Charles Ridgway served as press agent for “Walt Disney’s Mouse Houses” for 40 years. He was charged with arranging media events for celebrities, ambassadors, heads of state and U.S. presidents, and even ducks at the various Disney parks – Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and the Disney properties in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He was named a Disney Legend in 1999.
Charlie began his career as a journalist, working for newspapers in the Midwest and California after serving in World War II. He covered Disneyland’s opening in 1955 and moved somewhat reluctantly into the public relations position there in 1963. It was a decision he never regretted.
Spinning Disney’s World is a collection of Charlie’s insider tales: How he arranged for 50 Peking ducklings to march in Donald Duck’s 50th birthday celebration; how he loosened up a group of stuffy ambassadors; and how he made the parks known worldwide without spending a cent on advertising.
He says the best part of the experience was meeting thousands of fellow journalists from around the world, entertaining them and guiding them around the Disney parks. He was instrumental in arranging events such as Disneyland’s yearlong 50th anniversary, various celebratory parades, and the opening of various Disney properties worldwide. Charlie worked at Disneyland for seven years before moving on to Walt Disney World.