share those ‘Dreamers Moments’ when something magical happened that made you realize you were on the right track 🙂