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My Disney Class podcast

Howie and Ryan visit with teachers, educators and administrators on how to integrate Disney ideals of creativity, innovation, communication, critical thinking, STEM and MakerSpace into classrooms. Twice a month they share why they are passionate about Disney and how their passions has brought them together in this joint mission to help bring ideas for innovation, storytelling, creativity, and the principal foundations of what makes Disney and great choice for projects and resources in the K-12 Classroom. They also talk about the companion website (www.mydisneyclass.com) that will spotlight incredible educators from around the globe and be packed with resources that teachers can use in their classrooms.
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Aug 15, 2022

Starting The Year The Edmagineering Way! 

In today's episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan welcome back our Disney partner in crime, Brian Collins! Brian has been on the podcast many times and for good reason. He is a former Imagineer, he is an educator, currently works in several fields bringing innovation to a multitude of problems, and well, he's our friend. 

 

      On today's show, Brian is here to give us some inspiration and ideas on how we can bring innovation

 and creativity into our classroom this year. He not only gives us great ideas but does so in his typical  Imagineering way, through fun and great stories! 



We hope you enjoyed our visit with our favorite former Imagineer. We here at My Disney Class Podcast, wish all of you an incredible and wonderful school year and like always let us know if we can help make your year anymore wonderful, we love to help bring magic to education! Also if you haven't already, remember to join the fun and supportive community we have in our Facebook group, Educators who love Disney, and don't forget to rate and review our podcast on Apple music. Your support and feedback will only make us better!

 

Aug 8, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan reflect back on the summer and share three memories from that summer that stand out to them. They also look forward to the new season of My Disney Class Podcast, Season 8. So many good memories and more to come for sure!  

As we start year 8 of the My Disney Class Podcast, we want to take a moment and thank all of you who are part of our listener community. Whether you started today with this episode or have been here since Season 1, Episode 1, we really appreciate you joining in and helping to strengthen this wonderful and supportive group.  Also if you haven’t already, remember to join the fun and supportive community we have in our Facebook group, Educators who love Disney, and don’t forget to rate and review our podcast on Apple music. Your support and feedback will only make us better!

 

Jul 15, 2022

 

In today's episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are again coming to you from Walt Disney World. Ryan, Howie, and Brian have wrapped up another successful P.D. Magic experiential learning trip with some incredible educators from all over the world. They spent five days visiting all four parks and doing a monorail edu. resort crawl with the group. They immersed themselves in the magic and discovered how to take that magic back to their districts, schools, and most importantly to their students. 

In this final episode of season 7 of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan are sharing with you their final thoughts on the trip, as well as sharing with you are participants' reflections from the last day. On our final day, the group has a farewell lunch to say our goodbyes, reflect, and share our final takeaways and inspirations that we are going to take back to our schools. These reflections were recorded during this time at Sauti's Canteen in Animal Kingdom, so please excuse the background noises. 

We hope you enjoy today's show as we share the thoughts and reflections of our incredible educators that joined us on our 2022 P.D. Magic trip. If this sounds like something you or your teacher friends may be interested in doing next year, make sure to check back on our webpage for details starting in the fall.  Also remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already fantastic community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Jul 1, 2022
 
 

 

In today's episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are coming to you live, well not really live, but they record this episode on location at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. About halfway through PD Magic, Howie and Ryan ask Brian Collins and Daniel McComb to join them after their third day in the parks and do a round table discussion about the day's events.

The table will share some of their favorite moments from our PD Magic tour of the Magic Kingdom and they will also talk about what they learned and how they plan on utilizing those inspirations in their classrooms next year. There is definitely a lot that can be learned in the fertile imagination space of the Magic Kingdom! 

We hope you enjoy today's show "live" from the Magic Kingdom! Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already fantastic community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

Jun 15, 2022

In today’s My Disney Class Podcast episode, Howie and Ryan welcome their good friend Brian Collins. As most of you know by now Brian works with us to help bring magic and pixie dust to the world of education. Some of you

might not know that Brian continues to branch out into many other areas of education and technology with several different companies and groups.

