As Walt Disney Imagineering celebrates 60 years of storytelling, creativity and innovation, I can’t help but think about the extraordinary contributions of Marty Sklar. He began his Disney career in Public Relations, one month before Disneyland park opened. Marty created the Disneyland News and went on to write most of the marketing materials for Disneyland as well as the annual report and personal correspondences for Walt Disney.
In 1961, Marty moved to WED Enterprises, renamed Walt Disney Imagineering in 1986. For more than 30 years, Marty was the creative leader of Imagineering and was one of the key people responsible for the development of Disney Parks around the world. He guided the design of EPCOT Center, now known simply as Epcot, at Walt Disney World Resort. He also supervised the Imagineering teams in the creative development and design of Tokyo Disneyland, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Paris, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney California Adventure park, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney Studios park in Paris and most recently, Hong Kong Disneyland.
Jim Cora, the former chairman of Disneyland International, called Marty the “keeper of the keys, the conscience, the Jiminy Cricket for the organization.” Marty learned the “Disney way” from Walt himself and mentored many cast members in those traditions.
After 54 years with the company, Marty retired on July 17, 2009, the 54th anniversary of Disneyland park. He received his window on Main Street, U.S.A., that same day. Located at City Hall, Marty’s window is a tribute to his inspirational leadership, design instincts and creative philosophies. Etched on his window is the Latin phrase, “Id Somniate. ld Facite” which means “Dream It. Do It.” and is intended to inspire the dreamers and doers of the future.
Marty has also been honored with windows on Main Street in Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort.