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Marty Sklar, Walt Disney’s legendary creative director

Is taking risks worth risking failure? “The only people who don’t fail are the people who aren’t doing anything. Those who make the giant leaps in business are the ones willing to try something new. Disneyland, which opened in 1955, was probably the biggest risk anybody had ever taken in the entertainment business. In the 1950s, amusement parks were a dying industry. When Walt told his wife what he was planning to do, even she said, ‘Why would you want to do that? Those places are so dirty, and the people in them are so nasty.’ And Walt said, ‘Well, mine’s not going to be that way.’ He made that promise come true.”

After 50-plus years of turning dreams into reality at Disney, Marty Sklar works as a consultant in the themed-entertainment industry. His memoir, Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms, is being published this month.


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