The Disney Legends Awards at D23

Cam asked me to attend the 2013 D23 Expo on Saturday and Sunday. While I’ve been a Disney enthusiast for the past 5 years, one of the most glaringly apparent nuggets of truth I learned came the moment I walked in the door. My 5 years of going to Disneyland hadn’t even scratched the surface of what there is to know about Disney.


This is the first post of many I will write for Growing Up Goofy. I will represent all of the newbies, like me, and we’ll travel down the yellow brick road together, the destination, however, will not be limited to Oz.

The main event I attended at D23 was the Disney Legends Awards. There were several people who were honored at this event:

  • Tony Baxter
  • Ed Wynn
  • Collin Campbell
  • John Goodman
  • Billy Crystal
  • Dick Clark
  • Glen Keane
  • Steve Jobs

Honestly, I’d never heard of some of these people, but that was kind of cool. The event was 2 hours of mind-blowing discovery of what these men had accomplished. That wasn’t even the best part.


What was most impressive to me, and my greatest takeaway, is the culture of seeing potential, mentoring, and empowering greatness. Collin Cambell, for example, started as a messenger. Walt Disney saw something in him and developed a messenger into a leader who made great contributions to the company.


One of the greatest compliments paid during the event, which falls right in line with Disney’s example, was Steve Jobs transformation from a taskmaster, get-it-done-or-else kind of leader to a Disney-type leader developer in line with Disney.


The company culture Disney developed to inspire and draw the best out of others is still alive and well. As a business owner, and Disney enthusiast, I have found myself not just playing at Disneyland, but paying attention to the “how and why” behind what makes it work. Attending the Disney Legend Awards showed me a huge piece of the puzzle; seeing potential, mentoring and empowering others toward greatness.


You may have expected a rundown of who said what as they accepted their awards and maybe what they were wearing and which characters greeted them on stage. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve included thousands of words on the topic in the margins of this post. Enjoy!

See you at Disneyland!


About this post

I wrote a book about Disneyland

101 Disneyland Tips is available in paperback, Kindle, and many other eBook editions.

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