The Disney Driven Life
With Author Jeff Dixon
What a show do we have for you today! Howie and Ryan are incredibly lucky to welcome Jeff Dixon on the show today. Jeff is the author of the "Key to the Kingdom" series, which is a fictional series of four books that follows the adventures of Grayson Hawkes as he attempts to solve a complicated series of puzzles laid out by none other than the man himself, Walt Disney. Jeff recently broke from this series and wrote a book called "The Disney Driven Life". This book is a guidebook that not only guides you through the Magic Kingdom but also guides you through the lessons you can learn from each attraction that ultimately helps you be your best version of you. In Jeff’s own words “ A Disney-driven life is a life where you move beyond being a person loaded with potential and become a person who lives up to that potential.” Jeff has unique and rich experiences that he draws from to write his books. He grew up in Florida and remembers a time before Walt Disney World existed. He has seen it grow and change and he has even worked for the Mouse. In his day job, Jeff serves as the Transformational Architect at The Church @ 434 in Central Florida.
In today’s episode, we visit with Jeff and talk about some of his favorite examples from the book and how they can impact us as educators. We discuss what lessons we can learn from the attractions and how studying a little bit of the history of Walt, we can have a great impact on the learning and engagement of our students. We hope you enjoy today’s episode as Jeff shares how his background at Walt Disney World and his current role as a pastor helped him develop into the wonderful storyteller he is today and how we can become the author of our own and our students own, greatest story.
On today’s show, it seems like Ryan has bumped his head pretty hard as he actually suggests changing the show name to My Universal Class. Listen in as Howie tries to talk some sense into Ryan and get him back on the magical path. As the debate continues, you will hear several points and counterpoints to which is better Universal Studios or Walt Disney World. Hopefully, you will enjoy this light-hearted comparison of both parks and learn a few things about that other park called Universal Studios. To end this April Fools episode, we will share information we have found on the educational programs that Universal offers. This is no joke and the educational opportunities seem to be really engaging and very rigorous. Some of the topics include Your Classroom in motion, Storytelling, and Our Weather. We hope you enjoy today’s episode, as we discuss something out of the Disney universe, but we think it has wonderful educational connections.
Ryan and Howie are excited to welcome, all the way from his home planet of Tatooine, Thomas Riddle to the podcast. Ok Thomas may not be from Tatoonie but with the level of force and good that he has been bringing to education, we wouldn’t be surprised. Thomas has been in education more than twenty years and has served as a teacher, coach, principal, adjunct college professor, educational consultant, textbook publisher, and served on the South Carolina Department of Education. If this wasn’t enough Thomas regularly conducts professional development and instructional methodology at all levels across the country.
On today’s show, Thomas shares with us how he and his long-time friend Wes Dodgens were able to partner up with Lucasfilm,Ltd. to create “Adventures in Learning with Indiana Jones” (indyintheclassroom.com). Indyintheclassroom.com provides teachers with interdisciplinary curriculum and lesson ideas based upon Dr. Jones aka Indiana Jones. In 2012, Thomas and Wes launched a sequel to Indiana Jones called “Star Wars in the Classroom” (starwarsintheclassroom.com). This site provides engaging lessons in all subject areas using the power of the force found in Star Wars movies.
We hope you enjoy today’s show as Thomas takes us through ways to incorporate the movies that we love into our classrooms.
Join Ryan and Howie as they jump into the Timekeeper’s time machine and dream about what it would be like to experience some of Walt Disney’s greatest moments. We can’t help but think that this could be something educators could build upon and make a lesson out of. Imagine what the students could discover by pretending to go back in history to meet or observe a historical figure or event.
Howie and Ryan share some points on Walt’s timeline that mean something to them. Howie talks about Walt’s failures in the beginning, Disney’s Folly- Snow White, and Walt’s trip to Orlando in 1965. Howie does a masterful job of taking us back to these particular times and sharing some little known facts about these events. Ryan shares some of his favorite Walt moments that include; young Walt and family moving to Marceline MO, Walt’s trip to South America, and the informational video shot about E.P.C.O.T.
Enjoy the 15th episode of season 2 as much as we enjoyed traveling back in time and sharing our thoughts about Walt’s life. Walt is, after all the inspiration for both Howie and I in creating My Disney Class and of course we hope he inspires you as well to create your own classroom magic.