Florida Guide > Disney General
Disney's Windows - part 14
Wathel Rogers was a founding member of WED’s model shop in 1954, having started with the company in 1939 as an animator. His two-week WED assignment to build architectural models for Disney Land Park turned into a career that saw him become a pioneer in research and development at Imagineering. Wathel was known as Mr. Audio-Animatronics, and his many projects included The Enchanted Tiki Room, Walt Disney’s carousel of Progress, Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction, Great moments with Mr. Lincoln, Jungle Cruise Attraction, America sings, and the American Adventure in Epcot. He later served as the art director for Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World resort after its opening in 1971.
Over two stressful days in September of 1953 known as the “lost weekend”, Herbert Dickens Ryman drew his first sketch of what would be Disney Land Park; Roy Disney needed it that Monday morning for a presentation on the Park to potential investors. Herb sketched as Walt stood by his side describing his vision of the park. During his career, Herb illustrated concepts of the New Orleans Square, Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction, Jungle cruise Attraction, and both Disney Land park and Walt Disney World Resort castles. For Walt Disney World resort, Heb develop the Hall of Presidents and played a key role in conceptualizing the American Adventure and China Pavilions in Epcot. He also illustrated numerous concepts for the entire park.
ROBERT “BUD” WASHO
Bud Washo was hired in 1954 as the superintendent of the Staff and Plaster shop for Disney Land Park. He and his crew were responsible for the molding, casting, and finishing of a vast array of unique Disney Park elements including Autopia cars, Jungle cruise elephants, Primeval World dinosaurs, fibreglass stone archways, plaster rock battlements, and golden castle turrets. To create the mountain for the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Bud and his team laid four acres of plaster. In Orlando, he used an old fertilizer storage shed as the initial workshop for molding and creating the components for Cinderella castle in Walt Disney World Resort. He later became Architectural Ornamentation manager for World Showcase in Epcot, where he enhanced and maintained the old, authentic look of the pavilions using modern materials.
FRANK G. WELLS
An avid adventurer, Frank G. Wells was president of the Walt Disney Company from 1984 until 1994. During his tenure, Frank was instrumental in the renaissance of the Disney Theme Parks with the building of Disney-MGM- studios (now Disney’s Hollywood studios), Euro Disney Land (now Disney Land resort Paris), various Disney Water Parks, Hotels, and resort districts and attraction additions and updates to existing Parks. The Seven summits mention in his window refers to Franks 1986 book, Seven summits , which detailed his adventures climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. In the Mattelhorn Bobsleds Attraction in Disney land park, one can spot a “Wells Expedition” crate in his honor. In Walt Disney World resort, his window is one of only two third-floor windows in Main Street, USA area, a tribute to his quest to reach the highest peaks in the World.
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