Last Update to this page: August 15th, 2016
This listing is not intended to be comprehensive in anything but a subjective manner i.e., entries will only be made based on a particular topic’s relevance to WYW’s intended sphere of reference – mainly topics related to WDW from its conception through its 25th anniversary.
Carlson, Joyce (Joyce Carlson, 1923 – 2008) – WED Enterprises designer and color stylist who contributed to Walt Disney Productions’ animated films and attractions during a career that ran from 1944 to 2006 and saw her relocate from Los Angeles to Orlando in 1982. At WDW, Carlson oversaw the repainting of show elements in multiple parks, ensuring adherence to the original color schemes and design intent for everything from It’s A Small World animated figures to Cinderella’s Golden Carousel horses. She pulled no punches when it came to matching hues … or as retired WDW craftsman Jimmy Layle put it, “that gal was a little hard to please.” She wasn’t a gal, Jimmy, she was a woman. But otherwise, good for her!
Joyce Carlson Links:
Davis, Marc (Marc Davis, 1913 – 2000) – Walt Disney Productions animator from 1935-1963, WED Enterprises illustrator and idea man from 1963-1978. Notoriously skilled and prolific, he “created” Brer Rabbit, Tinker Bell, Alice, Aurora, Maleficent and Cruella De Ville as we know them and originated core elements of major Disneyland and WDW attractions, including America Sings, Country Bear Jamboree, The Enchanted Tiki Room, It’s A Small World, The Haunted Mansion, The Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and World of Motion. Davis also proposed several attractions that should have been built but weren’t … including The Enchanted Snow Palace, Garden of the Gods and the Western River Expedition. Davis was married to Alice Estes Davis, a WED artist who developed costumes for multiple major animatronic casts. Walt Disney referred to precious few people as geniuses; Davis was one of them. A fun parlor trick: 1. Ask friends to write down the name of their favorite Imagineer on an index card, 2. Tell them no matter who they wrote down, Marc Davis was better and 3. Writing “Marc Davis” doesn’t count because Marc Davis was even better than himself.
Fort Wilderness Campground (1971 – present) – Later known as Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, this was Walt Disney World’s original no-frills option for on-site accommodations. It began as a truly low-key affair at the time of WDW’s opening; by 1976 Fort Wilderness had become the home of a major dinner show (the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue), WDW’s first water park (River Country), a dozen recreational offerings and a dedicated railroad line transporting guests through the heart of the campground’s 750 acres. Although many of its 1970s features have since been retired, it remains a very popular destination and has kept a remote sensibility in tact. Helpful Hint: If you have not visited FW since Carter was President, do not show up expecting to use the archery range.
Holt, Harry (Harry Holt, 1911-2004) – Walt Disney Productions and Hanna-Barbera studio artist and WDW cast member from 1987 to 1994. Holt was a man of multiple artistic talents, including animating and sculpting. He began working for Disney in 1936 as an “in-betweener” on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. During his time with Hanna-Barbera he worked on cartoons such as The Flintstones, The Banana Splits, Scooby Doo and The Herculoids. He also had a hand in the design of Walt Disney World, where he sculpted maquettes that guided the development of attractions. During the last stretch of his diverse career, Holt signed drawings for guests – his own art depicting characters from a variety of famous Disney films including Dumbo, Lady & the Tramp, Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid – at Main Street USA’s Disneyana Collectibles store.
Harry Holt Links:
Honetor, Ginger (Ginger Honetor) – Magic Kingdom Attractions/Operations hostess who worked at WDW from the mid-1970s until 2012, primarily at The Haunted Mansion for the last 30 years of that span. More widely known as “Miss Ginger,” Virginia Honetor was one of those rare cast members who took the opportunity to own an attraction and stay at it long enough to make an impression on scores of co-workers and thousands of guests over a period of decades. By the time I was trained to work at The Haunted Mansion in early 1986, Ginger had already developed her trademark cackle and mischievous smile, both of which got more (sweetly) devious as the years progressed. Few people who were fortunate enough to work with Ginger saw it as anything but a privilege and it was hard to believe that she would ever leave the role, which she finally did in 2012.
Ginger Honetor Links:
Imagineer – A term most commonly ascribed to employees of WED Enterprises, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions that’s also known as Walt Disney Imagineering, whom Walt Disney referred to as his Imagineers. Others on the internet have found instances of the word that predate Disney’s application (WED claimed first usage in 1962), and for some time the earliest cited use of the term, thanks to the detective work of longtime WYW supporter Mike Hiscano, was in 1946 by Pan Am Airlines. See the scan below for proof (thanks Mike!). Since then it has come to light that Alcoa had used the term as far back as 1945 (see second scan below). Imagineers are responsible for the design and developmental oversight of new Disney park attractions and in most cases park architecture, themed components, decor and signage on Disneyland and WDW property. According to a poll taken as I was typing this, the best Imagineers were Claude Coats, Rolly Crump and Marc Davis. That does NOT mean the rest were less than stellar, just that you may want to know the top three without conducting independent research.
scan of Pan Am Clipper newsletter August 1946
Irvine, Richard F. (Richard F. Irvine, 1910 – 1976) – WED Enterprises executive whose tenure extends back to 1953, when he joined the year-old company. Walt Disney chose Irvine, a former art director in films, to lead the Disneyland design team. He also oversaw master planning, design and show development for Walt Disney World. Dude had ten kids!!! The second of WDW’s Liberty Square Riverboats was named for Irvine in 1973. That vessel was renamed The Liberty Belle in 1996. In 1999, Irvine’s name was transferred over to one of the Seven Seas Lagoon Ferryboats (it had previously been named Magic Kingdom II ). Pictures of Irvine in print and online are hard to come by, but you can see his face pretty well in the first link scan below.
