Mysteries of the Wilderness Lodge



Internationally renowned Disney Historian Jim Korkis returns again this year to Pixelmania for a special treat.

Jim has agreed to take the group through the Wilderness Lodge Resort to share the two storylines of the location:  the back story that the Walt Disney Imagineers created for the resort that explains certain items and their placement  as well as the visible story that the architecture tells every day but is often overlooked by the guests.  In addition, there is the challenge of taking photos indoors with odd sources of light and adpating to a non-theme park location.  As always with Jim, even if you have been to the Wilderness Lodge hundreds of time, he is able to point out things that you may have missed or a different perspective on things you have always seen.  Jim was recently a guest speaker at the Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and is the author of the book The Vault of Walt.

This event will take place during the late morning of the Magic Kingdom day of Pixelmania (Friday, 10/21) at a time and meeting location to be announced very soon.  Jim’s event last year was extremely well attended so be sure to not miss out on this rare opportunity.  Lunch at Roaring Fork (Wilderness Lodge) will follow Jim’s presentation.






(click the image to the left or this text to order The Vault of Walt from




Chad Emerson, Publisher

Phone:  334.201.5241



The unofficial, unauthorized and uncensored Disney history stories that have never been told will finally be revealed with the release of the new Ayefour book, The Vault of Walt by internationally renowned Disney Historian Jim Korkis.

This unique Disney history companion features a lengthy foreword by Diane Disney Miller, the eldest daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, who praises the writing as “honest, and well written…so authentic, so true to my dad’s spirit, so unprejudiced and non-judgmental that as I read it I could see the twinkle in dad’s eye, hear his laugh.”

The book is divided into four sections:  stories about Walt Disney’s life, stories about the Disney Films, stories of the Disney Theme Parks and finally stories about out of the ordinary Disney History from the Mickey Mouse radio show of the Thirties to why the FBI was upset with Walt and everything else in between.  Each section is composed of chapters that are self contained stories featuring anecdotes, quotes and facts that have never before appeared in print.

Jim Korkis is a well known and respected Disney historian who has been researching and writing about Disney history for over thirty years.  He interviewed and created long lasting friendships with Disney Imagineers, animators, entertainers and other Disney cast members, always checking the information with obscure documents he located through painstaking time, effort and expense.

“I became deeply concerned that this unique history was disappearing with the deaths of those people who actually knew Walt and who first shared many of these wonderful stories with me,” stated Korkis.  “There is something for everyone in the book from the most knowledgeable Disney fan to the casually curious reader.”

Rough drafts of these essays have appeared on websites during the last few years so that Korkis could solicit corrections and additional information before finally committing the stories to print.   The result was that every chapter in the book was extensively rewritten to make it as complete and accurate as possible using a multitude of original sources.

“The book is called The Vault of Walt because these are the ‘lost’ stories that have been locked away for decades and forgotten.   Now is the time to open that vault and share them with a wider audience because they provide a fascinating perspective on Disney achievements and events,” said Korkis.  “In addition, they are an awful lot of fun.”

Over thirty-six chapters covering over four hundred pages offer new insights and new information about the many worlds of Disney.  Walt Disney originally wrote the idea for the live action movie, Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. on the back of an air sickness bag.  A voice actor named Joe Twerp performed the voice of Mickey Mouse for the episodes of the Mickey Mouse Theater of the Air radio series because Walt was too busy completing Snow White.  Singer Frank Sinatra told entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. that Walt had developed a new system of making films that would make all other movies obsolete.   Try to find those stories in other books about Disney history.

Although not currently a Disney cast member, Korkis has worked for the Disney Company as a performer (Merlin in the Magic Kingdom), animation instructor (including teaching animation history to interns at Disney Feature Animation Florida), writer (for various Disney magazines and special projects), facilitator (for backstage tours, convention groups and corporate clients) and in many other capacities.  A full page of some of his many credits is available upon request.

“No one knows more hidden nooks and crannies in the vast history of Disney animation than Jim Korkis. I’m delighted that he’s gathered his fact-filled columns in this book,” states Disney Authority Leonard Maltin, author of The Disney Films and host and consultant of Disney Treasures DVDs.

The Vault of Walt is both a valuable supplement to any Disney fan’s personal library and also an entertaining introduction to the many worlds of Walt for anybody who loves great storytelling and behind-the-scenes stories about how some legendary milestones were created.

Further information is available from

Jim Korkis is available for interviews, podcasts and events.


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This entry was posted in Pixelmania 2011, Pixelmania!.

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