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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Rest in Peace, Jack Lindquist

Jack Lindquist, whose long career at The Walt Disney Company began in 1955, has passed away at age 91.

Mr. Lindquist had been an advertising manager for Kelvinator, which made refrigerators. As an early sponsor of DISNEYLAND, they had provided employees with tours of the construction site and tickets to opening day, events that had been attended by Mr. Lindquist. Two months after the opening of the park, Mr. Lindquist received a call from DISNEYLAND asking for recommendations for possible advertising managers. Seizing the moment, Jack recommended himself and soon found himself working at the Magic Kingdom.

Jack's first priority was to come up with ways to get guests into the park. Walt Disney sought to spend most of his operating budget on in-park upgrades and attractions, which left the advertising department with very little money. Mr. Lindquist and his team had to be extremely creative to get attention. One way they did this was to piggyback onto sponsor advertising. The sponsors paid for the ads, took advantage of their sponsorship deal with the park and the park got what were essentially free advertisements.

Mr. Lindquist also created special events that became legendary, such as Grad Nite, Dixieland at Disneyland and the separately ticketed New Years Eve party. He revolutionized theme park promotions with the Disneyland Tencennial celebration- the very first time that DISNEYLAND or anyone would celebrate an anniversary year in such a way. The success of this promotion led to the tradition of celebrating park anniversaries that continues to this day.

Among Mr. Lindquist's other successful promotions were Disney Dollars and bringing in water from around the world to pour into the flume of it's a small world at its opening ceremonies. His contributions to Disney Theme Parks and other amusement businesses are undeniable and continue to be enjoyed by millions of people every year. There are currently two tributes to him in DISNEYLAND. In Mickey's Toontown, whose construction and operation he oversaw, is a funny looking pumpkin by Goofy's House that resembles him:

There is also a more formal tribute above the Candy Palace- a window on Main Street: