Even though Walt Disney himself wasn’t able to see Walt Disney World completed, there are still touches of him everywhere. If you are looking to find Walt throughout the Disney Parks and Disney Resorts, there are a handful of gems. These will bring you closer to Walt Disney himself and his dreams to bring magic to us every day.
Partners Statue- Magic Kingdom
The spot where Guests are able to connect with Walt Disney himself is right in the middle of Magic Kingdom. The Partners Statue features Walt Disney alongside Mickey Mouse and is located right in front of Cinderella Castle.
This statue surprisingly hasn’t always been at Magic Kingdom. In 1995, the Partners Statue was added to Magic Kingdom following Disneyland’s statue being added in 1993 for Mickey Mouse’s birthday.
The creator of the statue, Disney animator and Imagineer Blaine Gibson, wanted to show Walt being happy as he watched people throughout Magic Kingdom enjoying the magic.
If you are looking for ways to connect with Walt Disney, the Partners Statue is a fantastic place to do so.
Walt Disney Presents: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Take a look behind the scenes of Walt Disney’s journey as you explore the history of Walt Disney himself. This walk-through exhibit at Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened in honor of the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth.
Guests are able to see artifacts such as sketches, photos, display models, artwork, costumes, and so much more. This is a journey through Walt’s life story as he worked hard to make his way from a small town in America to Hollywood.
These one-of-a-kind artifacts allow Guests to truly connect to Walt’s journey.
Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
After taking in the amazing artifacts, Guests can then hear all about Walt’s tale. One Man’s Dream is a 15-minute documentary that shows race audio recordings as well as historical footage featuring Walt.
It is through these film clips that Guests are really able to connect to Walt himself as they see his passion and video on the screen.
Main Street, U.S.A.- Magic Kingdom
Even though Walt Disney never walked down the finished Main Street, U.S.A., the U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom, Guests are still able to see his influence throughout this land. Take time to check out the windows of Main Street, U.S.A. They tell a story of Walt Disney World and how it came to be.
Guests can see small touches of Walt in these windows from the company names he used to purchase land in Florida that would become Walt Disney World and so much more.
Steakhouse 71- Disney’s Contemporary Resort
As part of the 50th-anniversary celebration, Disney’s Contemporary Resort saw an upgrade to The Wave with the new Steakhouse 71. This casual steakhouse is a nod to the design and style of the 1970s when Walt Disney World opened.
The menu features delicious offerings that are inspired by Walt Disney himself. Guests can enjoy Walt’s Prime Rib Has for breakfast or try out Walt’s chili for lunch.
It isn’t just some of the menu items where Walt can be felt. Throughout the restaurant, Guests are able to enjoy pictures that illustrated different stages of Walt Disney World’s creation. This is a dining location where Walt himself can be felt.
Disney’s Riviera Resort
The newest Walt Disney World Resort has some small touches that have brought Walt Disney into the Resort feel. Inspired by his travels around the Mediterranean and Europe, this beautiful Resort has lovely artwork inspired by Walt.
Located in the main area of the Resort, Guests will find a seating area that has artwork and other decorations that are inspired by Walt himself. This classic Disney Resort has taken Walt’s love for art and decoration and made it part of its modern and elegant look. You truly feel like you could sit down and have a drink with Walt here.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress- Magic Kingdom
If there is one attraction at Walt Disney World that allows Guests to feel closer to Walt himself it would be Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom.
As Guests travel through four generations of progress, they are able to watch technology and so much more transform over time. Opening at Progressland for the New York World’s Fair in 19641965, this is one attraction that continues to have Walt Disney’s touch.
Enchanted Tiki Room- Magic Kingdom
The Enchanted Tiki Room is a true Walt Disney attraction. The groundbreaking technology was one that Walt envisioned for his animators allowing them to synchronize movement, audio, and visual effects. It is this vision that came to life with the Enchanted Tiki Room in 1963 at Disneyland and then later in Walt Disney World.
This show set the change for future attractions that would continue to push the limitations of audio-animatronics. We are grateful that Walt never stopped dreaming and thinking big. Because of this first step we have then gotten beloved attractions such as it’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean as well as Haunted Mansion.
Disney’s Enchantment- Magic Kingdom
Just recently Disney added a new way to see Walt at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Enchantment, the new fireworks show that debuted on October 1st, 2021, now features both Walt Disney and Roy Disney.
The new introduction show archive clips such as Walt Disney World’s dedication ceremony with Roy Disney and Mickey Mouse telling Guests that “you are the magic”. We think that this change was much needed as it didn’t seem right for these two not to be featured during the celebration.
Although it is sad that Walt Disney himself never saw that magic that Walt Disney World would bring to the world, there is still plenty of Walt in these Parks and Resorts. We hope that Disney will continue to bring more of Walt Disney and others into the Parks and Resorts in future years.