Walt Disney: December 05, 1901- December 15, 1966
You know that feeling when you enter Disney World and you get goosebumps up and down your arms and feel an overwhelming feeling of happiness? It is because of this man right here. The reason Disney is the empire it is today is because of his vision for the company which was to simply “make people happy.” In a world where childlike innocence is becoming rare and simple happiness can be hard to find, Disney still stands as that light at the end of the tunnel and provides without failure the happiness we all desire.
As many of you know, it all started with a mouse. Walt originally started an animation company with his brother, Roy, entitled “Disney Brothers.” The name later changed to “The Walt Disney Studio.” However, it is important to note that Walt Disney wasn’t always the astounding success we remember him as today.
In the beginning of Walt’s life, he was always eager to make the world a better place. He tried to join the army in the First World War, but he was ultimately rejected because he was underage. Eager to help, he joined the Red Cross and drove an ambulance in France during his younger years. In 1919, Walt moved back to Kansas and started working for the Kansas City Film Ad company where he started to develop a love for animation. With his successful cartoons, he opened up his own studio Laugh-O-Gram. However, Walt did not know how to run a profitable business at this point so it went bankrupt.
After this failure, he moved to Hollywood, California still not giving up hope to succeed. This is where Walt again confronted failure. Walt’s distributor tricked him into owning the rights of Walt’s new character “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” and was unable to make any profit off of this success.
However, without this failure he may have never been inspired to create his most renowned character, Mickey Mouse. Through utilizing uplifting stories through his characters, he was on his way to running an empire. He wasn’t scared to push himself even when it was financially frightening. In fact, when he released Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, it had caused him to run completely out of money, but he kept persevering because he believed in his dream. After this, many of Disney’s most critically acclaimed movies came out including Cinderella and Peter Pan in the 1950’s.
He then started drafting up plans for Disneyland, which opened July 17, 1955. He wanted a place where both parents and children could bond together. He wanted this to be a magical place that would serve as a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. With the astounding success of Disneyland, Walt then started making plans for a larger area in Florida- Disney World. However, Walt died in 1966 and never had the chance to see it, but his brother made sure the plans were seen through. Disney World was opened in 1971, and the magic continues to be stronger than ever even with Walt’s absence.
As you can see, we all need a little bit of Walt in us. From persevering through his humble beginnings to being nominated for 59 Academy Awards, ultimately winning 22 of them, he refused to give up until his dream was fulfilled. I didn’t choose to dedicate my blog to Walt Disney because I loved the rollercoasters and the food (although I do).
I chose Disney because it is a beacon of hope. It was the place where I started to believe my dreams could come true. It really inspires me that Walt has the power to still do this even after his death. We must persevere and shoot for the goals everyone told us were impossible. As Walt days, “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” Thank you all for going on this journey with me, and I hope that Disney has had the same affect on you as it has me.