Monday, January 30, 2017

This just in from Bob McLain (owner of Theme Park Press) about the newly released book Remembering the Magic by Suzanne and RJ Ogren.

[A Monkey Paw in the Magic Kingdom

When R.J. and Suzanne Ogren "remember the magic" of Walt Disney World, they're not remembering their trips to the most magical place on earth, they're remembering their jobs: Suzanne as a character performer, R.J. as an artist. Their backstage stories are like none you've ever read before.

How do the ghosts, pirates, bears, presidents, jungle animals, and all the other audio-animatronic figures in the Magic Kingdom look as flawless today as they did when the park first opened, in 1971? Disney employs an on-site team of artists to inspect and repair every figure equipped with motion and sound, in every attraction, as well as all of the sets, murals, and props.

R.J. Ogren joined the Magic Kingdom's mischievous, prank-playing team of artists in the 1970s. He survived nearly drowning in the Jungle Cruise; an oil-spewing, country-singing bear in Country Bear Jamboree; runaway ghosts in Haunted Mansion; and many other close encounters of the magical kind, armed only with his paint brushes, scrapers, and black-light paint.

Along with his wife, Suzannne, who worked as a character performer and later in the Entertainment Department of the Magic Kingdom, R.J. counts his time spent as a Walt Disney World cast member as some of the best years of his life.

His and Suzanne's stories are sure to make you laugh, such as the time R.J. discovered Lincoln's monkey paw in the Hall of Presidents, and maybe even shed a tear. With a foreword by legendary Diamond Horseshoe Revue performer Bev Bergeron!]

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