It is nearly time for the biennial D23 Exposition in Anaheim, California; a time for Disney fans from around the globe to gather at the Disney sponsored event to celebrate the parks, movies and merchandise as well as learn about upcoming releases and surprise announcements from the House of Mouse. One of the highlights of the three day event is the Disney Legends award ceremony, taking place this year on Friday, August 14 at 10 am PST.
The Disney Legend Award, first given in 1987,is presented to individuals who have made an impact on the Disney company with their talents, whether artistic, leadership, or acting. Each recipient, or their estates, receive a bronze plaque and a hand crafted bronze statue, as seen above. Each living Legend has his or her hand prints and signature placed on the plaque, which is on display in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Disney Studios in Burbank, California. Legends are nominated in one of twelve categories: administration, animation, attractions, consumer products, family, film, Imagineering, music, parks and resorts, publishing, television, & voice.
According to the official Disney Legends website: “The Disney Legends award has three distinct elements that characterize the contributions made by each talented recipient.
The Spiral … stands for imagination, the power of an idea.
The Hand … holds the gifts of skill, discipline and craftsmanship.
The Wand and the Star … represent magic: the spark that is ignited when imagination and skill combine to create a new dream.”
There are eight honorees in the Disney Legends class of 2015. In this post, the remaining four of the eight will be highlighted, looking at their careers, both Disney and outside the Mouse House. Alphabetically speaking, we start with:
George Lucas – Film
Once Disney announced the acquisition of LucasFilms in 2012, it was just a matter of time until the creator and director of the Star Wars films would be named a Disney Legend. However, the honor was earned well before 2012. Lucas first partnered with Disney in 1986 for the 3D spectacular Captain EO. Following this came 1987’s Star Tours, an intergalactic ride simulator in the Star Wars universe. Lucas was also involved in the creation of Disneyland’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction, also based on his film properties. His movies have also inspired attractions in parks across the globe, to solidify his selection as a Disney Legend.
Susan Lucci – Television
Best known as Erica Kane on All My Children, an ABC soap staple for 41 years, Lucci has earned a Daytime Emmy award and 21 total nominations, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Outside the world of soap opera, Lucci has also appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and on the ABC Studios produced Devious Maids, airing on Lifetime.
Julie Reihm Casaletto – Parks and Resorts
Reihm Casaletto began her Disney career as a Disneyland Tour Guide, before being named the first Disney Ambassador in 1965. This was a position created to represent Walt Disney at all the functions he was invited to but unable to attend. As an “Emissary of Goodwill”, Reihm Casaletto’s role as ambassador became the template that future ambassadors would follow while serving in the same position. As Disney Ambassador, Reihm Casaletto appeared on the Wonderful World of Color: Disneyland 10th Anniversary (called Miss Disneyland Tencenninial).
Carson Van Osten – Consumer Products
Van Osten spent three decades with Disney, helping to create the first licensing style guides for Disney characters, bringing a uniformity to promotional lines. As well, he helped to oversee movie tie-ins. His resume also the Mickey Mouse 50th and 60th birthdays. He also designed the Mickey Mouse Water Tower at Disney Hollywood Studio, and the Mickey Mouse logo in the clock tower of the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Paris.
There it is, the 2015 class of Disney Legends. I congratulate all recipients for being honored this year. I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments. You may contact me directly on Twitter @, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…