From Imagineers to fans, the Disney universe is made up of all sorts of people. Some create the attractions we love, others write blogs, but whatever they do they’re all a part of the story and they all have their own tale to tell. So, with that in mind, I’m going to talk to people in the Disney community and learn more about their role in this magical world.
Here’s how this works: as the title suggests, I’ll ask folks ten questions. The first five, the Meet & Greet, are long answer queries and they’ll relate specifically to that person. The next five–the Fastpasses–are designed for quick responses, and everyone will get asked those same questions.
For my inaugural “Ten Questions” post, I’m talking with Herb Leibacher. Herb is the founder, author, webmaster, chief executive, and chief bottle washer for World Of Walt. Ever since his parents took him to the Magic Kingdom on a family vacation as a youngster, he has had an interest in the magic that Disney creates for families.
In addition to the World of Walt site and its robust forum, Herb also puts out the World of Walt podcast, full of information and tips for new and returning Walt Disney World guests.
So, without further ado, welcome to:
Meet & Greet
Do you remember your first Disney trip, or the first time you really fell in love with Walt Disney World?
It’s a little strange, but actually I don’t remember either. It just seems like trips to Disney World and my appreciation of the place was always there. I remember going as a very young child, but I can’t put my finger on the specific first trip. While I don’t remember my first trip, I do remember some specific trips as a kid. I remember being filled with joy when I saw a show with the Big Bad Wolf in Fantasyland with my parents. I remember being filled with amazement when I saw the Main Street Electrical Parade. I remember being filled with dread when my friend cut his foot open by kicking a locker at River Country, which meant we couldn’t go into the water any more that day. My appreciation grew over time, becoming deeper and wider with each trip and each memory built with family and friends.
How did World of Walt get started? Why did you go with articles as well as the forum?
I’ve always enjoyed technology and Disney. I was looking for a way to bring those two things together. It started out small – getting out my first 100 articles. Then I made (what at the time seemed to be) a crazy goal to write an article each day. Then I added a forum and then a podcast. It seemed like each step naturally lead to the next to share more information and build more community. I’ve really enjoyed the ride and look forward to whatever comes next!
What’s been the biggest challenge in making World of Walt into what it is today?
I think keeping my ambitions in check with reality is the biggest challenge. I would love to have the biggest and best Disney fan site that somehow magically provides a comfortable full-time income. That isn’t the case today. I try to remember that it is about fun and community, and that the other things will work themselves out if I continue to provide useful and entertaining information, and I keep moving forward.
What do you enjoy most about World of Walt?
While I love the technology and the subject matter, I would have to say that the thing I’ve enjoyed the most is the chance to meet other Disney fans. I never really expected the relationships and connections that would come from the site. It’s fun to share the love of Disney with other fans, and to also get kind and encouraging comments from people who enjoy the site. I also really enjoy offering giveaways. It’s fun to shop for Disney stuff and then give it away, which really brightens someone’s day.
What made you decide to start the podcast, and what are some of the challenges and rewards of that?
I enjoyed listening to podcasts about Disney, and at the time it seemed like launching a podcast was a logical next step for World of Walt. I knew it would be a bit of a stretch for me to figure it out and spend the time needed to keep it going. Even so, I was excited about the possibility of sharing more details and building a deeper connection with other folks in the Disney fan community. I’ve really enjoyed meeting other people on the show, discussing all things Disney, and providing a show that others seem to enjoy.
What’s your favorite attraction? (past or present)
Hollywood Tower of Terror, no question.
Who is your favorite Disney character?
Mickey Mouse, of course!
What’s your favorite Disney movie?
Beauty and the Beast, a true classic.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
The ability to write articles in my sleep.
What would your pirate name be?
Fred the Red Forehead. Don’t ask – it’s complicated.
I want to thank Herb Leibacher from World of Walt for taking the time for answering my questions, and for being the first victim on Ten Questions. There’ll definitely be more interviews coming, so be sure to check back to hear from other exciting guests!