Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Between Books - Walt Disney's Garage of Dreams

It seems like most of America's best ideas spend time maturing in garages.  The Walt Disney Company is no different.  But the garage and its important place in Disney history was almost lost.

Walt Disney's Garage of Dreams by Arthur C. "Buddy" Adler documents from one cast member's view the discovery and eventual rescue of Disney's original animation studio, Uncle Robert Disney's garage.  The late Mr. Adler chronicles how he discovered the garage was put up for auction and his visit to the garage when the auction failed to provide a buyer.  The garage did not sale and was at risk of being destroyed.  Adler helped found The Friends of Walt Disney which dedicated themselves to the purchase, restoration, and donation of the garage.  The Friends of Walt Disney and Adler discovered the difficulties of donating a substantial free gift to non-profit museums, including the Smithsonian.   Along with chronicling the history of The Friends of Walt Disney, Adler provides stories from his time working for Disney as a purchasing agent.  And he shares recollections from fellow cast members like Bob Penfield who was the last original Disneyland cast member to be employed by the park.  Penfield also provided Adler with a tape of a speech given by Walt Disney to Disneyland Cast Members on Disneyland's 10th anniversary. 

Adler sadly passed away before he could see the final printed book.  Jim Korkis assisted the final product by verifying facts, filling in incomplete manuscripts and organizing Adler's writings.  The book really does feel like a few different stories including the story of Walt's Garage, anecdotes of Adler the cast member, tales from other cast members and miscellaneous material about Walt Disney.  Adler's writing is honest and easy to read, though perhaps sparse at time.  And his story of The Friends of Walt Disney is interesting, very political and instructive for anyone looking to be part of a non-profit which plans to gift major property.  Adler lays out his opinions on events as he saw them, giving the reader the inside scoop.  In fact, he attempts to set some records straight.  The cast member recollections are very much in line with what one would expect, though coming from areas which are more logistical in nature such as Adler detailing purchasing practices at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.  Readers looking to find stories about teenagers behaving poorly behind stage will be disappointed.  Those wanting insight into the final resting place on a key piece of Disney history may find themselves getting wrapped up into a tale of suspense, will the garage find a home?  For all audiences it is a quick and clear read which can be found on Kindle Unlimited. 

Did The Friends of Walt Disney find a home for Walt's Garage?  I simply cannot tell you, but those wanting a spoiler should feel free to click here!  If you pick up Walt Disney's Garage of Dreams you will not be satisfied until you know what happened to the garage and consider how you may become part of it's story.   

Review Copy Provided by Theme Park Press

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