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 On the Disney Beat
Journalist Chuck Schmidt has covered Disney for over three decades, attending lavish special event parties and enjoying access to Disney executives and Imagineers. He was first in line for new attractions, shows, even cruise ships. What’s that like? Chuck’s memoir tells all.
Being a newspaper reporter is not a life of glitz and glamour. But for a reporter like Chuck Schmidt, who was on the “Disney beat” for the Staten Island Advance, it means one-on-one time with Disney Legends like Marty Sklar and Tony Baxter; admittance to private, after-hours galas in the parks; and plenty of bling.
Now retired, Chuck tells the never-before-told story of how he and other journalists publicize the latest and greatest from the Mouse, taking you backstage to a side of Disney that guests never see:
- Celebrity-studded soirees for events like the opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the christening of the Disney Dream
- How former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo’s innovations changed the theme park experience for many guests—but few people know who he is
- The evolution of Disney’s increasingly over-the-top press events, traced back to a Hollywood operator named Eddie Meck who taught Walt how to promote Disneyland
- How Chuck became an “honorary citizen” of Walt Disney World
With a foreword by Marty Sklar, and featuring exclusive photos and contributions from Disney Legends Sklar, Tony Baxter, Bob Gurr, and Charlie Ridgway, On the Disney Beat is your personal press badge to all things Disney!
About Chuck Schmidt
Chuck Schmidt was bitten by the Disney bug at an early age. He remembers watching The Mickey Mouse Club after school in the mid-1950s. During his 48-year career in the newspaper business, he channeled that love of Disney as the Sunday News and Travel editor for the Staten Island Advance, writing a number of features and covering a variety of events involving the expansive world created by Walt Disney.
Since 2009, he has shared his passion for all things Disney in his weekly Goofy About Disneyblog on SILive.com.
Chuck resides in Freehold, New Jersey, with his wife, Janet. They have three grown children and four grandchildren.
Heidi Says . . .
A few years ago, my daughter Ashley and I were invited to attend a special event at Walt Disney World with friends who own a rental home property in Kissimmee. [If you’d like to book a Dream Home, please click on the link in my sidebar.] Anyway, this event was for Disney-approved ticket sellers, and was held at the Contemporary Resort. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was the main focus, though we were also told about other upcoming events and attractions. In addition to a lovely breakfast spread, we also got some great swag (a Seven Dwarf Mine Train backpack has come in quite handy!), free tickets to the park, lunch vouchers, and FastPasses for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
I have to admit, I was starstruck by the whole event. It was fabulous. Even though we were just guests of our friends, we were made to feel important in the Disney community. It was a lot of fun and an event that I will never forget. And, I can’t help thinking that if my dream of living in the central Florida area were to ever come true, I’d likely have opportunity to visit more events like this. And I would love it!
Once upon a time, I wanted to be a writer. Of course, that dream started out as a goal to write books, but later materialized into a more realistic dream of writing for a newspaper. Of course, my desire not to go to college kinda put that dream to rest.
All that to say that Chuck Schmidt has pretty much lived out a life that I would love! Not only has he been a newspaper reporter, but he’s had opportunity to write about about Disney. A lot. To me, he’s led a charmed life. Just looking at the book cover will clearly show that he’s attended a TON of Disney-related press events over the years (in fact, I see a Seven Dwarfs Mine Train media event pass there!) He’s attended events on both coasts, and had the chance to rub elbows with some of Disney’s greatest names, such as Marty Sklar, Bob Gurr, Tony Baxter, and Charlie Ridgway.
He’s had opportunity to sit down and interview these guys and hear stories about their Disney working experience. And, he’s sharing those stories – along with stories from the various media events – in this book.
And I loved reading it! If these names and these events mean anything to you, you’ll likely enjoy reading this one too!
As always, you can find out more about this book at the Theme Park Press website, where you’ll find a few excerpts from the book (the Club 33 one with Marty Sklar is a personal favorite!) Be sure to check out the Forward and the Introduction as well.
Theme Park Press is constantly adding new books to their line-up. In fact, just since last week, I saw several new ones that I can’t wait to read. Be sure to stay tuned here at Heidi’s Head for lots more Theme Park Press fun!
***This post made possible by Theme Park Press.***