Sunday, July 12, 2009

Walt Disney

Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse statue at the Mag...Image by JeffChristiansen via Flickr

It is always good to come back home after being away from the family for a business trip. So today, for my only full day off before having to go back into the office tomorrow, is going to be a lazy day thinking about fun stuff. I plan to spend the day on the couch while my son watches videos. His favorites have always been Disney videos, especially Winnie the Pooh.

Walt Disney was an amazingly multi-talented individual. Like a lot of success stories, Disney had to suffer through some rough times before finding success. He quit school at the age of 16 to join the army, but was rejected for being underage. Instead he joined the Red Cross and was sent to France to drive an ambulance for a year. After he left there, he had a difficult time finding work.

Eventually, he got a temporary job creating advertisements. He met a cartoonist there and that led to his decision to become an animator. He started to achieve some local success in Kansas City creating cartoons to show in local movie theaters. Unfortunately, this venture eventually went bankrupt, so Disney decided to move to Hollywood to open a new studio in the movie capital.

In Hollywood, Disney once again started to have some modest success with his Alice Comedies. The success of that series led Universal Studios to order a new series, so Disney created Oswald the Rabbit which became an instant success. With the success of Oswald, he went to New York to try to get an increase in his fee for the series. Instead he was offered less money and given a "take it or leave it" ultimatum. He left it.

Starting all over again, Disney felt he needed to create a new character to get back on his feet. That new character became Mickey Mouse, and the rest, as they say, is history. The success of Mickey Mouse launched Disney to new heights. More characters were created, and Disney would go on to create the first full length animated feature films. Disney won his first Academy Award for Mickey Mouse in 1932. It would definitely not be his last honor. All told, Disney was nominated for 59 Academy Awards and won 26, including 4 in one year. He would also win 7 Emmy Awards.

Disney was nothing if not a visionary. He set forth the plans to create the ultimate theme park in Disney World and EPCOT Center. Sadly, he would die from lung cancer before the park would open, but the plans went forward and had a tremendous impact on the economy of Orlando, Florida. Prior to the opening of Disney World, Orlando was primarily involved in the citrus trade and later became a military town. Disney World brought the business of tourism to Orlando with millions of visitors each year.

There is something magical about seeing the look on the face of a child when they come face to face with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, or in the case of my son, Winnie the Pooh. Disney World truly is the Magical Kingdom. Having just spent three nights in a small hotel room, a hotel room just doesn't do it for a family. Instead it is better to have a home away from home by renting a house like the ones available at Orlando Vacation Rentals.
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