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  • A few words of praise ...

    Don't know how many of you know that former Disney CEO Card Walker passed away at age 89 yesterday. Heck, I don't know how many of you even know who he was.

    But as one of the oldtimers, Walker was instrumental in guiding the company after the passing of the Disney Bros and growing it as a business. He understood what the Disney Legacy meant, and was a leading force behind the creation of EPCOT Center, Tokyo Disneyland and the Disney Channel to name just a few 'small' things!

    I, personally, just remember how he tossed aside worries about the late 70s energy crisis and recession to build the billion-dollar wonder that was EPCOT Center. His pride at groundbreaking in 1979 and on a beautiful Opening Day three years later. At the time, EC was the largest private construction project on the planet and Disney was a relatively tiny company when compared to the media behemoth it is today.

    And, despite what now seems like a no-brainer, TDL wasn't something that was, before opening, thought to become the overnight sensation that it was.

    He had the guts to do things that most execs, then and now, wouldn't.

    He wasn't Walt or Roy ... or Michael or Frank ...

    Like a lot of great men and women at Disney, it's easy to forget guys like Card.

    No one should.

  • #2
    Re: A few words of praise ...

    He was a bit of an enigma... while on one hand, he did take risks like Epcot, he was also instrumental in the big rut that the rest of the company was in during the 70s and early 80s. He may have had the guts in the theme park industry, but definately not in the film side of things. Of course, it was a really difficult time for everybody. I just wish that if he did one thing differently, it would've been to take risks in the movies as well. So, I applaud for the theme park accomplishments.
    -Tim

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    • #3
      Re: A few words of praise ...

      He doesn't get enough credit, but frankly he opened EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland, he pushed through POTC for WDW, and kept the whole company afloat after Roy died suddenly. I like Card, and it's sad he is gone.

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      • #4
        Re: A few words of praise ...

        Originally posted by FrumiousBoojum
        He was a bit of an enigma... while on one hand, he did take risks like Epcot, he was also instrumental in the big rut that the rest of the company was in during the 70s and early 80s. He may have had the guts in the theme park industry, but definately not in the film side of things.
        He did get Disney Channel off the ground, though, although in the days when it was a subscription service (remember the PBS-style subscription drive Free Days periods showing up on your cable service?) I'm not sure how successful it was. He followed the lead of everyone else at the time that cable appeared, which was to assume that cable TV would make the movie theater extinct.

        That said, he did balance the numbers at the theme parks pretty well, expanding Florida while keeping things reasonably fresh at DL. Unfortunately, so much of the company was tied up in the studio that putting all the eggs in the other baskets weakened the whole enchilada and the company was on the verge of takeover/breakup (much worse than Comcast) when he resigned.

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        • #5
          Re: A few words of praise ...

          I am saddened to learn of Card's passing... To me, he represented the era when WDW *was* WDW. Disney fans who knew him and his work will sorely miss him. Truly a Disney Legend.
          RIP.

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          • #6
            Re: A few words of praise ...

            Originally posted by MickeyMania
            He did get Disney Channel off the ground, though, although in the days when it was a subscription service (remember the PBS-style subscription drive Free Days periods showing up on your cable service?) I'm not sure how successful it was. He followed the lead of everyone else at the time that cable appeared, which was to assume that cable TV would make the movie theater extinct.
            Well, it was successful enough to stay a pay service into the mid-90s, and even at that point, it was still offered as a strictly pay-service in half the outlets for a long time.

            And the Disney Channel was much better as a pay service... I really miss hear, "Hi! I'm Nancy, an operator here at the Disney Channel..."
            -Tim

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            • #7
              Re: A few words of praise ...

              Rip

              Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...


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              • #8
                Re: A few words of praise ...

                Originally posted by TDLFAN
                I am saddened to learn of Card's passing... To me, he represented the era when WDW *was* WDW. Disney fans who knew him and his work will sorely miss him. Truly a Disney Legend.
                RIP.
                Exactly ... I always think what if ... like what if he hadn't have been in charge and so demanding? What if he didn't give a damn about the Disney Legacy (like so many at the company today)? What if he didn't pour the $$$ into EPCOT Center (we know no one else would likely have taken that kind of gamble ... the Disney behemoth of 2005 hates to spend a billion dollars, yet he did in the early 80s) ... What if he didn't see the possibilities of expanding to Japan?

                And let's not forget he was a true gentleman. Love him, hate him or in between (like me), but no one will ever say that about Michael Eisner.

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