These groups with Brian are doing so many innovative things that we had to have him on to share all the exciting things coming down the pipe. One of those organizations Brian is working with is called the Enzo Institute and Brian and representatives from that company took a trip to Dubai recently to take part in a global conference called Expo 2020. Brian will discuss this trip in today’s episode and share what his takeaways were as well as share what

he feels is the future of education based on his global view.  For those of you that don’t know Brian, come on what’s that matter with you, just kidding but here’s a quick background on Brian. Brian was a Disney cast member since the early 1990s and helped create magic daily as he worked both on the front line of customer service at the Contemporary Resort and as a Disney Imagineer. During his time at WDI, Brian was a show writer and worked on classic attractions like Jungle Cruise and The Great Movie Ride, just to name a few. This is Brian’s 5th time on the show, sixth if you count a Retro Replay of one of his earlier episodes, and if you are looking for more of his background story then you definitely want to check out episode 20 of season 2 or episode 12 of season 3.

We hope that you enjoy our conversation with Brian and if you have any questions or want to connect with any of us, including Brian, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

 

Jun 1, 2022
Looking Forward To Summer Magic!

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie discuss what they are looking forward to this summer. To say that this school year has been a tough one is a major understatement and looking forward to reenergizing and filling the tank back up is not something that an educator should be bashful about. In fact, this time of year for educators is a vital part of helping them be the best educators they can be in the upcoming Fall. 

Howie and Ryan will both share their top 5 things, plus or minus, that they are looking forward to and hoping to accomplish this summer. You will of course hear about their upcoming Disney trips, P.D. Magic, as well as things other than Disney that they do to help them unwind. They even share a few hopes they have to learn a few new things to better themselves and grow in their time off. 

We hope you enjoy today’s show about Ryan and Howie’s hopes and dreams for this summer and we hope that you too will find time to relax and unwind. We all know you deserve it and need it!  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already fantastic community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

May 15, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Devan Lewis to the show. Devan is a middle school STEM teacher at McFarland School that really strives to foster the principles and passions found in most Disney Imagineers. 

Devan shares with us where her passion for Disney and specifically Disney Imagineers comes from and shares why she feels this passion is key to create a classroom of creatives. Devan also shares the story of how and why her Principal allowed her to actually create a whole class and curriculum based on Disney Imagineering and how that class has grow and developed into several classes now. 

Devan also shares with us several of her projects that she’s done with her students including a visual storytelling project that ends with the students creating a diorama that tells the story completely about a character by only using the visuals in the diorama. This is a really awesome project and wait until you hear about one little girls project and the details she used to tell her story. Devan also shares a few other projects she’s done or is planning on doing. We are sure you will find them as inspiring as we do and maybe you too will be encouraged to bring some Imagineering into your classroom.

We hope you enjoy today’s episode and as always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney. 

May 1, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie discuss how Walt motivated his Imagineers and other staff. Of course we all have some experience with either needing motivation, having to motivate, or wishing for believers in our work in education. In our discussion today, let’s look at some of the traits that has been reported about Walt Disney and see if we can make some connections and grabs some inspiration for our own schools and staff!

In this episode, Howie and Ryan will share what they have found in their research and readings about Walt. They share first hand accounts from legends like Bob Gurr and Rolly Crump about what they observed Walt doing that embodied great leadership and motivated the best out of his employees. Ryan and Howie will also share their personal stories and thoughts on motivation and embracing change as well.

We hope you enjoy today’s show about learning to inspire through a reflective lens of how Walt Disney lead.  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

Apr 15, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Lisa Funke to the show. Lisa is currently working for the Glenview Public School District as the LRC Director. LRC Directors are in charge of planning, organizing, and directing all activities for the Learning Resource Center at schools. This is the evolution of what we used to call libraries at schools but now offer our students so much more than books! Lisa works specifically at Glen Grove School which is a 3 through 5th-grade intermediate school. One of Lisa’s favorite parts of her job is getting to create and facilitate lessons about various topics for students. 

On today’s show, Lisa will share with us her journey in education which includes starting at a Community College for two years before transferring to Bradley University which led her to her educational learning home National Louis University. Lisa also shares with us where she developed her passion for Disney and how she utilizes what she loves about Disney to help enrich her students’ learning. 

Lisa is also joining Howie, Ryan, and Brian at P.D. Magic this summer and she shares why she needed to go and what she is looking forward to. She shares what her biggest hopes are for the trip as well as what she plans to do with the inspiration she gains the following school year. We can’t wait to have Lisa back to share with our listeners what she’s learned and what she’s doing with all the learning she gained from the trip. Look for her return in Season 8 with all the details! 

