Year Inducted: 2005
“Shoot! If another guy from Missouri can do it, I need to get with this outfit!” As a 21-year-old Missouri native, Milt Albright saw a Time magazine cover story on his hero from their home state in December 1937. 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!” Walt drove the car, and although he was not impressed with the design, he was impressed with its designer. So, he hired Milt in the spring of 1954 as manager of accounting for Disneyland. “I got to come down here because they wanted somebody they could trust,” Milt chuckles, “Didn’t have to be very smart—just honest.”
In 1957, Milt became the manager of Holidayland, a private party and picnic area designed for group events. After the demise of Holidayland in 1961, Milt transferred to Group Sales, where he was a founder of the Magic Kingdom Club. In 1961, Milt also developed the concept for Grad Nite, which remained successful for decades after. In the late 1970s, Milt became manager of special projects, marketing. He was later promoted to manager of guest communications, a position he held at his retirement in 1992.