Welcome to Brent's Blog. About once a week I will share my thoughts and stories
about my book, show, website, and Disney parks, books, and movies right here. I
hope you enjoy!
May 14, 2011
- D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt!
Hard work goes a
my dad, my friend Dave, and I
participated in the D23
Scavenger Hunt in Disneyland and
had a blast! At the end of the
event we began talking with one
another about how we knew we
could win the next Scavenger
Hunt taking place in Walt Disney
World this year. So we contacted
my other friend Frank (Dave's
cousin) and assembled a plan. We
knew how we screwed up in
Disneyland and were convinced we
could fix all of those problems
our next time around in the
first ever WDW scavenger hunt
hosted by Disney!
So the studying
began. I went to the park every
day (well, still. I was already
going every day, but now I had a
new thing on the agenda), took
pictures, videos, and notes and
would send them back to my
teammates. They would then study
the notes and we began to quiz
one another on an almost daily
Finally all of
my teammates began to say
something that people have been
telling me for years: that I
know more about Disney World
than anyone else they know. I've
always felt that I had a pretty
good understanding of things
Disney, especially with the
book, but my scavenger hunt
research really did help me
learn a lot more.
everything set up. We had our
gameplan, we had done hours of
studying. It was time for the
day of all days....May 12, 2011.
The rules stated
that you must start at the park
assigned to you. Unfortunately
(or so we thought), we got
assigned to begin
with Epcot. Another thing stated
in the rules was the obvious
one, no cheating. So we threw
all of our note cards in Herbie
and turned off all electronics
in fear that both of those would
be cheating (we found out later
on that it didn't seem to be
We got to the
park around 10 and found a spot
to be our "base camp" which
ended up being the Electric
Umbrella. We checked in, power
walked back to the Electric
Umbrella and sat down to answer
as many questions as possible.
From our studying we were able
to answer around 33% of the
questions and already knew we
wouldn't have to waste time on
some of the attractions that
would eat up a lot of our time.
up our question round at base
camp, we headed off to the park
with a determination I've never
had before. For the next four
hours we answered every question
in the book (we found out after
the event was over we only got
one question wrong) and were
feeling extremely satisfied with
how we had done. One thing
troubled us. If we got 100%
(which we thought we had), then
other teams are most likely
getting 100% at this park as
well. We needed to step it up in
our next three parks.
We headed over
to the Magic Kingdom, got some
food, and took one last walk
around the park hoping to pick
up any little detail that we may
not already know. We then
checked in and went to our Magic
Kingdom base camp. Once again we
answered close to 50% of the
questions with no problem and
headed off to the park in
pursuit of all the questions we
We got through
all the questions with the
exception of one 10 pointer. I
began to question how well we
were going to do. Surely someone
had gotten two 100% up to this
point. We needed to go back,
rest, and regroup for the next
We got to
Disney's Hollywood Studios
around 8:30AM the next day. Once
again we headed right to our
base camp and answered as many
questions as possible. We got
quite a few of them done
including a few big point
questions right off the bat! We
were feeling good. We always
said we were "in it to win it,"
but I could now see that we
truly had a chance at it. We
finished the park with half an
hour to spare and were on top of
the world until......
I love Animal
Kingdom! It's my second favorite
park and I know where a lot of
really obscure things are.
However, in the Scavenger Hunt
there are ten point questions
that send you from one place to
another place to another place
to another place until you get
your final answer. In the other
parks we rarely had to backtrack
to retrieve our answer, however,
in this park we did for several
of the ten pointers.
With half an
hour to go we still had about 50
points left to get (out of 225),
but we knew what we had to do.
We just had to make our way to
Africa to pick up about 25
points and then get to the Oasis
to get the last 25 points. Only
one thing stood in our way:
Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade
(ironically, the very parade
Frank, Dave, and I were in a few
days after meeting at a D23
After being told
by some Cast Members that we
couldn't cross over into Africa
via the bridge I explained to
them that there is a path that
most people rarely take behind
the Tree of Life that would save
us a few minutes. They let us
through and we were on our way
to Africa (by the way, I think I
mastered the art of speedwalking
We got to Africa
and answered enough questions to
get about 20 points. We needed
to get to the Oasis, but we only
had 15 minutes left (every
minute you're late you lose a
point). We got to the Oasis and
had another road block. We
couldn't find two of our clues
so it came down to making some
educated guesses. We turned the
books in and then began the
longest 3 and a half hours of my
We met up in the
Fantasia ballroom in the
Contemporary resort at 8:30, but
they were triple checking the
scores to make sure they counted
correctly. We waited patiently
in the front row. All of us felt
like we had a great chance at
winning, but we didn't want
to say it out loud. It was time
for the moment of truth. They
decided to give teams 11-20 a
pin so we got even more nervous
that we would be in the top 20
and have no chance at the main
We felt like we
over 800 points and were
relieved to hear that the teams
they were calling out were
around 750 points. Finally they
started announcing the top 10.
We waited patiently all silently
praying that our team number
wouldn't be called. Top 5. The
suspense was killing me. Top 3.
We have a one in three chance.
We weren't third. We knew we
were either first or second. The
last thing we wanted to hear was
our number being called next. We
waited not so patiently making
eye contact with one another.
At that moment
you begin to realize that even
if you don't win, it's been a
crazy nine months with the four
of us. We all got closer to one
another and now had a bond that
could never be broken, but we
needed them to announce second
place. When they didn't call our
names Frank started saying, "Oh
my God! I'm going to faint." I
just hoped we didn't overlook
something and were actually not
even in the top 20. Then it was
time. They announced our number
as the winners!
We yelled, we
hugged, we knew that our hard
work had paid off. There was so
much that added up to the
perfect game for us. Out of 900
points (225 x 4), we had gotten
812 beating out second place by
7 points. If we had taken any of
our teammates out of the
equation and replaced them with
someone else we wouldn't have
won. We all had a role to play
and we all excelled at that role
throughout the full 13 hours of
Well, as the winners we get to
go on the preview cruise for the
Disney Fantasy! But before that
happens next March, you know
I've got some other surprises up
Click here to find an article
that features us on the D23 site
May 9, 2011 -
Saturday was my 1,000th day in
the park. I know what you're
going to ask, because everyone
else has: "How on earth do you
know it was that specific day?"
When I was finishing up From
Screen to Theme (the book) I
wrote a description of myself on
the back of the book talking
about how many days I had been
in the park up to that point. I
went through all past vacation
information from family
vacations and then when I moved
down here I just kept track from
there, which led us to May 7,
2011: Day 1,000!
There were a few
things I wanted to do for this
special occasion that most
people never reach, but the
number one was the most obvious:
visit the Magic Kingdom. Once I
got there I went to my spot
(which is what some Cast Members
referred to it as when I was on
my college program back in
While at my spot I
looked out at the most
incredible view in the
entire world. There in
front of me was
Cinderella Castle. I was
going to snap a picture
from my spot on this
milestone day, but then,
like a movie, a million
flashing through my
I began to think of
standing where the
couple in the center is
and watching Wishes for
my last time on the
College Program. I
remember singing "Can
You Feel the Love
Tonight?" one night with
my friends Kathryn and
Erin where the little
girl in the purple is,
to which a guest came up
to us and asked if we
were trying to launch
are singing career.
This was the spot where
I first met several of
the WEDfriends and where
I first ran into my
buddy Tommy Des Brisay.
Next thing I knew it was
half an hour later and I
had the biggest smile on
my face. I have a lot of
people who ask how I can
go to the parks on a
basis and the
answer is quite simple. I'm
lucky (and I know that).
I'm lucky that
my dreams have come true and
everything has fallen into place
the way I always dreamed it
Later that night
I participated in the fourth
annual (and my fourth)
Expedition Everest Challenge! I
broadcasted live for the viewers
from the race and had a blast as
always doing it! Afterwards I
ran into a group of friends and
we closed down the park at 1AM.
been a great 1,000 days. I can't
wait to see what the next 1,000
have in store for me.
April 1, 2011 -
This has to be an April Fools joke!
I often have
people point out that odd things
happen to me all the time and
they really do. I often have
crazy stories to tell and most
people question whether or not
they are true. Here is a story
that happened today while
entering Disney's Hollywood
from the parking lot I was
passing the Cast Member parking
lot where I saw a guy walking
towards the tram area with a bag
and a beer. At first I thought
he was a Cast Member that didn't
know anything about "good show,"
but then realized he had a
mullet and there is no way he
could be a Cast Member. I
continued walking towards the
security check point that is
tucked away near the restrooms
and guest relations (which is
almost never crowded).
About a quarter of the way
down the path the mullet man
appears next to me and says,
"Hey, what'd you got in the
bag?" I eyed him for a second
and said, "The goods" thinking
that was a funny answer. His
face lit up and he said (to put
it in a much friendlier term)
"Like candy? Tootsie rolls and
I just kept walking. He then
pointed out he had some water
and a can of beer in his bag and
has been trying to find a wall
to throw his bag over so he can
retrieve it once he enters the
park. He hadn't had any luck
though so was now trying to find
a place to put his bag before he
enters the park so he can get it
when he exits later that day. I
just nodded my head not
believing what was going on.
He then asked me again what
was in my bag. I said nothing
(for those curious a copy of
From Screen to Theme, my
notebook, and some From Screen
to Theme buttons).
He then asked if I was
meeting up with family or
friends inside the park. I
pointed out I was alone and he
started laughing and asked if I
was serious. I pointed out I
wrote a book about Disney and
run a Disney website which made
him lose it while saying, "A
website about Disney? HA! That'd
be the day. You are the most
mysterious man I've ever met!
At this point we reached
security and he walked right
past the lone security guard
working. The security guard
pointed out that he must have
his bag checked and then
motioned for me to put my bag on
the table first. While the guard
was going through my bag I heard
a little thud behind me.
I turned around and saw my
new friend getting off the
ground in the tram area and
running towards the spot where
the tram lets the guests off.
The guard then yelled at him to
get back, but the guy said, "I'm
going to enter the park this
way." He then gave me a thumbs
up as if he had beat the system.
The guy then went near a
corner in the tram area and
started putting his bag under
some bushes. A tram driver and a
few security guards all saw this
and the security swarmed in on
the guy. I'm not sure what
happened to him, but I really
hope I find out. And if that guy
ever stumbles across this I have
one thing to say:
Yes, there are websites
dedicated to Disney and yes, you
were featured on one!
March 15, 2011 -
Don't you hate that!
You know the feeling. Someone
approaches you about something
new and exciting and all you can
think is, "that sounds so
stupid. There is no way this is
going to be good."
We've all been there at one
point or another. The other day
a guest standing next to me was
that person. I was with my mom
at the Hub waiting for the new
"The Magic, The Memories, and
You" Castle show to begin. A few
months ago I was standing in
almost the same spot waiting for
the show to begin hoping it was
better than some crummy pictures
thrown up on the Castle. After
the show was done I was
pleasantly surprised with how
much I enjoyed the new show.
Flash back to a few days ago.
I'm standing next to a guest who
was complaining to his wife
about how he didn't want to
watch the show. "Why should we
watch pictures on the castle?
They probably just use the same
pictures over and over every
day. Even if they don't why
would I want to watch other
I was dreading watching the show
to this negative man and hoped
that my mom, who was on the
other side of me, wouldn't hear
him during the show so she could
have a great first viewing.
Within the first two minutes of
the show the man continued to
talk to his family and didn't
care at all about what was going
on. In my head there was one
thought going through my head:
There is no way this guy will
become a huge Disney fan with
About another minute passed and
the complaining stopped, but the
talking continued. The talking
was now, "HOLY COW! LOOK! LOOK!"
recognized the one girl on one
of the towers. It was the
complainer's daughter. The show
was no longer awful, but
awesome. The man frantically
took out his camera and got a
picture of his daughter's face
on Cinderella Castle.
The rest of the show the man was
beaming. His daughter was the
star of the show even though no
one, with the exception of me
and those around him, would ever
know. For the five minutes in
between the show and Wishes the
family talked excitedly about
how they couldn't wait for the
fireworks and how cool it was to
see their daughter on the
Castle. With one simple picture
this man became a Disney fan and
I know he'll go home and talk
about how great his trip was
even if it was just for a brief
I'm often asked how I can go to
the park on a daily basis and
not get sick of it. It's moments
like that that keep me coming
back for more. In a second a
man's whole vacation was changed
from negative to the greatest
thing ever and it all came down
to the fact that his daughter
was on the Castle.
When this show premiered in
January I was hesitant about how
good it would be. Now that I've
seen it from a brand new point
of view, this show is a must
February 27, 2011 -
So today I was editing
Reuben's Sunday Brunch
it became an extremely
emotional article for me to
read. I went to Mickey's Kitchen
in Illinois shortly after it
opened. When we were younger my
Grandparents (Dodge side) would
take two grandkids at a time on
a weekend outing and do
something special with them. My
cousin Colleen and I got to go
to Mickey's Kitchen! Hold your
horses. This is where the story
really gets interesting:
While there my Grandpa told us
we could each get two things. I
got a stuffed animal Patch (from
101 Dalmatians) and a little
statue of Pluto (which if I
remember correctly cost $12!).
That night the four of us stayed
up talking and my Grandparents
said we could stay up until as
late as they were up. Eventually
my Grandpa and cousin decided to
head off to bed.
I started talking to my Grandma
about my Pluto statue and told
her I had a secret. I gave her a
hug and told her some day I was
going to work at Disney World.
She hugged me back and said she
knew I would some day if that's
what I really want.
As most of you know from my
dedication in From Screen to
Theme this was the first time I
ever confided in my dream of
working at Disney with anyone.
So reading today's article got
me very teary eyed thinking back
to that special moment that I
truly believe started everything
that has happened to me today.
February 11, 2011 -
Saying Goodbye to Toontown
I'm going to put this out there
right away. I'm a very sentimental
person. If you give me a plastic bag
tomorrow and we have a great day
together I will have a tough time
throwing that bag away ten years
down the line because I will have
those memories in my head.
However, today we are talking about
something a whole lot bigger than a
plastic bag. Mickey's Toontown Fair
was planned to be a temporary land.
I bet no one realized temporary
would be 23 years. In those 23 years
I have been to this section of the
park several times. Not as often as
the other six lands in the Magic
Kingdom, but I've been there more
often than anyone else I know.
When I first heard about the
Fantasyland Expansion I was beyond
excited! I couldn't believe that my
favorite land was doubling in size
and all these new attractions and
experiences were going to be there
for me in a few years. However,
after much thought I began to
realize that this would bring an end
to Mickey's Toontown Fair and I
began to get a little sad.
