Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy 109th Birthday, Walt Disney!

Today marks what would be Walt Disney's 109th birthday. By now, he would have passed away from old age, but sadly, Walt only lived to be to be 65 and 10 days, dying from lung cancer after a life full of chain smoking.

Walt still managed to do some amazing things in a what seemed by many, a life cut short. His achievements include the first sound cartoon, bringing color to cartoons, the first feature length animated film, building Disneyland, buying the land in Orlando, and overseeing the plans for EPCOT, which was never built as Walt wanted it.

One of the best ways to thoroughly learn about Walt's life is to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. I have written a blog post about it in the past, and hope to go back when I am back home for winter break.

It's an odd coincidence that 10 days from now, on December 15, it will mark the anniversary of Walt's death. He died only 10 days after his 65th birthday, having come down with lung cancer, which he had only known about for a short time. But we'll discuss his death more when that day comes. Today is the day to celebrate his birth, and life, and what he did during those 65 years and 10 days.

As I have discussed at length, and will discuss even more, I was at Disneyland for 5 days a few weeks ago. Besides visiting the Family Museum, this is the the best way to explore what Walt loved about life. It was his personal utopia, built to be as close to perfection as possible. A place for both the young and old; not just for children, as many people seem to think. It's a place he loved so much, he would often sleep over there, a place he was an integral part of since day one of construction. A place that frustrated him when the surrounding area was developed by less than classy establishments.

To really celebrate Walt's life, to really walk in his shoes, you have to walk through Disneyland. So today, we celebrate Walt's life, and his greatest achievement, Disneyland.

Happy Birthday, Walt.

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