By Kean Huy Alado
Amid Disney's two celebrations: “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” a commemoration of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary, and 100 Years of Wonder, a birthday celebration for the founding of the brand, Governor DeSantis lays claim on Disney's geographic area.
Both of the celebrations continue to animate Disney theme parks around the world. It was five score years ago that the entertainment brand began to captivate the eyes of children and adults alike. Then, after half a century of great prosperity with their creations, the entertainment company established its first Walt Disney World Park, Magic Kingdom, in 1971 which later became Walt Disney Park (WDW), renamed in honor of Walt's dream by his brother, Roy Disney. WDW’s 50th anniversary celebration should have begun as early as October 2021 but were postponed until January 2022 due to the pandemic.
This anniversary exists to commemorate the historical start of the Walt Disney World theme park. It also hots time-gated exclusive events and merchandise that expresses its long-standing popularity.
In a similar manner, the Disney 100 celebration takes the form of exclusive, limited-time merchandise and events at Disney's theme parks as well.
Multiple iconic Walt Disney World landmarks are decorated with ornamental lights to illuminate the night. Parades of the golden anniversary also frequent the streets of the park. Special merchandise is sold in places like Disney Springs, Orlando, where a World of Disney shop is stocked with exclusive apparel and souvenirs for purchase outside the parks.
In 2018 alone, Walt Disney World attained 157.3 million visitors in comparison to the 58 million average annual attendance.
Sophomore nursing student, Fabio Gonzalez, remarked that Walt Disney wanted these parks "to be a world of fantasy for both children and adults, and I think that the parks recreate that dream"
His favorite ride at the park is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
As for the students at Barry, the allure of Space Mountain is the most entertaining, with about 22 percent of poll participants voting it as their favorite ride in a poll by The Buccaneer.
Disney, as a whole, has given people around the world, like Gonzalez, fantasies and joys that would not have been possible without the spark of Walter Elias Disney.
Walt Disney’s story began as a boy born in Chicago, Illinois on December 5, 1901. At a young age, Walt was deeply interested in drawing and animation which he practiced, which led him to become a cartoonist for the school paper at McKinley High School. In 1919, Walt moved to Kansas City where he got a job at the Pesmen-Rubin Art Studio to work on commercials based on cutout animations.
In 1928, Disney created the first product with the animation icon, Mickey Mouse. Walt developed his animation for the Mouse with handdrawn animation and a camera. Two years later, the character had many products which even caught endorsement from politicians. By the ‘50s, Disney was aired on television alongside action movies for the first time.
By the tome of his death on December 15, 1966, Walt Disney was accredited with 26 Oscar Awards, 10 feature films, 12 short films, and 4 honorary awards.
For Barry students, there is a wide variety of love in Disney films from the Pixar movie “Up” to the classic Disney film “The Lion King” but the most loved movie was “The Princess and the Frog,” holding about 19 percent of the votes.
Freshman nursing major Tianna Hudson’s favorite Disney movie is “Lilo & Stitch,” a story of an alien and a new-found family.
“Disney is universal,” she said.
But Governor Ron DeSantis is on track to retain leadership of the Reedy Creek Improvement District where WDW is located following the passing of a state bill in Florida’s House of Representatives on February 9. Home to the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, the governor will oversee the development of the parks and handpick the Orlando-area’s district board members.
DeSantis had his eyes set on Disney after its CEO Bob Chapek spoke out last March against Florida’s new “Don’t Say Gay” law that restricts education on sexual orientation and gender identity and vowed to help strike it down.
“There’s a new sheriff in town, and that’s just the way it’s going to be,” said DeSantis.
But what's undeniable is Walt Disney's legacy will live on in the characters he created and in those after him.