Don Dorsey, Consultant to the Walt Disney Company
On Air: June 30, 2015
As a 40-year consultant to the Walt Disney Company, Don has been associated with literally hundreds of Disney’s entertainment events and productions. Don created and directed the $22-million nighttime millennium-themed spectacle, “Reflections of Earth” for Epcot. He also designed and directed the popular nighttime spectaculars “Laserphonic Fantasy”, “IllumiNations”, and “Holiday IllumiNations” at Epcot, “Sorcery In The Sky” at Disney/MGM Studios, “Starlight Magic” at Tokyo Disneyland, and played a key developmental role in Disneyland’s “Fantasmic!”
Don is also a creative and technical consultant to MCA/Universal Studios, other theme park companies and many live event producers, helping to develop and produce unique nighttime entertainment concepts, parade and shows. He has developed entertainment center concepts for Harrah’s Entertainment, interactive game concepts for Worlds of Wonder, interactive exhibits for the Los Angeles Children’s Zoo, designed non-linear audio editing software and user interfaces for New England Digital (makers of the legendary Synclavier®), consulted on web site design and content for DVC Interactive, and co-wrote and directed the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Golden Gate Bridge. He also served as the Creative Director for the development and implementation of Disney’s patented Air Launch Pyrotechnic System, and has worked with Disney to design and program sophisticated computerized parade audio and entertainment control systems.
As a musician, he’s responsible for the popular synthesizer arrangements and performances of Disney’s classic “Main Street Electrical Parade,” as well as many other parades and shows at Disney theme parks around the world. His lighthearted, synthesized arrangement of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” was a highlight of Radio City Music Hall’s annual Christmas Spectacular from 1979 to 1986. His first solo album, Bachbusters, gave Telarc Records its first Number One release ever, topping the Billboard Classical Compact Disc chart for fourteen weeks in 1986. It remained in the Top Twenty for over a year, and his second release, Beethoven or Bust, climbed to Number One on the charts after only ten weeks in release, remaining there for twenty-three weeks in 1988. His original compositions have been heard on television, radio, records, commercials, industrial shows, half-time shows, and spectacular events around the world. His advertising clients and credits have included Mattel, Kawasaki, Mexicana Airlines, Zenith and Yamaha, and he has worked on album projects with such music industry giants as Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Donna Summer, Kenny Loggins and Sergio Mendez.
As an audio engineer and producer, from 1976 through 1992 Don was responsible for the engineering, mixing and post-production of recorded shows and music for the Disneyland Entertainment Division and Music Department. He created and produced the prestigious SONIC BOON™ Digital Sound Effects Libraries, which have been used extensively in scores of major motion pictures and television shows including “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Hunt for Red October,” “Lethal Weapon II,” and “Terminator II.” He also worked as independent entertainment audio production and technical consultant to Radio City Music Hall, The Knoxville World’s Fair, Resort and Theme park companies around the world. Don also produced the music track for the Boston Pops 4th of July Fireworks displays from 2010 to 2014.
As a professional, he has been active with ASCAP, NARAS, the AFM, and ILDA (the International Laser Display Association) serving as the latter’s Ethics Committee Chairman for three years. As an educator, he developed curriculum and taught both Electronic Music and Audio Recording programs for Long Beach City College and Saddleback College in southern California. As a hobbyist, he enjoys photography, science fiction, travel, non-linear video production, outer space, and confounding people with his unique original holiday cards.
Don was born, raised, and still lives in Orange County, California.