“I’m not subtle.”
On November 1st, Disneyland bestowed its highest honor on Disney Legend/Imagineer Tony Baxter–a window on Main St., USA.
Baxter has enjoyed a long and illustrious career with Walt Disney Imagineering since the age of 17, and maintains active in mentoring the current crop of Imagineers despite stepping down his involvement with the Disney company earlier this year (Thanks for the Memories, Tony Baxter!)
The dedication took place on Main St., in front of the Magic Shop, prior to park opening. Disneyland Resort President Michael Colglazier, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Tom Staggs, and Chief Creative Executive of Walt Disney Imagineering Bruce Vaughn took turns celebrating the many contributions Baxter has made to the company in general and Disneyland in specific.
Finally the window was unveiled with the help of Mickey Mouse and a gust of confetti.
After the unveiling, Baxter said a few words about his gratitude towards all the people who mentored him in the past, the satisfaction he’s taken in mentoring others in turn, and his appreciation of the honor the window represents.
As is customary, Baxter was also given a replica of the window to keep.
The large audience of well-wishers included not only regular park guests, but a cavalcade of fellow Imagineers and Disney Legends. Some of the notables in the photos below include: Tony Anselmo, Jeff Kurtii, Marty Sklar, Jack Lindquist, Leonard Maltin, Howard Green, Stacia Martin, Bob Gurr, Eddie Sotto, and Stacia Martin.
Afterwords, Baxter took some time for questions, and had this to say about the sort of projects he’s currently developing:
While the ceremony was certainly respectful and the honors it came with well-deserved, the one striking thing about it was its somewhat matter-of-fact nature. The tributes were gracious, but compared to the rowdy pirates present at Alice Davis’ window dedication or the Carousel of Progress couple at the Sherman Brother’s, seemed similar to what you might hear at a corporate gathering, rather than the Main Street of the Happiest Place on Earth. I’m not sure whether this might have been Baxter’s expressed preference, but one was left thinking it might have been a little lacking in showmanship–something certainly never said about the rest of Tony Baxter’s career.
Congratulations Tony Baxter!