Visitors to Walt Disney World who travel by boat from the Ticket and Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom may ride aboard the ferry Admiral Joe Fowler. Excited guests anxious to get to the park, or exhausted guests anxious to get some rest frequently don’t pay much attention to the boat on which they are riding. As with most things in Walt Disney World, the ferry Admiral Joe Fowler has significance. The boat’s namesake was born in 1894, attended the United States Naval Academy, served during World War I and later earned a Master’s Degree in Naval Architecture from MIT. He retired from the Navy in 1948 and was recalled in 1951 during the Korean War. In 1952, President Truman appointed him to a post in the federal government focused on eliminating wasteful spending in the military.
In 1954, Walt Disney was looking for a naval expert to help with construction of a paddle wheel steam boat for Disneyland. Admiral Joe Fowler was approached and was eventually charged with directing all construction for Disneyland. When the park opened, Admiral Fowler stayed on as the General Manager of Disneyland and stayed with the company through the beginning of the construction of Walt Disney World. He’s considered a Disney legend for the role he played in construction and management of the theme parks. Nothing at Disney is just happenstance, even the name of a boat.