Walt Disney with Company at Press Conference


Walt Disney (1901–66), the American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, and entrepreneur, was best known for creating such iconic characters as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself was the original voice. In the 1930s and 1940s, he produced full-length animated films that included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), and Bambi (1942). In 1955, Disney opened Disneyland, a theme park located in Anaheim, California that featured many attractions based on Disney film characters. This 1965 photograph shows Disney and his brother Roy (1873–1971) with Florida’s Governor W. Haydon Burns (1912–87), announcing plans to create a Disney theme park in the state. Walt Disney World opened in 1971. Located just southwest of Orlando, Florida, the attraction grew to become the largest resort in the world, covering 47 square miles (122 square kilometers) and encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, a wilderness preserve, and numerous hotels.

Last updated: March 9, 2015