“Do you like Disney fun facts?” That is my catchphrase. My name is Joshua Shaffer and I am the published author of two Disneyland history and Disney Movie fun fact books titled Discovering the Magic Kingdom: An Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Guide.
In 2006, I began learning fun facts about Disneyland. I would write them down as I learned them and would print them out and take them with me to the park when I would visit and share fun facts with people in line. I talked with people who worked for Disney, watched documentaries, read articles, blogs, and read lots of books. I wanted to learn all the fun facts and put them all in one place for people to access. People started asking me about other things in my book, like travel tips, Fast Pass tips, dining tips, and lots of other things. I ended up putting all those extra sections in my book too. In October 2010 my first book was published. It was 220 pages long with around 1,000 fun facts and over 100 photos.
Skipping ahead through the years I joined the Golden Gate Disneyana Club and have met Disney animators, actors, and other people who have been with the company. I also started selling my book at Disneyana conventions and Mouse-Con. I have also met a plethora of Disney people at those events. I have also been interviewed on several podcasts and have had book signings at bookstores like Barnes & Noble.
In 2016, I was interviewed on The Sweep Spot Podcast (www.thesweepspot.com episode 187). It is an awesome podcast. The two hosts, Lynn and Ken, have a combined 24 years of experience working in the park as custodians. They wrote the book Cleaning The Kingdom. I was invited by them after my interview to share their booth at D23 in 2017 along with the author of Seen, Un-Seen Disneyland, Russell Flores. I had been working on my 2nd edition since the publishing of my first book in 2010 but didn’t really put much effort into it. I had to have my 2nd edition done in time for D23. I really crammed the last seven months to have my book completed in time. It basically took about seven years to complete. I was fortunate enough to have Disney Legend and Imagineer Rolly Crump (Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room, Small World) along with Imagineer Terri Hardin (Captain Eo, Muppet Vision 3D, Splash Mountain, Star Tours) write my two forewords. By the time my second edition was complete, it was 700 pages long and contained over 3,700 fun facts about Disneyland and Disney movies and over 750 photos. It was given the nickname “The Disney Bible” at D23.
In my spare time, I have been working on my next book, which is just all Disney movie fun facts. I will complete the 3rd edition, but I am waiting for Galaxy’s Edge to open. I also design Disney Fantasy Pins. Those are Disney themed pins that are made by fans and not by Disney. They can’t be traded in the parks or anything like that.
My pin shop
For a brief time, I was a co-host on the Magic Behind The Ears Podcast. The producer of the show was Jerry Cornell. Jerry is a producer for Theme Parkology (www.themeparkology.com) and creates documentary DVDs about Disneyland attractions and actors. I was interviewed for his documentary The Enchanted Secrets of Disneyland.
I am also the Public Relations Manager for Gina Rock, the longest flying Tinker Bell in Disneyland history. She flew across the skies for the nightly fireworks from 1983-2005. Gina found my website in 2015 and contacted me to write an article about her and what she was doing a decade after retiring her wings. The article was published in the Disneyana Newsletter in spring 2016. I will be sharing the interview in a future blog. Later that summer, she asked me to be her Public Relations Manager. My job is to get her interviews on podcasts, sell her autographs, and be the go-between for her and her fan mail. She donates all the money from her sales to different non-profits like Make-A-Wish and The Red Cross. Her website is www.FlyingTinkerBell.org
At D23 I basically stood from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm every day for 3 days straight just talking about Disney stuff. I love all things Disney. If you have any questions about Disneyland or Disney Movies feel free to contact me and I will try to answer all your questions.
If you haven’t already picked up a copy of my book, you need to do so.