Interview: Ron Logan (His journey to head of Disney entertainment)

Ron Logan at the Disney Legends ceremony
Ron Logan at the Disney Legends ceremony

From trumpet playing in the 1958 Christmas parade at Disneyland, Ron Logan climbed the ladder to become the executive vice president, executive producer of Walt Disney Entertainment, responsible for all the live entertainment in the entire company.

(Audio index and more photos below)

Ron Logan, Betty Taylor and Dennis Despie at the final performance of the Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland
Ron Logan, Betty Taylor and Dennis Despie at the final performance of the Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland
Ron Logan's windows on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Ron Logan’s windows on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World
Ron Logan's fresh handprints in cement after receiving his Disney Legends award
Ron Logan’s fresh handprints in cement after receiving his Disney Legends award

AUDIO INDEX
1:40 Started with Disney in 10th grade in a band headed by Les Brown, Jr.; In 1958, Ron was in the toy soldier band in the Disneyland Christmas parade; Was in the 1960 Squaw Valley Olympics playing trumpet; About Disney’s participation in the Olympics; Ron became the leader of the fanfare group for the Olympics and he stayed as a consultant for Disney for 18 years, wrote scripts, worked on half time shows, put bands together for parades and New Year’s Eve and more

6:45 About the Disneyland entertainment department when it was headed by Tommy Walker who was the son of Vesey Walker who headed the Disneyland Band; The start of the Disneyland Band; About Tommy Walker; There were no rules at the time; The entertainment industry was a bawdy industry but brought into a family atmosphere;

10:10 Shows and parades back when Ron started; The entertainment was very professional; Entertainers were not even allowed to wear glasses, rings, watches, and jewelry; Ron demanded top quality entertainment; Ron did not like band members wearing sunglasses, but the union stepped in; Ron demanded quality in the entertainment

12:56 Meeting Walt Disney three times, Walt was very friendly to people and interested in people; A story about Roy Disney when the band decided to “have some fun”; Ron worked for talent booker Sonny Anderson, putting bands for together for various parades and events and was responsible for them

15:58 Ron went from music up the ladder to executive vice president of Walt Disney Entertainment Worldwide; His responsibilities as music director; What being the director of entertainment for Disneyland entailed

19:55 About Disneyland director of entertainment, Bob Jani; Bob discovering Ron during a rehearsal of a fanfare group led to Ron becoming music director in Walt Disney World

22:50 His role as executive vice president of Walt Disney Entertainment Worldwide, responsible for all entertainment in The Walt Disney Company; The day Ron Logan inherited the Mighty Ducks as part of the job; Inherited the Angels the same way; Also responsible for Asia, South America, Europe; The opening of Epcot; Bob Jani did a lot of planning for the grand opening of Epcot, but then Ron inherited that to make sure everything ran properly; Bob came up with the concepts

32:12 Disney was so unique there really wasn’t competition; Bob Jani made Dennis Despie the vice president of entertainment for Disneyland, and Ron was made the director; When Dennis left, Ron took over the job; Becoming Disneyland director of entertainment; Creative side vs. operational side; Training in Japan for Tokyo Disneyland; Big challenges for Euro Disneyland

43:32 Ron’s favorite projects

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