Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who's Who Wednesday: Marty Sklar: Retired, And Still Working

What do you call a Disney Cast Member (aka "employee") who has participated in the opening of all 11 Disney Theme Parks around the world?

Marty Sklar.

Sklar began his association with Walt Disney in 1955. He was recruited while still a student at UCLA to create an 1890s-themed newspaper, The Disneyland News, as part of the promotion for the upcoming opening of Disney's first park, Disneyland.

A young Marty Sklar, seated center, poses for a "team photo" with other members of the Disneyland opening team in 1955. SiLive

Here's an abbreviated Sklar resume:

  • 1956: After graduating from UCLA, Sklar worked full time for Disneyland doing park publicity and marketing.
  • 1961: Sklar joined WED Enterprises, renamed Walt Disney Imagineering in 1986, where he helped develop the shows and pavilions for the 1964-1965 New York World's fair. These included:
    • Ford's Magic Skyway
    • Carousel Theater of Progress (now updated as "Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress" in WDW)
    • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (now in Disneyland), and
    • it's a small world (sing the song!)
it's a small world at the New York World's Fair
  • 1974: Appointed VP, Concepts/Planning, which included creative guidance and development of EPCOT (now Epcot center, WDW), Walt's original dream site to overcome problems facing urban development.
    Two Disney Legends: Marty Sklar & John Hench
    Planning EPCOT

  • 1979: Sklar became Vice President of Creative Development, then Executive VP in 1982.
  • 1987: Sklar served as President and Vice Chairman until 1996
  • 1997: Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI)

Sklar retired on July 17, 2009, but continues to work as International Ambassador for Walt Disney Imagineering.

In honor of his achievements, on the date of his retirement (which coincided with the 1955 opening date of Disneyland), Sklar was awarded his own window in Disneyland.

 Marty Sklar's Main Street Disneyland window.

And here's a recent photo of Marty:

Marty Sklar, Imagineer, "retired"

I guess when you are doing what you love, continuing to work after retiring is just too much fun!

For all you've done to help create Disney Magic around the world,

Thank You, Marty Sklar!

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