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Tag Archives: Imagineer

October 20

October 20, 2008 – The Blue Sky Cellar Preview Center Opens in Disney California Adventure

“Step into the minds of Walt Disney Imagineers to see how “blue-sky” ideas turn into reality—from concept to completion.”

On October 20, 2008, the preview center Blue Sky Cellar officially opened in Disney California Adventure. Replacing the Seasons of the Vine Theater, the area served as a place where Imagineers could show sketches and models depicting proposed and upcoming attractions; attractions presented there have included Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings, World of Color, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Goofy’s Sky School, Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Fantasy Faire, Mickey & the Magical Map, Market House, and Pixar Pier. Although it originally closed on September 29, 2013, it was reopened on April 13, 2018, as it was used to showcase the plans for what would become Pixar Pier.

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August 21

August 21, 2011 – The Second D23 Expo Comes to a Close

“The Ultimate Disney Fan Event”

On August 21, 2011, the second biennial D23 Expo had its final day. Featured at the Anaheim Convention Center, the final day featured 15 exhibitions and panels for Disney fans to peruse, including a panel about the evolution of Marvel comics by Chief Creative Office Joe Quesada; a conversation with Steve Pilcher and Tia Kratter, called The Art of Brave; and a special discussion with film preservationist Ed Hobelman and Imagineer and Disney Legend Tony Baxter, called MORE of the Wonderful World of Vintage Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

July 19

July 19, 1989 – Ub Iwerks and the Nine Old Men are Honored as Disney Legends

“Collectively, they helped establish The Walt Disney Company…the impact of their work is immeasurable.”

On July 19, 1989, the Disney Legends Award Ceremony was held at the Walt Disney Studios. The focus of the ceremony were the animators that helped make the Walt Disney Company and Disney Animation: animator and Imagineer Ub Iwerks, and Nine Old Men animators Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Woolie Reitherman, and Frank Thomas. This group was considered the “Founders Circle” of the Walt Disney Company. Of those being honored, only Frank Thomas, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnston, Marc Davis, and Ward Kimball were alive to attend the ceremony.

October 20

October 20, 1993 – Ten New Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“The stuff Legends are made of…”

On October 20, 1993, ten new inductees were added as Disney Legends in a special ceremony held at the Walt Disney Studios. The ten inductees included Card Walker; former President of the Walt Disney Company; Donn Tatum, senior executive; Clarence Nash, original voice actor of Donald Duck; Jimmy MacDonald, sound effects wizard and second voice actor for Mickey Mouse; Pinto Colvig, original voice actor for Goofy; actor Buddy Ebsen, who was best known for his role as George Russel in the Davy Crockett series; Irving Ludwig, film distributor who helped form the Buena Vista Distribution Company; matte artist Peter Ellenshaw; Harper Goff, Imagineer and artist; and Blaine Gibson, Imagineer and sculptor, best known for the Partners statue in the Disney Parks. The ceremony was presided over by Michael Eisner and Roy E. Disney, and of those honored, Tatum, Nash, MacDonald, Colvig, and Goff were honored posthumously.

October 16

October 16, 2003 – Eleven Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“Today, the Walt Disney Company will celebrate, recognize and reward those who have contributed their creativity and imagination to the Disney heritage in the 2003 Disney Legends ceremony.”

On October 16, 2003, eleven members of Disney history were inducted as Disney Legends. Among those honored were comic publisher Al Taliaferro; Disney representative to New Zealand, Neil Beckett; actor Buddy Hackett; director Richard Fleischer; wife of Disney and supporter of the Disney Company, Edna Disney; advisor and trustee of the California Institute of the Arts, Harrison “Buzz” Price; former Vice President of Engineering, Design, and Production, Orlando Ferrante; composer and co-founder of Disneyland Records, Tutti Camarata; comic strip artist Floyd Gottfredson; voice actress for Cinderella, Ilene Woods; and last but not least, Lillian Disney, who performed many behind-the-scenes acts to keep the company, and her husband’s legacy, alive. Among the eleven honored, only five were alive at the time of the ceremony: Richard Fleischer, Harrison Price, Orlando Ferrante, Tutti Camarata, and Ilene Woods.

March 18

March 18, 2003 – Imagineer Orlando Ferrante is Awarded a Window on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland

“I love seeing the ideas and being able to help make them a reality.”

On March 18, 2003, Imagineer Orlando Ferrante was awarded one of the highest honors in the Walt Disney Company – a window in Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. Ferrante began his work with Disney in 1962, joining WED Enterprises as an expeditor, overseeing the first Audio-Animatronics in Disneyland’s Enchanted Tiki Room. After working on the coordination of attractions built for the New York World’s Fair, he was asked to create a new department within WED: the Project Installation Coordinating Office (PICO). Ferrante continue to climb up the ranks, being named general manager of administration in 1972, followed by vice president of administration and production; he was appointed as the vice president of engineering and production in 1979. After moving to France in 1990, he was named the vice president of show and ride engineering, working on the attractions in Disneyland Paris. He retired in 2002, but not before he moved to Venice, Italy, to help with the Disney Cruise Line. The window is in honor of his work with PICO, reading “The PICO Organizations, Installation & Coordination of World Class Projects. We Never Sleep – in Any Time Zone.”

December 21

December 21, 1913 – Imagineer Fred Joerger is Born

“Well, my job was to create the model to avert disaster, which was fun, but a challenge.”

On December 21, 1913, Fred Joerger was born in Pekin, Illinois. In 1937, after graduating from the University of Illinois with a fine arts degree, Joerger headed out to Los Angeles, gaining employment at Warner Brothers to build models of movie sets. He joined the Walt Disney Company in 1953 when Walt was creating the initial plans for Disneyland, and Joerger was tasked to create models for what would become Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, among other Audio-Animatronic attractions within the park. He was also tasked with creating miniature sets for several Disney live-action features, including Mary Poppins and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; for the latter, he created models of the submarine the Nautilus. When WED Enterprises was founded, Joerger was one of three original founding members, alongside fellow Disney Legends Harriet Burns and Wathel Rogers. While noted for creating several intricate models that defined the look of several many still-popular attractions, Joerger was also well-known for his work with creating realistic-looking rocks from plaster; he worked on several rockwork projects for Walt Disney World. Although he retired from Disney in 1979, he came back to work as the field art director for EPCOT. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001, and on August 26, 2005, Joerger passed away at the age of 91.