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‘My Yard Goes Disney’: Aboard the Disney Fantasy with Executive Producer Jay Shatz

Tony Shepherd

by , Producer, Broadcast Marketing


I can hardly believe it … but we’ve come to the end of our second season of HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney”!

Over the last two years, I’ve tried to share with you a bit of the magic behind the camera, as we’ve helped the HGTV Designers create these unique backyards. So, for my last Disney Parks Blog post for the season, I wanted to do something a bit different.

Television is a hugely collaborative medium. It takes hundreds of people countless hours to create what you see in each of these half-hour programs. That said, I’m sure it’s not a secret to anyone that somebody has to take command. In other words, there needs to be a “Master of the Vessel.” (Hey – tonight’s show is about Disney Cruise Line, so I should use a maritime expression, right?) On HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney,” that job belongs to Jay Shatz, the head of JayTV, and the series’ Executive Producer.

As you can imagine, we’ve worked very closely with Jay and his team, and we’ve had an incredible amount of fun making the series. I thought you might like to hear a bit of his perspective about how these shows are created. So, I asked him to share. Jay writes:

Our casting team looks at hundreds of wonderful videos from families, but every once in awhile I hear a scream from their office, “JAY. YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS!!” That’s exactly what happened when we looked at the entry video from the Galloway Family following their vacation on the Disney Fantasy. We’ve included their amazing entry video in this episode of HGTV’s “My Yard Goes Disney” – you’ll be blown away at the crafting magic done by Marcy Galloway. She’s a passionate and very talented crafter who not only sews Disney-inspired outfits for the whole family, she also creates some of the coolest Halloween costumes you’ve ever seen.


Tonight’s episode will take you aboard the newest vessel, the Disney Fantasy, as a Disney Cruise Line-inspired backyard sails its way to the home of a very special family. Marcy was our inspiration to create a backyard makeover that encourages Harlie (6) and Grayden (4) to use their imaginations as they remember their voyage onboard the Disney Fantasy. The kids LOVED the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, went crazy in the Aqua Lab, and most of all, loved the experience of cruising at sea with mom and dad.


Plus, watch this episode and you’ll see one of my favorite memories of the series: riding shotgun in a follow-up car as a newly restored pirate ship cruised at 45 miles an hour down I-75 towards the Galloways’ backyard!!

This episode is bittersweet for me because it’s our season finale. Over the past 8 months, I’ve had a chance to meet a dozen amazing families and transform their backyards into magical and unique spaces. Each yard and each family is different, but every project is built around the theme of sharing Disney memories with family and friends. Whether it was a cool cabana and pool inspired by Castaway Cay, or a fast moving zip-line capturing the speed of Expedition Everest, each family we worked with wanted (and got!!) a backyard that would become a gathering place to share their Disney memories with the most important people in their lives. As we wrapped up the Galloway shoot and I looked around the yard packed with happy kids and their parents, I felt blessed to share all this wonderful energy with these great families.


And to top it off…..I got to meet Jake the Never Land Pirate!!!! (That’s me in the picture with host Brandon Johnson, and Jake — I’m the one on the right). What an amazing way to cap off an incredible year of “My Yard Goes Disney”!! Thanks to everyone for watching and sharing in these magical experiences. Join us on HGTV tonight at 5:30 pm.

Perhaps my favorite thing about working on this show has been talking with you here each week. And I look forward to sharing more stories on lots of other things we’re working on. Meantime, I’m excited to tell you that our friends at HGTV have decided to continue airing encore broadcasts of “My Yard Goes Disney,” Sundays at 5:30 pm, so keep watching for your favorite families, yards, and Disney memories.


  • Such a great show Disney– congrats on a great season 2, and here’s looking forward to another fantastic season next year!

  • Do you know when or if HGTV Canada is going to show My Yard Goes Disney?

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