Interview: Connie Swanson Lane (The 1966 Disneyland Ambassador to the World)

1966 Disneyland Ambassador to the World, Connie Swanson Lane
1966 Disneyland Ambassador to the World, Connie Swanson Lane

Connie Swanson Lane worked at Disneyland in the 1960s as a tour guide, VIP hostess, and she was the 1966 Disneyland Ambassador to the World. As Ambassador, Connie traveled both locally and abroad, bringing brought the joy of Disneyland around the world. She was involved in many historic Disneyland events, such as the grand openings of New Orleans Square, “it’s a small world,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Connie’s Disneyland career was filled with numerous unforgettable experiences such as in 1969, leading her tour to Tomorrowland, to view the live broadcast of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, and during her Ambassador year, getting the chance to work with Walt Disney.

AUDIO INDEX

0:00 Special introduction with audio of Walt Disney, Connie as Ambassador in 1966, and some thoughts of Connie by Disney Legend Jack Lindquist

2:59 Her start at Disneyland; Don Novis of the Golden Horseshoe Revue; Becoming a tour guide and working in Guest Relations

6:38 Connie saving a young boy who fell in the Rivers of America; The tour guide hat

8:40 Connie’s love of the international Guests of Disneyland; a memory of Walt Disney

10:35 Early Disneyland – Disneyland attire in the early days; Robert Shore

12:10 Cast member functions including Drama Club

13:00 Learning about and trying out for the Disneyland Ambassador program; The Disneyland tencennial Ambassador ceremony; Her path to becoming Ambassador in 1966

17:24 Learning about becoming Ambassador; Her Ambassador year; Getting an Ambassador makeover – getting her hair cut at the studio; Jack Lindquist; working with Frank Forsythe of the Disneyland Ambassador program

22:14 Connie’s year as Disneyland Ambassador to the World; Traveling internationally and much of the US; Representing Disneyland, Walt Disney, and all of Walt Disney Productions

25:11 Working with and reporting to Walt Disney; A photo session of Walt; Walt’s advice on how to treat Disney park Guests

28:15 The grand opening of “it’s a small world” in Disneyland – participating from Sweden

30:23 Hospital visits as Disneyland Ambassador; Polio sanitarium in Columbia

32:25 Walt Disney’s death

33:40 After Connie’s Ambassador year

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