Today, we wrap up our study of the windows on Walt Disney World's Main Street, U.S.A. with the last group of windows. These windows, honoring people important to the history of the World, decorate the secondand now thirdfloor windows above Main Street.
Lonnie Lindley: keeper of the WDW rainbow. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Lindley was the head of the Walt Disney World paint shop.
Are they real, or just an incredible simulation? The MAPO group is honored. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
This window honors the MAPO group. MAPO originally was short for Mary Poppins, which was the source for much of the funding for Walt Disney World. It was later officially redesignated as Materials And Production Operations. Basically, it was the manufacturing arm of Walt Disney Imagineering. Most of these men were in Audio-Animatronics design and manufacturing. Booth was also the shop manager, and helped with the manufacturing of the parking lot trams. Broggie, son of Disney Legend Roger Broggie, Sr., worked on the Country Bear Jamboree for WDW and the Lincoln figure for the New York World's Fair, among others.
This window honors the men who designed the ride systems for Walt Disney World. McGinnis was known for his design of the Star Jets vehicles, the cars for the WEDway People Mover, and the submarines for the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction. Gurrwhom I personally feel deserves Disney Legend statusgained renown from the fact that if it's got wheels, Gurr worked on it in the Disney parks. He designed far too many attraction vehicle and ride systems to mention in this article.
Crowell and Lindberg keep things running. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Crowell was a master estimator who served as Walt Disney World's Vice President of Facilities Services. Lindberg was WED's MAPO shop manager when the Walt Disney World Resort opened.
Robinson was the head of Walt Disney World Accounting.
This window honors some of the designers of some of the greatest shows in the World. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
These men were all creative developers and project show designers for many of the classic attractions from the New York World's Fair, as well as Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Coats, honored with a tombstone (Brother Claude) at the Haunted Mansion, started as background artist. He worked on designs for the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White's Scary Adventures, the Carousel of Progress, it's a small world, and the Mickey Mouse Revue. He retired in 1989, was named a Disney Legend in 1991, and passed away in 1992.
Davis, also honored with a tombstone (dear departed Grandpa Marc), was one of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men. Davis was a creator/designer on Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Tropical Serenade (the Enchanted Tiki Room), it's a small world, Country Bear Jamboree, America Sings, and the Jungle Cruise. Davis retired in 1978, was named a Disney Legend (along with the rest of the Nine Old Men, plus Ub Iwerks) in 1989, and passed away in 2000.
Justice programmed Audio-Animatronics for Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Mission to Mars, the Country Bear Jamboree, America Sings, the Hall of Presidents, and the Mickey Mouse Revue. He also designed many character costumes and floats for parades, including the Main Street Electrical Parade. He retired in 1979, and was named a Disney Legend in 1996.
We're taking this show on the road: The Camelot Corp's show designers. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Baxter started his Disney career scooping ice cream on Main Street at Disneyland in 1965. He became a creative developer at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), a show designer, and eventually Executive Vice President of Design for Parks. Baxter designed Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, and the original version of Journey Into Imagination. Burkhart, honored with a tombstone (dear departed Brother Dave) at the Haunted Mansion, was a Vice President of Show Quality Assurance at WDI. Johnson was a project show designer for WDI, and worked in the model shop. Younger was a director of MAPO for WDI, a production director for WED Enterprises/WDI, and was a system developer.
Jim Armstrong feeds the masses. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Armstrong worked in WDW food operations.
Larry Slocum 86es the cuisine. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
Slocum was the head of Walt Disney World Food Services.
These three were known as the athletic executives, most likely due to their background playing college and professional football. Miller played end at the University of Southern California (USC) and for the 1956 Los Angeles Rams. Ferrante played guard for USC and for the 1960 Rams and 1961 San Diego Chargers. Nunis was an Academic All-American at USC until breaking his neck in 1952 during his second season on varsity.
Nunis got his start at Disney as a gofer for Van Arsdale France, who at the time was developing the original training and orientation program for Disneyland. He took on a variety of jobs at Disneyland over the years, mentored by Walt Disney. He became Director of Park Operations in 1961 and Vice President of Operations in 1968. He became Executive Vice President of Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 1972, and was named President of Walt Disney Attractions in 1980. He was promoted to Chairman of Walt Disney Attractions in 1991. He retired as Chairman of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts in 1999, after 44 years with the company, and was named a Disney Legend that year. He also served on The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors from 1981 to 1998 and in a director emeritus role through 2000.
Miller has a window with his wife and children that was described in Part 1 of this series, so I won't talk about him more here, except to mention that there's a little inside joke here: Miller's son Christopher has his own window at Disneyland, with the inscription Christopher D. Miller Turkish Baths.
Orlando Ferrante was Vice President of MAPO for WED/WDI, and oversaw ride and show production & installation for WDW, Tokyo Disneyland and Euro Disneyland.
These are some of WDI's premiere artists.
Campbell was a WDI conceptual artist who worked on such attractions as the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Haunted Mansion. Along with Claude Coates, he is credited with creating much of the look and feel of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
Gibson is Disney's premier sculptor. He designed many Audio-Animatronic figures, including all of the presidents for the Hall of Presidents. He also sculpted the Partners statue of Walt and Mickey and the Roy and Minnie statue, Sharing the Magic. Gibson retired in 1983, was named a Disney Legend in 1993, and still consults for the company. Every time a new president is elected, Gibson comes out of retirement to sculpt the head and figure for the Hall of Presidents.
Ryman, a WDI conceptual artist, may be best known for creating the original drawing of Disneyland over a weekend with Walt Disney. However, he also made many popular concept paintings of lands and attractions in his well-known style. Ryman retired in 1971, passed away in 1989, and was named a Disney Legend in 1990.
Blair was a WDI designer whose color designs and childlike artwork can be seen in such diverse locations as it's a small world and the huge wall mural in the Grand Canyon Concourse at the Contemporary Resort. She died in 1978, and was named a Disney Legend in 1991.
Dorothea Redmond was a WDI conceptual artist who, among other assignments, designed the murals on the passageway walls through Cinderella Castle.
This window honors the WDI model shop. Sewell, honored with a tombstone (Mister Sewell) at the Haunted Mansion, was the manager of the model shop. Joerger, also honored with a tombstone (good old Fred), was an art director who specialized in special finishessuch as rockwork and distressed timbers. He created most of the rockwork at Walt Disney World for the resort's opening, including the waterfall in the atrium of the Polynesian Resort. He was named a Disney Legend in 2001.
They built a big World, after all: Buena Vista Construction. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
This window honors the special effects group at WDI. Gracey, a WDI special effects pioneer, did the effects for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. He is honored with a tombstone (Master Gracey) at the Haunted Mansion, and that character is actually used as a central theme of the attraction (and soon the movie based on the attraction). He retired in 1975, passed away in 1983, and was named a Disney Legend in 1999. Martin, also honored with a tombstone (a man named Martin) at the Haunted Mansion, is a former head of the WDI special effects department.
O'Brien, a former animator, specialized in facial and mouth action on Audio-Animatronics. His credits include the Country Bear Jamboree, Hall of Presidents, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Rogers, another WDI special effects pioneer, is considered the grandfather of Audio-Animatronics, and worked on Project Little Man, which produced the Dancing Man (WDI's first mechanical character) based on studies of a dance routine by Buddy Ebsen. (The Dancing Man can currently be seen in the first room of the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream exhibit at the Disney-MGM Studios.) He was also honored with a tombstone (Wathel R. Bender) at the Haunted Mansion. Rogers retired in 1987, and was named a Disney Legend in 1995.
Williams, honored with a tombstone (Good friend Gordon) at the Haunted Mansion, was an audio designer and Audio-Animatronics expert who worked on many classic attractions. Chisholm was a manufacturing mechanical engineer for WDI.
These men are some of the greatest show writers and designers in WED/WDI history.
Atencio, honored with a tombstone (Francis Xavier) at the Haunted Mansion, is actually the man responsible for writing those epitaphs. He was integral in the development of Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, If You Had Wings, and Space Mountain, wrote the words for Grim Grinning Ghosts and Yo-Ho, and even provides the voice of the skull on Pirates (Dead men tell no tales). Atencio retired in 1984, and was named a Disney Legend in 1996.
Bertino, who was immortalized as a singing bruin known as Big Al at the Country Bear Jamboree, has a face that should look familiar to Disney theme park fans, as it is used on many different human Animatronic figures. He worked as a show writer (frequently with Marc Davis) on such classic attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the Haunted Mansion and the Country Bear Jamboree.
Sklar started out selling the Disneyland News shortly after that park opened in 1955. He wrote personal material for Walt Disney for movies, TV, and official company communications, including the famed EPCOT film. He created dialogue for many Disney attractions, and was named Vice President of Concepts and planning at WDI in 1974. He is currently Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, and was named a Disney Legend in 2001.