We hope you enjoy today’s show and find Lisa as amazing as we do! Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Apr 1, 2022

Putting the F back in education

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are discussing how to put the FUN back in education! This is no April fools joke, these last couple of years have been really tough in the educational world, tougher than are normal challenging years. This is why Howie and Ryan thought on this April fools day it was fitting to discuss the importance of having fun in school for both the students and the teachers. They also share ways and techniques that can help educators create a fun environment as well as fun activities and strategies that can be used. 

Ryan and Howie are pretty sure we can all agree that the Disney parks are extremely fun. They are wildly immersive and for the most part, all the attractions tell a great story that can live on in our lives long after the thrills of the rides have faded from our memories. Further, Disney seeks to entertain and educate, so not only do guests get these amazing experiences they remember for a lifetime but after they leave there is almost always something about their visit that inspires them.  We hope that this show can also act as an inspiration for you and be that spark that helps you continue to create fun and engaging lessons for your students and staff.

We hope you enjoy today’s show about some of the different ways you can bring the magic of fun into your classroom or buildings.  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Mar 15, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie is turning the tables on his partner in crime, Ryan.  Ryan Boeckman, who started this wild ride of an adventure with Howie almost 8 years ago, is a middle school science teacher in St. Louis Missouri. He has been recognized as an outstanding science and mathematics teacher by the St. Louis Science Center and has been teaching in public schools for a little over 20 years. Obviously, he loves Disney and has been working most of his 20 plus years in education incorporating what he has learned from studying the Walt Disney Company and the man Walt Disney himself, into his classroom practices. 

On today’s show, Howie will be asking all the questions and Ryan is answering them, all about his past, education path, love of Disney, and how he met Howie and started this crazy dream of helping education as a whole by bringing the magic! Though this episode hits a lot of the high points and interesting markers of Ryan’s career, there is obviously a lot more to his story. On today’s show, we just scratch the surface in hopes that this will help you our listeners, some long time and some brand new, get to know one of the hosts just a little bit better. 

            We do really hope that you enjoy hearing a little bit more in-depth background on Ryan and of course remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Mar 1, 2022

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie are discussing various lessons that Howie has created for our P.D. Magic experiential field trip. These lessons were developed to help our participants familiarize themselves with the Disney terminology and some of the systems that Disney uses. This familiarity allows them to get comfortable with the concepts and educational ties that we will be using on-site at Walt Disney World. We then take that foundation and start to develop our participants' ability to see the world of education through a different lens. 

Howie and Ryan spend the majority of this show going through different lessons topics and sharing how they would approach answering and using this information in their educational lives. They also share a lot of their favorite hidden details and magic that Walt Disney Imagineers have hidden in plain sight. They really love to share the Disney secrets that they have discovered and you will definitely pick up on that in this episode as they dive deep into some of these awesome details you can find in the various parks!

We hope you enjoy today’s show about some of the different lessons and details that the online classes for P.D. Magic cover.  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

Feb 15, 2022

Design, Disney, and Library Anthropology with Sarah Beals Sager

 

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Sarah Beals Sager to the show.  Ryan met Sarah through a mutual Disney friend, Dr. Cody Havard, a couple of years ago. They both sat on a panel that discussed Marvel and fandom for Dr. Harvard’s University of Memphis class. After hearing Sarah talk about her fandom for Marvel, her passion for Disney, and the work she does as a library anthropologist, Ryan knew he had to ask her to come on the My Disney Class Podcasts. Today she graciously made time in her busy schedule to talk with us. Speaking of her busy schedule, listen to this! Sarah recently completed two masters’ degrees at the same time from the University of Denver. One in library and informational services and the other in anthropology. Sarah already has nine years of creative branding and marketing experience that she roots firmly in research.  She originally was trained as a digital artist and has a passion, that she admits to having adopted from her dad, for the importance of organization.  Sarah has worked for Disney, at Walt Disney World, twice. Once through the college program and then later she came back to work in custodial and in cosmetology. She currently is an entrepreneur and is currently being contracted out by Disney to work her library anthropology magic!

 

On today’s show, Sarah will share with us her passion for Disney and wanting to work in the creative side of theme parks as well as her journey from the Disney college program to working as an independent contractor for Disney. She will also discuss the importance of choice in creating learning environments both in museums, theme parks, and classrooms. Sarah will also discuss how she does and would use her background to help make theme parks more engaging!

 

We believe you are going to love hearing Sarah’s unique journey and perspective on learning environments, organization, engagement, and fun! Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Feb 1, 2022

Play Me Some Disney Music!

