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.
Marty, it has been so great to watch your progress with Walt Disney Productions and Imagineering. I remember seeing you at the studio and at Disneyland during the 1950’s. At the time I thought that Marty is going to go a long way with the Walt Disney Company. Many years later I was so pleased when you wrote a little note to Bud Hurlbut about looking forward to seeing him at the THEA Awards a few years ago. He couldn’t pronounce your name, but he knew that the note was important and that is the only reason Bud attended the event that year as he wasn’t going to go, and he had such a good time. I always enjoy hearing you speak as it seems like it is coming from Walt himself. You will always be a part of Disneyland and the Walt Disney Company.
Welcome to the blog Mr. Jon!
This was such a great video to watch. I loved hearing the live version of “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” as well!
I got to hear Marty speak and meet Marty last year at the Pacific Northwest Mouse Meet in Seattle. He is such an amazing person and myself and everyone else in the audience were captivated by his stories!! He is a true Disney Legend!!