Book Review: One Day at Disney – Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe

One Day at Disney – Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe is a companion piece to the One Day at Disney  series on Disney+.   On Thursday, February 21, 2019 photographers and videographers were deployed around the globe to document the roles of cast members spanning the Walt Disney Company.   They highlighted seventy-nine cast members who perform a wide range of roles from the parks, television, cable, digital media, Imagineering and more.  These cast member work on Disney projects around the world including the overseas parks, Aulani and Adventures By Disney.    The Disney+ series will be 52 episodes starting with a special featuring 10 of the cast members then each week a new episode between 4 to 7 minutes long will debut profiling a single cast member and their role.

Here is the initial announcement for the project at D23 Expo 2019 –

This 224 page coffee table book will be released December 3, the same day as the series premieres on Disney+.   The book is organized into chapters based on time of day starting at midnight in Los Angeles where Disney is headquartered, which happens to be evening in Tokyo, midday in Paris and early morning in the Bahamas.   Most  cast member are given at least a two page spread, some receive an extra set of pictures, and a couple are grouped into a set of pages.  The text describes a little about their role and their background.   The book features large photos of the cast members, many performing their roles, which were all taken on the same day.

When you flip through this book and look at the variety of roles, locations and people involved in making the magic happen at Disney it is really impressive.   The skill sets involved span an array of disciplines.  Some pop to mind right away when you think of Disney for example on air talent, business people, Imagineers.  Others may not be quick to come to mind such as scuba divers, arborist, veterinarian or ranch manager.

One Day at DisneyOnce I heard the announcement for this project I thought it was a really interesting concept and I was excited to learn more about the people and their roles.  The previous One Day at Disney book jumped to my mind right away. That booked was released in 2000 and focused on the Disney Parks around the world.  This one has a focus on people around the globe and their roles.  The book does a good job of introducing you to the individual and sharing a little about them, their background/interests and then a little on their role.   The focus is really on the people more than their roles.   Me being the geek that I am would have liked to have seen more about their role.. maybe a second two page spread on each person instead of the single.. but it is already a lengthy book.   I am looking forward to seeing the Disney+ series to learn more. I just hope it does not feel too short per person.

I found the roles of those more off the beaten path the most interesting.  For example Steve Sligh whose title is Walt Disney Studios Operations—Senior Manager, Golden Oak Ranch.  He lived on the Golden Oak Ranch and managed it for decades. This included working with productions for film and television as well as managing the land itself.    At the D23 Expo he shared several interesting stories such as one where a film crew needed a several acre corn field.  So they planted one and grew the crop so it would be the height and size the crew needed at the time the filming was scheduled to take place.

One Day at Disney – Meet the People Who Make the Magic Across the Globe may make a great addition to your library if you are like me and enjoy learning about the Walt Disney Company and the cast members that make the magic happen.  The scope of the cast members profiled and the imagery are impressive and the concept of capturing it all on one day was interesting.    If you are looking to learn a lot about the roles themselves you may find this book lacking as the focus is the individual not the job.


D23 Released a full list of the cast members involved:

  1. Alfredo Ayala: Walt Disney Imagineering—Executive, Research & Development
  2. Alice Taylor: The Walt Disney Studios—Vice President, Content Innovation and StudioLAB
  3. Amanda Lauder: Disney Springs—Chef Chocolatier at The Ganachery
  4. Angela Morales: Aulani—Resort Performer (“Aunty”) and Live Music Coordinator
  5. Anthony Anderson: ABC—Star and Executive Producer of black•ish
  6. Ashley Girdich: Walt Disney Imagineering—Technical Program Manager, Research & Development
  7. Billy Ray Chubbs: Lucasfilm—Motion Capture Performer and Receptionist
  8. Bob Iger: Chairman & CEO, The Walt Disney Company
  9. Brie Larson: Actor in Captain Marvel
  10. Bryce Dallas Howard: Director of Episode 4 of The Mandalorian on Disney+
  11. Candice Valdez: Radio Disney—On-Air Talent
  12. Carlton Fu: Shanghai Disney Resort—Team Manager, Attraction Engineering Services
  13. Chris Cristi: KABC Los Angeles—Helicopter Reporter
  14. Cyril Soreau: Disneyland Paris—Fruit and Vegetable Sculptor
  15. Dana Amendola: Disney Theatrical Productions—Vice President, Operations
  16. David Muir: ABC News, Anchor and Managing Editor, ABC World News Tonight
  17. Ebony Winski: Disneyland Resort—Princess Tiana in Mickey and the Magical Map
  18. Ed Fritz: Walt Disney Imagineering—Ride Engineering Executive
  19. Ellen Pompeo: ABC—Star and Producer of Grey’s Anatomy
  20. Eric Baker: Walt Disney Imagineering—Creative Director
  21. Eric Goldberg: Walt Disney Animation Studios—Animator and Director
  22. Eric Stonestreet: ABC—Actor on Modern Family
  23. Este Meza: Lucasfilm Senior Events Manager
  24. Fabian Dib: Disney Cruise Line—Captain
  25. Fabiola M Kersul de Salles: Walt Disney World—PhotoPass Photographer
  26. Francheska Roman: Disneyland Resort—Candy Maker
  27. Gabriela Clark: Walt Disney Studios—Senior Manager, Creative Print Services
  28. George Montano: Disneyland Resort—Staff Shop, General Lead
  29. George Pennacchio: KABC Los Angeles—Entertainment Reporter
  30. Grace Lee: Disney Publishing Worldwide—Senior Illustration Manager
  31. Heather Bartleson: Walt Disney World—Senior Facilities Coordinator, Holiday Services
  32. Jackie Ma: Hong Kong Disneyland—Senior Arborist
  33. Jason Benetti: ESPN—Play-by-Play Announcer/Analyst
  34. Jerome Ranft: Pixar Studios—Sculptor
  35. Jesse Tyler Ferguson: ABC—Actor on Modern Family
  36. Jon Favreau: Executive Producer of The Mandalorian on Disney+
  37. Jose Zelaya: Disney Television Animation—Character Designer
  38. Joseph Hernandez: Disneyland Resort—Mark Twain Riverboat Attraction Working Lead
  39. Juan Estrella: The Walt Disney Studios Lot in Burbank—Security Guard
  40. Justin Tse: Shanghai Disney Resort—Area Manager, Costuming and Walt Disney Grand Theatre Wardrobe Supervisor
  41. Kae Namiki: Tokyo Disneyland—Stage Manager, Show Operations (pictured above)
  42. Katie Whetsell: Disney’s Animal Kingdom—Principal Actor in Finding Nemo—The Musical
  43. Kenneth Ko: Hong Kong Disneyland—Pavement Art Team Leader and Custodial Guest Services Manager
  44. Korey Amrine: Adventures By Disney—Tour Guide
  45. Kris Becker: Disney’s Animal Kingdom—Animal Keeper
  46. Kristina Dewberry: Walt Disney Imagineering—Construction Manager—Logistics, Disneyland Overall
  47. Laura Cabo: Walt Disney Imagineering—Portfolio Creative Executive
  48. Leah Buono: Disney Channel—Executive Direction, Casting
  49. Leslie Evans: Walt Disney Imagineering—Manager, Research & Development
  50. Lois Hammersley: Walt Disney World—Attractions Hostess
  51. Lupe De Santiago: Disneyland Resort—Audio-Animatronics® Special Projects Lead
  52. Manon Teissier Du Cros: Disneyland Paris—Pastry Chef at Walt’s—An American Restaurant
  53. Marc Smith: Walt Disney Animation Studios—Director of Story for Frozen 2
  54. Mark Gonzales: Disneyland Resort—Steam Locomotive Engineer
  55. Maxine Shepard: ABC—Production Designer for black•ish
  56. Michael Illardi: Walt Disney Imagineering—Principal Research & Development Imagineer
  57. Mike Davie: Walt Disney Imagineering—Project Manager Principal
  58. Morgan Pope: Walt Disney Imagineering—Associate Research Scientist, Research & Development
  59. Natalie Mylniczenco: Disney’s Animal Kingdom—Veterinarian, Disney’s Animals, Science, and Environment
  60. Nate Moore: Marvel Studios—Vice President, Development and Production
  61. Nontra Null: Consumer Products—Design Manager, Softlines Product Development
  62. Pablo Tufino: Disney’s Animal Kingdom—Foreman, Computer Ride Show Tech
  63. Patti Murin: Disney Theatrical Productions—Plays the role of Anna in Frozen on Broadway
  64. Pavan “Billy” Komkai: ESPN+—Manager, Broadcast Engineering
  65. Peter Dufour: Walt Disney World—Security Host
  66. Rob Richards: El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood—House Organist
  67. Robin Roberts: ABC—Co-Anchor, Good Morning America
  68. Ryan Meinerding: Marvel Studios—Head of Visual Development
  69. Sage Steele: ESPN—SportsCenter Anchor
  70. Scot Drake: Walt Disney Imagineering—Creative Executive, Marvel Global Portfolio
  71. Sidney Bain: Disney Cruise Line—Tram Coordinator/Trainer/Pest Control Operator, Castaway Cay
  72. Sofia Wylie: Disney Channel—Actor in High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney+ (pictured above in front row far right)
  73. Stephanie Carrol: Walt Disney World—Ranch Hand
  74. Steve Sligh: Walt Disney Studios Operations—Senior Manager, Golden Oak Ranch
  75. Thom Self: Disneyland Resort—Attraction Machinist
  76. Tia Kratter: Pixar Studios—Manager, Art & Film Education, Pixar University
  77. Tony Salvaggio: Disneyland Resort—Park Decorator, Window Display Team
  78. Vince Caro: Pixar Studios—Senior Recording/Mixing Engineer
  79. Zamavuso (Zama) Magudulela: Disney Theatrical Productions—Rafiki in the Madrid production of The Lion King


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