So when I ended up moving to Florida
last March I began to come to this
wonderful and often unexplored area
as often as I could. The funny thing
is, the more I went, the more I fell
in love with it. Some of the
greatest references in my book can
be found here, the Barnstormer is a
great, although very short,
attraction, Mickey and Minnie are
here, and it's where I fell in love
with the lovely Rosetta.
Over the past week I have spent more
than 25 hours here and during that
time I have gotten fairly emotional,
but today was one of the hardest
days of all. While in line for the
Barnstormer the couple in front of
me was talking and the wife turned
to her husband and said, "This was
my first roller coaster. I can't
believe it won't be here in a couple
Later while in Minnie's Country
House five people around my age were
hugging in Minnie's living room and
crying their eyes out. I went into
the corner and silently cried as
well. It was at that moment I
realized that Toontown isn't just a
destination, but a place filled with
memories, especially for Disney's
This is most likely the first place
a child will meet Mickey and Minnie
or the place where they'll first
ride a roller coaster, or truly
believe in magic because they see
that Mickey and Minnie actually have
houses which makes them that much
more real. Toontown is where my
brother received his lifelong fear
of Jafar and is where I fell in love
with Rosetta. It's where I met some
amazing Cast Members who let me ride
the Barnstormer over and over again
while researching an episode of the
It's a place where my friend Mariel
worked. It's a place that allowed me
to find my inner Cartoon Brent. I
did an episode about it in April and
Pap, someone who had never been to
Disney, claimed it to be his
favorite episode. That was the
moment I realized I could even make
my show entertaining to people who
had no idea what I was talking
I love Mickey's Toontown Fair and I
think the worst part about it
closing is the fact that my future
kids will never get to experience it
when they visit the Magic Kingdom. I
wish little Brent Jr. and Brentilda
could visit Mickey's House, or ride
the Barnstormer, their first roller
coaster. Unfortunately that won't
come true. But that's alright,
because millions of people have made
life long memories in this wonderful
Thank you Toontown for the memories.
You will be missed.
Talk about your favorite memories in
Mickey's Toontown Fair here.
February 4, 2011 -
My friend, the dreamer
I'm a dreamer and a doer. The two go
hand in hand if you want to find
happiness. If you are simply a
dreamer you may never get anywhere
and if you are a doer but don't
dream you will never get everything
you ever wanted.
Depending on where you are in life
you will always have different
things that you want for you and
today I would like to share with you
a story about someone I know that
inspired me even more.
One of my best friends in the world
gave me a call last week and within
a second I could tell she was choked
up. Her boyfriend had moved earlier
that day for a city six hours away
due to a job opportunity. His dream
job had presented itself to him and
he knew he had to take the chance
while he had it.
My friend, let's call her Jessie
(since she has a resemblance to
Jessie from Saved by the Bell), has
lived the carefree life ever since I
met her seven years ago. She always
talked about how she would never
settle down, and if she did it'd be
years from now. She went off to live
in countries all around the world
and practically every state.
In fact, it seemed like every time
I'd talk to her she was living
somewhere else. However, life is
often like a lake. Everything is
calm and peaceful until someone
throws a pebble in and everything
changes. Jessie had her moment a few
months ago when she began to date
the guy mentioned earlier. She was
no longer the go wherever the wind
takes her type person, but she found
a new reason to live. She found a
brand new happiness and I couldn't
be happier for her.
Let's get back to present day. So
Jessie calls me and is upset because
her boyfriend has moved and
throughout the next few days I
talked to her every day making sure
everything was alright. The two of
them never decided what would happen
to them after the move occurred and
I could tell she was unsure of what
would happen next in her life.
While talking to her yesterday I
realized she wasn't the same friend
I had seven years ago, but a
completely different person and not
in a bad way at all. She just wanted
new things in life and she had
finally come to that realization
that the one thing that would bring
her happiness was someone who was no
longer with her. While trying to
help her decide what she should do
she got another phone call and put
me on hold.
About half an hour later I got a
call from her and there was a new
excitement in her voice. The ripple
had spread out and her dreams had
come true. The person who called her
wasn't her boyfriend, but a school
not too far away from him offering
her a job interview.
So here she is. One of my best
friends with a brand new outlook on
life. She is now headed to do an
interview to give herself the life
she wants and truly deserves. Things
may not work out, but at the same
time, she's taking a risk. She's
doing something about the dream
which is something everyone should
Your dream may not consist of
chasing love, writing a book, or
learning how to speak Spanish. It
may be simple or complex, but the
fact of the matter is dreams can
only come true if you have the
courage to pursue them. So here's to
my friend Jessie for chasing a
dream! While I loved who she was
seven years ago I truly love the
friend I have today that is willing
to do anything to give herself the
happiness she truly deserves.
January 10, 2011 -
launched almost a year ago I knew I
had an uphill battle ahead of me.
Running a website is a lot more work
than I ever dreamed it would be.
However, we have grown from a five
page website on February 2, 2010 to
over 1,000 pages almost one year
At first people asked me if I would
have other writers join me on the
site, which I had considered, but
only if the right circumstances
happened. Well, those circumstances
have occurred and I am very happy to
introduce the newest addition to the
From Screen to Theme's Days of the
What is Days of the Week? Well, once
a week a Guest Author will have a
day assigned to them. When that day
occurs their section of the site
will appear with a brand new day for
Disney fans all over the world to
read and discover!
Today we launched our first day,
Hidden Mickey Monday written by
Guest Writer Alex McVetty! The other
days are still being worked on for
the time being, but you will see at
least one more new Day of the Week
some time later in this week!
I hope you are as excited about this
new addition to the site as I am!
Make sure you stop by Hidden Mickey
Monday and check out Alex's first,
of several, Hidden Mickeys that she
is going to share with us!
January 7, 2011 -
Experiencing new things
One of the greatest things about
Disney is the fact that there are so
many experiences you can have.
Whether it's going to Disney for the
first time, watching the World
Showcase Players, riding California
Screamin', or watching Snow White
and the Seven dwarfs, there is a lot
One of the things I have always
wanted to do is board a Disney
cruise ship (and not it's a small
world) and sail around the
Caribbean. Unfortunately, I have yet
to have that experience, which is
alright. The other day I had a brand
new Disney experience that blew my
What was it? Seeing a Disney cruise
ship in person for the very first
time! I have seen several television
specials, pictures, etc. on Disney
Cruises, but never have I seen a
ship in person. So the other day
when the Disney Dream came in I
decided to head over and get some
pictures for the website. I was
thinking of it as a business trip
more than anything else. Boy was I
The closer I got to the harbor, the
more excited I got. While I was
driving across a bridge and had my
first glimpse of the Disney Dream
(about four miles in the distance) I
freaked out. I was having a brand
new Disney experience which is huge
for me. Spending every day at the
park you don't get to experience
that many firsts when it comes to
Disney so this was a huge moment for
The closer I got, the more I
squealed like a little girl and the
more I longed for a Disney Cruise.
Here's looking at that amazing first
when it finally enters my life!
January 3, 2011 -
Hitting new strides
I've always said that 2010 was a
great year for me, From Screen to
2011 has already brought on some
For instance, several
people are taking advantage of our
$11 for 11 days deal on the site (to
the point that we may run out of
books before day 11), we
have several new additions
(including new Guest Authors) coming
to the site, and as of this morning,
we now have six videos with over
1,000 views and at almost the exact
same time we had our first video
pass 10,000 views!
