New Walt Disney World documentary to open the 2019 Orlando Film Festival

Walt Disney – Master of Dreams, director Tony Cortese’s anticipated documentary about the building of Walt Disney World, will make its debut on Thursday, October 17, as the opening night feature of the 2019 Orlando Film Festival.

‘Walt Disney – Master of Dreams’ opens the 2019 Orlando Film Festival with an appearance by Leslie Iwerks.

Film Director Tony Cortese unites with Disney legends including Disney Academy Award Winning composer Richard Sherman and Imagineers Bob Gurr & Rolly Crump in a feature documentary that takes viewers through Walt Disney’s epic journey East, from the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair through the opening of Walt Disney World. The film also includes never before seen interviews with Harrison Buzz Price, who guided Walt Disney in the siting and development of Walt Disney World, along with Art Linkletter & Ray Bradbury, Walt Disney’s long time friends.

Orlando Film Festival

Walt Disney – Master of Dreamers explores in detail, Disney’s decision to move East and how his attendance at the New York World’s Fair played a huge role in his plans for Central Florida. The documentary also looks closely at the secret land acquisition of 27,000 acres of Florida swampland and how Walt Disney’s vision for E.P.C.O.T., a real life utopian progress city of the future was never realized, but how Walt’s team of Imagineers landed on the E.P.C.O.T. that was ultimately built and stands today.

Supporting insight by some of the industry’s leading experts Jeff Barnes and Sam Gennawey, provide a unique look at the pivotal milestones that unfolded through the journey. Also featured in the film is Robert “Bob” Kingsland, an Orlando property developer who worked directly with Walt Disney secretly acquiring the land needed to build Walt Disney World. Bob was with Walt when he chose the spot for EPCOT & was commissioned to cut the first roads to the Magic Kingdom.

The film also explores Walt Disney’s unique leadership style that was paramount in inspiring his team of Imagineers to work tirelessly after their leader and mentor’s untimely death to complete what would be the largest construction project the world had ever seen.

Joining Cortese on opening night will be Academy and Emmy Nominated Director Leslie Iwerks. Iwerks will be honored by the festival with the Cinematic Icon Award and will be screening a short preview of her new 6-part documentary series on the history of Imagineering premiering on the new Disney + streaming network this Fall.

Academy & Emmy Nominated Film Director Leslie Iwerks (The Pixar Story, Recycled Life, Industrial Light & Magic, The Hand Behind the Mouse & More)

Tickets for Walt Disney – Master of Dreams are available now on the Orlando Film Festival Website. The event on October 17 will start with a pre-party at 5 p.m. and a Red Carpet ceremony at 6:30 p.m., with the screening at 8 p.m. followed by an after-party. For more information, visit


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  1. Just a heads up, Leslie Iwerks will not be attending the festival. Sadly, she had a conflict and needed to cancel. See you all at the premiere!