The History Behind Walt Disney

I love everything, Disney. I grew up watching Disney Channel as a kid. I shop at Disney stores. I have traveled to Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida. I even follow all things Disney on social media. Thinking about all of this, I realized how crazy it would be if Disney never existed. Let's say I’m delighted that I never have to think about that, and I have Walt Disney to thank for that! Disney fan or not, I thought the history behind Walt Disney was fascinating and incredible to research. Finding out about the facts behind the Amusement Parks was mind-blowing. Even the development of how the Disney Stores at the mall came about was terrific to find out. I must say that the most incredible thing of all was realizing the impact Disney has made on the entertainment industry as well as our culture and society. 



Walt Disney (aka) Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5th, 1901, in Chicago, Illinois. He had three brothers and one sister. His parents were Elias Disney and Flora Call Disney. Growing up in Chicago, Walt Disney took an interest in drawing. He took classes in art and tried to sell his sketches to people around the neighborhood. Later on in High School, Walt developed a love for photography and was part of his High School's newspaper. During the day, Walt Disney went to high school, and at night, he studied at The Academy of Fine Arts. 



After the war was over, Walt Disney's first job was in Kansas City, Missouri, where he began his career as an advertising cartoonist. It was at his first job where the development of his animated cartoons came to life. 



 Walt Disney moved from Kansas City to Hollywood in August of 1923 with only forty-dollars, a few materials, and a completed live-action animated movie. Walt Disney had the vision of setting up Disney brother Studios with his brother Roy O.  On November 28th, 1928, both of the brothers developed the beloved Mickey Mouse that we know and love today in a film called Steamboat Willie. The movie premiered at the Colony Theater in New York City. 




After the premiere of Steamboat Willie, Disney’s studio grew with the introduction of synchronized sound and full-color three-strip Technicolor to create feature-length cartoons. This new way of producing movies led to Disney's first feature film titled Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, which premiered on December 21, 1937, at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, CA. 



Since the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Walt Disney’s Burbank Studio was constructed, which housed some of his first feature lengths such as Pinnochio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi


Los Angeles Magazine

During World War II, 94% percent of the Disney facilities were forced to participate in government films about health and propaganda until the war was over. It wasn't until after World War II when Walt Disney created a series of popular live-action nature films called True-Life Adventures. 


Odyssey Online

Disney Studios produced the following movies in the 1950s: Cinderella, Treasure Island, The Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men, Alice in WonderlandPeter Pan, Lady, and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty



Wikipedia Image

In October of 1955, Disney created and produced The hit American variety television show, The Mickey Mouse Club. The show aired from 1955 to 1996, and then returned onto the air in 2017. The Mickey Mouse Club started many well-known celebrities' careers in the entertainment industry.  


Mickey Mouse Club 1955

On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney created one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, located in Anaheim, California. Disneyland, as we know it today, is the land where dreams and magic come alive in the palm of your hand. Later on, In 2001, Disneyland added an extension to the theme park dedicated to the state of California called Disney's California Adventures. 


Starline Tours

In 1965, Walt Disney designed EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), wanting to improve the quality of urban life in America located in Bay Lake, Florida. EPCOT was a growing and significant project for many years until Walt Disney passed away on December 15th, 1996. It was after Walt Disney's death when Roy O. made EPCOT into an amusement park. Under the supervision of Roy O., Disney produced The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, and Love Bug


ABC Network 

Just months after Walt Disney World opened on October 1st, 1971, Roy O. died on December 20th, 1971, leaving the direction of Disney into the hands of Card Walker, Donn Tatum, and Ron Miller. 


Vaulted Treasures Film Blog

From 1982-1984, some major stuff happened for Disney. On October 1st, 1982,  EPCOT became part of Walt Disney World. A year later, on April 18th, 1983, Disney Channel premiered nationally as a premium channel. And last but not least, on February 15th, 1984, Disney established and operated a new label called Touchstone Pictures with the movie premiere of Splash




Wikipedia Image 

Three years later, on March 28, 1987, the first-ever Disney Store opened in Glendale, California, which at the time was close to the Burbank studio.


The Walt Disney Company

In 1988, Disney collaborated with Hollywood Studios to premiere Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Good Morning Vietnam, Three Men and a Baby, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Dick Tracy, Pretty Woman, and Sister Act. 



Disney Wiki

In 1989, Disney- MGM Grand Studios Theme Park, Pleasure Island, and Typhoon Lagoon were added attractions to Walt Disney World. 


Walt Disney World

In 1991, Not only did Disney produce movies, but Disney also moved into publishing and education and formed Hyperion Books, Hyperion Books for Children, and Disney Press.




For the first time on April 12, 1992, Disneyland branches outside of the United States and opens Euro Disney located in Paris, France. There are also two other Disneyland locations in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Disneyland Hong Kong opened in 2005, and Disneyland Tokyo opened in 2013. 


Disney Parks Blog

In 1993, Disney bought the highly rated and well-known scientific magazine Discover. 


Wikipedia Image 

In 1994, Disney ventured into Broadway with the first staged production of Beauty and the Beast. From that Broadway Musical onward, Disney has made many Disney movies into musicals like Frozen, Marry Poppins, Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid, Newsies, and many more!

Broadway Fandom

In Early 1996, Disney bought ABC network, which has a lot of networks plus a lot of power. 



In 2005, Disneyland Theme Park celebrated its 50th Anniversary Celebration. 



In 2006, Disney bought Pixar Animation Studios, which houses movies like Toy Story, Cars, and Wall-E. 


Creative Bloq

In 2009, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment and entered a long term deal with Dreamworks and superheroes. 


That Shelf

In 2011, Disney Dream Cruise Ship launched, bringing dreams to reality overseas going to almost anywhere in the world. Not only that, but Disney signed a deal with Lucasfilm in the same year, bringing the later Star Wars Movies to the big screens. 


Disney Parks Blog   

In 2015, Disney’s live-action movie of Cinderella brought Disney to life in the 21st century. Since then, Disney live-action movies/remakes have become more popular than ever!


Hollywood Reporter

In 2018, Coco won the Oscar for the best-animated feature as well as Best Original Song "Remember Me" at the 90th Academy Awards. Coco won 9 out of 11 nominated Pixar films since 2011. Alongside that, Coco was an accurate representation of art and connection in today's society. 


The Guardian

If it weren’t for Walt Disney, we would not have movies to watch, amusement parks to go to, books and magazines to read, stores to shop at, cruise ships to sail, and musicals to attend. Disney has made such a huge impact all over the world, as well as our culture and society. I couldn't even write all of it because there's so much information about Disney. There are books, websites, documentaries, and so much more if you ever want to know more details about anything Disney. The impact, creativity, and the dreams Walt Disney was able to make for us to live through is such a fantastic thing, and I am forever grateful for that. Walt Disney did the impossible and showed us that “laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” -Walt Disney.