Ed Moriarty, one of the first cast members hired for Walt Disney World who rose through the ranks to become a vice president of the resort, died on December 28th, 2018. He was 77 years old.
Moriarty was hired by Disney in 1967 to prepare for the resort’s opening. He drove the creation of The Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village, known today as Disney Springs. Sir Edward’s Haberdashery, a suit and men’s clothing store at the village, was named in his honor. Ahead of his time, Moriarty believed that Walt Disney World needed things for adults as well as children. Not long after his departure from Disney, Pleasure Island opened in 1989.
Moriarty eventually became a vice president of operations at the resort, overseeing day-to-day operations of all resort properties. He departed The Walt Disney Company in 1987, after two decades of service. At the time, he told the Orlando Sentinel, “Have you ever done anything for 20 years? Sometimes you just get tired of it. I love Disney — it has been terrific to be associated with the company — but I’m going to take it easy and spend time with my family.”
In 1996, Moriarty joined the board of directors at another Florida staple, Ron Jon Surf Shop. He was named company president in 1997, and stayed in the position until 2008.
He is survived by his wife, Jan, and his children, Michael and Megan, and their respective families.
In a statement, Walt Disney World President George Kalogridis said, “Ed Moriarty was a respected and gracious leader with a Disney career that goes back before the opening of Walt Disney World Resort. He had great impact not only at Disney, but also in Central Florida and the hospitality and leisure industry, and he will be deeply missed.”