 

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie continue where they left off spotlighting the importance of music to tell and drive a story. Remember educators are master storytellers and the great ones are able to excite and utilize all the audiences’ senses. Music can be very motivating and emotional for audiences and educators can use that to their advantage just like Walt Disney and the Walt Disney company do in their movies, t.v. shows, attractions, and pretty much everything it puts out. 

 

On today’s show, Howie and Ryan will cover the music in the two other main Disney parks down in Orlando Florida, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. They will both share what some of their favorite music tracks are from these two parks and also share some hidden Disney magic that you can find with these songs as well. 

 

They wrap up this two-part series, sharing ways that you can utilize Disney music or any type of music in your classroom to help engage and teach your students. Remember music is a big part of driving the story for Disney and music can be a big part of driving your storyline in the classroom!

 

We hope you enjoy today’s show about the power of music and find a few ways that you can utilize that power in your classroom.  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

Jan 15, 2022

Remembering a GREAT Interview with a REPEAT of Lee Cockerell Interview

Today on the show, Ryan and Howie welcome an extraordinary guest to the show, Lee Cockerell. Lee is the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort. As the Senior Operating Executive for then years Lee led a team of 40,000 cast members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shipping and entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world. 

Lee has written four books, Creating Magic, The Customer Rules, Time Management Magic, and Creating Career Magic. All of which are packed full of golden nuggets that will be sure to inspire and encourage you to develop habits that will lead to a vast growth in your teaching or educational field. They can also be great sources for your students as they grow into their roles of leadership and future paths. One of Lee’s major and lasting legacies was the creation of Disney Great Leader Strategies which was used to train and develop the 7000 leaders at Walt Disney World. Many of these strategies are shared in Lee’s books mentioned above but today we are lucky enough to have him on the show and sharing his wisdom with us and how these strategies can help educators and students both achieve the greatness we are all capable of. 

We know you are going to love today’s show as we hear stories and lessons that Lee has learned over his wonderful career in customer service and leadership roles. Lee is a marvelous storyteller, would you expect anything else from a Disney rockstar, and very passionate about making a positive impact on the world he lives in. Lee is a man that does what he says he’s going to do and shows time after time again that he lives by the advice he gives.

Jan 1, 2022

Let’s all sing like the birdies sing!

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan spotlight the importance of music to tell and drive a story. Remember educators are master storytellers and the great ones are able to excite and utilize all the audiences’ senses. Music can be very motivating and emotional for audiences and educators can use that to our advantage just like Walt Disney and the Walt Disney company do in their movies, t.v. shows, attractions, and pretty much everything it puts out. 

On today’s show, Ryan and Howie will take you through a few innovative ways to use music in your classroom to help provoke images and feelings in your students that will hopefully help them move the concepts you are teaching from their brain to their heart, where it will stay forever. Howie and Ryan also will go through two of the four parks in this episode, discussing their favorite ways Disney has used music in their attractions. In this episode, they only get through Magic Kingdom and E.P.C.O.T. but promise to come back next month and finish the other two parks off. 

We hope you enjoy today’s show about the power of music and find a few ways that you can utilize that power in your classroom.  Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

If you would like the PDF of “This is my story-This is my song”….email Howie@frontier.net and he will email you the PDF FILE

Dec 15, 2021

Happy Teacher with Erin King

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Erin King to the show. Erin is currently fulfilling the role of Program analyst for continuous improvement in the Fulton County School District. Fulton County School District is in Atlanta GA and serves approximately 94,000 students that attend classes in 58 elementary schools, 19 middle schools, 15 high schools, and seven charter schools. Erin also supports teachers with inspiration via her InspirED blog at inspirededucation.info, the podcast Teacher’s Pep Rally, and a workshop series called The Happy Teacher.

On today’s show, Erin shares with us how and when her passion for Disney started and how she turned that passion into an incredible teacher workshop themed after the Seven Dwarfs, hence the name Happy Teacher! Erin’s workshops, which are on location down at Walt Disney World, help teachers reignite their passion for education and the profession of teaching. She explains how she capitalizes on being so close to the Most Magical Place on Earth to inspire, recharge, and encourage her participating teachers to start having fun again in their classrooms.  

Erin also discusses on the show her work in the Fulton County Schools and how she brings a little bit of the Magic with her into each building she enters. She also shares with us how she has and has seen Disney being used in classrooms that will definitely make you Happy. Erin is an incredible educator and we are sure you will enjoy hearing about her passion and Disney fandom as she continues to inspire and make us all a little less Grumpy, Dopey, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and a little more Happy and a lot more like the Doc’s of Education we all know we are. 

