Ron Logan, former executive vice president and executive producer for Walt Disney Entertainment and an official Disney Legend, died in Orlando on Tuesday, Walt Disney Co. has confirmed. He was 84.
Logan was known for enhancing entertainment within Disney theme parks. Under his leadership, the company developed attractions such as “Fantasmic!” and “Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “Festival of the Lion King” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and “IllumiNations,” Epcot’s former nighttime spectacular.
His last role of his 23-year Disney stint was executive vice president for Walt Disney Entertainment. His responsibilities included creating, casting, and producing live entertainment products for Walt Disney Co., including Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Institute, Disneyland in California, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris.
His first Disney job was as a trumpet player at Disneyland.
A native of Kansas and a graduate of UCLA, Logan became Disney World’s music director in 1978. He went to Disneyland as director of entertainment in 1980, and returned to Walt Disney World Resort as vice president of entertainment two years later.
He also served as president of Walt Disney Theatrical Productions in its early years.
He retired from the company in 2001, at which point he received an honorary window above Main Street USA at Magic Kingdom. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007. In 2003, he joined the faculty of the Rosen College of Hospitality at the University of Central Florida as associate professor.
Logan wrote “Walt Disney Entertainment — A Retrospective Look,”, which documented the evolution of Walt Disney Entertainment from 1955 through 2000.
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Logan’s theme-park shows were popular and began to be viewed as attractions in their own right, the Orlando Sentinel wrote when Logan retired. Previously executives had considered that entertainment to be mere distractions from standing in lines; the new productions appealed to Disney executives because they could be easily moved and could be less expensive to produce than audio-animatronic attractions.
“We became a strategic asset to the company,” Logan told the Sentinel.
Among the other Disney World projects with Logan connections were the 25th anniversary parade at Magic Kingdom, the “Tapestry of Nations” parade at Epcot, the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” show at Disney-MGM Studios and “Tarzan Rocks” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
His Main Street window is for the Main Street Music Co. and reads “Ron Logan, Leading the Band into a New Century.”
“[Imagineer] Marty Sklar did that for me when I retired from Disney,” Logan said, according to D23, the official fan club of Walt Disney Co. “My grandkids will see it, and it will be there unless somebody breaks it. I’m really proud of that.”
He is survived by his wife, Carol, daughters Michelle Haney and Sheryl Logan, son-in-law Michael Stewart and six grandchildren.