On April 1, Kevin Rafferty – one of the most prolific members of Walt Disney Imagineering – pumped the brakes on his daily trek, as well as his heralded Disney career, leaving behind a legacy that few, if any, will ever match.
April 21, 1998, dawned warm and sunny in central Florida … perfect weather for the dedication of a new park on Walt Disney World property. I was fortunate to be in attendance as Disney's Animal Kingdom – proudly dubbed “a new species of theme park” – swung open its gates for thousands of invited members of the press [the park officially opened to the general public on April 22, which is Earth Day].
Underwhelming. That's what I thought after our first visit to the Disney/MGM Studios in August of 1989. Where it took several days to see and do most of the attractions at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, it took just a few hours to take in the limited number of adventures in the park, which was based on Hollywood, and specifically, movie and television production.