Did you know Walt Disney had a company dedicated to innovation and new technology?

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It is no secret that Glenn is a huge fan of Walt Disney. Glenn purchased Walt Disney's 1953 Disneyland Prospectus last summer, and he has told his staff the document will serve as a guide to his plans in 2013 and beyond. From his remarkable creativity to his forward-thinking vision, Glenn admires and respects Walt’s ability to craft the ubiquitous and virtually all-encompassing Disney entertainment empire we enjoy today.

The Walt Disney Company is perhaps best known for its theme parks, movies, and animation, but there is a more niche component of Walt’s business that Glenn has taken a special interest in – the design and development arm known as Walt Disney Imagineering.

Disney once said that “Disneyland would never be completed as long as there’s imagination left in the world,” and he created Walt Disney Imagineering (formally known as WED Enterprises) in order to hold true to that principle. Founded in 1952 to oversee the creation and construction of Disneyland Park, the Imagineering team is now responsible for designing and building all Disney theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and other entertainment ventures.

Ever wonder how the audio-animatronic robotics that allow objects to come to life in three dimensions in attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion came to be? How about the user-friendly FastPass queuing system that lets visitors bypass long lines? Or what about the massive re-design of Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland, which utilizes basic technologies like perspective manipulation to make structures appear larger than they really are and the more complex patent-pending swinging seat technology that will be incorporated into a roller coaster? Well, Imagineering is responsible for all that and a whole lot more. In fact, over the years, their talent has even been tapped for projects like the 1960 Winter Olympics and the design of stores like Children’s Place.

While the accomplishments of Walt Disney Imagineering have proven to be revolutionary, its founding actually served as a turning point for the Disney brand. Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother and business partner, did not support the opening of a theme park, which left Walt to finance the project on his own. He decided to create a company, independent of the one he shared with Roy, which came to be known as WED Enterprises (the initials of Walt’s name – Walter Elias Disney).

According to biographer Bob Thomas, author of Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire, Walt thought of WED as his “backyard laboratory,” a “workshop away from work.” He knew the preliminary idea of Disneyland would be far too abstract for investors to understand, and WED Enterprises allowed him to develop his ideas to a point where people would begin to recognize the potential.

Though WED provided a solution to a short-term problem (the funding of Disneyland), Walt had long-term plans for the endeavor. What came to be regarded as a money pit and experimental playground, ultimately created technologies that continue to drive profits for Disney properties to this day.

When Walt died in 1966, WED was acquired by Walt Disney Productions (now The Walt Disney Company), and Roy finally realized the breadth of his brother’s vision. When Walt Disney Productions was rebranded into The Walt Disney Company in 1987, WED Enterprises became Walt Disney Imagineering.

Today, the Imagineering studios are based in Glendale, California, but there are satellite offices in Disney parks around the world. Imagineers include illustrators, architects, lighting designers, writers, and graphic designers to name a few, and they are governed by the principle now known as “blue sky speculation.” This standard ensures that when it comes to the design process, there are no limitations.

It is this attitude that has allowed Walt Disney Imagineering to secure over 115 patents, all aimed at developing new models and improving old tricks. What separates Imagineering from the greater Walt Disney Company is its focus on innovation, void of the normal constraints of business that tend to stifle creativity. Walt believed that if you could dream it, you could build it, and Walt Disney Imagineering allowed him to ensure the imagination would never cease.

Glenn has made no secret that he has big… make that huge… plans for the future, and if his fascination with Walt and his Imagineering team is any indication, the sky is the limit.

 

 

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Disney_Imagineering

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retlaw_Enterprises

http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com/2006/05/whats-in-name.html

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.

The Hong Kong protesters flocking to the streets in opposition to the Chinese government have a new symbol to display their defiance: the Stars and Stripes. Upset over the looming threat to their freedom, the American flag symbolizes everything they cherish and are fighting to preserve.

But it seems our president isn't returning the love.

Trump recently doubled down on the United States' indifference to the conflict, after initially commenting that whatever happens is between Hong Kong and China alone. But he's wrong — what happens is crucial in spreading the liberal values that America wants to accompany us on the world stage. After all, "America First" doesn't mean merely focusing on our own domestic problems. It means supporting liberal democracy everywhere.

The protests have been raging on the streets since April, when the government of Hong Kong proposed an extradition bill that would have allowed them to send accused criminals to be tried in mainland China. Of course, when dealing with a communist regime, that's a terrifying prospect — and one that threatens the judicial independence of the city. Thankfully, the protesters succeeded in getting Hong Kong's leaders to suspend the bill from consideration. But everyone knew that the bill was a blatant attempt by the Chinese government to encroach on Hong Kong's autonomy. And now Hong Kong's people are demanding full-on democratic reforms to halt any similar moves in the future.

After a generation under the "one country, two systems" policy, the people of Hong Kong are accustomed to much greater political and economic freedom relative to the rest of China. For the protesters, it's about more than a single bill. Resisting Xi Jinping and the Communist Party means the survival of a liberal democracy within distance of China's totalitarian grasp — a goal that should be shared by the United States. Instead, President Trump has retreated to his administration's flawed "America First" mindset.

This is an ideal opportunity for the United States to assert our strength by supporting democratic values abroad. In his inaugural address, Trump said he wanted "friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world" while "understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their interests first." But at what point is respecting sovereignty enabling dictatorships? American interests are shaped by the principles of our founding: political freedom, free markets, and human rights. Conversely, the interests of China's Communist Party are the exact opposite. When these values come into conflict, as they have in Hong Kong, it's our responsibility to take a stand for freedom — even if those who need it aren't within our country's borders.

Of course, that's not a call for military action. Putting pressure on Hong Kong is a matter of rhetoric and positioning — vital tenets of effective diplomacy. When it comes to heavy-handed world powers, it's an approach that can really work. When the Solidarity movement began organizing against communism in Poland, President Reagan openly condemned the Soviet military's imposition of martial law. His administration's support for the pro-democracy movement helped the Polish people gain liberal reforms from the Soviet regime. Similarly, President Trump doesn't need to be overly cautious about retribution from Xi Jinping and the Chinese government. Open, strong support for democracy in Hong Kong not only advances America's governing principles, but also weakens China's brand of authoritarianism.

After creating a commission to study the role of human rights in U.S. foreign policy, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote last month that the principles of our Constitution are central "not only to Americans," but to the rest of the world. He was right — putting "America First" means being the first advocate for freedom across the globe. Nothing shows the strength of our country more than when, in crucial moments of their own history, other nations find inspiration in our flag.

Let's join the people of Hong Kong in their defiance of tyranny.

Matt Liles is a writer and Young Voices contributor from Austin, Texas.

Summer is ending and fall is in the air. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, a time when much of the world unites to celebrate the love of family, the generosity of the human spirit, and the birth of the Christ-child in Bethlehem.

For one night only at the Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City, on December 7th, join internationally-acclaimed radio host and storyteller Glenn Beck as he walks you through tales of Christmas in the way that only he can. There will be laughs, and there might be a few tears. But at the end of the night, you'll leave with a warm feeling in your heart and a smile on your face.

Reconnect to the true spirit of Christmas with Glenn Beck, in a storytelling tour de force that you won't soon forget.

Get tickets and learn more about the event here.

The general sale period will be Friday, August 16 at 10:00 AM MDT. Stay tuned to for updates. We look forward to sharing in the Christmas spirit with you!