Richard F. Irvine Links:
scan of Richard F. Irvine article from Eyes & Ears 2 April, 1976 (cover) (also: Bob Matheison, WDW Community Service Awards, Red Skelton, Monsanto, America On Parade)
scan of Richard F. Irvine article from Eyes & Ears 2 April, 1976 (page two) (also: President Ford, Larry Kreitner, Walt Disney World Band, Venezuela, Merci Tacon, World Showcase)
LAKE BUENA VISTA – “Host Community” to Walt Disney World and originally the physical location of the WDW Preview Center (1970), Lake Buena Vista Townhouses (1972), original WDW “Motor Inn” hotels (Dutch Inn, Travelodge, Howard Johnson’s and Royal Inn, all 1973), Walt Disney World Shopping Village (1975), Lake Buena Vista itself (formerly Black Lake) plus the manmade Buena Vista Lagoon adjoining the Shopping Village. In the 1970s LBV was part of WDW’s development that tied in heavily with Walt Disney Productions’ plans for EPCOT the city and, by 1981, was linked the EPCOT Center principle that WDW itself was EPCOT by virtue of having two communities ( LBV with its townhouses and Bay Lake with its trailer park) already in existence. That principle itself was deemed lame by almost everyone who heard it, and probably also by most who spoke it*, and in any event Michael Eisner would not have abided it in view of the fact that LBV as a guest area was ripe for more retail and dining development once the Eisner/Wells management team took over the company in 1984. A couple years later, LBV began to undergo its first major expansion with Pleasure Island (1988) and has been growing continually since that time with the Shopping Village area renamed Downtown Disney and, as of 2015, again renamed to Disney Springs.
* the early 1980s decision to refer to all of WDW as EPCOT was at that time the company’s antidote to the fact that they were not, in fact, going to be a living city of the future with actual residents as originally foretold by Walt Disney in his 1966 EPCOT film. The promise of EPCOT as a city was key to Walt Disney Productions securing 1967 legislation in Florida that granted them the power to self-govern in many significant respects via the formation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. So the EPCOT Center principle was developed as a response to those who, by the 1980s, could not help but question the abandonment of Walt Disney’s city and, in the case of some Central Florida civic leaders, also question the need for WDW to retain its governmental powers.
MAGIC CARPET ‘ROUND THE WORLD – CircleVision 360 film that played in WDW’s Tomorrowland from 1974 to 1975 and again from 1979 to 1984. In 1974 it replaced America the Beatiful, which was the park’s original CircleVision film. America the Beautiful returned for the nation’s bicentennial in late 1975 and ran until 1979, when Magic Carpet ‘Round The World again replaced it. Magic Carpet ‘Round The World was replaced by American Journeys in 1984. The 21-minute film took guests through Europe, Africa, India and other locations before ending in the United States.
Pooh’s Place – A Disney character merchandise shop located in the Walt Disney World Shopping Village (now part of Downtown Disney) from approximately 1978 to 1984. It was a reconfiguration of the Village’s original (1975) Candy Factory shop. A sculpted Winnie-the-Pooh figure was positioned over the entrance, “hanging” from a balloon. Inside the store, a second Pooh figure also hung from a balloon that traversed the room diagonally above shoppers’ heads, suspended from a cable. Hundred Acre Wood trees lined the walls amidst merchandise displays. Owl’s house sat atop one, and Owl waved out from his window. The door to Piglet’s house was at the base of another tree. The store sold Pooh toys and stuffed animals, but also carried non-Pooh Disney items.
Randotti – Makers of the coolest product lines ever sold at Disneyland and Walt Disney World between the 1950s and 1980s, specializing in plaster skulls, plaques, necklaces and other fantasy / creepy items. Based in Anaheim, California, the company name was a combination of Randy and Dotti Smith, the company’s owners. Many of their products glowed in the dark (and still do for those who are fortunate enough to own one).
Sweet Bay Swamp Nature Walk Links:
WED Enterprises (1953 – present) – Subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company created by Walt Disney to design and build Disneyland. Originally formed as Walt Disney Inc. as a separate entity, it was owned by the Disney family until its 1982 sale to Walt Disney Productions. Based in Glendale, California, WED is where about half the cool things that have happened on Earth over the past 60 years got started. Sometimes referred to as Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI), it remains the point of conception for the majority of Disney’s theme park rides, shows, restaurants and shops for locations around the world. Satellite WED locations have existed on and off, officially and unofficially, at WDW since 1971.
WorldKey Information Service (1982 – c. 1997) – Digital touch-screen service at EPCOT Center that provided park guests with information at kiosks located throughout Future World and World Showcase. This was the first encounter many people had with interactive video discs and the then-nascent touch-sensitive screen technology. It was hosted by a cute little cube of light named “Bit.” Guests could learn more about the park’s attractions and restaurants via text descriptions and photos accompanied by theme music pertinent to each subject. Real-life hosts and hostesses were also available to converse via camera, assisting with specific questions and dinner reservations. If you asked an onscreen cast member for help singing Listen To The Land, however, they would most likely redirect you to EPCOT Outreach.
WorldKey Information Service Links:
scan of WorldKey article from Eyes & Ears 21 April, 1983 (cover) (also: Ray Watson)
scan of WorldKey article from Eyes & Ears 21 April, 1983 (page two) (also: Ray Watson, Leslie Fortes, Epcot Outreach, Earth Station, Bob Allen, Jim Cora, Tokyo Disneyland)