This got me thinking about an
important question: What is your
favorite video From Screen to Theme
Talk about it on our forums!
January 1, 2011 -
What came in 2010?
Yesterday I took a look back at my
own personal life and dreams and the
year 2010, but today I am going to
look back at my professional life.
Last year, I did two HUGE things.
One was publish my first book, and
the second was launch this very
figured the best way to look back is
to write a completely bias review of
both on here!
First off, From Screen to Theme: A
Guide to the Disney Animated Film
References Found Throughout the Walt
Disney World is one heck of a book!
This book will go places as far as
it's subtitle! And that's pretty
far! Now if you haven't read it, I
have to say, you MUST read it! It's
hands down the best book I have ever
written. I can say that with
www.fromscreentotheme.com, I am
extremely proud of how far the site
has come. The day it launched there
were four things. A welcome page
(which had almost nothing on it), an
introduction page (which has
practically stayed the same), and a
video page which had my Animation
Courtyard video on it. Not a lot was
there. Since then we have added
almost 1,000 individual pages to the
site (no joke) and update on a daily
basis. In my personal opinion,
www.fromscreentotheme.com is the
best Disney based website to launch
in 2010 (I say that so I can quote
it later on. he he he)!
Thank you to everyone who has
supported me the last year! I have
some GIGANTIC plans for books and
the site in 2011 so stay tuned!
December 31, 2010 - Looking
back at 2010
THE END IS NEAR!
The end of 2010 that is. I've never
been one for the big celebrations on
New Year's Eve. I usually sit back
and pop in my favorite film of the
year and wait for the new year to
begin. One year ago I was sitting
around getting ready to watch my
favorite film of 2009, UP and I took
some time to look back on the year.
2009 had so many great things occur.
The big two were the creation of the
W.E.D.nesday Show! and the fact that
I had submitted the complete book to
the publishers. I never thought 2010
would beat the high I felt leaving
2009, but after taking some time to
sit back and think about 2010, I
realized that 2010 really kicked
So many big changes occurred this
year. First off we went 52 straight
weeks of W.E.D.nesday Shows without
missing a single week! That is
something I am extremely proud of.
Not a lot of podcasters can say that
they can go every week of a year
without missing one to put on a show
that has so much effort put into it.
Second off, there was the big
surprise of moving to Florida.
Almost six years ago to the day I
moved back to Wisconsin after
finishing my Walt Disney World
College Program with thoughts of
someday returning always being in
the back of my mind. This year I
lived out my dream and moved back to
Florida. I'm really glad I went back
to Wisconsin for those six years. I
got my Educator's license, became
friends with two families that now
feel like an extension of my own
family, invented the Dodge Cup, and
who could forget the birth of mowin'?
The big thing that happened this
year was the release of From Screen
to Theme and the launch of
I was a kid I always had a dream of
some day writing a book and this
year that dream became a reality.
True, book sales aren't going as
well as I was expecting them to, but
I lived out a childhood dream, which
is something not everyone can say.
With every accomplishment comes
something else. Something much
greater than what happened. In my
case it is a group of people. Some
of them are family, some are
friends, and some I have never met
in person. 2010 would never be what
it was if it wasn't for people
believing in me and standing by me
through thick and thin so thank you
for one of the greatest, if not, THE
greatest years of my life. I hope
2011 brings life changes that are
great for every one of you.
While heading into the new year
remember one thing: "Anything can
happen if you let it..."
December 25, 2010 - Merry
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Christmas is one of my favorite
times of the year. There is so much
joy in the world and everyone tends
to be a little nicer to others
(unless you work in retail, then you
probably have no idea what I'm
Christmas in Disney is something
special itself. There are so many
wonderful Disney holiday traditions
you can have. Whether it's watching
Mickey's Christmas Carol or going to
Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party,
there is something Disney that
everyone can do in their own homes
or in the Disney parks around the
However, this isn't a blog about
Disney parks, but about giving! You
see for months now I have been
working on a small, well, rather
large, project for you the reader.
It's called A Closer Look! I know
most of you have seen it before, but
usually I release one or two Closer
Looks every few days, but I figured
it's Christmas and you deserve
So today I have released six, that's
right SIX, Closer Looks! Which ones?
Well, looking towards the New Year I
realized that pretty soon Mickey's
Toontown Fair will no longer be with
us, so I should cover them now when
I have a chance. So stop by
A Closer Look to read up on
Mickey's Country House, Minnie's
Country House, Donald's Boat, Toon
Park, and of course, The
Barnstormer! In addition to these
six, I will be working on the rest
of Toontown and should have it fully
uploaded by the end of the week!
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you
December 13, 2010 - The final
with the Kids
Today the kids and their parents
left. A few weeks ago on the
W.E.D.nesday Show! I talked about my
fave five rite of passage moments in
Disney and my number one was going
to Disney World with kids you love
that have never been before.
I didn't expect it to be as great as
it was. This past weekend could be
the greatest weekend I have ever
spent in Disney (possibly more than
last year when I went in the
Cinderella Suite, ate on the set of
Lights, Motors, Action!, and was in
the parade). I know. That's saying
quite a bit.
But it was all worth seeing the
reaction of watching the kids see
the Tree of Life the first time, or
put their hands up on Splash
Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain
Railroad. It was like going to
Disney for the first time all over
again, but this time I'll actually
remember it this time around.
Thanks Disney for making such a
magical place, but more importantly,
thanks to my kids and especially
their parents for coming down and
giving me so many new memories!
December 12, 2010 - Day Three
Today was technically the last day I
had with the kids in the park,
although tomorrow I'll be headed to
their hotel early in the morning to
have breakfast with them before the
Magical Express takes them away.
In the past I have talked about how
Disney can be different on every
trip due to the people you are with.
While one person you're with might
want to ride all the big thrill
rides over and over, another may
want to ride Carousel of Progress
and the Enchanted Tiki Room
continuously. However, the great
thing about Disney is it's not just
about the rides, but the experience.
Today was another great day. We
spent half an hour before visiting
an attraction at Disney's Animal
Kingdom. The kids, and their
parents, were fascinated with the
Tree of Life so we took our time
observing that before headed off for
the big attractions.
Throughout the whole day we had so
much fun watching Festival of the
Lion King, riding Expedition:
Everest, or simply playing a game
of, "Don't say 'What?'" at
Pizzafari. When we returned to the
hotel later on that day we played
another game of laser tag with our
Buzz Lightyear guns and it was
perfect. It was a group of people
ranging from kids, to best friends,
to parents, running around the Toy
Story section of All-Star Movies and
just enjoying our time together.
At that moment you realize that
besides the fact that there are
hundreds of attractions,
restaurants, shops, and other
experiences throughout Walt Disney
World, no one else there is having
that same moment at that time.
That's what Disney is all about.
It's not all about going on Test
Track or eating at Chef Mickey's,
but it's all about experiencing a
magical world with people you love.
December 11, 2010 - Day Two
What a great day!
So today we headed over to the Magic
Kingdom for the second of only three
days in the park with the kids and
it topped yesterday (which is hard
My brother and I started off the day
by rushing over to Peter Pan and
getting Fastpasses for everyone
before they got to the park. We then
journeyed over to Tom Sawyer's
Island to search for paintbrushes.
Thankfully only two families had
been on the island so far during the
day and when my brother and I split
up we found one within three minutes
and got 11 Fastpasses for both
Splash and Big Thunder Mountain!
