Former executive vice president, executive producer for Walt Disney Entertainment, and Disney Legend Ron Logan died on Tuesday, August 30, in Orlando, Florida. He was 84 years old.
During his time with The Walt Disney Company, Logan “ushered in a new era of live entertainment,” per D23.com.
He was instrumental in the development of Disney Parks productions like Fantasmic!, the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, and The Festival of the Lion King.
Logan drew some of his inspiration directly from the visionary himself, Walt Disney. The D23 website chronicles Logan’s interactions with the man who started it all:
Ron had the opportunity to meet Walt Disney three times when he was a college-age trumpet player at Disneyland and even performed as part of the Disney-produced pageantry for the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California.
One of Ron’s fondest early Disney memories includes being a fanfare trumpeter for the Candlelight Processional at Disneyland. In 1968, Ron remembers a technical issue where all the sound and lighting were cut off during the show. Narrator Henry Fonda didn’t skip a beat, but pulled out a pen light from his coat pocket and continued narrating with his robust, unamplified, voice until the electricity returned.
That was a defining moment for Ron, showing him that the show must go on, even when elements beyond the performers’ control aren’t going according to plan.
D23.com also tells the story of Ron Logan’s contributions in bringing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to dazzling life as a live production:
Building on the success of live theme park stage shows, Ron and his team pitched the idea of a “Beauty and the Beast” Broadway show to leadership, and the same team that produced the Beauty and the Beast stage show at Disneyland helped to create the Broadway version. They even partnered with the film’s screenwriter, Linda Woolverton, and songwriters (and fellow Disney Legends) Tim Rice and Alan Menken, who added to and adapted the classic songs written for the film by Menken and Disney Legend Howard Ashman. This led to the establishment of Walt Disney Theatrical Productions, where Ron served as president for the early years of Disney on Broadway.
Ron Logan’s legacy and contributions are honored with his very own window on Main Street, U.S.A., high above the Emporium at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. His window reads, “Main Street Music Co.—Ron Logan—Conductor —Leading the Band into a New Century,” fitting for someone who got his start as a trumpet player at Disneyland.
Our condolences to the family and friends of Ron Logan on this sad day. We are forever grateful for his contributions to our Disney Parks experience.