Important Dates with Marty Sklar

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="239" caption="Marty Sklar"]Marty Sklar[/caption]

The very important dates in Disney's history:
July 17, 1955 - Walt Disney realized his "dream come true" with the dedication of Disneyland.
October 1, 1971 and October 1, 1982 - these dates marked the official opening days for the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom and for Epcot.
July 17, 2009 - Disney's 54th birthday, also Marty Sklar's 53rd year as a Disney cast member, also marks the day Marty turning in his badge - his retirement.

Who is Marty Sklar?
Marty is the last of a generation of creative minds who have worked with the founder - Walt Disney. He worked with Walt so closely he became known as the Sorcerer's Apprentice. (The relationship kind of reminded me of Elijah and Elisha in the bible stories.) "Their relationship has guided Sklar during the last three decades as he headed the creative development of Disney's theme parks and led the company's ventures in the cruise business, interactive TV, housing development and the redesign of Times Square in New York. Sklar's imprint is on hundreds of attractions, from Space Mountain to the new Flik's Fun Fair opening next month at the California Adventure theme park." [1]

"There are two ways to look at a blank piece of paper," says Sklar, wearing a blue denim shirt with "Walt Disney Imagineering" monogrammed in red letters. "One way is to see it as the most frightening thing in the world because there is nothing on it, and you have to make the first mark. The other way is to see the blank sheet as the greatest opportunity in the world.... You can let your imagination fly in any direction." [1]

"He's one of those very rare people who is not interested in getting credit for anything and loves to see other people get credit for what they do," says Disney Vice Chairman Roy Disney, Walt's nephew. Yet "he has creatively influenced everything we've ever done." [1]

The other important dates in my life:
July 7, 2008 - the date that marked my first day as a cast member of Disney at Parks & Resorts Online. So many has asked me the question:" What's that?" I answered, it's where the tickets are sold. But I have the opportunity to work in Advanced Projects which is like "Imagineering Online" as a visual designer and creative art intern whose responsibility was to support creative leads in visualizing their visions of an online park attraction. More importantly I had the opportunity to work with imagineers/ creative leads who has worked in Imagineering for over 10 years, one of whom was actually hired by Marty Sklar himself.

June 22, 2009 - Marty Sklar came to WDPRO to talk about his life. Reading about this Disney legend is one thing, while meeting him in person is another. Just a week ago, I actually handed him a caricature of himself as a gift for inspiring so many of us during the Imaginations graduation luncheon. A couple of days later I received a hand written thank you note from Marty Sklar himself!! What a man who took the time to show his appreciation to me, an intern, also a graduate of Imaginations 2008.

"Walt created a revolution. Marty was there and caught the spirit of it and has carried it on ever since," says Buzz Price, founder of the theme park consulting firm Economics Research Associates. [1] I wish I could belong to the generation who could work directly with Disney and Marty and be methored by them.

Anyway after the event, I went up to Marty to shake his hand, and secretly wished he would autographed my book of Imagineering. And he did with gladness. Here are the pictures. By the way, he also asked for my autograph too on the poster where his caricature appeared. Wow!!

[caption id="attachment_756" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Marty Sklar"]Marty Sklar[/caption]

[1] http://forums.wdwmagic.com/showthread.php?t=14976

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