We hope you enjoy today’s show and find Erin as rejuvenating and uplifting as we do! Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Dec 1, 2021

I’m Dreaming of a Disney Christmas

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan discuss their Disney dreams this holiday season. This includes several recent D23 Destination D announcements about upcoming attractions and events at Walt Disney World and the other Disney theme parks. Ryan and Howie really are excited for the future of the Disney Parks and both can’t wait to get back and experience all the new adventures Disney is creating for all of us.  They definitely can’t wait to find all the connections these new attractions will create for the world of education and our students!

While Howie and Ryan, have done shows like this in the past and have echoed the following statement before, they feel that it’s worth repeating today that their best holiday gift this season is the wonderful My Disney Class community that has been blessed with all the great educators, like yourself, that continue to create classroom magic every day. Ryan and Howie do share other gifts that they are looking forward to, and even some classroom tools that may be worth exploring that could make your teaching life a little easier. 

We hope you enjoy this holiday-themed episode but more than that we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy some time off from school or work.  Thank you again for making My Disney Class such a positive learning community and we look forward to growing even more in the new year

As always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney.

Nov 15, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Emily Gathman. Emily is a 6th grade Science teacher at Bussey Middle School in Garland Texas. She loves to inspire her students to be creative problem-solvers as they tackle real-world Science and engineering problems in her classroom.

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Emily Gathman. Emily is a 6th grade Science teacher at Bussey Middle School in Garland Texas. She loves to inspire her students to be creative problem-solvers as they tackle real-world Science and engineering problems in her classroom. Emily was recognized in 2021 as the Bussey Middle School's, Teacher of the year which as you will see in this episode is truly well deserved! 

On the show, Emily will share with us how she has incorporated the lessons that she has learned from Disney as well as what brings her inspiration from Disney into her classroom for her students. This ranges from how she has designed physical things in her classroom to how she uses inspirational quotes. For example, Emily helps her students handle failures they encounter in her class by using the quote,” Failure is not an endpoint but a jumping-off point.” She combines this quote with stories about how Walt Disney himself overcame many failures. We think you will agree as you listen to Emily describe her classroom that she is definitely inspiring her students to be innovators, just like Uncle Walt!

We hope you enjoy today’s episode and as always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Nov 1, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie pick up where they left off a month ago when they were discussing Walt’s original Florida Project and plan to make E.P.C.O.T. the heart of everything that was going to go on in central Florida. In this episode, Howie and Ryan start at the solemn point of Walt’s death and how the company and Roy had to decide on what to do next. Do they continue with Walt’s vision for E.P.C.O.T. or do they try to do something more familiar that they already have a blueprint for? 

Howie and Ryan will then look at what E.P.C.O.T. turned into and the attractions available on opening day. They will discuss what can be learned from this path the company took and how education, creativity, innovation, and discovery were and maybe will be again the heart of the park E.P.C.O.T. Furthermore, they will discuss what the future has been promised to look like by Disney for this park and what their hopes are for what this special park will become. 

We hope you enjoy this exploration of why the vision and plan for E.P.C.O.T. changed and what the future of E.P.C.O.T. looks like.  We hope you also gleaned some of the parallel connections between Walt’s vision, what E.P.C.O.T. has become and how we can apply that to our schools and classrooms. E.P.C.O.T. has always been a very inspirational place and we know here at My Disney Class that there are tons of mini E.P.C.O.T. classrooms all over that are inspiring the next Walt Disney to grow and develop and dream! Keep up the great work and remember that even if the path has to change, keep what’s important, our students, at the heart of everything we do as educators. 

As always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Oct 15, 2021

Getting Primed with Michael Crawford

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Howie and Ryan welcome Michael Crawford to the show. Michael is currently a show writer at the Walt Disney Company and has also written for The Walt Disney Family Museum, The Disney Archives, Imagineering, and D23! In this episode, he will guide us through how his passion for Disney started for him and how that led to him creating a very popular blog called Progress City, USA. This blog is what would eventually find its way to Diane Disney Miller and help him make other contacts and connections that led to Michael writing and working for all those incredible Disney groups listed above. 

 

Michael has also written a book called, The Progress City Primer. His book is filled with a cornucopia of Disney stories that span topics like Walt’s life, the wonderfully weird stories of Disney, and the Disney that never was. On the show, Michael shares with us some of his favorite stories from his book and the details behind them and even how he did his research to gather all these great stories. 

