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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Partners - A Story of Statues

As you can see from the picture at the top of this blog, Walt & Mickey are partners in creative work, in Disneyland, in life. The bronze "Partners Statue" was installed in Disneyland in November, 1993. It is located in the circular hub in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle. It is also surrounded by small bronze statues of Chip & Dale, Goofy and the White Rabbit among others.
A copy of these statues were added to Walt Disney World in front of Cinderella Castle in June of 1995, dedicated by Roy E. Disney

The "Partners," statue was sculpted by long time Imagineer artist Blaine Gibson. During the Halloween season, pumpkins sporting cut outs of Disney characters surround the hub with Walt's statue in both parks. Blaine contributed his sculpting talents to such attractions as the Haunted Mansion, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. He also sculpted the faces for all of the Presidents for the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom.  Current President Barak Obama was his last.  Mr. Gibson is currently 90 years old.
The Magic Kingdom opened on October 1st, 1971 and this plaque commemorated all that had gone into furthering Walt's dream.  
The plaque above reads: Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney and to the talents, the dedication and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring joy and inspiration and new knowledge to all who come to this happy place ... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn together. Dedicated this 25th day of October, 1971.    Roy O. Disney  

Roy, Walt's brother, partner and "money guy" died 2 months after this dedication of a stroke.  However Blaine preserved his presence at the Park he finished for his brother.  While not as commanding as Walt's statue in front of the castle, this one conveys the more casual demeanor of Roy.   The "Sharing the Magic Statue" of Roy O. Disney seated with Minnie Mouse is located on a bench near the park's entrance. The statue was dedicated in October of 1999 by his son, Roy E. Disney, who recently passed away from cancer. He was just shy of his 80th birthday.
Here is me and "Pal Mickey" sitting next to Minnie and Roy.
Not only are these statues reminders of the great men who gave us the best playgrounds on Earth but are inspirations for what we can do if we dream it.

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