50 happy years

Did You Know? Eight Golden Anniversary Facts About Disney’s 50 Happy Years Celebration

By Jim Fanning

D23 members well know the “23” in D23 means October 16, 1923, the date on which Walt Disney founded the company bearing his name. Today, to celebrate 95 years of magic, let’s look back to the yearlong, multi-faceted party entitled 50 Happy Years. Here are eight golden anniversary facts about the happy events and fun-filled happenings from 1973…

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Brave Little Tailor

Did You Know? 11 Giant-Sized Facts About Walt Disney’s Brave Little Tailor

By Jim Fanning

One of Mickey Mouse’s greatest adventures, Brave Little Tailor is also one of Walt Disney’s most splendid animated films. This critically acclaimed audience-pleaser, released 80 years ago on September 23, 1938, is a swashbuckling tale of a gentle tailor who vanquishes a Giant armed with only sewing shears, a needle and thread, and his wits—and…

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disneyland letter

Child Letter to Walt

Disneyland Park’s Opening Day on July 17, 1955 was a by-invitation-only event, but the invitations were counterfeited and thousands of uninvited people attended. To our knowledge, none of them ever apologized, unlike this young man, an early guest who took the time not only to write Walt Disney but also to pay— literally—for his transgression.

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mary poppins walt disney

Mary Poppins and Walt Disney Tea Time

Utilizing the table and chairs from the Jolly Holiday sequence in Mary Poppins (1964), Disney Legend Julie Andrews pours a cupful for the gentleman who brought the fantastically popular musical fantasy to the screen. Thanks to Walt Disney’s vision in casting the Broadway star ad the enchanting nanny in her film debut—for which Julie won an Academy Award® as…

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walt portrait

Walt’s “Best Photo Ever Taken”

In 1961, Walt Disney visited the headquarters of Eastman Kodak—one of the sponsors of the Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color TV series, which premiered that same year—in Rochester, New York. While there, Walt had his official portrait taken by top Kodak photographer Neil Montanus. The result was one of the most famous photos of Walt, one that Disney…

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walt and dog

Walt Takes a Nap in Europe

Walt and his wife, Lillian, sailed for Europe aboard the S.S. United States in fall 1957 for an extensive vacation that took them to such cities as London, Venice, Munich, and Barcelona. During an outing, animal-lover Walt decided to let sleeping dogs lie and take a catnap alongside a slumbering pooch.

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walt and roy

Walt and Roy with Academy Award®

At the Academy Awards ceremony on November 18, 1932—coincidentally Mickey’s fourth birthday—Walt Disney was honored with a special Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse. That same night, the Silly Symphony Flowers and Trees took home the Academy Award for Best Cartoon Short Subject, the first ever awarded in that category.

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walt in south america

Walt with Camera in South America

When Walt was invited to take a good will trip to South America in 1941, he wanted to make films so he took along some handpicked artists and handheld camera, with which he photographed the sights in 16 millimeter film. Walt’s actual coverage was used in Saludos Amigos (1942), the first feature to result from this south-of-the-border excursion.

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walt it's a small world

It’s a Small World Water from Around the World

In preparation for the Disneyland Park dedication of It’s a Small World on May 28, 1966, samples were gathered from bodies of water around the world for Walt Disney to pour into the attraction’s Seven Seaways canal. Here, Disney Legend Antonio Bertini, Disney’s merchandising rep in Italy, gathers water from the Mediterranean along with Club Topolino (Italian…

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three little pigs

Three Little Pigs in Manhattan

The immense popularity of Walt Disney’s Three Little Pigs (1933) inspired some inventive publicity stunts, such as this old-fashioned horse and buggy carrying a trio of stuffed piggies through Manhattan so that moviegoers would know the Roxy Theatre on Seventh Avenue was the place to see the Silly Symphony sensation.

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