Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Original WED Imagineers!

This is a favorite photo of mine taken Ive been told around 1965. It includes many of the wonderful folks we know as Disney “Imagineers”. I had the pleasure and honor of knowing all of them except for two. In addition I actually enjoyed the opportunity of working with quite a few of them during my “loan-outs” to WED, and even had one as my teacher at Cal Arts. 
Walt Disney Imagineering was originally formed by Walt Disney on December 16, 1952 as WED Enterprises (WED: Walter Elias Disney) to develop plans for a new theme park using Disney's personal assets. It was originally an independent, private company, owned by Walt Disney himself, but on February 3, 1965, was merged into Walt Disney Productions. It is currently known as Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), Disney Imagineering, or simply put Imagineering. I still find myself calling it WED but try to remember to say WDI when I'm in house.
Their expertise and vision was instrumental in making Walt Disney’s vision of a unique Park experience like no other on earth known as Disneyland, into a reality enjoyed by countless millions.  
L-R: Herb Ryman, Ken O'Brien, Collin Campbell, Marc Davis, Al Bertino, Wathel Rogers, Mary Blair, Thornton Hee, Blaine Gibson, X. Atencio, Claude Coats, and Yale Gracey.