About the Author

Benson Myers is a long-time Disney fan who proudly owns an annual pass to Disneyland - even though he lives in Utah! Benson has been collecting Disney nametags and badges for years, and recently he established the Disney Nametag Museum where he serves as curator. Weekly, he hand-picks a few nametags from his collection and writes them here on Disney Dispatch.

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It's All in a Nametag

by Benson Myers

Disney nametags: You see them everywhere but do you have any idea how many of them there are? Or how they're designed? Or their fascinating histories? Benson Myers, curator of the Nametag Museum, knows. And in his new column, It's All in a Nametag, he'll spotlight some of Disney's more interesting (and often obscure) nametags so that the next time you see a nametag pinned to a Disney Cast Member you'll know there's a lot more to that nametag than just ... a name!

The Metal Badges of Disneyland

AUG 11 You may not need no stinkin' "batches", but you really do need to read Benson's latest tale of Disney history: this time, he takes an in-depth look at Disneyland's metal badges, and how over time the metal degraded and eventually turned into plastic.

MAPO and Mary Poppins

AUG 4 Disney's MAPO division is well-known amongst hard-core fans, as is its full name: Manufacturing and Production Organization. But did you know that the real inspiration MAPO was... MAry POppins? Benson knows, and tells the tale.

Disneyland Tour Guides

JUL 28 The Tour Guides at Disneyland, as Benson Myers explains, are the cream of the Cast Member crop, but winning your way into this role - which stretches back to the late 1950's - requires a bit more than just the ritualistic sprinkling of pixie dust.

Walt Disney and Ma Bell

JUL 21 The relationship between Disney and Bell Systems stretches back decades. In 1967, Bell took over the sponsorship of an attraction at Disneyland, which they renamed Circlevision. They even pioneered an early version of Skype! Sort of. Let's dial in...

Disneyland History Through Nametags

JUL 14 In celebration this Sunday of Disneyland's 57th anniversary, Benson breaks out his colossal collection of Disneyland nametags and takes you on a guided tour of Disneyland history, nametag by nametag. He should charge admission! But he doesn't.

Song of the Splash Mountain

JUL 7 "Hush, child!" That's the typical response when you mention 'Song of the South' to a Disney Cast Member. So how does Disney square one of its most popular attractions, Splash Mountain, with a film it would like to forget? Tough one...

Disney's American on Parade

JUN 30 We all love a parade. And some of the best parades happen on Independence Day, when favored sons of small towns nationwide hoof down Main Street. Not to be outdone, Disney created a parade to out-hoof them all: America on Parade!

Walt Disney and Gene Autry

JUN 23 In his prime, Walt Disney probably had the biggest Rolodex in Hollywood. He knew nearly everyone, and he used his connections whenever possible to enhance Disneyland. For example: Gene Autry, who at the time was building Anaheim Stadium.

The Story of Jack Wrather

JUN 16 Benson presents a modern fairy tale involving a man named Jack, a woman named Bonita (who replaced another woman named Mollie), the Marine Corps, Lassie, the Lone Ranger, the Disneyland Hotel, and of course, Walt Disney himself.

Disneyland's Light Magic Parade

JUN 9 When Disney creates a clunker, such as the Light Magic Parade, it pulls the curtain with minimal fanfare. Today, Benson pulls back the curtain on Disneyland's Light Magic Parade, a $20 million dollar bomb, and explains what went wrong.

Celebration, Florida

JUN 2 For some, the Disney-designed town of Celebration, Florida, is charming; for others, it's creepy. Benson Myers takes no sides and instead presents a short history of Disney's perfect little town. With nametags, of course!

Partners Federal Credit Union

MAY 26 Only Benson Myers could make the most obscure Disney topic - the Cast Member's federal credit union! - not only interesting but also historically relevant. It's a story of Disney Legends, of statues, of pirates... and of nametags, too!

Donald Duck's 50th Birthday

MAY 19 After 50 years of corporate service, most people are given a watch, an award, and an escort to the elevator. But if you're Donald Duck, and the corporation is Disney World, you get a parade complete with live ducks broadcast on CBS television.

What Disney Wrought

MAY 12 When you think Atari, do you think Disney? Or Apple - Disney? How about Chuck E. Cheese? There's a reason why Chuck E. the rat resembles Mickey the Mouse, and Benson Myers has the goods as he traces the trace of Disney in so many, many things.

Disney Channel

MAY 5 Nowadays, Disney Channel is one of hundreds of cable television shows, but as Benson Myers reminds us, there weren't always so many shows on cable, and Disney Channel wasn't always free. Has Disney Channel gotten better over the years? Depends...

