Harrison "Buzz" Price, the research economist who recommended Anaheim to Walt Disney as the location for Disneyland, passed away Sunday, August 15, at the age of 89.
"Despite his failing health, he continued to demonstrate his trademark humor, cutting edge wit and enduring love for family and friends," his son David Price said on behalf of his mother, Anne Shaw Price, and the Price family. "His legacy of laughter, wit, love, passion and commitment leaves its mark on each of us--family, friends and colleagues in the leisure and recreation industry he loved."
"From the time of his first involvement with Dad in selecting the site for Disneyland, Buzz was involved in nearly everything our family did," recalled Walt's daughter, Diane Disney Miller. "Dad's unexpected death left two major projects incomplete... barely begun, actually," Diane said. "But they were projects especially dear to Walt's heart. Uncle Roy (Roy O. Disney, Walt's brother and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company), led the family in continuing support of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and in the Walt Disney World project in Florida. Buzz was involved in both, but CalArts in particular.
“Before he entered the hospital,” Diane reminisced, “Dad had placed a stack of notebooks in Buzz’s hands, saying, ‘Here, take care of my school for me!’ Dad knew the hands to place his dream in, that Buzz would see it through … and he did.”
“Few people have created the opportunities for learning and training young talent in the arts as Buzz Price did,” stated Marty Sklar, President of Ryman Arts and retired Vice-Chairman of Walt Disney Imagineering. “Whether we are film, theatre or theme park fans, we should all thank our lucky stars that Walt Disney had a ‘numbers man’ who loved music, art and poetry.”
To honor Harrison “Buzz” Price’s contributions to Southern California’s culture and community, the Price family suggests contributions to any of “three projects Buzz loved”: the Music Scholarship program at CalArts, where he was a Director Emeritus; the Los Angeles Master Chorale, where Buzz was a founding board member and former President; and Ryman Arts, a program for talented high school artists, where Buzz and Anne Price were founders and board members of the foundation named in honor of their friend, artist Herbert Ryman, who drew the first overall depiction of Disneyland for Walt Disney.
From L to R: Robert Brown [WED architect and Sharon Disney's husband], Buzz Price, Ron Miller [Studio executive and Diane Disney's husband], Willy Schaeffler [Olympic ski coach and Olympic ski course designer], Walt Disney, and John Kelsey [Architect].