Once upon a time in a Magic Kingdom far, far away, one man dared to dream! Walter Elias Disney was his name, just Walt for short. He was a brilliant man of humble beginnings who looked at the world as an ever-changing, ever-progressing, ever-improving possibility. He dreamed big, like many folks do, but to him, those dreams were concrete—and he made them become reality.
Walt once attributed his success to a certain furry black critter with big, round ears, but Mickey could never have come to life without the man behind the Mouse. Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened an attraction a few years back to honor the 100th birthday of Walt Disney. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream is a hidden gem, tucked away between Toy Story Mania and Voyage of the Little Mermaid, where it gets no fanfare and little advertisement. Sadly, many Guests walk right past without giving it a nod, and in doing so they miss a brilliant glimpse into Walt’s genius.
Step inside Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream with me for a moment, and you will discover a treasure trove of over 400 artifacts featuring one-of-a-kind animation art, paintings, storyboards, photos, models, props, costumes and set pieces, including (per Disney Parks)
- Walt Disney’s 2nd-grade school desk
- Vintage Disney toys and merchandise
- “Granny Kincaid’s Cabin,” Walt’s first attempt at a 3D miniature environment
- “The Dancing Man,” Walt’s first animated figure and precursor to the Audio-Animatronics technology he would soon pioneer
- The original Audio-Animatronics Abraham Lincoln figure from the 1964 New York World’s Fair
- Mickey Mouse Club props and costumes
- The model of Main Street, U.S.A., from Disneyland Resort
- Jungle Cruise and Spaceship Earth models
- Mary Poppins costumes
- Peter Pan’s Flight ride vehicle models and more, including projects that lay ahead for the years beyond Walt’s time on Earth.
One portion of the exhibit you should not skip is the 15-minute film that highlights Walt’s life and career. It includes audio and film clips that contain previously unseen footage and interviews with Walt Disney. It offers magical insight into the world’s most inspiring men.
What’s your dream? Record dreams in a journal over the course of a week. Select one with positive potential and make it happen. Although Walt did not necessarily work from dreams he had as he slept, you can do as Walt did: test your dreams against your beliefs, dare to take risks, and execute your vision to make those dreams come true.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Psychology
SKILL LEVEL: High School
*All photos were courtesy of my friend, the late Ken Brown, former contributor to Chip & Co.’s Disney for Seniors column. We miss you, Ken!
©2014 Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, your Disney homeschool resource!
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