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Check out my Interview at the Sweep Spot!

Haunted Mansion Is Creativity cover

I was interviewed by Ken Pellman and Lynn Barron from The Sweep Spot for “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity!” My newest book uses the history and structure of the Haunted Mansion, just in time for its 50th anniversary, to illustrate creativity principles.

Ken and Lynn are former cast members from Disneyland. The Sweep Spot is a podcast that talks about all things Disney, including current events. The two hosts have written “Cleaning the Kingdom” and will be releasing their second book “Cleaning the Kingdom: Night, Day Past and Present” on July 17. Visit their website and check out their books, t-shirts and Patreon.

During Podcast 263, I am at about the 30-minute mark for stories about the Haunted Mansion, Journey Into Imagination and creativity. After my interview is Alastair Dallas, author of “Inventing Disneyland.” Check out the podcast and get some books!

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Heroes of the Haunted Mansion: Ken Anderson

Ken Anderson was laid off by MGM in 1934. He was married and spent a month “living on the beaches and eating canned beans and what-not” (The Disney Family Album). He applied to the Walt Disney Company at the urging of his wife Polly even though his education was in architecture. Anderson’s additional accomplishments include work on “The Goddess of Spring,” “Ferdinand the Bull,” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Anderson was the first imagineer to really work on the Haunted Mansion as an attraction. Harper Goff did a drawing of a haunted house as part of the Mickey Mouse park Walt Disney was considering in 1951, and Marvin Davis gave a haunted mansion a place in Disneyland that never materialized.

In 1957, Anderson wrote his first storylines for the Haunted Mansion. He researched houses in the south and went to the Winchester Mystery House to look at group movements and timings. His storylines included a captain/pirate who killed his new bride, a ghostly family that kept the mansion from being renovated, a tour led by Walt Disney, and a mansion that used the Headless Horseman and the classic monsters of literature.

Anderson suffered a stroke after the release of “101 Dalmatians.” He lost the ability to move and was left blind by the stroke. He had “absolutely no control” over his body. He came back with the inspiration from a grove of trees and worked on Shere Khan for “The Jungle Book.”

Ken Anderson worked for Disney for 44 years. He is one of the few unsung heroes of the Haunted Mansion. Without his first treatments and ideas for the inside, we may not have the classic attraction that exists today. Let his example help you improve your work situation, perseverance and creativity.

Sources: “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic” by Jason Surrell.

“The Disney Family Album: Ken Anderson” aired on the Disney Channel in 1984. Accessed at https://youtu.be/mSPnwK2yPtQ

“Ken Anderson; Disney Art Director, 84” in the New York Times. Accessed at https://www.nytimes.com/1993/12/19/obituaries/ken-anderson-disney-art-director-84.html

For more on creativity and the Haunted Mansion, get “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” online or at the Candy Cane Inn in Anaheim.

For more on Disneyland and Creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity.” For deep thinking about the Disney Company, check out “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”

You can also find more articles about Disney, Disneyland and creativity at our archive website, www.penguinate.weebly.com, and on our blog. If you would like to get even more articles about creativity, join our Patreon and become a Penguinator.

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We got Table A1 at Lilac City Comicon 2019

Booth set up for Lilac City Comicon
Booth set up for Lilac City Comicon

Lilac City Comicon 2019 released its floor plan for their June 1 and 2 extravaganzas in Spokane. Penguinate.com got table A1! We’re like a steak sauce! Or maybe we just make the grade. Either way, we’re super excited to have an amazing table. But we’re not the only ones who are excited…

Our penguins haven’t been able to keep themselves quiet since they heard about our next adventure. Penny Penguin has been wanting to fly for a long time now. Since she is our most traveled penguin, she’s taken on the fathering role of making sure all the younger penguins know what’s going to happen. They’ve packed their bags – mostly, fish – and create a commotion every time we go to the door to leave the house. (They have no sense of time, so they think every day is THE day.) For every penguin that gets adopted, we will send $1 to the Global Penguin Society.

marching penguins
marching penguins

I am personally excited because Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is turning 50 this year and I will be presenting “Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity.” This panel will highlight principles of creativity using the Haunted Mansion as our guide. Be prepared for stories about the Haunted Mansion and we’ll have a swinging wake!

