Posted by: Sophie M. | 05/12/2011

Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

Walter Elias Disney

Today marks the 110th birthday of the legend that is Walter Elias ‘Walt’ Disney. Born on 5th December 1901 in Hermosa, Chicago, Walt Disney would go on to become a name that every child in every household across the world knows.

Along with his brother Roy O. Disney they founded Walt Disney Productions, now The Walt Disney Company on 16th October 1923.  The company grew from strength to strength into the global powerhouse that it is today, reporting an annual revenue of approximately $36 billion in the financial year of 2010.

Walt Disney and his animation teams have created some of the most memorable cartoon characters in history including the unforgettable Mickey & Minnie Mouse.

Mickey & Minnie Mouse - but you knew that!

Walt first started work on his idea for a theme park in the late 1940’s and on 18th July 1955 Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. He gave the following dedication day speech:

“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past …. and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”

Nine years later in 1964 Walt announed plans for a new resort that is now know as Walt Disney World in Orlando. Sadly Walt Disney passed away from lung cancer on 15th December 1966 at the age of 65 before his dream could be realised. Walt Disney World Resort opened on 1st October 1971, followed by Tokyo Disney Resort on 15th April 1983,  Disneyland Paris on 12th April 1992 and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on 12th September 2005. Shanghai Disney Resort is scheduled to open in 2014.

Through his cartoon characters, films and theme parks Walt Disney has brought joy to many generations of children and to those of us that are still young at heart. Everyone has their favourite Disney film or character and for every new generation The Walt Disney Company continues on with Walts’ dreams.

Happy birthday Walt Disney!

Happy Birthday!

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