We then ate at the Crystal Palace,
which was fun, but we didn't have
any monumental moments with the
characters like we did yesterday.
The fun really took off after that.
We rushed over and got more
Fastpasses for Space Mountain and
then the kids drove their very first
cars on the Speedway. Luckily, the
six year old and I got a super fast
car and were passing everyone,
laughing hysterically, and yelling
to the passengers in the cars we
were about to pass.
From there we hit up the Peoplemover,
Peter Pan, PhilharMagic, and several
other rides. The first of the two
biggest moments of the day occurred
while riding Splash Mountain and Big
Thunder Mountain. While riding the
attractions we tried to convince the
kids that they should put their
hands up. During Splash Mountain
they used their mother as an excuse
saying she wouldn't let them do it.
However, when Big Thunder came
around, the eight year old put it up
and had a face of pure excitement
while facing this brand new danger.
Later in the day the six year old,
my brother, and grandfather decided
to ride Splash Mountain when we saw
it was a walk on. While on the ride
I tried to convince him to put his
hands up once more. He said he would
for the first three drops, but not
the final one. As each hill passed,
he slowly got more confidence and
while approaching the final hill he
made an agreement with us. He'd put
his hands up if we put ours up. We
all put our hands up, got soaking
wet, and the six year old and I had
to buy new pants due to wetting
The other moment that stands out was
after getting off of Buzz Lightyear.
The eight year old desperately
wanted a Buzz Lightyear gun and,
being one of the most generous kids
ever, said, I'll buy it and give it
to you so you can always look at it
and think of your best friend. I
told him I'd rather have him have a
souvenir than use the money he's
been saving. So him and his brother
pooled their money together and
bought one for each of them, and
three more for two of my brothers
When returning to their resort we
played "laser tag" in the Herbie and
101 Dalmatian sections of the
Overall, today was a great day, if
not one of the greatest days ever.
Not just in Disney. Everyone has
been right: bringing a child you
love to Disney is one of the
greatest things ever!
December 10, 2010 - Day One
A lot of people out there know about my past
experience with children, but here's a summary
leading up to today's blog.
I have been working with children
for the past ten years in one
way or another, but during that time
four children have become especially
close to me. Two of which I was a "manny"
for for a little over two years, and
the others are family friends that I
have known since the oldest one was
about six months old.
Since the last two kids have been
two and one we have been talking
about going to Walt Disney World
together some day. I always thought
it was a far off dream that may
never become a reality, but today it
finally did! My family and Grandpa
flew down yesterday, while the two
boys and their parents flew down
This morning my family woke up
bright and early with the intention
of getting Fastpasses for Soarin',
Test Track, and Mission:SPACE and
I'm happy to say we succeeded. We
met up with the kids around 1 at
All-Star Movies and were then off to
While at Epcot we got everything
done. First off, nothing is cooler
than riding an attraction in Disney
with a kid who has never ridden any
sort of ride in their life. The
younger child was freaking out at
everything while riding Spaceship
Earth (his first Disney attraction
ever). Whether it was the
audio-animatronics, the interactive
experience during the descent, or
the question of whether or not the
horse on the attraction was made
with real horse skin, the day
started out great!
We then made our way over to The
Seas with Nemo and Friends, Soarin',
Journey Into Your Imagination, World
Showcase, and Test Track.
Later on that day we had dinner
reservations over at Chef Mickey's
and were luckily the last people in
the restaurant. This was where the
greatest character interaction took
place. While Minnie came up to our
table she kissed the younger kid on
the head. The older one then
insisted that Minnie not kiss him.
While walking away, the younger one
was staring lovingly after her until
she was out of sight.
About a half hour later we were the
last guests in our area of the
restaurant and Mickey came over and
sat down with us for about five
minutes. During that time my brother
shared some unpleasant news with
Mickey. "Mickey, just to let you
know, Minnie kissed that guy down
there." Mickey was livid and started
staring the kid down. Eventually
Mickey was so upset he stormed out
of the room and returned a few
minutes later with Minnie.
Once in the room he started pointing
at Minnie and then the kid as if
saying, "Are the two of you together
now?" Minnie hid behind her hands
from her now former love and Mickey
got even more upset to the point t
hat he stood between the only two
females in our party and repeatedly
kissed them as if saying, "You leave
me and I'll go find myself some new
ladies." This didn't bother Minnie
at all. She got the younger man
she's been looking for.
After about five minutes the two
eventually made up and walked away
together, but not before Minnie
could sneak in a "call me" signal to
the six year old.
Overall, today was hands down one of
the greatest days I've ever had in
the park and I can't wait to see
what tomorrow has in store. Stop by
tomorrow to learn all about it!
December 7, 2010 - MouseVent
I know a
November 24, 2010 - Tangled
in on a
November 18, 2010 - Looking Back...
October 23, 2010 - Viewer Suggested Segment coming soon!
I've said it before, and I'll say it
www.fromscreentotheme.com is meant to be as
interactive as possible for the fans of the site.
With this in mind, I really do take into
consideration ever idea that comes my way and I have
decided to act upon one of the new ideas beginning
October 21, 2010 - The future of the website!
As most of you know,
www.fromscreentotheme.com has been getting tons
of updates and additions over the last week and I
wanted to explain where I'm going with the site and
what you can expect more of in the future.
One of the big projects I'm going to
start working on is having all archived episodes of
the W.E.D.nesday show! take place right here on this
site. That way you can watch the video and
afterwards you can scroll down and see pictures of
some of the things we talked about. This came to me
while trying to figure out where on Earth I could
put pictures of the Hidden Mickey's we talked about
on last night's episode. So slowly over time, expect
to see more past episodes with their own personal
page, and hopefully, all future shows as well!
A Closer Look has been a huge
addition to the website and isn't even close to
being complete yet, but expect a new Closer Look
added to the website on an almost daily basis! We
are almost done with all the lands for the four
parks in Walt Disney World and from here we will
start doing individual attractions, restaurants,
shops, and more! If you would like to review any
specific area, shop, restaurant, or attraction,
please send your review to
Speaking of sending things in, I've
always wanted to have interaction with everyone that
visits the website or watches the show. That's
actually the main reason the show is still a live
show and not prerecorded. Last week we launched a
new section on the site that gives you a chance to
share your pictures from the Disney parks, cruise
lines, or maybe even Disney stores! Just simply send
in an email with the title, "Picture of the Day" and
your picture will be added to the list to eventually
make it on the website! I've already received about
twenty pictures so make sure you send in yours
quickly so you can see it soon and have bragging
rights for a day!
Other than that, I do have a few
"secret projects" that are being worked on, and will
announce those in the future. In the meantime, I
hope you are enjoying all of the new changes going
on here at the website. If there is anything you
love and want to see more of, please send me an
email to let me know and I'll do my best to get more
of it up on the website.
I hope everyone is having a great
October 18, 2010 - Made it on the Disney website!
Recently one of my friends shared
with me a submission he made to the Disney Memories
website that Disney recently launched. Well, it
looks like his submission made it in! Check it out:
Toy Story Magic
September 19, 2010 - Yar, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day
I have always been a HUGE fan of
pirates, long before the pirate craze hit the
country back in 2003 when Pirates of the Caribbean:
Curse of the Black Pearl hit theatres.
In honor of today being Talk Like a
Pirate Day, I decided to list my five favorite
pirates in Disney history. If ye not reading any
further, ye be walking the plank!