This will also be the first time I get to present my new book to the world. “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” is a tour of the Haunted Mansion and a look at its history. I use those events and the structure of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion to illustrate principles of creativity. If you want to be creative and love the Haunted Mansion, this is the book for you.

Of course, I will bring my other books. You can see a list here and preorder for Lilac City Comicon, so you don’t have to worry about books or penguins being sold out. Ask us about our motivational posters, photos of Disneyland, and Russian lobby cards (mini-movie posters from Russia).

Good news, if you’ve made it this far, then you’re in the know. We’re going to have a secret giveaway… But for now, it’s a secret… Stay tuned to this blog for more information. (You can sign up in the corner for notifications.)

We’re looking forward to a great con! Come by and say “Hi!”

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Press Release: SLCC Alum Returns for Author Signing and Ogden UnCon

Shad Engkilterra

Author and SLCC Alum Shad Engkilterra returns to Salt Lake City to celebrate the release of his ninth book “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” Starting with a short presentation at 6:15 pm focusing on creativity and Disneyland as a metaphor to enhance memory of creative principles, Engkilterra will be signing copies of his books at City Cakes and Café on June 5, 2019.

“I spent a lot of my time in Salt Lake City writing at City Cakes and Café,” said Engkilterra. “This is where it all started.”

Engkilterra is a Disney enthusiast who worked at Walt Disney World on its College Program as part of his SLCC experience. He received his Master’s in Creativity and Innovation from the University of Malta’s Edward de Bono Institute in 2016.

“Many people think they aren’t creative or they can’t create,” said Engkilterra. “They’re wrong. Creativity is an integral part of the human experience. We just lack the structure to support it as we get older.”

Engkilterra will continue to Ogden UnCon from June 7 to 9, 2019 where he will have a table and is scheduled to present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” on Sunday at 11:30 am.

 “Academic research is often inaccessible to regular people. I wanted to translate scientifically supported principles of creativity into something fun and more easily understood,” said Engkilterra. “Using the history and structure of Disneyland seemed like a good way to enable greater understanding.”

In “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” the second installment of the “Disneyland Is Creativity” series, Engkilterra continues the work he started with “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Engkilterra explores creativity at his website http://www.penguinate.com.

City Cakes and Café is located at 300 W 1860 South near Costco. The locally owned business offers gluten-free, vegan pastries, soups, and other items.

Ogden UnCon will be held at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center and other venues. Guests include Chris Kattan, Toby Stephens, and cast members from “Land of the Lost.”

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‘The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity’ eBook Now Available at Amazon.com for Preorder

The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity cover

In case you missed it, “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” is available for preorder at Amazon.com. The second book in the “Disneyland Is Creativity” takes a look at the Haunted Mansion’s history and structure and relates them to creativity principles to help you become more creative.

While the Haunted Mansion opened on August 9, 1969, it’s history dates back more than a decade before when Harper Goff drew the first haunted house concept in 1951 as part of a church and graveyard. The façade was finished in 1963, but it took 6 more years for the technology to develop and the concept to work. This delay allowed the Disney team to learn more as well as explore hundreds of ideas before choosing the right one. Creativity requires lots of ideas, time to be creative, and patience to choose the right idea to develop.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t failures. The Haunted Mansion was supposed to open in 1963 instead, Marty Sklar wrote a sign that said the team was busy gathering ghosts. A short-lived effect called “the Hatbox Ghost” didn’t work when the Haunted Mansion opened, and it was removed until the effect could be done correctly. (It was reinstalled in 2015.) Creativity comes with failures and mistakes.

Just in time to celebrate Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion’s 50th anniversary, the eBook is scheduled to be released June 1 and 2 to coincide with Lilac City Comicon 2019 in Spokane where I will be presenting “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity.”

The book tour will continue at City Cakes and Café in Salt Lake City. On June 7 to 9, we’ll be at Ogden UnCon where I will present “The Haunted Mansion: 50 Years of Creativity” on Sunday. Currently, our last scheduled stop will be at Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con from June 14 to 16.

Click on the link to preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” in paperback. Get “Disneyland Is Creativity” in paperback here and in eBook on Amazon.