Close up photo of a large red brick building with silver letters stating: “Walt Disney Hometown Museum.” Above and below the letters lining the building are large white boarded windows. At the top of the building is a white plate stating “Marceline.”

D23 Members Embark on a Historic Journey Through Walt’s Hometown

By Peyton Liebler and Emma Zomerman

D23 Members had the opportunity to visit Marceline, Missouri, for a tour of Walt Disney’s historic hometown this spring. They were able to experience signature elements of his boyhood that inspired some of the most foundational parts of the Walt Disney Company such as his dedication to family and his love of magic.

100 D23 Members arrived in Kansas City, Missouri, on May 1, 2022, to check in for their overnight stay, then boarded a bus the next morning to head into Marceline. As Walt himself said, “I’m glad I’m a small-town boy, and I’m glad Marceline was my town.” As D23 Members ventured closer to this little town, those words couldn’t be truer.

Upon arrival, D23 Members enjoyed a special welcome presentation from town officials which detailed the history of the town, and how Walt Disney’s history intertwined with Marceline. After the presentation, D23 Members were treated to a delicious lunch at the Marceline Community Center. 

After lunch, D23 Members visited E.P. Ripley Park, for the dedication of Midget Autopia. The attraction, which opened in 1957 at Disneyland Park, was designed only for kids to experience. However, this was not the intention Walt had when creating a park for the whole family, so, in 1966, the attraction closed at Disneyland and was donated to Marceline. During D23’s trip to Marceline, members were able to race along the winding paths following the dedication.

A guest sitting in an emerald green retro car with silver rim and white headlights with brown license plate on the front right of the car featuring Walt in big letters, Jul in the top left and Missouri above Walt. The guest is smiling and has short dark hair, a red and white striped tank top and a woven sun hat with red band and black Mickey ears on either side of the hat. The car is on the sidewalk with brick flooring on the left with brown beams reaching toward the ceiling. On the right side of the car are wood chips and green grass. The background features green trees and a blue sky.

Following the event, guests plotted their own adventures with an “on your own” scavenger hunt and a visit to the Walt Disney Hometown Museum with a shopping experience. It was amazing to see fans channel their inner Walt Disney as they explored and learned about his hometown.

Not only did guests get to tour the town, but they also had the opportunity to visit Walt’s childhood home and barn after their hometown experience. Adjacent to the barn, guests were transported to the Pollyanna Bazaar, which captured the true spirit of Pollyanna through themed décor and food. Guests participated in games, listened to live music, and enjoyed a peaceful dinner on the farm just as Walt would have wanted it.

Many guests sitting and standing outdoors. The circular tables have white table clothes with bright pink and green flowers surrounded by folding chairs with blue checkered covers. Lights and lanterns are hanging above the tables and guests in green, pink, red, and yellow. Behind the tables to the right is a large, rectangular white fabric banner with black text reading “Marceline The Glad You Were Here Town.” Several large green trees and a red barn can be seen in the back left of the photo.

As Walt reminds us, “Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.” On behalf of the D23 team, we hope that the memories you made at this event stay in your heart as we know they will in ours.

A light wood background with a black and gold plaque featuring Walt Disney’s Marceline with D23 logo and the date of May 14, 2022, in gold lettering. Surrounding the plaque are signatures from D23 guests featuring names and small notes to Walt.

As an added bonus, our friends at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline are offering a 50% discount off admission for D23 Gold Members! Click here to find out more!