Harrison “Buzz” Price was born in Oregon City, Oregon. The Disney Legend became a trusted advisor for Walt Disney as he ventured into the theme park business.
After attending earning degrees from the CalTech and Stanford, Buzz joined the Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Walt hired SRI after hearing about them early in 1953 from his friend and famed architect, Charles Luckman. After their initial discussion, Buzz wrote up proposals for the site location and on economic planning. The contract called for 12 weeks of work and a budget of $25,000.
Walt told SRI what he was looking for: the park needed around 160 acres and be acquired quickly. Buzz asked Walt “Do you have any bias, any opinion, on where it should go in Southern California?” Walt’s response, “No, you tell me.”
The SRI team, according to Buzz, “attacked all the variables which would determine an optimum location…We calculated the centers of gravity of the resident population and hotel rooms serving the tourist population.”
The final report, produced in August, 1953 identified the “Ball Road subdivision” as a preferred option near Anaheim. Buzz later pointed out “Twelve years later we would measure the center of gravity of the population in the southern eight counties to be…within four miles of the park.”
In late 1953, Buzz attended the Nat’l Assoc. of Amusement Parks, Pools & Beaches trade show in Chicago with Disneyland planners Dick Irvine, Nat Winecoff, and Bill Cottrell. They stocked up a hotel suite with caviar, whiskey, and invited the top amusement park owners to give them an overview of the project. In the end they told Buzz “Tell your boss to save his money. Tell him to stick to what he knows and leave the amusement business to people who know it.” When Buzz shared the input with Walt, he brushed it off and exclaimed “They don't get it."
Buzz ultimately worked on more than 150 studies for the Walt Disney Company, including the site selection of Walt Disney World, CalArts, & Tokyo Disneyland. Buzz passed away in 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2003 and honored with a window on Main Street in Disneyland in 2013.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".