5) B.E.N. from
Treasure Planet. Voiced by Martin Short, B.E.N. is a
hilarious character in an often overlooked Disney
film. A lot of pirates have lost their mind, but no
one has literally lost it like B.E.N. Not only that,
at one point during the film he even sings, "Yo, ho,
yo, ho, a pirate's life for me!"
4) The Auctioneer
from Pirates of the Caribbean. While the Auctioneer
doesn't play a major role in a Disney film, he is
the main attraction in the classic attraction,
Pirates of the Caribbean. I have often wondered what
this attraction would be like if there was no
auctioneer, and the only solution I can come up with
is: much worse.
3) Blackbeard from
Blackbeard's Ghost. When a college track coach
stumbles across a spell that brings the ghost of
Blackbeard back to life he gets more than he
bargained for! The reason I love Blackbeard the
Pirate in Blackbeard's Ghost is due to his hilarious
antics throughout the film. In order to finally
cross over to the other side, Blackbeard must
achieve one act of kindness. He takes it upon
himself to help his descendants keep their inn. How
does he help them? By cheating in a track meet of
2) Captain Jack
Sparrow. Did you really think we could talk about
Disney pirates without mentioning him? When it
seemed that pirate films were completely gone by the
wayside, Captain Jack Sparrow came in and not only
showed us what a pirate's life was, but he redefined
what a pirate was. While most pirates up to this
point seemed brave and bloodthirsty, Jack showed
that pirates can also be quite crazy (that could be
because the rum was gone though).
1) Captain Hook.
The reason I love Captain Hook is he doesn't fit the
stereotypical pirate mold. He may be evil, but he
isn't perfect like so many other pirates in history
are. In fact, he is scared of crocodiles and his
first mate is a bumbling fool!
I hope you enjoyed taking a look at
my favorite Disney pirates, but I'd love to hear
what your favorites are as well! So send me your
five favorite and we will add it to this section of
the website. Send your picks to
September 17, 2010 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
It's official! I've got my tickets
to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!
The last time I attended this party
I stopped by Wal-Mart and spent ten bucks on various
items to make one killer costume. I bought a red
shirt for about four dollars, some baggy sweatpants
for 2, a pair of cheap sunglasses in the dollar
section, a winter hat for a dollar, and spent
another dollar on white tape.
I used the tape to make stripes on
my red shirt and red winter hat, poked the lenses
out of my sunglasses, and realized there was still
something missing. So I went out and spent another
five dollars on a nice brown cane and voila! I was
Waldo (see the picture below)!
While headed over to the party my
roommate Kyle pointed out that no one would
understand my costume and it wouldn't be that big of
a hit, but he soon took it back. While walking
through the Magic Kingdom we had people taking
pictures with me, people exclaiming, "WALDO! I've
been looking for you for years!", and I had a blast
hiding in crowds while my friends took pictures so
we could "Find Waldo" after our pictures were
I had such a great time during the
party that after getting my tickets for this years
party, I realized I needed to one up myself, but
really have no idea how. I'm giving myself a few
guidelines. I can't spend more than $5, but can use
all the cardboard and construction paper I currently
own to help make my costume a reality.
I think dressing up as a Toy Story
Midway Mania ride vehicle would be really cool, but
so would being a giant fastpass, or a giant copy of
From Screen to Theme. Hmm. If you have any ideas you
know what to do. Send me an email:
August 7, 2010 - The end of a streak
Today is a great day! I'm heading
back to visit my family in preparation for our
annual family badminton tournament called, The
Golden Shuttlecock Tournament: Quest for the Dodge
Cup. Unfortunately with the fun times with the
family a sad thing will be occurring. For the past
159 days I have stepped foot in a Disney park
somewhere in the United States. Each day was great
and filled with a lot of fun, but my streak is
coming to an end today. In honor of my streak, the
wonderful Guest Relation cast members at Disney's
Hollywood Studios gave me this Magical Moment
I'll see you on August 24th Walt
Disney World and I swear I will
last for at least 160 days in a row
in the future!
August 5, 2010 - A visit to Via Napoli
Yesterday I stopped by Epcot to
experience their newest dining experience over in
the Italy pavilion, Via Napoli. A lot of people know
that I love pizza. I could eat pizza, chicken, and
ice cream all day every day and live a perfectly
When I entered Via
Napoli I was somewhat hesitant about
how my love of pizza would live up
to this sit down restaurant (I'm
usually more of a quick service
itself was unbelievable! The
story line consists of a boy who
leaves home, discovers the secret of
making great pizza from Naples, and
then returns home to turn his
family's stables into a new pizza
place. (See Pictures below)
I decided that since
Via Napoli's specialty is pizza, I
MUST have the pizza. I ordered the
personalized Piccante pizza which
consisted of Italian spicy sausage,
broccoli-rabe, tomato, and
mozzarella all baked within one of
the restaurants signature wood-fired
ovens. I'm no food critic, but all I
can say is delicious! The restaurant
had a great atmosphere, the pizza
was well worth the wait, and the
cast members, as always, went above
Make sure you stop
by on your next visit and make your
dining reservation now because this
place will most likely fill up in
advance to your trip!
July 11, 2010 - Operation:Ball Pit
Lately on my Facebook and Twitter
accounts I have been posting updates about
Opeartion:Ball Pit. I have been receiving several
emails asking what exactly Operation:Ball Pit is, so
that's what I am going to explain to you today.
While at the parks a few weeks ago I
was watching Block Party Bash and caught two of the
Block Party Bash balls and a light bulb went off in
my head. Since I go to the park every day, I may as
well swing by Disney's Hollywood Studios around 3,
collect some Block Party Bash balls, and then
continue doing what I had planned on doing that day.
So I began to study the parade route
trying to figure out where the best place to get the
most balls were while not taking too many balls away
from the children in the area. The first spot was
the spot I typically watched the parade from so I
stuck with it, but I had never watched Block Party
Bash from it's second party zone. After trying a few
spots out I figured out where the best spot was and
continued to go there every day.
I was then reminded by a friend that
after the parade goes backstage they used to shoot
balls over the fence, but they had stopped doing
that. I actually had experienced this wonderful
occasion about a year ago. After he had reminded me
about this I decided to follow the parade back there
the next day and sure enough, they started shooting
them over the fence again!
So what is my ultimate goal by
collecting all of these Block Party Bash balls? To
make a ball pit! Why? I just think it'd be
cool/funny to tell people that I have a giant ball
pit filled with just Block Party Bash balls. Right
now I'm up to 51 Block Party Bash balls (which
allows both of my feet to be completely submerged).
I know it will take a while to get
to the entire ball pit status, but I figured if I'm
going to the park every day, I may as well try to
think of something no one else has done before to
keep myself busy.
I've got to go! Block Party Bash is
starting in an hour!
July 2, 2010 - Crazy Challenge
A while back I wrote asking people
if they could submit me some challenges they thought
would be fun to conquer in Walt Disney World.
Unfortunately, no one wrote in so I called one of my
other Disney loving friends to ask his opinion.
What happened next was something insane. We spent a
good hour to two hours coming up with some of the
craziest challenges you could think of while in Walt
Disney World. Some are simple, while others are
Of course our
conversation got me thinking about how I can conquer
each of our challenges coming up and I realized
telling people on a blog that I did these things
would be fun, but not everyone would believe me. So
starting in the very near future I will be releasing
a new video segment called, "Brent's Crazy
How crazy are these
going to be? Well, let's say one consists of riding
every horse on Cinderella's Golden Carousel (I know!