Walt Disney World Speedway

APR 28 Think you're brave for riding Space Mountain. Ha! Come see me after you've driven a NASCAR vehicle 50 laps around the Speedway track in the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway. But has Benson Myers beat you to it?

Lake Buena Vista Village

APR 21 Before Downtown Disney, there was ... Lake Buena Vista Village! Old-timers may remember shopping in the Village, or maybe eating aboard the Empress Lily, but nothing is left but the signage, the memories, and the nametags. Benson Myers revisits the Village.

Wide World of Sports

APR 14 For many Disney guests, the Wide World of Sports is a spot on the map, not a destination. For sports fans, though, it's familiar territory, and Benson Myers compares its success with the failure of its competition, Circus World and Boardwalk and Baseball.

Magical Mystery Nametag Tour

APR 7 When it comes to Disney nametags, even Benson Myers is not omniscient. There are tags in his collection that stump even him. Today, he presents a few of these mystery tags, and asks you to help track down their stories.

Disney Retail Nametags, Part 2

MAR 31 Disney isn't just theme parks, movies, and merchandise, you know. It's also retail! Over the years, Disney has opened quite a few retail venues, often unsuccessfully. Benson Myers is back to look at two more such venues - with nametags, of course.

Disney Retail Nametags

MAR 24 Over the years, Disney has dabbled in retail. Everyone knows about the Disney Store, but who remembers Mickey's Kitchen? Benson Myers remembers. In this week's column, he presents a short analysis of Disney's retail ventures - and their nametags!

Classic Mickey Nametags

MAR 17 The more I read Benson Myer's column about Disney nametags, the more I think the subject is suitable for a college course. Today, Benson traces the history of the classic Mickey nametag and shares a tip for estimating nametag age.

Genesis of a Disney Nametag Collector

Benson Myers on why he collects Disney nametags

MAR 10 When I started this insane hobby, I never thought I would go as far as I have today, seven years later. How did it all start, you might wonder? Back in 2004, my friends and I took a vacation to Disneyland. I hadn't been there since 1981, and things had changed quite a bit. At the end of our trip, we began thinking... MORE

Disney Legends

Benson Myers explains what the Disney Legends mean to him

MAR 3 Disney created the Legends Plaza as a contemplative spot for passersby, a place to stop and remember those who built the Disney legacy. Each Legend also receives a special bronze statue of Sorcerer Mickey holding his famous wand. Disney describes the three parts of the Legends Award as follows: The Spiral... MORE

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Benson Myers visits the swamp from which Disney World sprang

FEB 24 By the early 1960's, Disneyland was a roaring success. It had overcome its early financial difficulties and now welcomed tens of millions of guests. Walt had big plans for his first park, but lack of money limited what he could do. With the proceeds from Disneyland in the bank, he now turned to what he could... MORE

Voyage to 1939

Benson Myers boards the Queen Mary for a Disney celebration

FEB 17 The Voyage to 1939 celebrated the last trans-Atlantic voyage of the Queen Mary before she was pressed into service as World War II troop transport ship. Disney put on a nostalgic recreation of the era with Cast Members roaming the ship in period costumes and interacting with guests in the personas of... MORE

Club 55

Benson Myers relates the history of Club 55 and its nametags

FEB 10 So far, all the nametags I've presented have been plastic, but from 1955 to 1962, Disneyland staff wore elegant metal name badges, such as the one that belongs to Club 55 member James Warrick. Warrick worked for Disney as the Maintenance Department supervisor. An interesting thing about this metal badge is that... MORE

Walt's Garage

Benson Myers pulls into Walt's Garage for a nametag tune-up

FEB 3 Walt Disney arrived in Los Angeles in the early 1920's eager to work in the motion picture industry. He found little success, and soon began working on animation projects. Walt was living with his uncle in North Hollywood at the time, and the uncle's small one-car garage became home to Walt's efforts. Using... MORE

Set Sail for Disney Cruise Line Nametags

Benson Myers takes us to the nautical wing of his Nametag Museum

JAN 27 The crew of the Disney Cruise Line come from many different countries and many different walks of life. They sign up for tours ranging from three months to one year, and serve in all aspects of ship-board operations. Once the Cruise Line had established day-to-day operations, the crew received general-use nametags... MORE

Disney Nametags: Horizons and World of Motion

Benson Myers shares some rare Disney nametags of tomorrow

JAN 20 I've been collecting Disney nametags for about seven years. In that time I've gathered varieties from all over the world and from many divisions within the Walt Disney Company. Each nametag is a unique piece of Disney history. Some are used for a few years, and some only once for a special event. Many have never... MORE