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Disney Legend Ron Logan has passed at age 84

by Susan and Simon Veness

Ron Logan began his career with The Walt Disney Company as a trumpet player on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland Resort, transitioned to music director for Walt Disney World, and held several key roles on his way to becoming Executive Vice President, Executive Producer, Walt Disney Entertainment. Ron passed on August 30, 2022, at the age of 84.

Disney Legend Ron Logan
Ron Logan

Known for his humor and ability to dream up creative solutions for live-production staging problems, Ron was officially named a Disney Legend in 2007 and given the ultimate honor of having a window named for him along Disneyland Park’s Main Street U.S.A.

From 1958-1965, Ron began working his way up the Disney ladder as a professional trumpet player, singer, and conductor at Disneyland park, before becoming a Walt Disney Entertainment consultant in 1960.

From 1978-2001 he held various roles within the company, including Executive Vice President, Executive Producer; Sr. Vice President, Executive Producer; Vice President, Creative Show Development, Walt Disney Attractions; Vice President Entertainment, Walt Disney World Resort; Director, Entertainment, Disneyland Resort; and Music Director, Walt Disney World Resort.

His responsibilities included creating, casting, and producing The Walt Disney Company’s live entertainment at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris Resort, The Disney Institute, Disney Cruise Line, and more properties across the globe.

Among a litany of notable productions Ron was instrumental in creating were the Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World’s former parade, “Tapestry of Nations,” the nighttime spectacular, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” and Broadway’s live stage play, “Beauty and the Beast.”


Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Narrated by Disney Legend Ron Logan

During an interview we did with Ron in 2014 he shed light on how he sold the idea of a live Broadway production of the beloved movie to Michael Eisner.  “I saw parts of the movie, which wasn’t out yet,” Ron said, “and I saw rough sketches, and wrote a memo to Michael Eisner saying we should take the show to Broadway. He felt it wasn’t quite our thing, but he called me and said, ‘What about this Beauty and the Beast idea? What do we do about the characters? What about the music? What do we do that’s magical?’

“He was vacationing in Aspen and asked me to come and make a presentation. I was scheduled to arrive during the last two hours of the last day of his trip, so I thought ‘I’m doomed.’ Jim Steinmeyer, a brilliant illusion master with Walt Disney Imagineering, worked with me to create some special illusions; we had a floating rose, and we decided to make Chip, with a child from Aspen inside, using a trick so that his feet wouldn’t show. Curtains were set up in the room, the lights were dimmed, and when the curtain opened Chip said, ‘Hi Michael! I’m Chip, and I want to go to Broadway!’ Afterwards, Michael Eisner said ‘How did you do that?’ I just smiled and said, ‘It’s magic.’”

Beauty and the Beast
Photo by Steven Diaz

The story of the beauty who tames the heart of a beast would become a major stage show in Disney parks around the world, and on Disney Cruise Line ships.

Ron retired from The Walt Disney Company in 2001, after 43 years with the company, but his passion for entertainment never waned. In 2003 he became an associate professor at the University of Central Florida’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando, as an expert in Theme Park Media and Live Entertainment.

Ron’s prestigious window on Main Street U.S.A. in Disneyland reads:
“Main Street Music Co.
Ron Logan
Conductor
Leading the Band into a New Century.”

Summing up the 2014 interview, he mused about his love for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth,” saying, “I’m so inspired by the music to IllumiNations, it’s the music I want played at my funeral.”

Ron’s unique hand in the productions he helped bring to life continues be felt across the Disney parks worldwide.

Read Attractions Magazine’s 2013 interview with Ron here.

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