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Florida Guide > Disney General



We love Disneyworld; oh yes we certainly do; but I wonder how much you know about its founder?

Walt Disney was an American who was born in Chicago in 1901. His father came from Irish stock and his mother from German.

He is best known for creating Mickey Mouse but in fact he was selling his cartoons to neighbours from the age of 7! ( I wonder if any of those neighbours kept them? ) His second interest and hobby was photography and when he reached adulthood he put both of these passions to good use.

After a spell in the military he started his career in advertising and by the tender age of 19 he had created a method of combining cartoons with live action.

3 years later he headed off for Hollywood where his brother Roy was already living. Together they co founded the Disney company with a meagre $750 and after a slightly shaky start, they built the empire that we know today. Nowadays, the Disney corporation turns over billions of dollars a year.

Mickey Mouse was created in 1928 and Walt originally called him Mortimor Mouse. Walts wife did not like the name at all and persuaded him to change it to Mickey Mouse. Mickey Rooney tells everyone that the Mickey was after him but the Disney family deny this (and they should know)

Steam Boat Willie was released the same year and was a smash at the box office. Snow While was finished in 1932 and they used the new Technicolor to make this film.

Fantasia, Dumbo and Pinnochio all followed in the next 5 years so it was indeed a fertile period for Walt.

Now we should talk a little about the Theme Parks. Walt used to hate the run down dirty parks that he took his children to visit and slowly began to think about opening clean, colourful parks that would engage the whole family.

It took many years to come to fruition but in 1955 Disneyworld California opened its gates. From the start it was a huge success and there it was that our wonderful Disneyworld Florida was conceived.

Unfortunately, Walt himself did not live long enough to see all of his dreams fulfilled (though it is rumoured that he is in a deep freeze somewhere) however; I have a hunch that he would have been largely pleased with the way it has all turned out. What do you think?

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Page added on: 31 December 2011
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