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Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: In Service to the Mouse

Back in July of last year, I, along with some friends and family of the Walt Disney Family Museum, got the opportunity to spend and couple of hours on two afternoons with Disney luminaries on the occasion of Disneyland 55 anniversary.  One of those Disney luminaries was Disney Legend Jack Lindquist.  Jack was hired as Disneyland first advertising manager and spent the next 38 years developing and implementing some of the most creative and memorable marketing campaigns in the Disney Theme Parks’ history.  Activities such as Grad Night at Disneyland, and The 30th anniversary: Gift Giver Extraordinaire were Jack’s creations.  Jack retired from the company as President of the Disneyland amusement park in 1993, received a window on Main Street, actually on the City Hall Building.  “J.B. Lindquist – Honorary Mayor of Disneyland.  Jack of all trades, Master of Fun,” and was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1994.  So on that joyful day, July 17, 2010, the 55th anniversary of Disneyland, we got to enjoy Marty Sklar, Tony Baxter, and former Disneyland Presidents Matt Ouimet, and Jack Lindquist trade stories back and forth, and answer questions about Walt Disney and Disneyland.

So when I discovered Jack Lindquist was writing his memoires of his 38 years “In Service to the Mouse,”  it had to go on my reading list.  I've got to tell you how pleased I am that I did…  First, like most Disney or Disney related or inspired activities, the people distributing Jack’s book are top notch.  Since I wanted a signed copy, I ordered my copy from the Neverland Media LLC website (click side bar link for more information).  About a day after ordering, I got confirmation that my order shipped, and then received another very nice email the next day, informing me that there had been an error, and an unsigned copy was mistakenly shipped.  I was free to keep the unsigned copy, and that the signed edition would be on its way to me shortly.  The issue was resolved before I even knew one existed. KUDOS!!!  So now I have a signed copy to keep in pristine collector’s condition, and second working copy which I can read and re-read as often as I like…

Having just completed this tome, I have to say that “In Service to the Mouse” is a must read for any Disney Aficionado, especially those interested in the history of Disneyland and the Disney company.  Jack was there at Disneyland’s beginning.  It is a rare first hand account of what goes go behind the scenes at one of the most iconic companies operating today.  The stories are told in short little vignettes where Jack entertainingly recalls events and activities provides insights not know to very many during his tenure with the Disney Company.  I won’t reveal the stories here, if you want to know, please go pick up the book.  But, I will say that I found the unique and enterprising gin delivery system deployed during one Grad Night quite entertaining.  And, as a miniature Partners statue greets me every morning (the most prized item in my Disney collection), it warms my heart to know that Jack Lindquist played a role in bringing that amazing sculpture into reality.  The adventures and agonies of creating the Pavilions of World Showcase at Epcot are both enlightening and entertaining, and Jack provides a very honest, insightful and humanizing view of the management of a company that has becoming so iconic in today’s culture.

This may sound trite, but I laughed at parts, and cried at others.  However, foremost, I learned things I didn’t know about an organization which has become the gold standard in entertainment today.

Thank You Jack!

Your comments or questions are always welcome.  If you have a correction or something you think I should look at in my research, please feel free to contact me at

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