Studio Artists Playing Ride Designers
In the photo below, Disney Legend Ken Anderson and artist Ralph Hulett are working on the design for Peter Pan’s Flight, highlighting two themes that run throughout the building of Disneyland.
First, is the decision – or some may say the realization – by Walt Disney to have talented artists from the Disney Studio come over to design and build his amusement park. Ken Anderson was a layout artist on the Peter Pan movie. He was among the very first employees Walt pulled from the studio in 1951 and put on his personal payroll (since WED had not been formed yet). In addition to Peter Pan’s Flight, Ken oversaw all of the Fantasyland dark ride interiors. Ralph Hulett was also pulled from the studio and worked on the Peter Pan movie as a background artist.
The other theme is the incredible pace of Disneyland’s construction. Peter Pan’s Flight went through various iterations and concepts before the final design was settled upon in May of 1955. That gave Ken Anderson and others just two months to paint and fabricate all of the interiors for the ride.
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