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Tag Archives: Imagineer

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.

November 30

November 30, 1995 – Nine New Disney Legends are Inducted

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“Since its inception, the [Disney Legends] program has honored many gifted animators, Imagineers, songwriters, actors, and business leaders as having made a significant impact on the Disney legacy.”

On November 30, the ninth group of Disney Legends was honored and inducted in a special ceremony held in the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Among those honored were Golden Horseshoe Revue performers Wally Boag, Fulton Burley, and Betty Taylor, actor Dean Jones, actress Angela Lansbury, Disneyland publicist Edward Meck, animator Fred Moore, voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft, and Audio-Animatronic Imagineer Wathel Rogers.

October 16

October 16, 1996 – Ten New Inductees Are Named Disney Legends

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“The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient.”

On October 16, 1996, ten new members of the Disney legacy were honored as Disney Legends in a special ceremony at the Walt Disney Studios in the Legends Plaza. Among those honored were former vice president of Walt Disney World, actor and narrator of Disney nature documentaries Rex Allen, animator and Imagineer X Atencio, voice actress for Cruella de Vil Betty Lou Gerson, animator and Imagineer Bill Justice, former executive vice president for Walt Disney World Bob Matheison, Imagineer Sam McKim, animator Bob Moore, story man Bill Peet, and one of the key designers of Walt Disney World, Joe Potter. Of those honored, Allen and Potter were honored posthumously.

October 12

October 12, 2000 – Ten New Disney Legends are Inducted

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“…the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”

On October 12, 2000, ten new Disney Legends were honored and inducted in a ceremony at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Among those honored were animator Grace Bailey, Imagineer Harriet Burns, animator and Imagineer Joyce Carlson, former Vice-President of Walt Disney Attractions Ron Dominguez, Jiminy Cricket voice actor Cliff Edwards, animator Becky Falberg, Pinocchio voice actor Dick Jones, animator Dodie Roberts, animator Retta Scott, and animator Ruthie Tompson. Of those honored, Bailey, Edwards, and Scott were honored posthumously.

September 17

September 17, 2004 – Eleven New Inductees are Named Disney Legends

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“We owe so much to this group that represents the best of Disney – their work is the arc that connects Disney’s history with our success today.”

On September 17, 2004, the newest group of Disney Legends were honored at a special ceremony at the Disney Legends Plaza at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. The ceremonies were presided over by then CEO Michael Eisner, who originally created the honor in 1987. The honorees that were present participated in the handprint ceremony, with their handprints then hung in the plaza for all to see. Among those honored were film and television producer Bill Anderson, actor Tim Conway, Imagineer Rolly Crump, Imagineer Alice Davis, actress Karen Dotrice, actor Matthew Garber, ABC Chairman of the Board Leonard Goldenson, Imagineer Bob Gurr, conductor and orchestrator Irwin Kostal, Imagineer Ralph Kent, and animator and story man Mel Shaw.

August 10

August 10, 2013 – Eight New Disney Legends are Inducted at the D23 Expo

Photo courtesy of D23

                   Photo courtesy of D23

“…today we are celebrating some of the remarkable people behind the Disney Magic.” – Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger

On August 10, 2013, at the D23 Expo, Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and host Tom Bergeron presented the next eight inductees into the Disney Legends line, joining 249 others that have been recognized for their contributions to the Disney legacy. The 2013 inductees included Imagineers Tony Baxter and Collin Campbell, television personality Dick Clark, actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman, Apple founder Steve Jobs, animator Glen Keane, and comedian Ed Wynn. For those still living, the honorees were brought to the stage to be given a special trophy and to say a few words about their career or time with Disney. A special presentation was held for those that had passed away prior to the awards.