“The summer of 1959 was a very special one for me,” Randy Bright recalled in 1987. “As a college undergraduate, I had enlisted in the Navy—the Disneyland Navy—and was scheduled for active duty aboard the sailing ship Columbia, the newest vessel to ply Frontierland’s Rivers of America.” Randy subsequently worked on nearly every attraction in the Park, even roaming Tomorrowland as Disneyland’s costumed spaceman.
Born in Long Beach, California in 1938, Randy attended California State University, Fullerton, earning a B.A. in political science. It was at this time that Randy met his wife, Pat, then a Disneyland tour guide, while both were working in the Park. In 1965, Randy moved into a full-time position with Disneyland’s Disney University, where he specialized in publications and audio-visual presentations.
In 1968, Marty Sklar brought Randy to Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) as a staff writer, working on shows for Disneyland and the then-in-development Walt Disney World. From 1973 to 1976, he was manager of Employee Communications at the Florida Disney University, after which he returned to California to lead the WDI Communications department.
As manager of concepts and communications, he also produced marketing films for the EPCOT project, then in the conceptual stage. Beginning in 1979, Randy served as director of scripts and show development, where he functioned as executive producer of film projects for Epcot Center, Tokyo Disneyland, and other Disney Theme Park projects.
In addition, he served as writer and show producer for The American Adventure in World Showcase at Epcot.
In 1983, he was promoted to vice president, concept development, responsible for overseeing the development of all major shows and attractions for Disney Parks. In 1987, Randy was again promoted, to executive producer, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Theme Parks.
For nearly two years, Randy researched, developed, and wrote the 1987 book, Disneyland: The Inside Story, an Imagineer’s-eye view of the first Disney Park. Randy also served as coordinating producer on The Disneyland Story, an hour-long special for the Disney Channel.
On May 29, 1990, Randy Bright was tragically struck and killed in a bicycling accident near his Yorba Linda, California, home.