Episode 054 – Jim Korkis, Part 1

 Jim Korkis
Interview Guest: Jim Korkis


Today’s podcast is brought to you by audible.com – get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at StoriesoftheMagic.com/audible. There’s over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player—including my book, Faith and the Magic Kingdom.

In this episode, we begin what I squeezed down into a 3-part interview with author and Disney Historian, Jim Korkis. I knew we’d have a lot to talk about and I was definitely not disappointed! It honestly hurt to cut some of what I did cut to get it down as far as I have.


But first, I have a special gift for you as a listener to Stories of the Magic. In preparation for the release of the book, I created a 1-hour audio walking tour of Disneyland. Originally available only to people who bought the book during the Launch, now I’m making it available to you as a free download for the month of April. No strings. Nothing to fill out or sign up for. Just go to storiesofthemagic.com/faithaudiotour. That’s a direct link to the file to download it.


In this episode, Jim talks about…

  • How he first got interested in, and then interested in working for, the Walt Disney Company;
  • The dedicated and creative way he got interviews with some Disney animators at 12 years old;
  • His very first interview—and where he went from there;
  • Why he realized how blessed he was to get to do these interviews—and why that was also a source of frustration for him;
  • How he got started working for Disney, including why he had to move to Orlando;
  • A quick aside about being on The Gong Show, The Dating Game, and Family Feud;
  • His first job working for Disney—it wasn’t what he was expecting for sure;
  • Being a couple of characters—at least one of which you may not remember;
  • Teaching as part of Disney University, then tours with Disney Adult Discoveries and more;
  • Being let go from Disney and how he used that to more formally launch his writing career;
  • Why he’d been writing under the name “Wade Sampson” until this time, and the origin of that name;
  • What he still does for Disney;
  • Two articles he wrote recently for Disney-approved publications that got rejected—you’ll be surprised at why!;
  • A couple of ways Walt Disney was always keeping the guests in mind and planning ahead;
  • The time he first remembers realizing he was a part of the magic he’d spent so much time learning and interviewing people about;
  • The responsibility he feels to the people who shared stories with him over the years;
  • A world where many people don’t know Walt was a real person, and what that’s doing to his legacy;
  • What he loved most about what he did.

(The video he mentioned that he narrated is here.)


Find Jim Online:


Faith and the Magic Kingdom:

(Note: all product links are affiliate links.)


Podcasts Spotlighted in this Episode: 


I want to hear from you, so please email me, leave a comment below, or call the Listener Feedback line at (734) 23-STORY.   If you call in, don’t worry about having to sound perfect. If you ask me to, I’ll edit out any mistakes so you sound as good as you possibly can. You’re even welcome to start your entire story over again and I’ll use the “take” you want!


If you want to submit a story anonymously, for whatever reason you may have, email it to me and tell you me you wanted it shared that way. I’ll read it on the podcast, but keep your name private.

Thanks for listening!


Subscribe by RSS.

Subscribe in iTunes.

Subscribe on Stitcher Radio.


Music and voiceovers provided by Rick Moyer.

This entry was posted in Authors, Cast Members, Podcast, Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World. Bookmark the permalink.