Your Disney Dose: Beyond the Castle
I sure do love all the reviews on Mickeyblog.com. I’ve read reviews on trips, parks, restaurants, rides, movies and they are all so forthcoming and helpful – so poke around the blog and read them all! But first let’s make some history right now together! Are you ready for (possibly) the first ever book review on here?!
Of course, it has to be a book about Disney and I think I’ve found a very worthy title to be reviewed and worthy to be added to all the great reviews on this blog.
Let’s talk about “Beyond the Castle: A guide to discovering your happily ever after” by 30 year Disney veteran Jody Dreyer.
Goodness, this book is terrific! And I’ll be honest, I did not start with great expectations for this book. I do like reading leadership, inspirational, and personal growth type books but I’d never heard of Jody. Just like you (and Jody), I do love Disney Parks so I decided to give the book a try.
And, wow. I liked this book more and more every page I read. Jody offers a compelling combination of memoir and life coaching. She adds in so many stories from behind-the-scenes Disney which tantalizingly shed light on pivotal Disney leadership decisions in the 80s and 90s. For example, have you ever wondered if Disney considered having Mickey and Minnie get married? Maybe Tinkerbell is your favorite but you were always a little curious if she really is a Disney princess or not? There’s a long list of stories like those that add to the appeal of this book. Do you know how many ‘Make a Wish’ requests Disney has fulfilled or that Walt himself was an advocate of Disney’s support and volunteer efforts in local children’s hospitals and other ways to help kids keep their dreams alive?
Jody helped open up the Disney Parks in Tokyo and Paris; the first Parks Disney opened that weren’t directly inspired by Walt himself. That’s impressive! But, how did she get to that position with Disney? Well, she has a great story with mid-Western roots, family trips to Orlando, starting in the most entry level of positions in the Magic Kingdom and letting her belief in the combination of passion, purpose and hard work pay off in a 30 year Disney career. I mean, one of her book accolades was written by Michael Eisner himself!
She also opens up on the importance of her faith in God and how that is the spark and catalyst for each and every day for her. Jody is real and candid about her fears, struggles and celebrations and I appreciate her boldness in sharing this personal part of her story as it communicates authenticity and vulnerability. We get the Jody who is successful and doing so many seemingly unattainable Disney things as well as the humility and character building truths which are universal.
Jody has done a great job writing a book that will make you laugh, say ‘a-ha’, and also be reminded and encouraged to dig a little deeper every day. Her wisdom, to me, was very applicable, communicated effectively and I felt inspired and equipped in a unique way after reading this book. We need more authors and books like this if nothing else to demonstrate that character and hard work still count in today’s busy and short-cut taking world. I hope you read this book!
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