Disney Magazine Editor Ryan March shares his own personal history with Dave Smith and look back at an interview from the 2017 D23 Expo:

Quote Originally Posted by Disney Parks & Resorts

Remembering – and Thanking – Disney Legend Dave Smith

by Ryan March, Editor, Disney Vacation Club’s Disney Files Magazine
February 25, 2019

My first meeting with Dave came during my junior year of high school, when a Disney-employed news-clipping service captured a story that profiled me in my small Southern Oregon town’s newspaper, focusing on my dreams of working for Disney.

Dave contacted the newspaper’s editor, who put him touch with my parents so he could invite me to visit the Walt Disney Archives. I, of course, took him up on the offer, driving my parents’ car over spring break (I can’t believe they let me do that) down Interstate 5 from Rogue River, Oregon, to Burbank, California, for a meeting that would change my life. I left that visit with a renewed belief in my Disney dream, and with a new friendship that would grow for nearly 30 years.

So while my heart was heavy when Dave passed away on February 15, it was also filled with gratitude. I deeply appreciate having had this enormously impactful man in my life, and I’m equally grateful to work for a company that – thanks to Dave – preserves and honors its history in such extraordinary fashion.

While I enjoyed countless conversations with Dave through the years, only one was caught on camera, and I’d like to share it for the first time as we celebrate the life and legacy of this incredible man. Filmed at D23 Expo 2017, our brief visit touched on Dave’s experience interacting with his adoring fans, as well as the Walt Disney Archives’ restoration and reopening of Walt’s office suite – an undertaking made possible by the painstakingly detailed work Dave completed during those first days on the job.