Episode 061 – Adam Berger, Part 2

Adam Berger
Today, we continue our interview with Adam Berger, former Walt Disney World Cast Member, current show writer, and author of the book Every Guest is a Hero: Disney Theme Parks and the Magic of Mythic Storytelling.


In part 1, we talked about Adam’s time working at Walt Disney World, how and why he started doing so, and how that set him up for what he’s doing now as a show writer—though the path was by no means direct! We spent the remainder of part 1 talking about his work as a show writer—what that means and some of the projects he’s worked on.


Before we get continue with the interview, I’d like to thank our sponsor, 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 own book, Faith and the Magic Kingdom.


As I mentioned last time, speaking of my book, in celebration of my book, in celebration of Disneyland’s 59th anniversary and the 2 year anniversary of Stories of the Magic, you will soon, and for a limited time, be able to get both Faith and the Magic Kingdom and Once Upon Your Time free! July 16 or 17, 2014 go to storiesofthemagic.com/freebooks and that’ll take you directly to the Amazon page that has both books listed, and from there you can choose either or both! (You’ll see them listed there on other days, too, but on those two days they’ll be free.)


In this episode Adam talks about:

  • Working for Herschend Family Entertainment on a bunch of their projects and properties like Silver Dollar City, Ride the Ducks, Dollywood, and more;
  • Why he so enjoys working on Ride the Ducks;
  • A couple of projects for SeaWorld Orlando he had a hand in that opened recently—Antarctica and TurtleTrek;
  • Why this is a great time to break into the world of show writing, and the most important skills you need to do so—they’re not what you may expect;
  • What he loves most about what he does;
  • Why he wrote Every Guest is a Hero and what the book is about;
  • How Adam became interested in Joseph Campbell and “the Hero’s Journey”;
  • Why the Hero’s Journey is so prevalent in the parks;
  • Why it can be difficult to think through these ideas in a very linear fashion—like I tend to do;
  • The basic character archetypes in the Hero’s Journey (also known as the monomyth);
  • The purpose of the hero;
  • The 4 main movements or stages of the journey;
  • Properly defining “myth”—it doesn’t automatically mean “fictional”;
  • The difference between classical fairy tales and so-called “modern fairy tales” like Once Upon a Time and Maleficent—the current ones aren’t really fairy tales;
  • Whether Imagineers consciously use the Hero’s Journey when they’re creating attractions;
  • The Hero’s Journeys of the first generation of Walt Disney’s Imagineers that they themselves were on.

Find Adam:

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.


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Music and voiceovers provided by Rick Moyer.

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