Walt Disney World’s first permanent employee passes away at age 83

Walt Disney World's first permanent employee passes away at age 83


Phil Smith, a man who began working for Walt Disney World even before it was called Walt Disney World has passed away from complications with kidney disease and COPD at the age of 83.

As the story goes, Walt Disney was in the midst of purchasing a huge plot of land in Florida for his latest project, and Phil had no clue he was assisting in what would be the creation of the biggest tourist destinations in the world.  One of Phil’s biggest accomplishments was the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, an entity in which Disney has control over its own planning, building codes and emergency services.

Walt Disney World president George Kalogridis said in a statement that “Phil played a significant role in the development of Walt Disney World and his contributions will long be remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Phil retired from the company in the early 1990s as Disney World’s senior vice president of administration and support.

via Orlando Sentinel



Clint Gamache started Thrillgeek back in 2013 to share his love of theme parks, pop culture and other geeky stuff with the world. He can be found on Twitter @iamcgeed