walt disney

Topics: The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney Company subsidiaries, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Pages: 27 (9733 words) Published: September 27, 2014


























"Walt was never afraid to dream. That song from Pinocchio, 'When You Wish Upon a Star,' is the perfect summary of Walt's approach to life: dream big dreams, even hopelessly impossible dreams, because they really can come true. Sure, it takes work, focus and perseverance. But anything is possible. Walt proved it with the impossible things he accomplished."1 It is well documented that Walt Disney had big dreams and made several large gambles to propel his visions. From the creation of Steamboat Willie in 1928 to the first color feature film, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” in 1937, and the creation of Disneyland in Anaheim, CA during the 1950’s, Disney risked his personal assets as well as his studio to build a reality from his dreams. While Walt Disney passed away in the mid 1960’s, his quote, “If you can dream it, you can do it,”2 still resonates in the corporate world and operations of The Walt Disney Company. COMPANY HISTORY

The Walt Disney Company (“Disney”) originated with its animated characters and expanded into other adjacent businesses with the goal of bringing happiness to families via several different, but related avenues. In October 1923, Walter (“Walt”) and Roy Disney established the Disney Brothers Studio and began creating animated films that would eventually be the foundation of Disney3. In 1937, Disney created Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This film is the only animated film to rank in the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest American Films of all time.4

In 1955, Disney opened its first theme park, Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, that spanned over 160 acres. Opening day was not without issues. The temperature was over 101 degrees, there was a plumber’s strike, and the asphalt had been recently placed (which made the heels of women shoes sink into the ground). Even with all the negative press on opening day, Disneyland has still been one of the most successful, frequently visited theme parks in history. The construction of Disneyland was personally supervised by Walt.5 In December 1966, Walt Disney passed away from lung cancer. Although he was an avid smoker, he was always careful not to smoke around kids. Walt’s passing did not stop his brother Roy from continuing to build on his brother’s dream. In 1971, Walt Disney World opened its doors in Florida. Roy Disney passed away in late 1971. At that point, control of the company passed to Donn Tatum, followed by Card Walker and then Ron Miller (Walt’s son in law).6 Disney continued to expand by adding additional theme parks and media assets. In April 1983,...

References: Himmelberg, M. 2005. Setting the bar high // In the years to come, Disneyland’s challenge will be to keep up its
aura of innocence while it keeps pace with a wiser clientele
Disney, 2011 About Disney: Investors: http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/investors/fact-books, Accessed
November 26, 2012.
The Walt Disney Company, 2011, Form 10-k
Business Wire, 1995, Disney, Capital Cities/ABC agrees to merge; $19 billion transaction will enhance
Disney, 2012, http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/disney-news/press-releases/2012/10/disney-acquire-lucasfilmltd, Accessed November 25, 2012.
Disney, 2012, http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/investors, Accessed November 26, 2012.
The Walt Disney Company, 2011, Form 10-k
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