The Walt Disney Company Remembers Dave Smith

Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith passed away in Burbank, California, on February 15, 2019. He was 78. Dave dedicated his four-decade career at The Walt Disney Company to preserving Disney’s precious treasures from film, television, theme parks, and beyond. Named a Disney Legend in 2007, Dave was beloved by fans around the world for his wide knowledge of the Company’s rich history, which he shared in books and through his popular magazine column “Ask Dave.”

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“I’m deeply saddened to learn of Dave Smith’s passing,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “He was the unsung hero of Disney’s history who, as our first archivist, spent 40 years rescuing countless documents and artifacts from obscurity, investing endless hours restoring and preserving these priceless pieces of our legacy, and putting them in context to tell our story. Dave was a true Disney Legend, and we are indebted to him for building such an enduring, tangible connection to our past that continues to inspire our future.”

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Dave was hired in 1970 by Walt’s brother—and The Walt Disney Company co-founder—Roy O. Disney, and his first responsibility was cataloguing every item inside Walt’s office suite, which had been left untouched after Walt’s passing four years prior. Thanks to Dave’s meticulously detailed notes and records, the Archives was able to restore the suite in 2015, and today Disney employees are able to visit and draw inspiration from this remarkable space. During his time as Disney’s Chief Archivist, Dave grew the Archives from a simple one-person department to a model among corpo­rate archives. He was regarded by fans and historians as the final authority on matters of Disney history, and was an active member of the Society of California Archivists. He served from 1980 to 2001 as Executive Director of the Manuscript Society, an international association of collectors, dealers, librarians, archivists, and others interested in manuscript material.

Born and raised in Pasadena, California, the child of librarians and educators, Dave earned a B.A. in history and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Before coming to Disney, he gained library and archives experience working in the Manuscript Department of the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, interning at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and serving on the staff of the Research Library at U.C.L.A.

Dave wrote extensively about Disney history, with regular columns in Disney fan publications and websites, as well as authoring, co-authoring, and editing numerous articles and books on Disney history, including the official Disney encyclopedia Disney A to Z, Disney: The First 100 Years, The Quotable Walt Disney, Disney Trivia from the Vault, and The Ultimate Disney Trivia Books 1, 2, 3, and 4.

In October 2007, Dave was honored with the prestigious Disney Legend Award. A resident of Burbank, California, Dave retired in 2010 after his 40th anniversary with The Walt Disney Company and continued working for the next nine years as a consultant for the Company, with the title of Chief Archivist Emeritus.

The Walt Disney Company’s condolences and thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.

VIDEO: NEW ‘Descendants 3’ Trailer

Check out the “Descendants 3” trailer and see Mal (Dove Cameron), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Boyce), Jay (Booboo Stewart), Uma (China Anne McClain) (and a couple of new faces) as the baddest villain kids, back for a third time!

“Descendants 3” will debut on Disney Channel this summer!

#FaveFive – Our Favorite Disney Happenings This Week

Welcome to our #FaveFive where we bring you our top 5 favorite Disney happenings this week!

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1. Full menus for the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival are here!


2. Welcome back World of Color! We missed you!

3. Toy Story 4 ice-cream?!?!

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4. Zombies 2 Is A Go!

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5. Have you seen the most watched animated trailer of all time?

See you next week!

#ICYMI: The DisWorld’s News Round-up for February 11- February 15, 2019

This week, booths and menus are released for the 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, World of Color gets a return date at the Disneyland Resort, and a teaser trailer is released for Frozen 2 and becomes the most watched animated trailer of all time. Take a look!

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Disney Minnie Van Airport Transportation Service Expands Hours and Increases Price

Celebrate Villaintine’s Day With Special Disney Villain Merchandise

Disney Channel’s ‘Kim Possible’ Stars Visit Walt Disney World Resort

Ralph and Vanellope Meet and Greet at Epcot Moving This Week

Booths and Menus Released for 2019 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

Tower of Terror to Operate at Reduced Capacity During Refurbishment

Kevin from Disney•Pixar’s ‘Up!’ Now Greeting Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Check Out the Tiramisu Shake at Vivoli il Gelato at Disney Springs

Stuffed French Toast Cupcake Returns to Sprinkles

Frontera Cocina at Disney Springs Has A New Happy Hour

Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival Returns to Raglan Road at Disney Springs March 15-17

Ron Jon Surf Shop Coming Soon to Disney Springs

Dates Announced and Tickets On Sale For 10th Annual Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic

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Southern California Choirs 10th Anniversary of ‘Celebrate Gospel’ at the Disneyland Resort

World of Color Returning to Disney California Adventure Park This Month

Stuffed French Toast Cupcake Returns to Sprinkles


The Walt Disney Company Remembers Ron Miller

Innovations from DisneyResearch|Studios Receive Academy’s Sci-Tech Award

Disney Tops Most “Intimate” Brands Survey

New ‘Toy Story 4’ Ice Cream Flavors Coming Soon

Emperor Palpatine Actor and More Announced For Star Wars Celebration Chicago

New Character Posters & Sneak Peek Released for Disney’s ‘Dumbo’

New Teaser Trailer and Poster for ‘Frozen 2’

‘Oscars All Access: Red Carpet Live’ to Stream Exclusively on Twitter

New Season of ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Kicks Off With a Star-Studded Premiere Week

Disney Channel Greenlights ‘Zombies 2’ With Returning Stars

Four Marvel Animated Shows Coming to Hulu

Digital Release of ‘The Little Mermaid’ 30th Anniversary Edition Now Available

Digital Release of ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Now Available

VIDEO: New Trailer for Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Airs During Grammy’s

VIDEO: Exclusive Sneak Peek of ‘Toy Story 4’ on Good Morning America

VIDEO: Frozen 2 Official Teaser Trailer

VIDEO: First Look at Hades from ‘Descendants 3’

Disney Tops Most “Intimate” Brands Survey

Disney has been named the most “intimate” brand among consumers in MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2019 Study, moving up four spots from 2018. The annual study is a comprehensive ranking of brands based on emotion.

The survey was designed primarily to gain insights into consumer relationships with almost 400 brands. Disney’s associations with nostalgia, and the strong bonds it builds with both men and women across a variety of age groups, propelled it to the top of this year’s list. Disney especially resonated with users in younger demographics, and the study found millennials and users aged 35–54 were more intimate with media and entertainment brands.

“We know that customers who form strong emotional bonds with brands are willing to pay more and are less willing to live without them. Insights from our annual ranking of brands are providing lessons and new strategies for business leaders and marketers,” Mario Natarelli, managing partner, MBLM, said in a press release, adding, “Our demand for escapism and our collective need for a distraction from reality is factoring heavily in the brands that rose in 2019.”

MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2019 Study analyzed the responses of 6,200 consumers across 15 industries. The full list is available at

Earlier this year, The Walt Disney Company was named among the “World’s Most Admired Companies,” ranking No. 4 on Fortune’s annual survey of corporate reputation. Disney also  recently earned high marks on Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Employers for 2018, placing fourth, and topped Forbes’ list of the World’s Best Regarded Companies for 2018.

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