A Letter to Walt Disney on His Birthday

Today, I am reminded of a man who needs no introduction but if have no idea who I’m writing about, here is a timeline of Walt’s 65 years from the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco, CA.

There is not a lot I have to say about this visionary besides the nagging sentiment that follows me when I think of him, his wife Lilly, Disneyland, and the iconic mouse that he brought to life – Mickey. And that is a feeling of childlike joy.

Ub Iwerk, Disney Animator
Animator Ub Iwerk’s earliest drawing of Mickey

I was reminded of this unparalleled joy during my most recent visit to Disneyland where, to get into the holiday spirit, I dressed up as a reindeer. Okay so, I only wore a headband with antlers coming out of them but I digress…

As we were walking around the park I overhead a blonde girl who was no more than 4 years old say:

“Mama, look! Are they reindeer?!”

Her face lit up and as she walked by staring at us, I couldn’t help but smile. The absolute joy that this child was exuding over seeing me (seriously me- not a Disney princess) dressed up as a “reindeer” was infectious as hell heck!

Even after his departure, Walt has brought so much joy and magic to the lives of children and adults alike. I sometimes wonder how he was able to tap into this world and somehow convince others to join him on a journey that many (and probably most) believed he was insane to walk. And more importantly, that his love of magic and make believe has continued even after his death.

With that, here is my letter to Walt on what would have been his 116th birthday:

Dear Mr. Walt Disney,

You don’t know me, but I know you; most people do.

There has been a lot said about you both during your time here on Earth and after your departure, but I don’t want to focus on that. I would rather tell you how you have changed my life and the lives of countless other individuals, both young and old.

You have given us a place, both in the world and in our minds, to forget about the ‘real world’ for a day.

You have given us a safe space to let our inner child run wild.

You have given us memories that we can tap into anytime and anywhere.

You have given us magic.

Thank you, Walt. Your vision is one of my favorites and so many of us would be lost without it.

 

Love,

AC (Forever a kid at heart)

 

 

 

 

 

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