(Photo by Judy Lock)
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Q&A: Disney Dialogue with Ben Courson
By Sarah Komisky
You know him as Hope Generation founder and our regular Marked Ministry guest writer, but do you know his Disney side? In honor of our themed issue this month, I thought it would be awesome to chat with my friend and find out some of his Disney favorites. May you enjoy this super fun interview and laugh with us along the way!
Sarah: If you were any Disney character who would you be and why?
Ben: Oh wow, that’s such a good one. I would probably be Abu.
Sarah: [laughs] I love it! Why?
Ben: [laughs] He’s so cuddly and he’s loving and [laughs] he’s Aladdin’s best friend.
Sarah: That’s the best answer. [laughs]. Okay, favorite Disney ride and why?
Ben: Actually, I have two. One is the Crush Ride [Crush’s Coster] in Disneyland Paris, which is funny because I wrote about Crush. That one in Disneyland Paris where you twirl around in the turtle shell is insane.
Ben: Yes, you’re like riding the current and flipping along with Crush. That one is insane.
Ben: Yeah, also in Disneyland Paris is Stars Wars Hyperspace Mountain.
Ben: Yeah, that one literally makes me tear up it’s so awesome [laughs].
Sarah: Well, I’m bummed now that I haven’t gotten to ride on Crush’s back [laughs].
Ben: Yeah, you gotta go. If you go to Paris, hit up Disneyland Paris, those two rides are fire.
Sarah: Okay, I will do that. So, if you could pick any Disney character to be your best friend, who would it be and why?
Ben: Probably Crush.
Sarah: [laughs] That’s awesome.
Ben: He’s just so cool and super chill and most of my friends are super chill and like that, they like to skate and throw shackas as it were proverbially through their lives [laughs]. I think my work can be so intense and so focused that when I’m hanging out with my friends, a lot of times, just with the guys, I just skate and get my mind off of everything and just have fun and I think Crush is the master of that.
Sarah: That’s good. So, I thought this would be fun because I know you like to read, what is your favorite book turned Disney movie and why?
Ben: I have multiple. My two favorites are, first, “Alice in Wonderland- Through the Looking Glass.” That’s one of my favorite books by Lewis Carroll who actually gave a copy of his book before it came out of prototype to his friend George MacDonald who is actually one of my favorite authors of all time (I talk about him in the book “Optimisfits”). His ability to make whimsical, nonsensical and moving stories to the childlike spirit is just next level. The second one, and I probably like the second one even more, is “Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie. He writes so poetically and a lot of people don’t realize that because they just think of the cartoon. But yes, Peter Pandemonium is a way of living. J.M. Barrie was a workaholic literary master and I LOVE, love, love that book. Yeah, those are a couple of them.
Sarah: Awesome. Yeah, I agree with you on “Peter Pan.” That is definitely my favorite. So, favorite Disney memory as a kid and why?
Ben: I’ll actually answer that in a big kid sort of way. When I was in high school I had a Disneyland pass and we would go to Disneyland like three times a week. So, my favorite memory was going with a squad to Disneyland and running around wreaking havoc. That was probably my favorite.
Sarah: Yeah, that’s great. So, last question, Walt Disney was a huge dreamer, a misfit. If you could you could ask Walt Disney one thing, what would it be and why?
Ben: Well, I have a funny story, my grandpa worked for him.
Sarah: Really? That’s interesting
Ben: One time he was building in New Orleans Square and, interestingly enough, my grandpa and his crew built this construct and Walt Disney walked up to him with his entourage and Walt Disney was like, “I love it, I love this building. Now, move it over a few inches.” And he was like, “Wait, wait, wait, move the entire building?” [laughs].
Sarah: So funny.
Ben: Which means they had to tear it down and start all over, but that’s why it’s Disneyland because the essence is in the details. So what I would want to ask Walt Disney because he was such a misfit is what is the secret recipe to creating excellence in the details? That’s what I would ask him.
Sarah: Good stuff. I like that question and I like the grandpa story too! Nice. Well, I am all done with my Disney questions. Thank you for having fun and doing that!
Ben: Cool. So fun, I love you’re interview questions, they’re just so good.
Check out Ben’s newest article on Crush in Finding Nemo here at Marked Ministry and find out more about Ben and his new book, “Optimisfits” at bencourson.com/optimisfits/