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Florida Guide > Disney General

DISNEYS WINDOWS part 3

RON DOMINGUEZ

Ron Dominguez family home once stood in the Anaheim orange groves that Walt purchased for his park. (It was situated what are now the sites of pirates of the Caribbean Attraction and Cafe Orleans. ) A ticket taker n Opening Day f Disneyland Park in 1955, Ron graduated to portraying Davy Crockett in Disneyland Park. Not liking the attention that came with being a Frontier land celebrity, Ron traded in his coonskin cap and worked his way up to executive vice president of Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast.

Born on August 10, 1935, Ron later attended Anaheim High School and the University of Arizona, where he studied business administration. Then, on July 13, 1955, just four days before Disneyland opened; 20-year-old Ron took a summer job as a ticket taker at the new theme park. He found that Walt had moved his family’s two-story, Spanish-style house behind Main Street, U. S. A. for use as administrative offices.

Ron gives his former boss Doc Lemmon credit for encouraging him to extend his summer job. Within one year of joining Disney, he had been trained on every attraction and was named temporary supervisor of Main Street, U. S. A.

By 1970, Ron was appointed director of operations, and, four years later, was named vice president of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee. In 1990, he was named executive vice president, Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast.

VAN ARSDALE FRANCE

Wanting to avoid a carnival image for his new park, Walt hired Van Arsdale France in March of 1955 to create the employee orientation and training programs that eventually became Disney University. Van introduced the idea that new employees would be part of the “show” that was Disneyland Park; thus they would be its “Cast Members, ” and the Park’s customers would be their “Guest. “he strongly felt that every Guest at Disneyland Park deserved the VIP treatment, but he created a less formal backstage workplace atmosphere, stating, “The only Mister here is Mister Toad. ”

Van joined Disney in March 1955, and over the years, performed many roles at Disneyland, including area manager of Tomorrow land, conducting training of line supervisors, organizational chairman of the Disneyland Recreation Club, and coordinator of the first Disneyland Cast Member magazine, ' Backstage Disneyland. '

In 1978, he retired from Disney and became a special consultant at Disneyland.

EDWARD T. MECK

Eddie Meck was the first publicity chief for Disneyland Park, hired five months before the Park opened in 1955. Already a seasoned entertainment publicist, he feared the press would think his Disneyland Park press releases were hype. He decided to give them firsthand exposure and invited them for Opening Day of the Park, thus inventing the “press invited” opening that would become a tradition for Disney Parks. Eddie later assisted with the opening of Walt Disney World Resort.

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Page added on: 2 June 2015
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