 

Michael also has a podcast that he does with his brother that is bi-monthly called Progress City Radio Hour and if you enjoyed hearing Michael’s stories on our podcasts, and I know you did, then you should go check out his podcast as well as he shares even more stories and deeper dives into the wonderful world of Disney!

We hope you enjoy today’s episode and as always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Oct 1, 2021

Planning for the Community of Tomorrow!

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie take a deep dive into Walt Disney’s plans for the Experimental, Prototype, Community of Tomorrow (E.P.C.O.T) or what later would be labeled as Progress City. This was an unfinished concept for a planned community developed by Walt Disney and designed by WED Enterprises in the 1960s. Its purpose was to be a “real city that would never cease to be a living blueprint of the future,” building on the latest technology and innovation from American industry this project would be the central component of Disney’s “Florida Project,” a massive property of undeveloped swampland located between Orlando and Kissimmee Florida. 

            In this episode, which will be part 1 of a two-part series, Howie and Ryan will talk through what they believe Walt’s vision was for the “Florida Project,” and why he wanted to make this his next great adventure and legacy. They will then dive deeper into what his plans were for the land his company was buying in Florida. Including the airport of the future, the E.P.C.O.T industrial park, E.P.C.O.T. the city, and even Walt’s reluctance to build another Disneyland / Magic Kingdom on this land. 

            We hope you enjoy this exploration of Walt’s vision for the E.P.C.O.T. that would unfortunately never be seen and we hope that you will join us on November 1st as we continue this topic. In part 2, we will pick up where we left off and discuss what happened after Walt’s death, why the vision and plan for E.P.C.O.T. changed and what the future of E.P.C.O.T. looks like.  As always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney.

 

Sep 15, 2021

In today’s episode of My Disney Class Podcast, Ryan and Howie welcome Megan Zimdars to the show. Megan is in her 6th year teaching and is currently working with 4th graders at Boswell Elementary in Lebanon MO. Megan teaches Social Studies and ELA and does so in some of the most magical ways all in a classroom that is themed wonderfully to inspire students of all ages!

On today’s show, Megan will share with us her story of how she became an educator and also how she became a Disney fan. We then hear how she combines these two passions to create engaging lessons and environments that her students love. Megan talks about how she decorates her classroom and why that is important and shares that this year she has a classroom that is castle-themed, awesome! 

Megan also talks about how she divides her students up into houses, think Harry Potter, but instead of Gryffindor or Slytherin, Megan uses the four parks of Walt Disney World! She also will share some of the lessons she has used integrating the magic of Disney, like teaching Geography and culture using the pavilions at EPCOT. 

Too far from Disney to have your students experience the park, you say? Wish you could bring your students to the magic? Well, Megan has figured that out too. She will share how she worked with our own Brian Collins to take her students on a virtual field trip to the most magical place on Earth. 

We hope you enjoy today’s show and find Megan as magical and inspirational as we do! Remember, if you like the show and want to help us spread the word about it and build our already amazing community, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts!

 

Sep 1, 2021

Howie and Ryan look at how Walt Disney approached taking risks and jumping into new things throughout his life. Just like teachers all over the world are doing right now as they start the New Year in their schools. As we discuss all the ups and downs of Walt’s journey to creating a magical escape that we all love and enjoy, we think you will find similarities in those ups and downs to the ones we all face as educators. 

In today’s show, we will start the discussion and timeline of Walt’s life right around World War 1, when Walt traveled overseas to help out in the war effort any way he could. Even if this means he needed to lie about his age to go. We then discuss his first failed company, Laugh-O-Grams studio, and follow Walt out to California where he had dreams of being a director but eventually opened up the Disney Bros Studios. 

Ryan and Howie will take turns sharing what they know about these stories and what they each have learned from Walt’s challenges, risks, and perseverance. Hopefully, we can all learn how taking risks, working hard, persevering, and ultimately jumping into, specifically, our profession of education, can reap big rewards. 

We hope you enjoy today’s episode as we take a look back at Walt’s life and we also hope you can find the inspiration you may need to take that leap this new school year and create the magic for your students that we know you can! As always, we would love for you to rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts. If you have any feedback or would like to come on the show, please email us at MyDisneyClass@gmail.com, and don’t forget to join our Facebook community at Educators Who Love Disney

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