Between the Lines: Walt's Pilgrimage

May 1, 2018

Christopher Tremblay and WMU students at the Walt Disney Family Museum
Credit Christopher Tremblay

He goes by the nickname “Mr. Pixie Dust.” While most of us leave our fascination with the world of Mickey Mouse behind with our childhoods, Christopher Tremblay never did. His parents first took him to Walt Disney World in Florida in 1977, when he was five. The magic stayed with him into adulthood.

A graduate of Western Michigan University, Tremblay is now director of a strategic enrollment management endorsement program and serves as a research and marketing consultant for Michigan State University. He is also the author of Walt’s Pilgrimage: A Journey in the Life of Walter Elias Disney (CreateSpace, 2017).

Tremblay says the book as part travel guide, part biography, and part history. It visits more than 275 places in 25 states as well as Canada and Mexico that Walt Disney visited or lived in during his lifetime.

Credit CreateSpace

“I have my parents to thank for exposing me to Disney and Mickey Mouse when I was a kid,” Tremblay says. “I had a Disney collection of books, the classics, and I had a little Mickey lamp in my room, and Mickey bedsheets."

Tremblay conceived the idea for the book during his years of teaching a course called “Downtown Disney” at Western Michigan University’s Lee Honors College. Eight WMU students and the WMU Director of Archives contributed to the book.

“On Main Street at Disney, one of the windows is dedicated to Upjohn and to Gilmore,” Tremblay says, describing some of the local connections to Disney. “There’s a little bit of Kalamazoo in Disneyland. A car and set piece from a Disney movie are now also on exhibit at the Gilmore Car Museum.”

Walt’s Pilgrimage is the first of a series of books Tremblay has planned. A children’s version, Walt’s Pilgrimage, Junior, is available now and a trivia book, Walt’s Suitcase, is almost done. Tremblay is also at work on an international edition to highlight Disney’s visits to Europe and South America.

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