When Walt visited the Park, he always created quite a stir behind the scenes. As soon as he drove through the back gate, the offices were abuzz. Phones would ring “Walt’s in the Park! “, “Who’s he talking to?” “Where is he now??” To us, he was like a Greek god, a towering figure of creativity, irascible and fierce in his pursuit of excellence, and a fount of originality.
So when late one Friday afternoon I was abruptly assigned to be his go-fer for the press opening of the Enchanted Tiki Room I almost fainted with excitement. I was to follow him and Mrs. Disney around the Park, at the ready to run an errand, find him a phone (no cell phones then), or deliver a message.
Most of the employees had seen a preview of the Enchanted Tiki Room and already knew how exciting this new attraction was. This was the first demonstration of “audio-animatronics” which enabled inanimate objects to speak, to sing, and to move about. It was magical.
Read More »The Park: Disneyland, Anaheim, 1963