More than 50 years after the fact, Harrison "Buzz" Price '42 still remembers vividly his first meeting, in July 1953, with Walt Disney. From the start, the man behind the mouse was very specific about his vision for a new type of family attraction. "It sounded strange, unlike anything you would expect in an amusement park," recalls Price of the early Disneyland meetings. Disney described a Main Street USA entrance that would usher visitors to four themed meccas: Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and the World of Tomorrow.
Although the animation icon knew what he wanted in Disneyland, he also wanted advice. Where should he build his theme park? How large should it be?
An architect friend referred him to the Stanford Research Institute, a nonprofit adjunct to the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. It happened that Price, who was working there as a research economist after earning his Stanford MBA, was plucked to conduct the pivotal location and feasibility studies for Disneyland. That trial-by-fire would mark the start of his 50-year career as a top consultant in the attractions business.