Disney Legend, Ron Dominguez passed away on January 1, 2021, leaving a legacy unmatched to anyone else. I wanted to share a little bit of his story here and how you can still see The Dominguez Family’s mark on Disneyland.
The Dominguez Family owned 10 acres of land that was purchased by Walt Disney to build Disneyland. In fact, their house was situated right in the area where the entrances to Pirates of the Caribbean and Cafe Orleans are today! Talk about being an original Citizen of Disneyland. Ron began working for Disneyland when the park first opened back in 1955 as a ticket taker. Within a year he was the temporary supervisor of Main Street U.S.A, and within the next few years went on to supervise Frontierland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. In 1962, he was named general supervisor of the west side of the park.
He continued working his way up the ladder in Disneyland. He was named director of operations in 1970. In 1974 he became vice president of Disneyland and chairman of the park operating committee. He wasn’t done there! In 1990, he was named as the executive vice president of Walt Disney Attractions, West Coast, before finally retiring in 1994.
What a career huh? Now I want to point out where you can still see tributes to Ron and his family today. If you look to the right of Jungle Cruise you can see a towering Canary Island palm tree. This tree was part of the Dominguez property and was planted in 1896 as a wedding gift to Ron’s grandparents. Walt Disney spared the tree, building the Jungle Cruise boathouse around it. On your next trip to Disneyland, head to Adventureland and look between Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones, and you’ll see this piece of history!
Ron Dominguez was also honored with a window on Main Street U.S.A. If you look up at the second story of Market House, you’ll see Orange Grove Property MGT, Ron Dominguez, Owner. This is a tribute to the Dominguez property which of course was Orange Groves.
Ron was honored as a Disney Legend in 2000. The next time you’re in Disneyland, take a moment and visit his window and palm tree. Take a stroll over to where the Dominguez house was. Put yourself in the shoes of Mr. Disneyland, Ron Dominguez.