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Ryman Arts
Harrison buzz price(1921-2010)

Honor the legacy of Buzz Price with a gift in support of
The Buzz Price Student Scholarship at Ryman Arts!

Buzz Price

Harrison Buzz Price (1921-2010)

Ryman Arts has teamed up with the Themed Entertainment Association Foundation (TEAF) and the Price family to endow the Buzz Price TEA Ryman Arts Endowment Fund to support a student at Ryman Arts each year. The TEAF will help select the recipient each year and introduce him or her to the field Buzz helped to create. The student will also have special opportunities to meet today’s leaders in themed entertainment to explore careers in the field. This fund will help Ryman Arts serve even more talented, motivated young artists.

Buzz’s son David Price, a TEA Western Board Member, echoes what others recognize when he said “Dad demonstrated a special brand of humor, passion, intelligence and encouragement giving equal importance to matters of the mind and the heart.  It’s no wonder that he along with others helped create a program that lifts the hearts and minds of art students at a pivotal moment in their young lives.”

Checks should be made payable to Ryman Arts, with Buzz Price Fund noted in the memo line. Or make a secure online donation here:


 Acknowledgement of all gifts will be sent to the Price family.

Read Marty Sklar’s tribute to Buzz in the November/December issue of Funworld magazine here. [PDF: 865 KB]


Recently, Buzz received one of the highest Disney honors -- a window dedication at Disneyland. Below, Board Member David Price at the Buzz Price Window Dedication on April 9, 2013:

David Price David Price 2

Read more about Buzz Price and his role in the creation of Disneyland in this letter from David Price on the dedication to his father and Ryman Arts Co-Founder, Buzz Price - click here.

Watch the interview with David Price below:


Harrison Buzz Price (1921-2010)

Harrison “Buzz” Price and his wife Anne, were co-founders of the Ryman Carroll Foundation (now Ryman Arts)  in 1990, formed in memory of their friend Herbert D. Ryman to support the artistic education of promising young artists. Buzz and Anne were active, devoted Board members until Buzz’s death at age 89 in 2010.

Anne and Buzz were generous supporters of the program, and underwrote several scholarships for Ryman Arts graduates.  At Ryman Arts most recent graduation this past June, Buzz and Anne were honored for their lifetime of service to Ryman Arts with the Herbert D. Ryman Mentor Award. Indeed, Buzz was an extraordinary mentor to many. Countless young artists at Ryman Arts owe their artistic education to this remarkable visionary.“

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.”

More on Harrison “Buzz” Price

"Buzz” Price was recognized as the pioneer in the field of theme parks, resort and leisure-recreation project feasibility almost from  the day in 1953 that Walt and Roy O. Disney chose him “to determine the economic feasibility of the best location for a new project – Disneyland.” Price, an engineering graduate of California Institute of Technology, had joined Stanford Research Institute after receiving his Masters in Business Administration from Stanford University. “I asked Walt if he had a bias about the location for his Magic Kingdom,” Price recalled years later. “’Absolutely not!’ he said. ‘You tell me where the best location is.’” Price analyzed the potential sites in the Southern California area, ultimately focusing on Orange County after considering population trends, accessibility and climate factors. They selected 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, just off the Santa Ana Freeway at Harbor Boulevard. “We hit it right on the nose,” Price later recalled, “dead center. That was the perfect place for it.”

Encouraged by Walt Disney, Price formed Economics Research Associates (ERA) in 1958. Ultimately, he conducted 150 studies for the Walt Disney Company (including site and feasibility analysis for Walt Disney World in Florida and Tokyo Disneyland) and “over 3,000 projects” for other clients. “Buzz was the father of our industry of economic consulting,” notes Ray Braun, Entertainment Practice Leader for AECOM Economics (formerly ERA). “He invented the science. He was mentor to me and many of us in this practice. He set the course and paved the way for us.”

After selling ERA in 1969, most of  Price’s projects were under the aegis of his own Harrison Price Company, including studies for eight World’s Fairs, Sea World, Knott’s Berry Farm, Universal Studios, the Six Flags parks, museums, zoos and many feasibility analyses for international projects. But it was Walt Disney who set Price’s success in motion. “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.” Recognizing over 40 years of leadership, CalArts in 2005 presented Buzz Price an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

His many leisure-recreation industry honors included the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), induction into the Hall of Fame for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and recognition as a Disney Legend. Michael Eisner, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company when Buzz was named a Disney Legend in 2003, recognized his role in establishing the Disney parks and resorts. “Buzz Price was as much responsible for the success of the Walt Disney Company as anybody except Walt Disney himself, in that he worked with Walt not only on finding the sites of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but on many other new initiatives, like the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the 1960 Winter Olympics in the Lake Tahoe area,” Eisner recalled. “But more than being a pioneer and visionary, he was one of the nicest and most professional and gentle friends of the company.”

Buzz Price’s concepts in economic analysis are clearly spelled out in his seminal book, “Walt’s Revolution – By the Numbers”, published in 2003 by Ripley Entertainment. Buzz’s advice to all: “Guessing is dysfunctional. Ignoring prior experience is denial. Using valid numbers to project performance is rational.” (His friend Terry Van Gorder, former President of  Knott’s, called it “roller coaster math.”)

Born May 17, 1921 in Oregon City, Oregon, Buzz Price grew up in Southern California, graduating from San Bernardino High School before receiving his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Tech, and his MBA at Stanford. While attending Cal Tech, he met his future wife, Anne Shaw, who was attending Pomona College. They were married in 1944.

At the time of his death, after retiring in 2005, Buzz and Anne Price made their home at Mt. San Antonio Gardens in Pomona. Buzz is survived by an artistic family: His wife, Anne Shaw Price, a former vocalist; daughter Holly Shaw Ristuccia, who performs with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, and her husband Al Ristuccia of Claremont, Ca.; daughter and artist Dana Price and her husband Ken Powell of Sausalito, Ca.; son and sculptor Bret Price and his wife Rae Lynn of Orange, Ca.; son and architect David A. Price and his wife Alicia of Irvine, Ca; nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren and his sister, Patricia Scott Mannarino of Oakland, Ca.

All of us at Ryman Arts, and thousands of student artists, were so fortunate to have know the wit, wisdom and generosity of this extraordinary man.

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