The rumors on twitter and blogs have been confirmed. I finally saw a post on the Disney Parks Blog about the passing of Ernie McLean. On February 7, I had written a post about the one and only time I met and talked to Ernie at Disneyland's New Orleans Square.
I read yesterday on various sites that he had lost his battle with cancer. I still don't know if cancer is 100% accurate or not. I was holding out for something "official" from Disney saying his death was true. I got that confirmation tonight. Ernest "Ernie" McLean died on February 23, 2012. His presence in New Orleans Square will be missed. I am so honored that I was able to meet such a kind, talented man and have a small chat with him in 2010. If you never had the chance to meet Ernie or hear him play, I'm sorry. He was a true treasure for Disneyland and will be irreplaceable.
Rest in Peace, my friend. We'll see you again, and I can't wait to hear you play in Heaven!