Sklar helped oversee the development of virtually every modern Disney park from the construction of Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris to expansion parks in the United States like Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, as well as Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim.

“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement.

“He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year,” Chapek said. “We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”

From the Disney Parks blog:

Born in New Brunswick, N.J., on February 6, 1934, Marty was a student at UCLA and editor of its Daily Bruin newspaper when he was recruited to create The Disneyland News for Walt’s new theme park in 1955. After graduating in 1956, he joined Disney full-time, and would go on to serve as Walt’s right-hand man—scripting speeches, marketing materials, and a film showcasing Walt’s vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot. During this period, he also joined WED Enterprises, the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he would later become the creative leader of Imagineering, leading the development of Disney theme parks and attractions for the next three decades. He retired as Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador on July 17, 2009, Disneyland’s 54th birthday. Disney marked the occasion by paying tribute to Marty with the highest Parks and Resorts recognition, dedicating a window in his name on Disneyland’s City Hall.


Disney obviously wouldn’t be the same without Sklar and we here at Paleofuture are pouring out a Mickey Mouse sippy cup on the curb for the Disney legend. RIP Marty Sklar. Thanks for your optimistic visions of tomorrow, something that seems harder and harder to conjure in the upside down world of 2017.