One important life lesson reiterated at D23 is don’t keep your head buried in your electronics. Look up, check out what’s going on around you…you never know who you might see or even have the honor of chatting with.

And while I certainly have my head in my electronics more than I should, I did try to take a minute – or a few – to check out all that was going on around me there. I certainly was blessed by it! While waiting for the Legends presentation to begin, I had the brief opportunity to have a quick chat with Marty. I also met Tom Nabbe -he was very friendly, and I think he was wearing one of the best ties I’ve seen in a while.

Earlier this week we went to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast. I am very guilty of spending breakfast catching up on the morning news. I did take a minute to look up, however, and I saw a girl milling around in the ‘to go’ area. When one of the fellas from the back came out and saw her, he ran over to her and gave her the biggest hug. They stood there for a little while talking and kept hugging – and he kept saying ‘it’s so good to see you.’ She also would lean in and say ‘I’ve missed you.’ I found myself just focused on them…and I was even moved. It was just so sweet! After a little while, I walked over and asked them how they knew each other. I told them that I knew it was none of my business, but if they were comfortable with it, I was interested. (I had to give them an out, didn’t I? What if they hadn’t realized they were making a little bit of a scene?) The fella told me it was no problem. He said ‘I haven’t seen this girl since she quit working here and I miss her every day!’ I replied, ‘well you caught my eye and your chat just looks so sweet. It’s very obvious to an outside person that you guys care a lot about each other.’ Almost in unison they said ‘thank you.’ I apologized for interrupting but thanked them for being so sweet and open about it. They let me know it was really okay, and the guy said it worked to his benefit because he was going to hug the girl right then and wanted all to see! Now, while they might not have seen each other in a while (two weeks is what they said), it was clear that they loved each other and were very excited to have these few minutes together.

So here’s my question – or rather my challenge – for us. There’s a lot of ugliness going on in the world these days. Why don’t we take a minute and think about the folks we should be hugging or reaching out to? It was obvious that sweet girl came in just to see that fella. When he saw her, he made a wild dash to just put his arms around her and give her a hug. By the way, it was just a few minutes after 6am when this was happening. She had made a point to stop by when she knew he’d be there.

Let’s think about it – who is it that we should be reaching out to hug, or picking up the phone to call, or sending a note? I don’t know about you, but when I get that unexpected hug, call, text or note, it makes my day – sometimes my week. How about we agree together that, over the next week, we reach out to someone – even if it’s long past due – and let them know how much we appreciate or just plain love them?

As I conclude my D23 series, I have to close with a song, don’t I? I’ve been trying to find a way to share one of the songs from the Alan Menken presentation, and I think this is the perfect spot. He sang a few songs that I really enjoyed. But in true Disney fashion, I want to close this series with a song that I think best suits it.

Happy listening, and take joy this week in the goodness of reaching out!

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The presentation that draws the largest audience during the week of D23 is the Live Action panel. I had lots of people ask me – and folks are still asking me – when I’m going to share what I learned during this presentation. Naturally, folks are really intrigued as during this panel, the Disney tribe shares what’s up next on the Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm live action movie front. This was another of the panels where we were required to put our phones in re-sealable bags, and ushers walked the aisles to ensure that folks were following the rules.

This year there were people who were in line at least 24 hours in advance. And I’ve been told that, if you weren’t in line by 3:30am on the day of the presentation, you did not get a seat in the auditorium (the presentation started at 10:30am). Thank heavens we had Sorcerer tickets! Now, while we were guaranteed a seat in the Sorcerer section, we still needed to get in line about an hour or so ahead of time to ensure we got one of the better seats in our section. I found it interesting that Robin Lopez of the Chicago Bulls sat in the row right behind us. Since he is over 7’ tall, it’s a good thing he was behind us! Also, I might point out that he was in full costume; some said he was Peter Pan, and others said Robin Hood. I’m not going to weigh in here, but what I can say is that he was dressed from head to toe as one of them. The tallest one of them I’ve ever seen!

Here’s a link to what was shared with us.

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Remembering Marty Sklar

Today the world has learned of the passing of the one and only Marty Sklar, a Disney legend and a man just full of plain goodness. Candidly, I’m having a hard time processing the news. I didn’t even know who he was until 2014, but he touched me deeply in both my head and my […]

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What’s next in animation

How ‘bout I take a break in sharing some of the lessons learned on my trip, and share with you some of the cool info that Disney shared with us? Some of the presentations that drew the longest lines were the previews Disney was giving about what’s next in animation films, live action films, the […]

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