Disclosure: This event and trip to LA was an all expense paid journey sponsored by Disney. All thoughts, experiences and opinions are 100% my own!
Chatting with the Disney Dreamers
The words Disney and dreamer fit so perfectly together. Disney was built on dreams, and continues to reach new and exciting levels of innovation due to the many dreamers that come together to make the magic happen. On my recent trip to LA, I had the opportunity to sit down with two such dreamers, Mike Goslin and Charita Carter. I loved hearing their stories, I think that you will enjoy hearing more about them as well!
Mike Goslin is currently working on the recently announced Playmation – the next step in the evolution of physical play – at Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media.
Mike was previously head of Rebel Entertainment, Inc., an IAC Company dedicated to creating fun and innovative mobile and online games including the popular and award-winning Dungeon Rampage. Prior to joining IAC, Mike was an entrepreneur in the social gaming space where he developed one of the first 3D games on Facebook, Superstar City. Mike began his career at The Walt Disney Company where he conceived and built an entirely new business in online games for the company, which resulted in a portfolio of hit games including Toontown Online and Pirates of the Caribbean Online. Prior to pioneering Disney’s virtual worlds business, Mike led the team at Walt Disney Imagineering that built a series of ground-breaking virtual reality theme park attractions including the THEA award-winning Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for Buccaneer Gold, Aladdin’s Magic Carpet VR Adventure, and Hercules in the Underworld. Mike led the development of the Panda3D game engine which powers the above attractions and virtual worlds, as well as Toy Story Mania at Disney’s California Adventure.
Mike is a frequent speaker and published author and holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina.
I really enjoyed speaking with Mike about his work on Playmation. Playmation is the newest form of gaming for kids and after speaking with Mike, I am so excited about it! Playmation takes the imagination one step further with interactive play, and one of my very favorite things about it is that it gets kids up and moving, while still giving them an exciting gaming experience.
By the way, I am already convinced that Playmation will be one of the hottest toys this holiday season, so if you are working on your list, you can check out Playmantion here.
Mike and his team are excited about this new direction of physical play for kids and families. Mike let us know that a big part of the concept with Playmation is to bring back old school play. Physical play, like running around trees, and fighting pirates, etc. “We are bringing back play and we are using technology to do that“, he said. ” Mike added, “I’ve read a lot of studies on like childhood development and you know, boys in particular learn by doing. And I think it’s probably true for girls too. I mean, so you can learn. So I think it’s just a great opportunity to get people engaged in a more deep way in what they’re doing.”
Mike shared with us that a lot of his passion for invention and creativity comes from the movies that he watched as a child. Especially movies like The Goonies or The Little Rascals where the kids were building things, using their imaginations and always playing and creating.
It was so neat to meet Mike and I loved hearing about all of the passion and excitement that goes into creating these toys that are so innovative and almost beyond what we could have imagined just a few years ago!
Charita Carter holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from California State University Northridge.
She has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) for 17 years. She began her career at WDI as a Senior Accountant and was quickly promoted to Finance Manager and Strategic Business Partner of the Creative Development Division.
From there, she transitioned to Development Manager of Blue Sky Strategic Initiatives and was brought into the Creative Division as a Show Producer.
She currently serves as Senior Creative Producer and Development Manager of the Scenic Illusion team. The Scenic Illusion team is an application and integration team, focused on developing new tools and techniques to supply our designers with new and expanded capabilities for storytelling. Under her management, the Scenic Illusion Team has been awarded in access of 20 patents on the company’s behalf.
As a Senior Creative Producer, she has delivered attraction project in both the Walt Disney World Disneyland Resort portfolios. And has lead several special projects such as the Maker Faire Exhibit and Parks and Resort’s D23 Exhibit (a convention for Disney fans).
Out of the office, Charita serves her community as a facilitator of women’s ministries, an awarding winning nature photographer, a commercial hand model, and an avid gardener.
Charita was so wonderful to chat with, bright and bubbly and you can totally tell that she loves her job. Charita’s path to the Walt Disney Imagineering team is not what you might expect! She actually started out working in accounting and after realizing that she might have a passion for the creative (and totally opposite) side of things, she worked her way over and all the way to where she is now in Imagineering. THAT was so impressive to me, and a great lesson in always perusing your passion.
When asked where all of the innovative ideas come from, I love her answer. She said, “You know what, they come from, I know it sounds cliché but they literally come from absolutely everywhere. I had found out that one of the most conducive environments for coming up with new ideas is when you get a group of people in the room who have different perspectives. As a group, if you are tackling a challenge or trying to come up with something innovative, I think that cross polarization of people with different perspectives really opens up possibilities and it’s an effective way for coming up with really great ideas.”
And, when asked about being “a dreamer” and what her take away was from TOMORROWLAND, this was her answer: “You know what, I loved the fact that it was about optimism. But the one thing that really resonated with me was that question of, we know things might not be like the way we want them and it’s all this negativity but can’t we fix it? Just that, can we give ourselves over to figuring out a way to improve, because I know that’s something that I really believe in. I believe as people become the best people that they can be, I always say they sing a full song, they understand what, you know, what they’re gifts and their talents are. That collectively will be the thing that will improve the future you know and bring us a future that we would want to be in.”
Fantastic, right? I completely enjoyed my time with these two, and it was such a neat opportunity to sit down with two Disney dreamers and a great reminder that dreams really do come true!
Remember the Future!
TOMORROWLAND will be available on Blu-ray, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on October 13th!! You can pre-order TOMORROWLAND on Amazon now!
Follow all of the excitement in social media:
AND … a very, very special thank you to the folks at Disney for this wonderful and once in a life time opportunity that I will NEVER forget!