Magical Blogorail Red: Walt Disney One Man’s Dream


Welcome to those of you joining me from THE DISNEY POINT and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Walt Disney One Man's Dream http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com

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.

Walt Disney One Man's Dream http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com

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.

Walt Disney One Man's Dream http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com

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.

Today’s Takeaway:
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.

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!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is DISNEY DONNA KAY. Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ The Disney Point
2nd Stop ~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse (You are here!)
3rd Stop ~ Disney Donna Kay
Final Stop ~ Frontierland Station

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  • DisneyDonnaKay

    Jodi, this is on top of my “must do” list for my next Disney trip. I am embarassed that I have never visited this attraction. Great post!

    • http://www.mydreamsofdisney.com Mickey

      Oh Donna, you will not be disappointed when you do experience it. You will walk through the exhibits spellbound, watch the movie with awe in your eyes, and leave kicking yourself that it took you so long to experience this attraction. At least, that’s the emotions that I felt the first time I saw it! :)

      • DisneyDonnaKay

        Mike, there is no doubt that I will love it. I do think this is one I will have to do by myself so that I can take as long as I want.

        • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

          You will definitely enjoy it, and you’ll wonder what took you so long to check it out!

  • Maureen Litz- Diehl-Brown

    This is one of my favorite attractions to visit on property! Great post! :))

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      Thanks, Maureen! I love to take my time when I go through it and just soak up Walt’s magic :)

  • http://heidi-strawser.com Heidi Strawser

    I absolutely ADORE One Man’s Dream, so it never gets skipped by my family. :)

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      It’s such a special place!

  • http://www.adisneymomsthoughts.com Beth Green

    I love this attraction. Sometimes I wish I could send my family somewhere else so I could take my time in here! What’s your favorite treasure inside this hidden treasure?

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      I love Walt’s school desk with the doodles on it! Makes me feel like he’s still there :)

  • http://www.mydreamsofdisney.com Mickey

    One Man’s Dream is an absolute treasure of Disney history that I truly love to experience. Do you have one particular thing you like more than anything else, Jodi? Perhaps the movie? Perhaps something else? Lastly, thank you for using the pictures you did — I miss Ken too, he was a great man, and is smiling down at us — and especially you — for using his photos.

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      Aw :) Ken was one of the greats! I like the movie, but honestly, little films like that aren’t that appealing to me at the parks. I enjoy them at home, but in the exhibit, I really, really love seeing all the items that Walt used and touched (and sat on, lol). The school desk is my favorite piece!

  • http://www.frontierlandstation.com/ Kimberly

    I have never visited this attraction. I always just walked past it, mainly because I didn’t really know what it was and figured it would be boring. Being the Disney history fan that I am, this sounds amazing!! Definitely going on my must do list for my next trip! What was your favorite thing to see here?

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      Oh, you should definitely stop in there! A lot of people walk right past thinking it will be boring. Kids probably are not too excited by it, but it’s really something you should explore. I love Walt’s school desk and I like to see the models.

  • http://thedisneypoint.com/ Rosanne Mottola

    Jodi – thank you for this post. If I am visiting with others, I insist that everyone experiences this attraction. It is the only real tribute to Walt at Walt Disney World, which I think is a shame. My only gripe is that it’s not in a more prominent location. I think the video should be in the theater on Main Street USA! Do you agree?

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      It should definitely be somewhere more prominent, and it should be hyped in a more appealing way. I mean, they don’t do anything to show it off, and I think this exhibit should be something EVERYONE experiences! Too many people forget there was a MAN behind the magic!

  • Lisa Cameron

    This is a great exhibit filled with so much Disney History! I loved walking through and seeing all the artifacts from Walt’s life and the early Disney days. I really liked seeing all the plans for Disneyland. Do you have a favorite artifact?

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      I really love Walt’s school desk! It just seems to connect me with him, to see something he actually touched.

  • JenniferLissak

    I totally agree! So many people walk past this without coming in! I will say it’s pain that you can’t go in with strollers – it would perfect for walking thru with a sleeping kiddo, but they totally veto that. Still a great attraction!

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      True! I don’t know why they do that when everything is behind barriers, but it’s definitely something everyone should see!

  • http://www.IAmADisneyNerd.com/ Dawn Cullo

    What a fantastic treasure, I would be in there for a hour just to see everything. What age range do you think this is good for? Maybe 6 and up?

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      Yeah, 6 & up could pay attention enough to understand what they’re seeing. I love to teach kids that “Disney” is not just a name of a fun place, you know? This attraction is the perfect way to let them know about the Man behind the magic!

  • DIStherapy

    My son makes sure we never skip this special ode to the man responsible for it all. We find it so moving, so inspiring to see Walt’s thoughts, sketches, visions and personal items on display; it impacts everything we see in the parks from that moment forward. I only wish it were not as hidden, and closer to the front of this park!

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      I agree! I really wish it were somewhere people could see it — and that it would look more appealing to draw people in & let them know it is definitely NOT boring!

  • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

    It’s definitely a must-see. Just too bad too many people don’t see it :(

  • ReturnToDisney

    Great post Jodi! It is always inspiring to see all the concrete details that go into making dreams come true :) We saw a similar (although smaller) exhibit at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Fascinating stuff!