Title: One Day at Disney
Author: Bruce Steele, Bob Iger (Introduction)
Pub. Date: December 3, 2019
Publisher: Disney Editions Deluxe
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, TBD, Target, Disney Store
One Day at Disney is one of wonderful books that can touch readers in any number of ways. For life long Disney fans it’s an intimate look at the inner workings of Disney’s parks, studios, cruise operations, and more around the world. For young people looking for a way to break into the Disney family, it offers them a number of perhaps unexpected ways to find their place as a Disney cast member. For the curious folks that come by and see it sitting on your coffee table, it’s a quick and entertaining read about real people living their best lives. And for Disney+ subscribers it’s a companion to the documentary shorts series that serves as one of Disney’s first originals on their new streaming service.
One Day at Disney tells the story of one ordinary, average Thursday in 2019 and highlights the efforts of cast members around the world as they create Disney magic. Some of the people highlighted are famous actors, producers, and news anchors that you’ll see on your TV screens every day. But the bulk of the folks highlighted are just your everyday Disney cast members working at parks, working on productions around the world, and catering to the Disney fans they love to work with.
The jobs featured range from an arborist in Hong Kong to an adventure tour guide who has worked around the world to a Disney cruise line captain and much, much more. The individuals featured in One Day at Disney have their photos accompanied with their home towns, positions, and either their favorite Disney movie or park attraction. (The Lion King is, of course, a big favorite.) One Day at Disney doesn’t just focus on their jobs but the cast members as individuals, telling the stories of how they came to work for Disney as well as what they do now.
As a foster parent with a very creative teenager at home, I appreciate the way that everyone’s story is told. For kids who want to work at Disney or be a part of the magic in really any way possible, One Day at Disney is a treasure trove of possibilities. Kids who aren’t artistic but still love to work with their hands could find positions in imagineering, engineering, and more. Kids who love animals, kids who love fashion, kids who love baking…. there is very clearly a place for them if they only want to follow their dreams. It’s a very cool way to show the many different ways people come to be a part of Disney. And it shines a spotlight on a lot of positions that people probably don’t even realist exist.
I loved One Day at Disney and I was glad to have a chance to watch the first mini-episode of the documentary short series before writing this review, too. Because I love the way it compliments the book. Eric Goldberg, an long-time Disney animator, is the first person featured and the little six minute short adds even more depth to the two-page spread he got in the book. They go well hand-in-hand and having read the book I am now very excited to see how the rest of the shorts play out.
One Day at Disney is a lovely book that gives credit to the often lesser known heroes of Disney. It will make a great gift for Disney fans – especially those who seem to have everything. The December 3rd release means it’s ready just in time for Christmas!
About the Book
Discover what it’s like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company. Step behind the scenes to immerse yourself in one “ordinary” day at Disney. In addition to the book, the Disney+ team was on hand to capture stories along the way. A full-length documentary and 52 short-form episodes expand the profiles and delve deeper into the essence of what it’s like to be a Disney cast member.
On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing “Cast Members Only” doors – whether eavesdropping on historic endeavors or typical tasks. All the photos in this book were taken on that single Thursday, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sun set on the Aulani resort in Hawaii.
On that day, some 80 Cast Members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines – and some even more surprising and diverse work spaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.
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Bruce C. Steele is a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and the unheralded, from the pastry chefs at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. A Pennsylvania native and University of Alabama graduate, he started his career at a daily newspaper in Louisiana and most recently worked at the paper in his current home of Asheville, North Carolina. In between he was the executive editor of Out magazine and the editor in chief of The Advocate newsmagazine and also took time to get an MFA in film studies from Columbia University. He has lived in New York City and Los Angeles, where his husband was a Disney animator. He’s now a freelance writer and regular contributor to Disney’s twenty-three magazine. Apart from this book, some of his favorite past interviews have been Emma Watson, Sir Ian McKellen, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson and crawfish farmers in the Louisiana bayou.
Robert A. Iger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Iger is the steward of one of the world’s largest media companies and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. His strategic vision for The Walt Disney Company focuses on three fundamental pillars: generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world.
Mr. Iger has built on Disney’s rich history of unforgettable storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019), as well as the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across new and multiple platforms, most recently leveraging cutting-edge direct-to-consumer technology to successfully launch the Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019 and ESPN+ in 2018.
Disney’s exceptional entertainment experiences, widely diverse content, and unique skill in managing businesses in an integrated manner have led to strong results. During Mr. Iger’s tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2019); one of the “Best Employers” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2019 and 2018, respectively); one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2019); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2017); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013).
Prior to his current role, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Executive Officer beginning October 2005 and President and Chief Operating Officer from 2000-2005. Mr. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as Chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of President, Walt Disney International. In that role, Mr. Iger expanded and coordinated Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the Company’s international growth today. As Chairman of the ABC Group, Mr. Iger oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and radio and publishing businesses and also guided the complex merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. During Mr. Iger’s years with ABC, he obtained hands-on experience in every aspect of the television business—including news, sports, and entertainment—as well as in program acquisition, rights negotiations, and business affairs. He began his career at ABC in 1974.
Mr. Iger has been named one of the “World’s Most Powerful People” by Forbes magazine (2018); one of Fortune magazine’s “25 Most Powerful People in Business” (2006, 2007); one of the “Top Gun CEOs” by Forbes magazine (2009); one of the “Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011); MarketWatch CEO of the Year (2006); and “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive (2014). Mr. Iger serves on the boards of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2012, Mr. Iger became a member of the Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, which recognizes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders.
Mr. Iger is a graduate of Ithaca College.