Disney Legend Ron Dominguez has passed away at the age of 85. Dominguez was a “native Disneylander” who was also known as Mr. Disneyland. This was because his family owned and lived on some of the land that was purchased to build Disneyland on.
“Our house was located right about where the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean and Cafe Orleans are today,” Dominguez shared. “The day we moved out, in August of 1954, we were walking in ditches and holes. Things were popping up around us because construction had to move ahead. They built Disneyland in a year.”
Ron Dominguez was born on August 10, 1935. He eventually attended Anaheim High School and then the University of Arizona where he studied business administration. On July 13, 1955 he started a job as a ticket-taker at Disneyland. His old home wasn’t far away and had been moved behind Min Street, USA to be used as administrative offices.
What started out as a temporary summer job though became much more for Dominguez. Within a year, Dominguez knew how to operate every attraction in the park. He also had become the temporary supervisor for Main Street, USA. By 1957, Dominguez was the assistant supervisor of Frontierland. He went on to supervise both Adventureland and Tomorrowland before becoming the supervisor for Tomorrowland in 1962. Later in that year, he became the general supervisor of the west side of Disneyland before being promoted to its manager.
1970 found Ron Dominguez being appointed the director of operations for Disneyland. In 1974, he was named vice president of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee. Finally, in 1990 he was named the executive vice president, Walt Disney Attraction, West Coast. Four years later, Ron Dominguez retired from The Walt Disney Company after a 39-year career. He was 59 years old when he retired.
In 2000, Ron Dominguez was made a Disney legend and given a window on Main Street, USA at Disneyland. Throughout his career, Ron Dominguez fostered a strong relationship with the City of Anaheim. He also devoted many hours to local organizations. His efforts helped lead to the development of a second park at the Disneyland Resort, Disney California Adventure.
The news of Ron Dominguez’s death came from former Imagineer Mark Eades on the Disneyland Alumni Club Facebook page. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ron Dominguez’s family and friends during this difficult time.