There is something really special about being a Disney fan. For many of you who read this blog, I bet you know that it’s not just good movies and fun theme parks. There is something truly magical about Disney which is why so many people are so passionate about it. I have a feeling if you asked many fans if Disney changed their life they would say yes – and they’d have a story about how it happened for them. There are so many stories like this we probably never hear, which is why Kimberley Bouchard set out to share these stories with a larger audience in her book series “Positively Disney.”
I got the chance to chat with Kimberley for a bit about her books, her experiences with Disney, why she felt pulled to write about it, and more. I’m excited to share with you these books and what we talked about!
About the books
If you aren’t familiar with them already, the Positively Disney book series is a collection of inspirational stories that are all about Disney and from “Disney people.” This includes everyone from Disney artists to original Mouseketeers to people like you and me who have stories to share. The subtitle of the books is “heartwarming stories about Disney’s impact on people’s lives.”
While it’s great to read about some of the familiar Disney names we know, some of the stories that stand out to me are the ones about guests to the Disney parks. There are so many stories you would never hear otherwise – the woman who celebrated her 100th birthday at Disney, the teenager who taught himself how to play the Mexican guitar because he saw the Mariachi Cobre perform, and the girls who started dressing up as Disney princesses to visit children in the hospital.
There are currently 5 “Positively Disney” books that have been released and a 6th one coming soon. 3 of the 5 which are out now are general collections of all things Disney related, but there’s also a book specifically about romance (so many couples have met or come together because of Disney!) as well as the most recently published title which is all about Star Wars.
I can’t imagine a better person to write a book series like this than Kimberley. As soon as we started chatting I felt comfortable and could absolutely feel her passion and positivity. I love the concept for this book series and I was curious how she was able to get to talk to so many fascinating people. It really was her passion leading the way and finding a topic that resonated with so many people. She started on social media asking people if they had any positive Disney stories to share. Of course many did and it all grew from there.
Of course Kimberley has many of her own stories as well, but one major one that inspired her book was when she took her family to Epcot and they were able to watch an Irish step-dancing performance at the America Gardens theater. Her kids were so amazed by it that they were interested in learning how to dance and started taking step-dancing lessons. They actually went on to enter competitions and have the opportunity to travel all around the world. None of that would have happened if they hadn’t happened to see this show in Epcot. Those dancers may have been performing like they probably do every day and probably had no idea their performance that day changed the lives of a family and introduced something so special to them.
A thank you to cast members
One thing that really stood out to me is when I asked Kimberley why she decided to write the first book (which is a question I’m sure she’s asked a lot!). So many of her own positive Disney experiences came at the theme parks or with the cruise line and were mostly due to cast members. When cast members go above and beyond it creates a special experience – but in some instances it truly can change someone’s life. These guests go home and the cast members never know the impact that they had. Kimberley told me she wanted to write the book because she “wanted to let cast members know how they changed her kids’ lives and say thank you.”
Throughout everything we talked about related to her books it always came back to the cast members and the work they do to create magic and change lives. I personally think it’s so important to show appreciation to them and let them know how much value they add to so many lives, so I love this focus.
Work like this is important too because I think we sometimes lose positivity in our lives these days. We can get so busy and feel so much stress and pressure we don’t always value the positive things. People often focus on the negative but there is so much positive and Disney really can bring that out for people.
As someone who works with the public it’s certainly a job that can wear you down. But a thank you means a lot, and to hear a story about something you’ve done making an impact and feeling like you’re truly making a difference can mean the world.
And Kimberley’s enthusiasm rubs off. After talking with her I felt happier, motivated, and ready to try and do my part to not only make a positive difference in the world, but also to try and share stories like this as much as I can to spread kindness and appreciation. Because we could definitely use more of that in the world.
What job would you want if you were a Disney cast member?
At the end of our interview I also asked Kimberley a few fun questions (though it’s hard for her to pick a favorite movie one of her favorites is Coco). Given her appreciation of Disney cast members I was curious what job she would want if she had her choice at Disney. She expressed enthusiasm for a number of jobs there, including being the person who makes caramel apples (because how fun and delicious would that be?), but ultimately said she would love the job of “wearing the plaid vest” and being part of Guest Relations. Why? Because she would want the opportunity to give back and make the magic happen for people every day, and guest relations has more power to do special things for families.
So with 5 Positively Disney books already out, what else is on the way? Well, Kimberley has a 6th Positively Disney book that will debut at some point this year and will feature a number of great stories, including from well known names such as Paige O’Hara (the voice of Belle) and Bob Gurr (Imagineer). She also has another book that’s currently a secret but will be announced soon – she couldn’t share too many details about it, but given how excited she seemed I have to say I can’t wait to find out myself! So keep an eye on her page for that announcement.
What’s your story?
If you’re reading this blog you probably consider yourself a pretty big Disney fan – or you at least have a major enough interest to be learning more about Disney! So I’m guessing that like Kimberley and the many people she has interviewed for her books you may have your own story about how Disney has changed your life… or at the very least how it’s brought a little more positivity to your life. Since I’ll take all the happy, inspirational stories I can get these days I’d love it if you want to share in the comments here about the impact Disney has had on your life!
Will you be reading Positively Disney? How has Disney impacted your own life?