Thank you to everyone who loyally followed the release of each Episode and provided positive feedback through our interactive form and Amazon reviews. Your comments inspired me, and I don’t know if I would’ve finished the Series if it weren’t for your encouraging words. Many wrote saying that Deadliest Cast Member made them feel as if they were in the Park, and that it opened up a whole new world to them as they discovered things at Disneyland that were mentioned in the book. Messages came in from around the world thanking me for allowing them to relive memories at Disneyland through this story. Parents told me this book ignited their children’s desire to read and learn. One reader said she loved the way real history was infused into the plot. Several active duty members of our military stationed overseas said that this story kept them going while they were missing home.
I have to admit, I didn't know what I was getting into in the beginning . It started out kind of rough as I struggled to portray the characters and balance the story with physical descriptions of Disneyland. I worked with several different editors including Missshelly to refine the manuscript. I worked with developmental editors as well to improve the storytelling. I think I hit my stride on the 2nd and 3rd Episodes, and everything seemed to flow after that. I rewrote Episode One no less than twenty times over the past year! Now, at over 120,000 words, roughly 500 pages, I am extremely happy with how the story turned out and I think it benefits anyone with an interest in Disneyland history and all of its intriguing legends.
I originally envisioned Deadliest Cast Member as a “thriller at Disneyland,” however once I dug deep into the history of the “Gentleman Pirate” Jean Lafitte, and I read his memoirs—I realized this story could be so much more. If you've ever seen the sunken brick archway in front of the Haunted Mansion on the River esplanade and wondered what it was, this story will cause you to look at New Orleans Square, and Disneyland, in a whole new way.
I studied everything I could get my hands on about Walt Disney, I watched him talk for hours on YouTube, analyzing the inflections in his voice, and the way he captivated audiences with his soothing mild-mannered tone. I tried to make the scenes with Walt special for true Disney fans, giving them a rare chance to experience private moments with him so they could fully appreciate his genius.
I was in awe when I watched Walt explain his vision of EPCOT, with the climate-controlled bubble and the underground transportation system—I realized that Walt was far ahead of everybody from his era. I knew that if anyone was capable of creating something that was out of this world, it would be him. I wondered—if Walt was speaking publicly about an elaborate city with an actual bubble surrounding it to control weather—what else could he have been working on that no one knew about?
This question made me dig deeper into the phenomenon of Disneyland, and its creator. I wanted to examine the brilliant mind of Walt Disney—the greatest innovator of our time, and uncover projects that he might have been secretly developing. How did he have the vision to pull something off as grandiose as Disneyland? How did it continue to flourish after all of these years?
I wanted to weave Disney history and facts--along with US history--into a fictional story so people could learn interesting things about the Parks while they were reading. I spent hundreds of hours over two years researching underground tunnels, the dark water system, Walt's Apartment, Club 33, New Orleans Square, and Walt's peculiar fascination with Lafitte. I purchased Lafitte's Memoirs and read them cover to cover trying to figure out a connection between him and Walt. Why did Walt make him a central figure of New Orleans Square?
Did Walt ever dine in Club 33? Read the book and find out!
This story will take you on a journey through time allowing you to experience Disneyland throughout several different decades. Have coffee with Walt Disney in his 1959 Fire Station Apartment on Main Street, and then eat a lobster sandwich with Walt and Admiral Fowler at Maurie’s Lobster House on Fowler's Harbor. Witness a fairy-tale love story set on the romantic Skyway in 1994. Travel to 1966 to see the opening of New Orleans Square, and hear some of Walt’s last words before his death in December of 1966. The “time travel” storytelling aspect permitted me to show the magnificence of Disneyland through the years, which will hopefully trigger fond memories from your past.
The Compilation includes all six Episodes (remastered), and special bonus content including a transcript from a never before released audio interview with Giada De Laurentiis for the Food Network Magazine outlining Jack Duncan's favorite things to eat at the Disneyland Resort. The compilation will ALSO contain an excerpt from our brand new Voyageers series!
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