I know! It's now Prince Charming's Regal Carousel)
in a single day. Another one is almost impossible,
but I've been doing tons of research on how to make
it work and I think it may be possible.
What is it you ask? The challenge of all challenges
is going on every single water slide on Walt Disney
World property in a single day. This consists of
both water parks and every slide at a resort. A few
of the obstacles are the fact that all slides on
property are only open during certain portions of
the day. In addition to that, two slides on property
require room key cards in order to even enter the
What can you the reader do?
Well, I would LOVE someone to accompany me on one of
these challenges and help me record the craziness
that will be occurring. If you would like to join
me, send me an email:
Brent@fromscreentotheme.com. If you have any
more challenges you think I should attempt please
send me an email as well!
June 21, 2010 - In the news
I was featured in a newspaper back
home! Read the full article here:
Disney Man Hopes Disney Dreams Come True
June 17, 2010 - Toy Story 3
I just got back from the midnight
showing of Toy Story 3 and absolutely loved it!
Without giving away
what happens I'll say a few things.
First off, the Pixar short at the
beginning of the film was amazing!
It was called Day and Night and was
probably one of the most creative
short cartoons Pixar has released so
As for the film
itself I just want to point out a
few things that you should look for.
The number on the train at the start
of the film has a nod to Toy Story.
Can you figure it out?
There are several
references to the original films at
the beginning of the film and
throughout the film to watch out for
and I'm sure all you hardcore Toy
Story fans will catch on to most (if
not all) of them.
What is really amazing is Pixar has
now released 11 straight great films
(something practically unheard of in
the film business). The film has
everything. It is a great way to end
the Toy Story trilogy. Make sure you
see the film as soon as possible to
figure out what crazy adventures
Woody, Buzz, Rex, Hamm, the Potato
Heads, and all your other favorite
toys get into this time around!
June 15, 2010 - Simply put.
No matter how big or small they are:
Follow your dreams.
June 4, 2010 - Saying goodbye to an old friend
The Disney parks are constantly
changing. There is no doubt about that. Every time
an attraction, restaurant, show, etc. closes there
are always those that are deeply saddened by the
loss of something they hold close to their heart.
Over the years I have seen several different things
change, but I have never felt so connected to
something closing as I do with Wishes: A Magical
Gathering of Disney Dreams, which will have its
final show tonight until the summer is over.
Now I know what you are thinking: "I could go for a
burger right now." For those of you not thinking of
food though are probably yelling at me saying, "It's
coming back you fool!" While that is true, I still
think it will be weird not seeing a show that I have
claimed as my own disappear.
travel back to 2004. I had just gotten on the Walt
Disney World College Program and there was one thing
for certain: I was not a huge fireworks person.
Typically when my family came to the parks we didn't
watch the fireworks. I was bored with fireworks
every 4th of July, and I saw fireworks time as a
chance to hop on a ride while the lines were
Then, however, Wishes
entered my life. Wishes had only been running for a
month or two at the time and I had already heard
from some people that it was an amazing show. While
being trained my manager told me that I had a 12
minute break when Wishes was on that night so I
could watch this nighttime spectacular.
There was something so personal about the show that
I really connected to. I don't know if it's because
I've always been a dreamer and wished upon stars,
but that night I claimed the show as my own.
As the months passed, I talked to a few of the cast
members that set up Wishes every day and they
pointed out the spot in the park where Wishes was
meant to be watched. I began to watch the show from
that spot every chance I got to the point where some
friends and Cast Members began to refer to it as
On my last night of the college
program, I made sure that I watched the fireworks
one last time from my spot and every trip after,
you'd always know where to find me when Jiminy
Cricket and the Blue Fairy came over the speakers.
Tonight I will be watching from my spot one final
time to say goodbye to an old friend. I know Wishes
will be back again some day, but until then we will
always remember, "Wishes can come true. If you
believe in them with all your heart."
April 26, 2010 - What's going on with the site?
So what's going on with www.fromscreentotheme.com? Quite a bit actually!
This site was intended to keep you,
the fan, happy and I hope so far we are doing a good
job! From now on, new trivia will be added to the
site every Sunday night! Make sure you stop by
either Sunday night or any time after that to get a
chance to test your Disney knowledge!
In addition to that I am in the middle of editing
about five different videos for the site. Some are
similar to the
Pooh's Playful Spot video, while others focus
around answering your questions on what my Top 5
Favorite _____ are, and another one is to give
viewers a closer look at what
From Screen to
Theme, the book, is all about!
Due to the popularity of the new
Where in the
World? game, I will be adding a new one in the
very near future as well!
In addition to all these exciting
additions to the website, there are also some
exciting things happening outside of the internet
world. For instance, in two weeks From Screen to
Theme will be holding it's first official meet up,
but it won't be any regular meet up. I have decided
to combine my new loves, Disney and The Amazing
Race, and make a From Screen to Theme Race around
the Magic Kingdom. Right now we have a few teams
signed up and some volunteers as well! If you are
interested in either participating or volunteering
and are available on May 11, 2010, please contact me
by sending an email to
There will be some more exciting news announced in
the coming weeks so make sure you continue to stop
by the site!
19,2010 - Some new challenges
There are several different challenges that people make up while in Walt Disney World.
For instance there is the "Four Park Challenge" which consists of visiting each park in a single day.
I'm not really sure why this is considered a "challenge" since it is extremely easy to do.
After I finished my
College Program, one of my friends
and I came up with a challenge that
was a very tough challenge. Ride
every attraction and watch every
show/parade/fireworks show/etc. in
all four parks in four days. This
was a real challenge. We barely
pulled it off, but I was happy to
say that we did pull it off.
There are other
challenges such as the "Hands Up"
challenge on Splash Mountain. This
one consists of getting in and out
of the log with your hands up and
never putting your hands down
throughout the entire attraction.
The tough part is your arms do get
tired after a while and it's tough
getting out of the log without using
Over at Epcot there
is the "Drinking around the World"
and "Eating around the World"
challenges. In these you have to
either drink or eat something that
is unique to each country in World
Showcase without getting sick.
I've been trying to
figure out some new challenges to
conquer and I am turning to you, the
reader, to help me figure out what
new challenge I should try to
attempt. So send me an email over at
with a suggestion for a new
challenge or one I haven't heard of.
I will do my best to videotape the
challenge. Who knows, maybe your new
challenge will catch on throughout
the Disney community and you will
gain fame and fortune?
18,2010 - Changes to the website
I would like to start off by apologizing for the lack
of updates on this blog recently. With the release of From Screen to Theme, working on
The W.E.D.nesday Show!, and being near Walt Disney World it has been hard
to keep on top of this as well.
While in the parks lately I have been thinking of new ways to
keep this website interesting. For instance, in the very near future a new game
will be added that will challenge your attention to detail. I have also added a new video
that takes a closer look at the fun finds in Pooh's Playful Spot. I plan on
doing a lot more of these videos. One is actually in the process of being edited!
In addition to the videos, keep
stopping by the Updates section along with the
Trivia section. These two spots are being updated on
a more regular basis.
Please let me know what you like, and don't like, about the website. This
website was created to give you a dose of Disney while away from the parks and I will do my best
to keep doing that, but your feedback will help me figure out which direction to go in.
