In the novel, The Key to the Kingdom I wrote a story that built upon the history and life of Walt Disney and set the mystery in Central Florida...in and around Walt Disney World. I'd like to share a few stories along those same lines in this blog.
Many of you have heard that this year Walt Disney World is celebrating its 40th Anniversary and there are many stories of how the "world" was built that are being rediscovered or shared for the first time.
The name of Admiral Joe Fowler is not new for many Disney enthusiasts. Fowler was one of the primary builders who took what was a hot Florida swamp and created what would become the number one tourist destination in the world.
Fowler tells a story of what it was like before construction started. Walt Disney did not get the chance to see the real work on the Florida property ever happen. But Fowler would recall how he and Walt would drive all over the Florida property in a jeep. The project was laid out, Walt would pace it off time and time again, and one day he decided he wanted to get a view of what Walt Disney World would look like from the top of the Contemporary Hotel.
Arrangements were made and the biggest utility crane they could find was brought in. Joe Fowler and Walt Disney stood in the bucket of the crane as it was hoisted high into the air. The higher it rose the quieter it became. They finally stopped at the actual height of the lounge that would be placed at the top of the resort, the "Top Of The World."
Fowler remembered being absolutely terrified. Hanging on for dear life, hoping to get down quickly, all he managed to do was grab a fast glance and was satisfied that everything in the plans were located correctly. Walt on the other hand was leaning out over the side of the bucket, he was pointing out where things would be located, with all the enthusiasm in the world like a kid at Christmas, Disney was smiling and saying, "Oh Joe, look at this...this is going to be great!"
Fowler realized that Walt could visualize it all. He had the ability to see what wasn't there yet but what could be and what it would become.
People in many ways live their lives on the dreams of visionaries. Many of the things we enjoy that make our life better happened because someone had a vision, could see it before it existed, and were willing to chase and dream until it became a reality. We don't usually think about it but we live our lives better because people weren't afraid to chase dreams.
I may not know a lot of things but here is something that I do know. You and I are not here by accident. We are all unique and we all have something that we can offer that will make an impact in the world around us. I don't know if you can see it but here is what I know about you...you can make a difference. Sometimes we need to allow ourselves a moment to rise above the crowds, the noise, and the clutter and take a second and see what might be. Then we need to hit the ground running and start chasing dreams.
Here is my hope and dream for each of us. That we would always be willing to chase dreams!