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Disney Legend and Walt Disney Imagineering “Ambassador” Marty Sklar the only Disney cast member to participate in the opening of all 12 of the company’s Parks around the world received another major award on November 1, 2016: The Diane Disney Miller Lifetime Achievement Award presented by The Walt Disney Family Museum of San Francisco.
Daughter of Walt Disney, Diane Miller was the visionary and driving force behind the creation of the Museum. Already the recipient of the second Lifetime Achievement Award ever presented from TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), Sklar is also one of only six Disney employees (including Walt Disney himself), inducted into the Hall of Fame of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions).
For 30 years beginning in 1974, Mr. Sklar was the creative leader of Walt Disney Imagineering, the design and engineering division responsible for creating the Disney Parks and Resorts around the world. Sklar served at Vice-president, President and Vice Chairman and Principal Creative Executive during the design and construction of nine of the twelve Disney Parks.
Since his retirement in 2009, Marty has been a major speaker at conferences, conventions, corporate programs and Disney fan events across the country. He has written two books about his career and Disney philosophy – Dream It! Do It! My Half Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering. He has presented and signed his books for audiences of as many as 700 (Chicago Museum of Science & Industry).
Marty Sklar began his Disney career at Disneyland in June, 1955 – one month before Disneyland opened. He was originally hired to create The Disneyland News, a tabloid newspaper sold on Main Street during Disneyland’s first summer. Two weeks after he started, at age 21, Marty had to present the newspaper concept to Walt Disney himself. Walt liked it – and that was the beginning of a career at Disney that lasted 54 years.
Walt also liked Marty’s writing style, and in subsequent years, Marty wrote Walt Disney’s messages in the company’s Annual Reports, the presentation Walt and Roy O. Disney made in 1965 in Orlando, Florida announcing Walt Disney World, a 25-minute film about Walt’s concept for the community he called Epcot, Walt’s narration for the Ford Motor Company attraction at the New York World’s Fair (1964) and numerous presentations to major industry for sponsorship in the Disney Parks.
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