In celebration of 50 years of Disneyland magic, The Walt Disney Co. inducted the 2005 "class" of Disney Legends for their roles in creating the company's treasure trove of entertainment, particularly their part in creating "The Happiest Place on Earth." Tuesdays 10:00 am ceremony was presented in the Main Street Opera House at Disneyland. Following the awards presentation, the honorees participated in a hand-print ceremony.
Honored during the ceremony at the Disneyland Resort were famed Hollywood star Steve Martin and legendary broadcaster Art Linkletter. As a teenager growing up in Orange County, California, Martin spent time working at the Magic Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. where he honed his talents for magic, juggling and creating balloon animals. Linkletter was one of the three hosts of the live nationwide telecast of the Disneyland grand opening festivities on July 17, 1955 (along with future U.S. President Ronald Reagan and actor Bob Cummings).
The 2005 Disney Legends Ceremony marked the first time that the prestigious presentation has been showcased at Disneyland. It also signified the first time that an hourly Disney theme park "Cast Member" has been given the award (longtime Disneyland Cast Member Chuck Abbott). The honor was also bestowed upon Milt Albright, who in 1954 became the very first "Cast Member" on the Disneyland payroll. The other new inductees represent such Disneyland disciplines as attractions, entertainment, public relations, community service, custodial, administration, the Disneyland Marching Band, Imagineering, hotels, food and merchandise.
The Disney Legends program was established in 1987 to acknowledge and honor the many individuals whose imagination and talents have made a significant impact on the Disney legacy. The Legends are chosen by a selection committee comprised of longtime Disney execs, historians and authorities. The awards are presented annually.
The Walt Disney Co. is a diversified, international family entertainment and media enterprise including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, The Walt Disney Studios, ABC Inc., ESPN, Disney Channel, Disney Consumer Products, television and radio stations and Internet websites.