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Realityland's David Koenig

Random Disneyland and Walt Disney World tidbits too time-sensitive or inconsequential to cram into a formal article.

  1. Club 55 Loses Ray VanDeWarker

    Ray VanDeWarker, the second to the last “Club 55er” to retire from Disneyland, passed away last night at the age of 79.

    He retired in 1996; Ray’s best friend from high school, Bob Penfield, who was hired by Disneyland into Operations at the same time, days before the park opened, became the last of the originals to retire a year later.

    Ray was foreman of the Indian War Canoes in 1963, when he and Penfield dreamed up the idea of the first cast member canoe race. Ray ...

    Updated 04-25-2016 at 07:31 AM by David Koenig

    Featured , USAT
  2. Club 55: The Final 15

    I just learned that longtime Disneyland Operations and Merchandise manager Jack Taylor passed away in April at the age of 87.

    A native of Carl Junction, Mo., Jack started on Opening Day on the pre-Storybook canal boats. He was promoted to foreman of the Jungle Cruise in 1956, moved to Holidayland two years later, and would eventually work most every area of the park.

    Jack’s favorite memory was of rigging a Jungle boat with fluorescent lights and taking Walt out on a ...
    Featured , USAT