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Tag Archives: Publicity

October 15

October 15, 1971 – Life Magazine Features Story on Walt Disney World

“The new site is Florida, but the air is pure old Disney.”

On October 15, 1971, Life Magazine wrote an article about the opening of Walt Disney World, which had opened only two weeks prior. The article about the park, entitled “Disney Moves East,” features several pictures from the opening day festivities, while discussing the changes and “lessons learned” from the park in Anaheim. The article also introduces characters that guests can meet in the park, as well as the attraction Mickey Mouse Revue, featuring Audio-Animatronic figures of classic Disney characters.


August 1

August 1, 1955 – Disneyland Appears in Popular Science

“Disneyland – a steel-and-concrete Never-Never Land for youngsters – has come to life at Anaheim, Calif.”

On August 1, 1955, the magazine Popular Science featured a brief article about the newest theme park: Disneyland. The article mostly covers the trains of the Disneyland Railroad, along with a picture of a model of the front of the park.

July 26

July 26, 1955 – Walt Disney and Fess Parker Appear on the Cover of Look Magazine

“In thirty years, Walt Disney has made more than 600 films, watched by a billion pairs of eyes.”

On July 26, 1955, the newest issue of Look Magazine was released, featuring Walt Disney and Fess Parker on the cover. This issue featured an eight-page spread about Walt Disney, the characters he brought to life through animation and television, and plans once Disneyland opened. Also featured was a snippet of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, and his travels around the country promoting the show.

July 20

July 20, 1923 – Publicist and Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway is Born

Charlie Ridgway

“Disneyland was one public relations job I thought I would enjoy, and I was right.”

On July 20, 1923, Charlie Ridgway was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his career as a journalist after receiving his degree from the University of Missouri, and joined the staff of the Los Angeles Mirror-News in 1952. While there, he wrote articles about the construction of Disneyland, and covered the opening day of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. Eight years after he covered the opening, he was hired as part of the park’s publicity staff. His background as a newsman gave him the skills needed to relate to other reporters, and the knowledge to know what they would need to represent the park appropriately. Ridgway quickly moved up the ranks, and soon was asked to help the publicity department for the Florida Project, which was to become Walt Disney World. He moved to Orlando, and soon became the Walt Disney World director of press and publicity. Over his 30 year career with the company, he worked on over 150 special projects, including one for Donald Duck’s 50th birthday, and the launches of Epcot and Disneyland Paris. He retired from Disney in 1994, but would continue to consult with the company on other projects. He was named a Disney Legend in 1999, and published his memoir Spinning Disney’s World in 2007.