So my Disney story started out much like every boy growing up in the 90’s. Your sister is into the Princess movies and you hope for Disney to come out with something for the boys. With a passion for wildlife my wish came true when The Lion King was released and later Tarzan. After visiting Walt Disney World for the first time in 1996 when Cinderella’s Castle was turned into a birthday cake for the parks 25th Anniversary I left with mixed emotions. Here I rode his first every roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, plummeted to the ground for the first time with Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and became a star in 101 Dalmatians on one of the many sound stages at the then Disney’s MGM Studios. I left with many memories but one would haunt me for years to come. It was in the then Mickey’s ToonTown Fair that I did not embrace my inner child when meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time. As a typical pre-teen I rebelled and would go on to regret that decision for nearly twenty years.
Fast forward to the early 2000’s and Disney was the furthest thing from my mind. Sports consumed me like many my age and I tried to act older than I truly was. It wasn’t until Cars came out in the summer of 2006. I was in college and was beginning to find out who I truly was. I began to embrace my southern roots and the values that I had been taught so many years before. It was in the theatre when Lightning McQueen revved his engine while coming out of his hauler that I was hooked. That one scene even 10 years later still gives me goosebumps and ignited not just a love for Disney but I discovered a new love, cars! The Cars franchise would go on to hold a special place in my heart as I would move to the home of NASCAR, Charlotte, North Carolina and would be engulfed in the lessons and teachings it shared throughout the community.
Before I moved away from The Land of the Pine in the Raleigh, North Carolina area I and my best friend began talks of starting a company. Neither of us knew how to start let alone run one. So I begin looking at companies that were successful and a few that were not. It was here that my true passion for Disney would take root. I began researching from the beginning of Walt’s life and followed his ups and downs, his successes and his failures. It was here that I learned that no matter what as long as you have the faith and drive to succeed, the only person that can stop you is yourself. From the moment I picked up my first Disney book the spark was ignited and each book and article I read stoked the fire until it became a raging wildfire.
This leads us to 2017 and the formation of WDW & Beyond. It is here that I now gets to share my passion for Disney with you the readers and listeners. I hopes that you enjoy this as much as I love sharing my passion with you.