One Day at Disney – A Celebration of the People Behind the Magic

You’d be amazed at what goes into making the magic happen!

The Disney Company is truly a global enterprise and there is magic happening all the time, all over the world.  Whether it’s hosting a morning show in New York, dressing a pirate in Disneyland, managing a parade in Tokyo, or taking care of a porcupine who just might be pregnant at Animal Kingdom, Disney is always awake.  No matter what time of day.  All for you…

To capture the magic and to give a glimpse backstage into this marvelous and sometimes hidden world, Disney Publishing Worldwide in collaboration with the newly launched video streaming platform, Disney+ launched One Day at Disney on December 3rd, 2019.  On one special day, Disney photographers and filmmakers around the world captured moments from every aspect of the company.  From theme parks to film to TV to animation to Aulani to Broadway to the Disney Cruise and even more, cast members were interviewed and their daily routine in the Disney Company was recorded and then compiled into both a book AND a series on Disney+.

It’s fascinating to find out not only about the cast members themselves, but the work they do for the company.  The book is broken down into eight three hour segments and in each segment different people are highlighted from different parts of the company.  Because the company is headquartered in Burbank, CA the day begins at midnight on the West Coast and we travel through the day in the Pacific time zone.  Each time zone features people actually doing work during that three hour block so the book actually covers 40 continuous hours in the company (24 hours + 8 hours on either end).  The people in that time block are covered throughout their day, but I believe the images are captured within that one 24-hour day.

Jackie Ma, Senior Arborist at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort – just one of the many talented people creating magic for us every day.

Personally, I always find it fun to learn more about the legendary Imagineers – that group of creative people behind many of the attractions you find at theme parks around the world.  But I have to admit my favorites were ordinary people who do some interesting jobs that you might not even think about how the company utilizes their talents to create the magic for all of us.  Steve Sligh, the senior manager of Golden Oak Ranch, manages and maintains a filming property for the Walt Disney Company.  Reading about his story and his encounters with celebrity life is funny and entertaining.  Jackie Ma is Senior Arborist at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and the first and only female member of the 80-member team.  I would never guess that was even a job you could have, but of course the trees and plant life have to be cared for and maintained on a daily basis.  Franceska Roman is a candymaker at Disneyland who created the Dory and Nemo candy apples!  She doesn’t have a degree in the culinary arts or had experience in the candy making business.  She’s an example of the type of person Disney cultivates in-house who has found a talent she probably never knew she had.  My favorite interview though was with Natalie D. Mylniczenko, a veterinarian who works with Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment team.  She is also featured on the Disney+ documentary and it is so cool to see her doing an ultrasound an a porcupine!    There are also interviews with some well known names like Brie Larson or Robin Roberts or of course, company CEO Bob Iger.  Each person has a story to tell.  Each person has talents and gifts that are add to the greater whole.  Some are more visible than others, but each one is important in their own way.

Natalie D. Mylniczenko is a veterinarian who helps to care for the non-human cast when they need it

That’s truly the heart of One Day at Disney – teamwork.  What makes the book and the documentary on Disney+ so fascinating is not how cool each individual is, but instead how so many different people are using their unique gifts to create something wonderful and more magical than any one of them could do by themselves.  To read how all of these pieces of the puzzle fit together into one tapestry is fascinating and all the more impressive because of the vast array of talent in so many diverse arenas that go into one day at Disney.  Now you, too, can be part of the magic.

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