Sunday, May 30, 2010

Walt Disney: One Man's Dream Virtual Tour

December 15, 1966 - Walter Elias Disney passes away

Almost spiritually, a phenomenon occurred at Walt's park that evening. That was the night that the Christmas Parade stepped off for the first time. Don Payne, a former cast member said: "we were standing back behind where Walt's apartment was and it started snowing! In the work lights, you could see flakes of snow drifting down. They never hit the ground, but we were all looking, thinking, 'How freaky is this? It doesn't snow in Anaheim!' It was cold and it was snowing."

Walt Disney: One Man's Dream, in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is a multimedia gallery attraction with 400-plus artifacts where you can take a self-guided tour through the exhibits of photographs, audio interviews and memorabilia that tell the story of Walt Disney.

Today, my tribute is this Virtual Tour through the One Man's Dream.

Over the years, D23's Scott Wolf has spoken to many Cast Members who were with the Company at that time. They all remember that day vividly. Disney Legend X Atencio remembered: "December 15 was traditionally when I bought my Christmas tree. When I got home here and got to thinking about it and sat, I just bawled my eyes out." Disney Legend Harriet Burns remembered that as soon as she heard the news, "tears squirted out of my eyes… we knew he had gone back to St. Joseph's Hospital but he had been there back and forth from time to time and had little things done. This was only 10 days after he'd been in for a meeting."

Connie Swanson Lane, who was the Disneyland Ambassador at the time, recalled: "It was like losing a family member. Very difficult. Most of us stayed at work because that's what Walt would have wanted us to do. The flag was lowered at half mast. It was very, very hard, and I stood at Town Square for the retreat that night until the flag was totally lowered. It was my way of saying goodbye."

Walt Disney Passport

Walt E. Disney Timeline

1901 – Walt Elias Disney is born in Chicago, IL on december 5.
1906 – The Disneys move to Marceline, MO to live on a farm.
1910 – Elias has to sell the farm.
1911 – They move to Chicago. Walts draws pictures for the Mckinley High School Newspaper and attends evening classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
1918 – Walt lies about his age to be accepted into the American Ambulance Corps and serves in France following the end of World War I.
1919 – Walt moves to Kansas City and gets a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Commercial Art Studio for $50 a month.
1920 – Walt meets Ub Iwerks and forms Iwerks-Disney Commercial Artists but it fails after one month. Walt creates Newman Laugh-O-gram, which produces advertising and topical shorts and story cartoons.
1922 – Walt incorporates Laugh-O-gram, with $15,000.
1923 – Laugh-O-gram goes bankrupt. Walt moves to Hollywood. He establishes the Disney Brothers Studio with Roy Disney and lands a contract for the “Alice Comedies” where a girl filmed in live action interacts with animated characters.
1924 – Walts hires animators, including Iwerks.
1925 – Walt and Lilian get marries.
1926 – They rename the studio Walt Disney Studios and move to a new building on Hyperion Avenue, the birthplace of some of Disney’s greatest films.
1927 – Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is created.
1928 – Walt creates Mickey Mouse and produces Steamboat Willie, the first cartoon to synchronizes sound and animation.
1929 – Mickey becomes a national sensation and Walt launches Silly Symphonies.
1930 – Mickey related merchandise is launch.
1931 – Membership in the Mickey Mouse Club passes one million people.
1932 – Walt acquires exclusive use of three-strip Technicolor for cartoons and incorporate the technology in his films.
1933 – Three Little Pigs, the 36th “Silly Symphony” is distributed. “Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” becomes a national anthem for the Great Depression. Lilian Disney gives birth to Diane Disney.
1936 – Lilian and Walt adopt Sharon Disney.
1937 – Disney Studios develops the Multiplane Camera.
1938 – Disney Studios acquires a 50-acre lot in Burbank, CA for a new studio. Walt’s mother, Flora, dies.
1940 – Pinocchio and Fantasia.
1941 – Dumbo. Walt goes to South America and his father dies.
1942 – Bambi and Saludos Amigos.
1946 – Song of the South.
1948 – Seal Islands premieres. The first of the “True-Life Adventures”.
1950 – Cinderella.
1953 – Disney creates the Buena Vista Film Distribution Company.
1954 – Walt buys 244 acres of land near Anaheim, CA to be site for Disneyland.
1955 – Lady and the Tramp – The first widescreen animated film. Disneyland opens with more than 1 million guests in 2 months.
1964 – Mary Poppins.
1965 – Walt Disney Studios purchases land in Orlando, FL for EPCOT which leads to the creation of Walt Disney World.
1966 – Walt dies on december 15.

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