As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below All opinions are my own. ~Heidi
About Together in the Dream
R.J. painted Animatronic figures and “plussed” attractions. Suzanne drove monorails, marched in parades, and entertained as Sleepy the dwarf. Together, the Ogrens brought their unique skills to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom during its formative years. This is their story.
R.J. and Suzanne were indeed “together in the dream”: their adventures as husband-and-wife cast members spanned the backstage areas of iconic attractions, Main Street parades, and Disney executive offices. They worked with celebrities, Disney artists like Marc and Alice Davis, and the fun-loving, creative geniuses who called the “Animation Art Studio” home.
Among the stories the Ogrens tell:
- Working underwater at the old 20,000 Leagues attraction, aboard the pirate ship in Pirates of the Caribbean, and in the “jungle” of the Jungle Cruise
- How Disney trains its monorail drivers, and the surprisingly rigorous tests they must pass to qualify
- Life in the “Dwarf unit”, the tight-knit group of cast members who perform as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the Magic Kingdom
- Why some Animatronic characters don’t wear pants
- Repairing bullet holes in the Haunted Mansion, replacing Dopey’s stolen head, and other examples of Disney guests gone wild
JOIN R.J. AND SUZANNE IN THIS UNIQUE ACCOUNT OF WORKING AT THE MAGIC KINGDOM!
About Suzanne & R.J. Ogren
Suzanne & R.J. Ogren are former Walt Disney World cast members who worked in a variety of roles at the Magic Kingdom during the 1970s and 1980s. They currently reside near Chicago, Illinois, where they pursue various creative endeavors. This is their first book.
Heidi Says . . .
I absolutely loved this book. A few weeks ago, my husband and I celebrated our 24th anniversary by taking a Disney Cruise. I wanted to take a book along to read during our down time (plane, Disney buses, etc.) I thought that, since Together in the Dream was written by a couple, that it would be the perfect anniversary reading material. I was right!
I loved how Suzanne and R.J. took turns writing the chapters in the book, while each shared their individual stories of working at Walt Disney World. R.J.’s stories about going out into the attractions before the park was open (and, in some cases, after it had closed for the evening) were exciting to me. Reading about repairing things in some of my favorite Disney classics was so cool! I can’t imagine, for example, getting up close and personal with the animals of the Jungle Cruise or the pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Suzanne’s stories of driving the monorail and later working as a costumed character were inspiring. I cannot imagine donning those heavy – and hot – costumes and going out into the Florida sunshine to greet Guests each day. I’ve always been impressed with the character interaction, but her stories really make me have a whole new appreciation for the people behind the masks (sometimes I honestly forget there are real people in there!)
I realize that working at Disney isn’t all fun and games and the employees probably don’t see the magic like the Guests do; but, if I had my wish, I’d be living in Florida and my whole family would be working at Disney – just like the Ogrens passed the Disney bug on to their two children.
They have all since moved on from working at Disney, but I’m so glad they decided to share their memories in this book! I really, really enjoyed it and would totally recommend it.
If you’d like to read about the time that a Guest pulled off Dopey’s head in Snow White’s Scary Adventure or find out what it’s like to dress up like a Dwarf, then you’ll want to head over to Theme Park Press and read the excerpts from this book. While you’re there, check out all the available books, make your wish list, then head over to Amazon and add them to your cart!
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press.***