Continuing Education

Stories of Walt Disney and His Designers: Unexpected Career Magic

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UW-Whitewater welcomes Disney historian Todd James Pierce for a presentation on Walt Disney and the talented individuals who helped him realize his vision for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Constructing the beloved theme parks in California and Florida was an enormous task. Walt Disney needed to build a team of people with certain skills and goals in order to achieve the visual storytelling he imagined for the attractions in the parks. In many cases that meant redirecting those he hired so they could find passions and talents they didn’t realize they had. Pierce will share some of the stories behind Walt Disney and his designers as they worked together to create the theme parks that are among the most magical places on Earth.

Todd James Pierce is the author of nine books, including  Three Years in Wonderland: The Disney Brothers, C.V. Wood, and the Making of the Great American Theme Park and  The Life and Times of Ward Kimball: Maverick of Disney Animation. He also hosts the DHI (Disney History Institute) Podcast, which focuses on the history of Walt Disney, the Disney studio, and Disney theme parks.

Registration for Whitewater location requested, but not required. No registration needed for Janesville location.  

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 | Two Locations

Click to Download Presentation Slides

Registration is now closed.

Additional Information

Both events are free and open to the public. Registration requested, but not required. Check your local library copies of Pierce’s books and for book groups. Do you have your own copy of one of Pierce’s book? Bring it along to one of the events for him to sign!

If you have a disability and desire accommodations, please advise us as early as possible. Requests are confidential. UW-Whitewater provides equal opportunities in employment and programming including Title IX and ADA requirements. Please contact Kari Borne at 262-472-1003 or for further information.

Selected Titles by Todd James Pierce

Three Years in Wonderland

Three Years in Wonderland

The Life and TImes of Ward Kimball

The Life and Times of Ward Kimball

Meet The Author

Arrival Information

Driving Directions
Directions to the campus can be found online by clicking here. A campus map can be found here. Campus building addresses can be found here. A map of the University Center can be found here.

Parking permits are required on all vehicles parked on campus at all times, with the exception of 5:00 p.m. Fridays to 11:00 p.m. on Sundays (unless special events are being held on campus). More information on parking is on the Visitor Center website. To arrange for a parking pass in advance, contact Kari Borne at

Driving Directions
Hedberg Public Library is located at 316 South Main Street in Janesville. Directions to the library can be found online by 
clicking here. Free parking is located behind the building. Event will take place in the Program Room.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

By registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and/or videos of event participants and activities. You will be required to agree at the time of registration that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and/or videos relating to the promotion of future events. You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos. Any media shared with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on social media or use of its hashtags grants the University use to media for any purpose.


Registrants are encouraged to have their own health insurance as accident insurance provided by the University is limited. Each registrant will be covered by a limited accident insurance policy. The insurance includes primary coverage up to $10,000. Insurance does not cover pre-existing injuries and is for accidents only. The cost of insurance is included in the registration fee.

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