Admiral in the united states navy now In 1954 Walt Disney was looking for a naval
expert to help him with the building of the Mark Twain which was under
construction. Fowler was hired to work on the Mark Twain, but stayed around for quite a while as he became the construction boss for the entire Disneyland project. Going way beyond his responsibilities for the Mark Twain and after Disneyland was completed, Fowler stayed as the general manager of the park during it's first 10 years. He also assisted with the construction of Walt Disney World Florida and retired from the Walt Disney company in 1978.
He continued to be a consultant. Admiral Joe saw Disneyland as if both he and Walt were building a real city. Keeping in mind that many of the people who helped designed Disneyland were from Hollywood and had a much more temporary view on construction. They typically were used to building temporary sets, but Admiral Joe wanted to build Disneyland like a real town. One of the things that he knew was that the riverboats would need a dry dock to be serviced. Walt didn't want to spend money on this so there was push back. After a couple of decades, Admiral Joe won and Walt said, "fine we'll give Joe his little ditch". Fowler's Harbor is named after Joe Fowler and in 1999, one of the ferries that crosses the seven seas lagoon in Walt Disney World, was renamed the Admiral Joe Fowler in his honor. Fowler passed away at age 99 in 1993.
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Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".