Thanks for reading this brief blog and I will do my best to update in the future!
And, if you have any suggestions for what you'd like to read about in the blog, please send an
email to BrentDodge@fromscreentotheme.com
24, 2010 - My Five Favorite Animated Film References
A lot of people have been asking me
what my favorite references are in the book, and I
must say, it's extremely difficult to narrow it down
to five from hundreds. Although these will most
likely change on an almost daily basis, here are my
top five Disney Animated Film references found
throughout the Walt Disney World Resort:
Number 5: "Squeaky,
uh, squeak, sqeaker, squeakin"
While in the Magic of
Disney Animation building stop by the game, Digital
Ink and Paint. This game is hosted by my favorite
dimwitted sidekick, Kronk from The Emperor's New
Number 4: "I Only Count 100?"
Although not hidden, it definitely
is a cool reference! While at All-Star Movies, stop
by the 101 Dalmatians section of the resort. The two
main figures in this section are Pongo and Perdita
and if you look at the buildings you can find
several puppies running through film strips.
However, if you count the puppies you will realize
there are only 98 (I have counted several times just
to quadruple check)! These 98 plus Pongo and Perdita
take you to an even 100. Where is number 101? On
your next visit explore the area to find out (Don't
worry, he isn't hard to find)!
Number 3: "Pablo the what?"
I love when Disney puts references
to obscure Disney characters around the World. Pablo
the Penguin (from The Three Caballeros) can be found
in the main room of World of Disney in Downtown
Disney. Where exactly? I guess you'll have to wait
until From Screen to Theme
is released to find out!
Number 2: "Baloo Me Away"
Each of the Kali River Rapids rafts
has a different clever name written on
their bumper. One of them is named,
"Baloo Me Away," a nice little nod to one of my
favorite characters from "The Jungle Book."
Number 1: "It All Started with Two
On the flight float of the Disney
Dreams Come True Parade you can find Bernard and
Bianca right behind Dumbo and just below Aladdin.
Although not extremely hidden, this reference was
one of the original references that caused me to
begin looking for film references throughout Walt
15, 2010 - How did I discover the references in the book?
Every time I tell people the premise of my book they almost always ask the same
question: "How did you discover the references within the book?"
The references in the From Screen to Theme series were all discovered through my
own observations, or those of people I have talked with. Some of the references
in the books are extremely obvious. For instance, Peter Pan's Flight is a reference
to Peter Pan!
Not all the references in the parks were that obvious though. Talking with friends
and Cast Members really helped in my search for references to different Disney films.
Some people knew a lot about the area we were in, while some knew almost nothing.
Every time I found a reference that was more obscure, I would run it by at least
two other people before putting it in the final book.
This was also true with the fun facts you will find in the books. Each fun fact
in the book has been verified by at least three cast members, usually ones that
I called on the phone that had a list of actual facts by their sides.
There are hundreds of references to different Disney films found throughout the
From Screen to Theme book series, and I can guarantee I missed some in my search.
The Disney parks are changing on a daily basis and you never know what new references
may arrive tomorrow and which ones will disappear.
Due to the changes in the parks, I made sure to only include references that were
in the parks for at least nine months and appear to call the Disney parks their
home for years to come. Some exceptions to this are references in Mickey's Toontown
Fair and the back room of Exposition Hall. While these two areas will be disappearing
in the very near future, I still wanted to give readers that were in WDW before
the changes a chance to find these fun finds!
What are my favorite references? Stop by in a few days to find out!
6, 2010 - Hello, and welcome to my first blog entry!
I decided for this first entry I would give you a little bit of background on who
I am and how the book, website, and podcast came into existence.
My name is Brent Dodge and I'm from Delafield, Wisconsin. I have been traveling
to Walt Disney World with my family almost every year since I was one. When I was
three I had two dreams. The first was to someday work at this magical place. The
other was to someday own Herbie the Love Bug.
While in college I applied for the Walt Disney World College Program on November
18, 2003 (Mickey Mouse's 75th birthday). I was accepted into the program and worked
as a custodian in Fantasyland. I had so much fun the first eight months I was there
that I decided to extend my program so it would last from January of 2004 through
January of 2005.
While working in Fantasyland one day, a guest approached me with a complex question:
Where could he find every reference to Peter Pan found throughout Walt Disney World?
After talking with the man for about fifteen minutes to half an hour he seemed satisfied
that he would have no problem finding the boy that would never grow up.
The final thing the guest told me was, "There really should be a book out there
about this." Being the genius I am, I instantly forgot about his comment and continued
to sweep through Fantasyland.
A few months passed and I was watching the Share a Dream Come True Parade. Even
though I had seen the parade several times before I noticed for the first time that
Bernard and Bianca from The Rescuers films could be found on Aladdin's float. I
began to look throughout the Walt Disney World Resort for any other references to
the films. Unfortunately, the idea of a book still wasn't in my mind.
A few years passed and I was student teaching in a Kindergarten classroom. During
rest time the students were watching Robin Hood and finally the idea came to my
head. I began to write any reference to Robin Hood that I could think of in Walt
Disney World. After a few minutes I switched over to Aladdin, The Lion King, and
As soon as I got home that night I transferred all of my notes into my computer
and began to look through family albums, guidebooks, and park maps for any other
film references. I began to plan research trips and pretty soon I had a 305 page
Word document of notes.
At that time I realized that a 305 page Word document would translate into an almost
500 page book. I decided that I had to break my one giant book up that consisted
of animated films, live action films, and classic character references throughout
all of Walt Disney World into two books. The animated films, which took up about
half of the book, would appear in the first book, while live action and classic
characters would make up the second book.
A few of my friends began to get excited about my updates on Facebook that they
urged me to start a group so they could invite other Disney fans to follow my progress.
A group that started with about 15 people slowly grew into a group of 600. In the
process of all of this I started a few discussion topics on the Facebook group page
and a few people took part in these miniature forums on an almost daily basis.
One day while answering questions about Disney to three people on the discussion
boards, I decided to invite the three of them to a video chat box on ustream with
the hopes that I could answer their questions a lot quicker. What I thought would
be a five minute session turned into four hours and I desperately wanted to chat
all things Disney again, so two days later we met up on the site once again.
At this point I realized that I would never finish my book if I kept chatting with
people every other day for four hours. One of the three viewers, Mariel, suggested
that we have a weekly chat day on Wednesdays due to the fact that the first three
letters in Wednesday were Walt Disney's initials. I loved the idea and the three
of us, along with a few others, began to meet every Wednesday. About four weeks
later I attended the D23 Expo and wanted to share everything with my Wednesday chat
buddies. They enjoyed the fact that I stayed on one topic the entire time that the
following week I came up with a new topic and the W.E.D.nesday Show! was born.
On November 18, 2009, 6 years after my interview for the College Program, I announced
the title of my book and what it was about to the fans of the W.E.D.nesday Show!
I then created the From Screen to Theme fan page on Facebook and have been overwhelmed
by the number of people that have joined.
So pretty much, a year and a half ago I had no intention of ever writing a book
or doing my own podcast and now I feel like the luckiest guy in the world with the
launch of this new website. So thank you for stopping by. The first book in the
From Screen to Theme book series will be out in the VERY near future and I can't
wait to share it with you!
P.S. I did eventually buy Herbie for those of you interested.
P.P.S. I apologize for how long this first entry is. I promise I'll keep it shorter