Interview: Orlando Ferrante (Coordinating Disney parks and classic attractions)

Walt Disney Imagineer of 40 years, Orlando Ferrante
Walt Disney Imagineer of 40 years, Orlando Ferrante

Orlando Ferrante started working at Disneyland in 1962, and for the next 40 years continued in the planning of Disneyland projects, as well as Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and the Disney Cruise Line. (See photos and audio index below)

Orlando Ferrante football card from his days with the San Diego Chargers
Orlando Ferrante football card from his days with the San Diego Chargers
Four Disney Legends, all of whom have been interviewed for Mouse Clubhouse. Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, Harriet Burns, Orlando Ferrante
Four Disney Legends, all of whom have been interviewed for Mouse Clubhouse. Bob Gurr, Blaine Gibson, Harriet Burns, Orlando Ferrante
Orlando Ferrante's window on Main Street in Disneyland
Orlando Ferrante’s window on Main Street in Disneyland
Orlando Ferrante's window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Orlando Ferrante’s window on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

AUDIO INDEX

1:33 Orlando met Ron Miller and Dick Nunis; He became a professional football player for the San Diego Chargers; Ron helped get him a job at WED (now known as Walt Disney Imagineering); Orlando was the 50th person hired by Walt Disney Imagineering

3:03 Working on Disney’s shows for the New York World’s Fair, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, his first project; Mapo was developed, the building for Imagineering’s animation; Attending the World’s Fair and visiting attractions with the public; Bringing the World’s Fair shows back to Disneyland

8:06 What his work as coordinator entailed; PICO, Project Installation Coordinating Office for Disneyland and Walt Disney World; Project engineers; During EPCOT Center creation, they changed to a project management system

11:26 What Imagineering was like while Walt Disney was alive; All levels of employees were treated great; About WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering); About Admiral Joe Fowler; Quality was most important with Walt, more than cost; Transporting pirates on the freeway for “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” television series;

17:17 More about working at Imagineering and the coordinating process; Coordinating from the start of design through installation: Orlando some of his fellow Imagineers and the model shop, which was like the hub of Imagineering

21:05 The grand opening of Walt Disney World and other Disney parks; Worked on EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland at the same time; Working on the production end of the show, working with operations and maintenance; Show/ride elements of Walt Disney Imagineering; Lived in Paris for 2 ½ years and then worked on Tokyo DisneySeas

26:49 Working on the Disney Cruise Line, helping with coordination on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder ships in Italy; Working on a Wedway system for the Houston airport

30:29 Retiring in 2002 and becoming an official Disney Legends Award recipient; Orlando was originally offered a job working at the Celebrity Sports Center in Denver that Walt Disney bought with a number of Hollywood celebrities; A picnic at Disneyland months before its opening; Grand opening of EPCOT Center

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