The “Greatest”

Hosting Muhammed Ali as Grand Marshal in February of 2000 was what I often call a “career day”. Meeting an Olympic Gold Medalist and 3-time World Heavyweight Champion was beyond anything I’d ever imagined. I’d read or heard that his was the most recognized face in the world. He was kind and gracious to all Disney’s Guests and Cast, and they loved him.

I’d shared Ali’s Grand Marshal day with a friend of mine, Maria Kirkland. She arranged her schedule that day to include the 3 o’clock parade. After the parade Maria held a door open for the Champ and his entourage. Ali thanked her with a hug and a kiss on her cheek. This was a lifetime moment for Maria and every time I see her, she fondly recalls that magical day.

What a life!! May you rest in peace.


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Festival of Fantasy

Visited the Magic Kingdom yesterday to catch the new 3:00 o’clock parade, Festival of Fantasy. This parade did not disappoint. The floats, costumes, music, and energy are all top-notch. My personal opinion is “best ever”!  Don’t take my word for it, get yourself to the Magic Kingdom and see it for yourself.

Was so good to chat with Fred, Brick, & Nancy and several other other former co-workers at Guest Relations. Also great to visit with my Main Street pals. Mayor Weaver, Smokey, and Scoop, so wonderful to see you all.

All The Best, Dean

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Another Book Review

Are you ready for another book review? Last week, a local (Orlando area) radio station featured a guest by the name of Gary Rolen. During his introduction, Mr. Rolen mentioned he’d been reviewing books for 35 years. He reviewed four books, mine included, during his segment.

A few quotes from Mr. Rolen’s review: “What is so fantastic about the book is the people he chose and their lives, and how their their lives were effected by going to Disney and being the Grand Marshal”.   “Really, really cool”.   “Fascinating”.

Gary also seemed to have a soft spot in his heart for our military, as he mentioned several of the chapters regarding these special individuals.

All The Best, Dean


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Two Book Reviews

Two book reviews I just have to share:

My friend, Katrina, had left her copy of my book on the coffee table. Her dad picked it up and began reading. She wanted the book, so she asked her dad to just watch Shark Tank. Her father continued reading…Katrina explained, “My father NEVER reads”.

(I am so humbled to share this one). Susan wrote: “My mother-in-law loves your book, every morning she reads her bible devotional then one of your memories!”

All The Best, Dean

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More Disney Cruises

Hello Everyone,

We’re back, and are we ever relaxed and refreshed. Yes, we’ve just returned from back-to-back (five night) Disney Cruises. Have always wanted to do the back-to-back thing and finally all the stars were aligned just right for us. We sailed on the Disney Wonder out of Miami.

The highlight of the ten days (other than being with my cruising’ buddy, Linda) was that we had lots of time with a special young man, the ship’s Chief Officer, Jim Shannon. Jim is like a son to us and we are so proud of him. Even though he was extremely busy, we managed to have some quality time for visits and several meals.

We also saw the movie Frozen for the first (and second) time(s) while on the ship. Wow, Disney has knocked it out of the park on this one. Were we the only people on the planet that had not seen it?

I made a terrible mistake by weighing myself this morning…I looked down and the scale read: “One at a time, please.” Remember, sea air shrinks your clothes.

Disney Cruise Line has again provided us an amazing vacation experience!!

All the Best, Dean

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Congratulations Seahawks!

Having moved to Colorado in the late 60’s, and living there for over twenty years, I became Denver Bronco fan and have been for all these years. I’ve cheered for them in good times and bad…including last evening’s Super Bowl loss. Today I congratulate the Seattle Seahawks on their victory. You were well coached and well prepared for the big game. The MVP, Malcolm Smith, declared “I’m going to Disney World!” and will ride down Main Street USA later today.

It was my privilege to host many of these MVP’s during my career at Disney. In 2003, after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl, I hosted several players from the team. Derrick Brooks was one of these players. During his ride along the parade route, he insisted on exiting the car to shake the hand of a young Tampa Bay fan in the wheelchair area. The young man and his father were overwhelmed. Brooks has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Class of 2014. Congratulations Derrick Brooks! You are a class act.

Want to give Mike Thomas a shout out for arranging a book signing that will be held one week from today. Mike, your support of my book has been amazing, thank you my friend.

Additionally, Linda & I will be taking another Disney cruise later this month. As most of you know, we love cruises…particularly Disney cruises. Have a great week.

All The Best, Dean



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Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

All The Best, Dean

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Merry Christmas

Linda and I want to wish everyone the merriest Christmas ever!

Blessings to you and to those you love.

All The Best, Dean

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Book Signing

A quick reminder…I will be at Texas Roadhouse this afternoon/evening from 4:00-8:00. The official location is: 7973 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (W. Hwy. 192). Their phone number is 407-787-3778.

Linda & I love their early dining specials that are featured from Mon-Fri 3:30-6:00, Sat & Sun 12:00-6:00. Anyone who purchases a book during the event will also receive a complimentary cactus blossom or fried pickles appetizer.

Hope to see you (locals) there.

All The Best, Dean

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A Real Thanksgiving

My Thanksgiving wish to all is to be with family and those you love. May your roads be clear and without congestion and may your airport waits be minimal.

I was visiting with a friend of mine asking if he and his girlfriend would enjoy a day at one of Disney’s theme parks. I had several complimentary passes that were very close to their expiration date. He asked how many admissions I had and I answered that I had four. My friend thanked me for the offer and asked about the other two tickets.

He continued that he had a friend who was a single parent and like so many in her situation, was struggling to make ends meet. She has a young daughter who just loves anything Disney. The price of admission to the Disney parks is simply a luxury that they cannot afford.

Recently the little girl lost a tooth. The following morning she came to breakfast with her “tooth fairy” money. She handed it to her mother and asked, “Will this be enough for us to go to Disney?” Obviously our little Princess, her mom, and my friends will be heading to Disney in the very near future.

I’m thankful that something like this can happen for such a deserving child, particularly during this special season. May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

All The Best, Dean


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