Disney Legend Dick Nunis has passed away at age 91. Author David Koenig shared the news, via a mutual friend, on X.
Disney Legend Dick Nunis Passes Away
Nunis began his “summer job” at Disneyland prior to the park’s opening in 1955 after hearing about it through his University of Southern California classmate and Walt Disney’s son-in-law, Ron Miller. Nunis was hired to assist Van France in training new Cast Members.
Nunis worked his way up to attractions supervisor and developed the standard operating procedures for all attractions. He became director of park operations in 1961 and VP of operations in 1968. He helped develop Walt Disney World and was named executive vice president of Walt Disney World and Disneyland when the former opened.
“Walt believed strongly that what would make Disneyland different was the people — he wanted them to feel that they were part of the organization,” Nunis once said, via D23. “That’s why he established the first-name policy — he was Walt, I was Dick, and so on. From an overall operations point of view, the most important thing is to work together to make sure that when guests come, they have a wonderful experience.”
In 1980, Nunis was named president of the Outdoor Recreation Division overseeing Walt Disney World. While serving on the Walt Disney Productions Board of Directors, he consulted on plans for Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland.
Nunis remained with the company in various positions, including chairman of Walt Disney Attractions, until retiring in 1999. He was inducted as a Disney Legend in the Attractions category the same year.