Remembering Milt Albright

Milt Albright, who was born and raised some 70 miles from Walt’s own Marceline Missouri and whose dream was to work for Disney, passed away on April 7, 2014.

In 1937, Milt Albright saw a Time magazine cover story on his hero, Walt Disney, from their home state. He knew then and there that he wanted to join the organization of fellow Missourian Walt Disney, and he achieved his goal 10 years later when he was hired at the Walt Disney Studios as a junior accountant. Working in the Payroll Department, Milt was entrusted with the job of preparing and delivering the paychecks for top Disney executives—something that brought him into direct contact with Walt. “I would write Walt’s check and take it up there once a week,” Milt reminisced. “Walt was a country boy, he really was, and we’d get to talking a little bit about Missouri. Even when he was busy, he would take a few minutes to talk to a young fellow.”

In 1953, in an attempt to gain some attention from Walt and transfer to his new “amusement park” in Anaheim, Milt, an automobile buff, designed a miniature car for the Autopia, then in the planning stages as an attraction for Disneyland. When he saw that Milt had created a car as a calling card, Walt said, “Well, anybody that crazy belongs at Disneyland!” So, he hired Milt in the spring of 1954 as manager of accounting for Disneyland.

Some of Milt’s notable roles at the Disneyland Resort include manager of Holidayland, a private party and picnic area, founder of the Magic Kingdom Club and concept developer for Grad Nites. After a stint in Marketing, he was promoted to manager of Guest Communications, a position he held until retiring.

Milt shared the following quote before he retired on July 17, 1992:

“I had the enormous good fortune to be hired by the finest entertainment company in the world. I believed it then, and I believe it still…

…Based on a lifetime with Disney, I would say with great conviction to any young person that you’ll never find a better place to start. Tough out the lean early years, learn Disney teamwork and don’t be afraid to innovate… to come up with new ideas. I’ve had 45 years of challenge and some success in Marketing because I took a chance and built an Autopia prototype car for Walt.”