An Alternative Way to Connect with Disney History

If you’re a Disney record buff like me, I’m absolutely sure you’ve walked through Hollywood Studios’ Walt Disney Presents numerous periods inspecting Walt’s timeline of legacy. Toward the commencing of the attraction, you are introduced with photos and artifacts connected to Marceline, Missouri, Walt’s childhood dwelling from ages 5-10. Whilst his time there appeared quick, Marceline experienced a terrific influence on Walt’s formative yrs and basically served as inspiration for the strategy of Primary Road, U.S.A.  

I was equipped to make a trip to Marceline a number of many years again and to this day, it nonetheless holds a particular spot in my reminiscences. In some means, it feels like traveling to the land the place the spark of creativity commenced. 

On my visit to Marceline, suitable off the bat, I was immersed in the personal small-town Americana appeal. Our initial end was the Walt Disney Hometown Museum exactly where we discovered all types of scenes and artifacts relating to Walt’s childhood, his grownup lifetime, Disneyland, and his visits back to Marceline in later many years.

Product of the Disneyland entrance at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.

How did Walt conclusion up in Marceline? Walt’s father, Elias, made a decision to move his loved ones from Chicago because of to issues of protection and beneath a notion to start farming.

Our tour manual at the time, Inez Johnson, who in fact fulfilled Walt Disney, had a prosperity of expertise and stories linked to his time there. She recalled a story Walt handed on to her exactly where he established a circus to receive some funds as an 8-calendar year-previous entrepreneur. He qualified dogs to do tricks and observed that he couldn’t teach the cats, so his sister, Ruth, aided develop some fun outfits for the latter. Charging a dime for admission, the viewers was entertained by Skinny, the ironically-named pig, the costumed cats, and canines leaping through a hoop. All the young children believed it was the finest circus right until the ponies would not conduct the tricks he taught them and ended up not performing a great deal. Since of this, the viewers preferred their dollars again. Walt’s mother, Flora, overheard what was likely on and informed him he experienced to give them their dollars back again since they ended up not content with his services. 

Inez Johnson from the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.

You may possibly be pondering, “How did Inez receive gems of information and facts this kind of as this?” Nicely, when she was 27, her family’s home was the only air-conditioned residence in city and they experienced the Disney spouse and children stay with them when Walt and his brother, Roy, visited Marceline back again in 1956.

Upon Walt’s visits to Marceline, he gave back again in quite a few various methods to the community. All around the university, he had his artists produce renditions of the first Fab Five characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. Disney experienced explained if it hadn’t been for his adore of the basic barnyard animal and savoring mother nature in individuals five short several years at Marceline, he was not absolutely sure that he would’ve established those individual characters. 

Model of Sleeping Splendor Castle at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum.

Just after coming back, Walt had fallen in love with the farm all over again and the nostalgia of simple living. Walt mentioned if Inez’ husband bought the farm because he could get it cheaper than Walt could, he would buy it back from him. This did transpire, nonetheless, both equally Walt and Roy’s deaths proceeded ahead of it could be worked on. Inez and her spouse purchased it again to maintain the home, and even her daughter has raised their loved ones there. 

Coach auto positioned in Marceline, Missouri.

The Disney grandchildren had been invited again for Walt’s 100th birthday with a established celebration in September 2001. They observed the condition of the railroad that Walt had talked of so fondly and the point was there wasn’t any money to have the railroad restored. When the Disney grandchildren went house, they despatched some own Disney stock to enable preserve the museum. Ruth Disney’s descendants also gave them products that she wanted to go back again to Marceline.

Uptown Theatre on Most important Avenue, U.S.A., Marceline, Missouri.

Aspect of our trip to Marceline included going for walks right down the middle of the first Main Street, U.S.A. The foundation of the properties are even now intact with some repurposed in diverse ways. 

Setting up in Marceline, Missouri that served as inspiration for “Coke Corner” in Disneyland.

The building that served as inspiration for “Coke Corner” in Disneyland used to be an endeavor enterprise. Roy had a position encouraging the undertaker and Walt said he could help by maintaining the hearse clear. Nevertheless, Roy explained the only point he remembered Walt executing was crawling in the hearse and actively playing lifeless. I would enjoy to think this memory was a spark related to The Haunted Mansion.

Son of Dreaming Tree positioned on the Disney Farm house.

Walt’s romantic relationship to character in his youth could be greatest summarized with his Dreaming Tree. Walt would come to this cottonwood tree with his sister, Ruth, a pad, and pencil, although laying on a blanket during what he termed “Belly Botany.” He sketched whatsoever wildlife he saw like rabbits, squirrels, subject mice, and an occasional Bambi [deer].

Signage positioned beside Son of Dreaming Tree.

The Nationwide Forestry took seeds from the initial cottonwood tree from the Disney farm realizing the age and importance it carried. As it begun to die, seedlings from the tree were planted. Bradford Disney Lund, Walt’s grandson, alongside with Disney Environment Ambassadors, brought drinking water and soil from the Rivers of America connecting the past and current to build the long run. The Son of Dreaming Tree was a highlight on our trip from checking out the home.

Reproduction of the Disney Barn located on the Disney Farm residence.

Nearby the Son of Dreaming Tree is also a replica of the Disney Barn. Instead than the unique creating, this barn stands as a testomony to the time all through which the Disney loved ones lived in Marceline.

Messages inscribed on the Disney Barn reproduction situated on the Disney Farm home.

The general public, which includes some noteworthy artists and figures, have still left messages inscribed on the partitions, beams- any floor that can be penned on with tributes to Walt. I myself remaining my own minimal observe of thanks.

In front of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum in Marceline, Missouri.

If you at any time get the possibility, I very advocate stopping in Marceline, Missouri for a minimal slice of Disney nostalgia. If you can make it part of your Disney journey, it will make scheduling a trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney Entire world all the more enriching. Our tour guidebook, Inez, was an irreplaceable treasure herself with the stories and understanding she shared about her residence. You can tangibly really feel the link from Marceline, to Disneyland, to Walt Disney Environment in this unique very little pocket of the country. Respiration in the outdoor, gazing at a obvious blue sky in a industry of grass and cottonwood trees, you too, may well see why Walt located this spot so particular.