Chuck Schmidt, bitten by the Disney bug at an early age, remembers watching The Mickey Mouse Club after school in the mid-1950s. During his 48-year career in the newspaper business, he channeled that love of Disney as the Sunday News and Travel editor for The Staten Island Advance. Chuck has written or co-authored seven books for Theme Park Press, including Disney's Dream Weavers, On the Disney Beat, An American in Disneyland Paris, Disney's Animal Kingdom: An Unofficial History and The Beat Goes On. Chuck has shared his passion for all things Disney in his Still Goofy About Disney blog on AllEars.Net since 2015. He resides in Beachwood, N.J., with his wife Janet. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren.


A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Marty Sklar’s Disneyland-Themed Retirement Party

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When Marty Sklar retired from the Walt Disney Company on July 17, 2009, after 53 years of service, he received the type of sendoff that was worthy of … well, Marty Sklar. The night before his official retirement date, family, friends and colleagues gathered for a party at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Glendale, California, campus. The night was filled with laughter, nostalgia and good-natured fun … with a smattering of emotion sprinkled in for good measure.
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THE FIRST TIME I VISITED: Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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April 21, 1998, dawned warm and sunny in central Florida … perfect weather for the dedication of a new park on Walt Disney World property. I was fortunate to be in attendance as Disney's Animal Kingdom – proudly dubbed “a new species of theme park” – swung open its gates for thousands of invited members of the press [the park officially opened to the general public on April 22, which is Earth Day].
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THE FIRST TIME I VISITED: The Disney/MGM Studios

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Underwhelming. That's what I thought after our first visit to the Disney/MGM Studios in August of 1989. Where it took several days to see and do most of the attractions at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, it took just a few hours to take in the limited number of adventures in the park, which was based on Hollywood, and specifically, movie and television production.
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