These men were all graphics and design specialists at Walt Disney Imagineering. They worked back at WDI's home office in Burbank, California (hence the Golden State). McKim, who retired in 1987, was named a Disney Legend in 1996. His story sketches included it's a small world, Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, and Haunted Mansion. He may be best known for the many souvenir park maps that he created.
The Buena Vista Construction Company was formed to serve as the General Contractor for the construction of Walt Disney World. These men were all executives of BVCC.
Broggie, Walt Disney's original Imagineer, is the man who originally got Walt involved with small-gauge railroading. He worked with Wathel Rogers on Project Little Man, which produced the dancing man, the precursor to Audio-Animatronics. Broggie would eventually become Vice President of WED's Research and Development operation. His sons Roger, Jr., and Michael would also work for the company. Broggie retired in 1975, was named a Disney Legend in 1990, and died in 1991. An engine on the Walt Disney World Railroad is named for him.
This window, placed on the third floor to be the highest of all windows, honors former Walt Disney Company President and Chief Operating Officer Frank Wells. Wells joined the company with Michael Eisner and was an integral part of the company's turnaround in the mid-1980s. The window (and its placement) honors his mountain-climbing goal of reaching the summits of the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents. He climbed them all except Everest, after making the attempt twice. He was also a contributor to a book about the quest, called Seven Summits. Wells died in a heli-skiing accident in 1994, and was named a Disney Legend later that year.
After Walt died, everyone expected his brother Roy to go ahead with his already-planned decision to retire, and perhaps sell off the company to the highest bidder to keep it running. Instead, Roy put off his retirement and did everything he could to ensure that his brother's dream was realized, and that the name of Walt Disney would continue to mean quality entertainment for the whole family. Roy spent his life taking care of his younger brother, and after Walt's death, took care of his legacy. Arguably, Roy was single-handedly the most important person in making Walt Disney World happen.
This window honors Walt Disney and the master planners who designed Walt Disney World. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.
This window, ostensibly honoring Walt himself, also honors the master planners for Walt Disney World. All worked for WED Enterprises, which later became Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI).
Dick Irvine, who formed the WED Design group, headed WED until his retirement in 1973. He passed away in 1976, and was named a legend in 1990. Hench is the longest-serving current Disney employee. He started in the story department in 1939 and later painted backgrounds before moving to WED/WDI. Hench is a legendary artist and theme park designer, and he is Imagineering's resident expert on the subject of color. At this writing, Hench is now 94 years old and has spent 64 years with the company. He is currently Executive Vice President of WDI. He was named a Disney Legend in 1990. Davis (1998) and Martin (1994) are also Disney Legends.
Myall is also honored with a tombstone (Uncle Myall) in front of the Haunted Mansion. These men were architectural and show designers and art directors, and all worked together to design the Magic Kingdom, the Utilidors, the resorts, and some of the attractions, as well.
There are a couple of other windows that I was unable to uncover the text for. One of these is for Burbank House of Graphics Complete, the bottom half of which is hidden by the decorative work above the camera shop. There are others behind filigree work at the corner of Center Street East. I believe that I have most of them from the information that I gathered from the book behind the desk at City Hall, but I can't be certain. If I am able to discover the remaining text, I'll be sure to include it in a future column, and I'll come back and update this column, too.
If you liked this series on the window tributes to important contributors to Walt Disney World, you'll really like the next one, too. Next time, we'll talk about some hidden (and not-so-hidden) tributes to Imagineers in the parks.
Dave Smith, Chief Archivist, The Walt Disney Archives
Disney A to Z by Dave Smith
Building a Company: Roy O. Disney and the Creation of an Entertainment Empire by Bob Thomas
Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti
Window on Main Street by Van Arsdale France
Ub Iwerks: The Hand Behind the Mouse
Theme Park Adventure Magazine, Walt Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean issue. Rick West, editor
Designer Times column by Bob Gurr at LaughingPlace.com
Persistence of Vision, issues #6/#7 and #9. Paul Anderson, editor
(Send an email to Mark Goldhaber)
Mark (@MPMark) is a veteran of dozens of trips to Walt Disney World starting in 1972, with a few Disneyland trips thrown in for good measure. As a Disney stockholder and a Disney Vacation Club member, Mark is always in touch with what's going on with The Mouse. Mark serves as MousePlanet's Walt Disney World content coordinator. Mark is a senior information technology manager working for the State of New York. He lives in the suburbs outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son.