Tommy Walker and Walt Disney

Tommy Walker – Celebration Specialist

By Michael Buckhoff, Walt Disney Archives

Most today would not immediately recognize the man standing with Walt Disney near the central hub of Disneyland in 1964, but if you have enjoyed a fireworks spectacular at the park you have Tommy Walker to thank. Son of Disneyland bandleader, Vesey Walker, Tommy served as band director at the University of Southern…

See more
archives disneyland paris

Le Tournament de Disneyland Paris

By Becky Cline

Every Disney fan knows that Disneyland was built on orange groves in Anaheim, California, and that Walt Disney World Resort was constructed amidst the undeveloped everglades of central Florida. Many know that Tokyo Disneyland Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resorts were built on land reclaimed from the sea, and that Shanghai Disneyland was built on…

See more
Renié measuring a female dress form.

Renié Conley, Costumer to the Stars – Part Two

By Lynne Drake and Heather Hoffman, Walt Disney Archives

We continue our look at costumer, Renié Conley, whose Disneyland costume designs were spotlighted last week as part of her earliest wardrobe concepts. If you happened to miss part one, check it out here.

Renié is also well known for designing the female costumes for the 20th Century Fox film, Cleopatra…

See more
Walt Disney Studios Commissary Main Room

Dining at Disney’s – The Commissary at The Walt Disney Studios Turns 80

By Rebecca Cline, Director, Walt Disney Archives

When The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank opened in 1940, employees were struck by the admirable lawns and pedestrian thoroughfares which were ideal for walks, picnicking, or leading to the nearby studio restaurant, or “Commissary” as it is called, which featured relaxing outdoor patios or air-conditioned indoor…

See more
Joyce Carlson with posing with a remarkably similar “it’s a small world” doll.

From Ink and Paint to Imagineering: The Remarkable Career of Joyce Carlson

By Nicole Carroll, Walt Disney Archives

Disney Legend Joyce Carlson began her impressive career with The Walt Disney Company in 1944, in the studio traffic department, where she was responsible for delivering mail and other items like pencils, brushes, or coffee to animators and artists. “Traffic was where you could get the lay of the land. It wasn’t a place…

See more
Little Man of Disneyland

Archives Director Becky Cline Remembers “The Little Man of Disneyland”

By Rebecca Cline, Director, Walt Disney Archives

When I was a little girl, one of the things I really loved was poring over my Disney storybooks.  One of my favorites was a Little Golden Book entitled The Little Man of Disneyland, published in 1955. I was absolutely enchanted by the story of Patrick Begorra, a leprechaun who lived in a tiny house at the base of an…

See more
Fantasy Land Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Cashier costume sketch by Renié Conley

What’s in a Name? – Renié Conley, Costumer to the Stars – Part One

By Kevin Kern, Walt Disney Archives

“Walt realized that a visit to an amusement park could be like a theatrical experience—in a word, a show.”  — Disney Legend John Hench

No part of the Disneyland “show” was overlooked while preparing to open in the months leading up to July 17, 1955. When Walt and his staff set out to create their new entertainment…

See more
Haunted Mansion Tombstone

Haunted Mansion Tombstones

By Kimi Thompson, Walt Disney Archives

When the Haunted Mansion was being developed for Disneyland, Walt Disney asked Imagineer X Atencio to help develop the storyline for the attraction. He even wrote the now-famous lyrics to the iconic theme song, “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” As a fun homage to the Imagineers who helped create the Haunted Mansion, X wrote epitaphs…

See more
Mary Poppins, Burt and Penguins

Mary Poppins’ “Jolly Holiday” Boots

By Rick Lorentz, Walt Disney Archives

In its production heyday, The Walt Disney Studios had five sound stages and several backlot locations. Also located on the studio grounds were a costume department and prop warehouse. The proximity of wardrobe and set decoration made it convenient for production staff to prepare for filming. Another advantage to having such…

See more
Peter Cushing folder

What’s in a Name? – Peter Cushing

By Kevin Kern, Walt Disney Archives

Sometimes, the most interesting historical rediscoveries we make in the Walt Disney Archives come when you least expect it, usually while you’re not looking for what you find. Being a fan of all things Star Wars, I just about fell over when, while perusing a box of Disney studio Casting Department files from the 1950s and 1960s,…

See more