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Walt Disney World

December 1, 2005 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Card Walker, a mailroom employee who rose to become the first chief executive at the Walt Disney Co. who wasn't a member of the Disney family, leading the company from 1971 to 1983, has died. He was 89. Walker, who oversaw the development of Walt Disney World, died of congestive heart failure Monday at his home in La Canada Flintridge, the company announced. During his tenure, Walker brokered the deal for the company's first international theme park: Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 1983.
July 17, 2005 | Kimi Yoshino and Dave McKibben, Times Staff Writers
To build his dream theme park in Anaheim a half-century ago, Walt Disney borrowed against his life insurance policy and cashed in property, including a vacation home in Palm Springs, to pay the $17-million construction bill. When the Anaheim theme park opened July 17, 1955 -- with cranky Southern Californians fanning themselves on a sweltering hot day -- toilets clogged, the food ran out and women's high heels sank into wet asphalt. Disney officials still call it Black Sunday.
July 14, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
Disney World in Orlando reopened a thrill ride that was closed when a 16-year-old British girl almost died of cardiac arrest after riding it. Disney invited an official from the state Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection to monitor an inspection of the "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror," which the park does not typically do, in an effort to calm any public anxiety. Leanne Deacon of Kibworth, England, remained in critical condition after suffering cardiac arrest minutes after exiting the attraction.
June 15, 2005 | From Associated Press
A 4-year-old boy died after a spin on a Walt Disney World spaceship ride so intense that seven riders have been taken to the hospital since the ride opened in 2003. Daudi Bamuwamye lost consciousness Monday aboard "Mission: Space," which spins riders in a giant centrifuge that subjects them to twice the normal force of gravity. The boy's mother carried him off the ride, and paramedics and a theme park worker tried to revive him. He died at a hospital. An autopsy Tuesday showed no trauma.
May 1, 2005 | Richard Verrier, Times Staff Writer
Walt Disney Co. these days has more than one mouse on its mind. As it ramps up a worldwide celebration this week marking the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, the Burbank company knows it can no longer rely solely on Mickey and his friends to lure sophisticated young consumers into the Magic Kingdom. Increasingly aware that children today are "born with a mouse in their hands," as one expert puts it, Disney scientists and designers are working overtime to appeal to the Internet generation.
February 20, 2005 | James Gilden, Special to The Times
Loading the family into the SUV and trundling off to Disneyland for the day on the spur of a moment is so, well, Frontierland. Before even setting foot on Main Street U.S.A., the savvy Tomorrowland family who wants to make the most of its day will visit one of the numerous Disney park fan websites to help them plan the trip. With a one-day, one-park ticket price of $43 for kids 3 to 9 and $53 for we kids older than 10, a day at the Happiest Place on Earth can make you cry over your budget.
November 26, 2004 | From Associated Press
Walt Disney World's security guards have overwhelmingly rejected a new three-year labor contract, ignoring a recommendation from their union leaders. Members of the Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America Local 603 voted down the agreement, 296 to 26, late Wednesday. More than 1,000 Disney guards are represented by the union. Negotiations are to resume next week. "It's just a matter of us going back to the table," Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said of the vote.
November 13, 2004 | From Associated Press
Union officials representing 40% of Walt Disney World's 52,000-person workforce asked a federal mediator to help them reach a contract with the company after a third proposal was rejected by members, who also authorized a strike, if necessary. The mediator planned to meet Monday in Orlando with Disney executives and leaders of the unions. The unions' members Thursday rejected the contract proposal by a vote of 3,686 to 2,827.
November 5, 2004 | From Associated Press
After months of negotiations, Walt Disney World and leaders of its largest union group agreed to a tentative contract that could avert a strike at the theme park resort. Most leaders of the Service Trades Council, a six-union coalition that represents 40% of the company's 53,000-person workforce, will recommend that its members approve the three-year contract Nov. 11.
October 2, 2004 | From Associated Press
The union representing almost half of Walt Disney World's 53,000-person workforce voted to reject a contract proposal. Officials of the Service Trades Council Union oppose the elimination of some overtime provisions, a significant increase in the cost of health insurance and a proposal to eliminate a pension plan for new hires, offering them a 401(k) plan instead. The current contract, originally scheduled to expire May 1, has been extended until Oct. 22.
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