Walt's Apprentice: Keeping the Disney Dream Alive (Hardcover)

Walt's Apprentice: Keeping the Disney Dream Alive By Dick Nunis Cover Image
SPECIAL ORDER--Call store for details


Here is a warm, personal reminiscence about the Disney parks—told by an extraordinary operations leader!

Disney Legend Dick Nunis learned directly from Walt Disney for a dozen years, and then more than thirty years, championed Walt’s vision and standards as the Disney enterprise grew.

Few people have enjoyed a life so immersed in Disney magic. Dick Nunis was there when the Disney theme parks in Anaheim, California, and near Orlando, Florida; Tokyo; and Paris opened. His melding of artistry and operations management allowed Disney to prominently contribute to the 1960 Winter Olympics and the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair. In the face of financial worries, naysayers, and technical impossibilities, Nunis and team invented solutions, thanks to Walt’s uncompromising, optimistic, and resilient perspective and leadership. As Nunis listened to Walt during long walks through Disneyland, he came to appreciate Walt’s ingenuity and integrity.

Nunis devoted his later career to preserving Walt’s dream and inspiring others to keep it going. With this first-person narrative, Nunis reflects on his forty-four-year Disney career. This long-awaited memoir rounds out Disney’s mid-twentieth-century history in a way that no other account can. Nunis offers up lessons he learned firsthand from Walt and reminisces about his own character-shaping milestones in the context of national events. Here is a story about delivering magic in a world fraught with obstacles, thoughtfully penned for every apprentice, leader, and Disney fan.

Handpicked by Walt Disney to help define and refine the Disney parks experience, Dick Nunis developed principles that made the magic real. Now this Disney Legend shares hard-won Lessons Learned, such as:
  • Sometimes you work hard to realize a dream but have to let it go because a bigger, better dream is waiting for you.
  • In life and in business, your only real competition is yourself. Keep your focus on your own performance.
  • “Can’t” is not in my vocabulary. Remove it from yours and see what happens.
  • People notice and remember what you do, not what you say.
  • The cornerstone of Disney’s philosophy was one, quality, and two, pride. That is how I evaluated every project: is it the best it can be? Would Walt be proud of it?

About the Author

DICK NUNIS (1932–2023) was a cast member when the gates of Disneyland opened in 1955. For the next eleven years, he learned professional and personal lessons from his mentor Walt Disney, America’s greatest showman. This personal journey takes us through his remarkable forty-four-year career with The Walt Disney Company, beginning as an hourly cast member, and rising to Chairman of Walt Disney Attractions, where he nurtured and applied with unwavering dedication and tireless energy the lessons he learned alongside Walt Disney. He was honored with Disney Legends Award upon his retirement in 1999.

Praise For…

This entertaining and instructive memoir appropriately mirrors a theme-park adventure. Nunis takes readers on a journey through the ups, downs, twists, and turns of his career at Disney. Structured as a series of short anecdotes followed by "lessons learned," Walt's Apprentice is effective as a professional model for reflection and improvement as well as a guide for changing with the times and endlessly striving for excellence. Crammed with gems such as "you can always make things better and if you can, you should," shared experiences reflect the thoughts of several Disney leaders in addition to Nunis, adding richness to the content. Any title providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the world of Disney is sure to be popular with a wide audience. This offering is worthy of that popularity based on both its engaging voice and valuable business insights. Recommended for business collections in all library types.—Val Edwards, Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9781368078047
ISBN-10: 1368078044
Publisher: Disney Editions
Publication Date: October 11th, 2022
Pages: 320
Language: English