The year was 1953. Walt said, ‘Hi Herbie. I’m over here at the studio. I wonder if you could come over here. Just come the way you are, I’ll be out front waiting for you.’ I was curious, and flattered that he picked up the phone and called me. I had no idea what he wanted.
He met me out front and out front and shook my hand saying, ‘Hi Herbie, we’re in the Zorro building.’ So we went in, and I asked what this was all about. He said, ‘My brother Roy has to go to New York on Monday morning. He’s got to talk to some bankers there. You know bankers don’t have any imagination, none at all. You have to show them what you are going to do. Roy has to show them what this place is going to look like.’ And I said, ‘Well, I’d like to see what this place is going to look like, too. Where have you got all this stuff?’ I though maybe it was in the other room. Walt said, ‘You’re going to do it.’ I said, ‘No I’m not.’ There was a brief pause. Walt paced back and forth- we were alone in the room. He went over to the corner and he turned his head around with his back to me and said, ‘Will you do it if I stay here with you?’
‘Yes, I’ll do it if you stay here.’
-Herbert Ryman, Imagineer and Disney Legend. Inducted in 1990. About the weekend in September, 1953 where he drew the first ever bird’s-eye view sketches of the soon to be Disneyland.
Walt Disney Imagineering: a Behind-the-Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real
Imagine creating the dream that existed only in Walt’s mind. Putting that vision together. Creating the dream that we get to experience. The dream that keeps you reading this blog and many others. Thanks, Herb.
4 thoughts on “Daily Figment 02 Herb Ryman and Creating Disneyland”
If you really want to learn about the enigma that is Walt, and not just from the people who admired him so much, check out Neal Gabler’s biography. Walt was not just a genius. He was also a very tough task-master.
I am about 250 pages into it. It is a great read. I highly recommend it.
Plus, I am 250 pages into it and they are still talking about Snow White.
Thanks Dave, this is why we do this…to bring good ideas to the table and SPUR discussion.
It’s never easy to be the one to have to pry a vision out of someone else’s head. But I couldn’t imagine being the one who has to bring to life a vision from someone who would later be viewed as a genius