Disneyland's first president coming to OCHS

Did you ever want to know what made Disneyland tick over the past 56 years? I'll bet the first president of Disneyland, Jack Lindquist, could tell you. Disney Legend Lindquist will be the speaker and guest of honor at the Oct. 13th meeting of the Orange County Historical Society. He will speak, take questions from the audience, and sell and sign his memoir, In Service to the Mouse, with book proceeds benefiting OCHS. The program will begin at 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. The program is open to the public, free, and will include light refreshments.

In 1955, while working for an advertising firm for one of Disneyland’s corporate sponsors, Jack got the chance to visit the park before it opened to the public. He immediately fell in love with the place.

One month later, Walt Disney hired Jack as Disneyland's first advertising manager, where he promoted some of the most creative marketing efforts ever, including E-tickets, Date Nite, the Magic Kingdom Club, Disney Dollars, Disneyland’s “Tencennial” celebration, massive prize giveaways, and even cornfields shaped like Mickey Mouse.
“Jack wrote the ‘bible’ for the amusement industry,” said Disney Imagineering Vice-President Marty Sklar. “He bet his job on some of the wildest ideas ever, [and] now they’re all textbook classics.”

Over his 38 years with the Disney Company, Jack worked his way up the ladder, becoming vice president of marketing for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, vice president of marketing for Walt Disney Attractions, executive vice president of marketing and entertainment, and more.

In 1990, Jack was named president of Disneyland, a position he never anticipated but which he calls "the best job in the world!"

As president, he continued to take risks -- some successful, and some less so -- but always with his characteristic humor and joie de vivre. He was known for an affable and relatively hands-off management style – the success of which might have surprised Walt Disney himself.
We’ll leave it to Jack to tell you what his years as president were like when he speaks on Thursday of next week. He says he'll be covering a lot of ground, including "the historical perspectives regarding Disneyland” as well as interesting background on “Anaheim, the County of Orange, ...major league sports in Orange County,” and more.

Jack Lindquist retired in 1993 and remains one of the most fondly remembered executives in the park’s history. In recent years he has worked as a consultant on various projects and worked on his memoirs. And yes, he still lives in Orange County.

Hope we'll see you on the 13th! Wear your mouse ears if you got 'em!

(My apologies for swiping a few good lines from the inside flap of Jack's book.)