December 16, 1952 – WED Enterprises is Founded
“Well, WED is, you might call it my backyard laboratory, my workshop away from work. It served a purpose in that some of the things I was planning, like Disneyland for example…it’s pretty hard for banking minds to go with it…so I had to go ahead on my own and develop it to a point where they could begin to comprehend what I had on my mind.” – Walt Disney
On December 16, 1952, the design and development organization WED Enterprises was founded by Walt Disney (with WED being Walt’s initials). The organization was founded to help create Disneyland. The first three Imagineers (a portmanteau of ‘Imagination’ and ‘Engineer’) working on this project, and first three employees of WED, were Harriet Burns, Fred Joerger, and Wathel Rogers, who had been working on the Disneyland project before the organization was formed. Walt would sell his interest in WED Enterprises to Walt Disney Productions in 1965, with the whole organization moving to Glendale in 1961. In 1986, the organization was renamed Walt Disney Imagineering.