Remembering The Legacy of Walt Disney

December 15 will mark the 48th anniversary of the world's loss of Walt Disney. Each year as we approach this anniversary, it is appropriate to take a moment to reflect on the legacy that he left behind. Today let's explore Walt Disney's legacy at Walt Disney World by examining three locations at the resort - Main Street and Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom and Future World at EPCOT.


Every Magic Kingdom style park in the world welcomes guests onto Main Street, U.S.A., which is modeled after Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, Missouri. Beyond the fact that our story opens at the turn of the century in the Midwest, Main Street pays homage to Walt in many different ways. The Walt Disney World Railroad captures Walt's pioneering spirit, a spirit that manifests itself in every other land of the Magic Kingdom. Enduring and evolving product placement on Main Street reflects the brands that are relevant to guests today and demonstrates that the legacy of the Disney Company cooperating with other corporate giants lives on today.

Main Street U.S.A. Vision of the Perfect HometownMain Street U.S.A. Vision of the Perfect Hometown

Walt Disney was an ardent patriot and nowhere is that more evident than in Liberty Square. "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln", one of Walt's offerings for the 1964 World's Fair, was the precursor to the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square. The experience at the World's Fair proved to be invaluable for Walt and many of the attractions showcased there are still beloved in the parks today. In addition to Liberty Square, current tributes to America that would have made Walt very proud include the American Adventure at EPCOT, the use of the Americana float as the finale for both the Main Street Electrical Parade and the Electrical Water Pageant, and the tradition of Main Street's Flag Retreat ceremony every day.

The Hall of Presidents Builds on Walt's Groundbreaking TechnologiesThe Hall of Presidents Builds on Walt's Groundbreaking Technologies
Patriotic Tributes Are Located Across the PropertyPatriotic Tributes Are Located Across the Property

One of Walt's last television appearances was his presentation of his EPCOT. Although EPCOT the theme park is very different from the prototype that inspired it, Walt's vision is still alive and well here, especially in Future World. Future World is not just a collection of rides and attractions. It is full of real, working labs and carefully constructed presentations designed with a goal of inspiring guests to learn something new and inspire them to keep learning and evolving every day. From providing a platform for civilians to experience astronaut training to developing new farming techniques that may hold the key to our future global food supply needs, EPCOT is one of the best "edutainment" venues in the world for kids of all ages.

Do you Listen to The Land?Do you Listen to The Land?
Behind the Seeds Tour Through the Greenhouse LabBehind the Seeds Tour Through the Greenhouse Lab

The men and women entrusted with the task of weaving Walt Disney's spirit and optimism into Walt Disney World have done a fine job. In addition to these ways that Walt's influence continues to permeate the parks at Walt Disney World, the attraction "One Man's Dream" at Hollywood Studios presents a brief history of the many other ways that Walt Disney influenced the world around him. Julie Andrews says it best in that attraction's film, "Walt Disney once said 'I hope we never loose sight of one thing, that it all started with a mouse', but we know that it really all started with a man, a man with a dream...and a mouse."

A big thanks goes out to Guest Author Holly L. for sharing a little bit of her time in Walt Disney World with us. If you'd like to read more about Holly's trip, you can find her sharing her adventures on our member forum.

Kristen K. wrote on Sun, 12/07/2014 - 19:15:

Kristen K.'s picture

Great article Holly, I always try and remember Uncle Walt while I'm touring. I like to tell my kids little random stories to make sure they remember too.

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