Sunday, February 28, 2016

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #19 - Interview with Two WDW Cast Members from the Early Years

Welcome to another exciting episode of the Disney Avenue Podcast. For our very first show of 2016, we are joined by R.J. and Suzanne Ogren who are two former Walt Disney World cast members and they are about to blow you away with some amazing stories from their incredible careers working at the vacation kingdom. R.J. painted Animatronic figures and "plussed" attractions. Suzanne drove monorails, marched in parades, and entertained as Sleepy the dwarf, among other things. Together, the Ogrens brought their unique skills to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom during its formative years. R.J. and Suzanne are about to share their wonderful memories with us so make sure not to miss this fantastic show...

R.J. and Suzanne at Disneyland, Christmas 1965

As their brand new book states, R.J. and Suzanne were indeed "together in the dream": their adventures as husband-and-wife cast members spanned the backstage areas of iconic attractions, Main Street parades, and Disney executive offices. They worked with celebrities, Disney artists like Marc and Alice Davis, and the fun-loving, creative geniuses who called the "Animation Art Studio" home. R.J. was a Disney artist and took care of Walt Disney World's Auto-Animatronic figures and show scenes. Some of the jobs he was tasked with were things like working underwater at the old 20,000 Leagues attraction, aboard the pirate ship in Pirates of the Caribbean, and in the "jungle" of the Jungle Cruise...

R.J. at work as a Disney artist for WDW

Suzanne's Disney career involved "being friends" with some of Disney's most beloved characters like Sleepy the dwarf, Smee from Peter Pan, and as a host at the Haunted Mansion...

Suzanne in just a few of her many roles as a WDW cast member including Sleepy

Their new book that is available now is titled Together in the Dream: The Unique Careers of a Husband and Wife in the Early Decades of Walt Disney World and I can’t wait for you to hear more about that as well...

You'll read stories such as how Disney trains its monorail drivers, and the surprisingly rigorous tests they must pass to qualify, life in the "Dwarf unit" and the tight-knit group of cast members who perform as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in the Magic Kingdom, why some Animatronic characters don't wear pants, and even about that time R.J. had to repair a bullet hole in the Haunted Mansion. Make sure to grab your copy today at or the Amazon link below...

So friends, sit back and relax as we listen to the incredible stories and history of R.J. and Suzanne Ogren in this fantastic episode of the Disney Avenue Podcast…Enjoy!

(For your listening pleasure, please remember to pause the Disney Avenue Music Player in the top left-hand corner of the page prior to starting the shows below if you are on a desktop computer.)

The Disney Avenue Podcast would like to thank our producer Geren Piltz and our graphic designer Brian Vermillion for their contributions to this show!


  1. Thank-you Keith, R.J. and Suzanne for providing all us Disney fans with such a wonderful interview! Listening to R.J. and Suzanne's tales of working at WDW was a real treat. Your passion and honesty made the anecdotes come to life. I am definitely ordering your book to read even more!

  2. I am such a HUGE fan of the Disney Avenue Podcast. Keith is such a great interviewer and I'm not just blowing smoke when I say this podcast has the best content around. This episode with RJ and Suzanne was such a pleasure to listen to. I will definitely be buying a copy of their new book. Keep up the great work Keith!