5 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Disney

5 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Disney

The Walt Disney World Company has become one of the largest media and entertainment companies globally, despite having humble beginnings that were led by just one man who had big dreams. It is known both for its films and its leisure resorts and facilities located across the world. Many Disney characters have become household names in their rights, and the resorts are some of the world’s most popular destinations and attractions. Regardless of their age or location, there are very few people who have not seen at least one Disney cartoon, television program, or movie. Although most people know there are Disney World resorts and that Disney is involved in film production, there are many facts that people do not know about this company.

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Disney.

1. Walt Disney was a high school dropout.

Walt was just 16 when he left school to join the Red Cross Ambulance Corps, wanting to do his part in World War I. But because he was just shy of the minimum age requirement of 17, he forged a different date on his birth certificate. Disney didn’t see much action, however. He was sent to France in late 1918, not long after the armistice was signed that ended the fighting. Nevertheless, he still helped, driving Red Cross officials and performing other tasks before being discharged in 1919.

2. The First Disney Character Was a Rabbit.

Many people mistakenly believe that Mickey Mouse was the first original character created by Walt Disney, as it is this character with which he is usually associated and best known. However, the actual first original character he created was a rabbit called Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. This character appeared in a series of silent cartoons until 1928, when Walt Disney lost the contract with the distributor due to a legal loophole. It was then that Walt Disney created Mortimer Mouse. Unfortunately, his wife disliked the name he had chosen for the character, so it was renamed Mickey Mouse. This character is now the most famous of all the Disney characters and the one that the most visitors want to meet during a trip to the theme parks and resorts.

In 2006, The Walt Disney Company bought back the rights for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from NBC Universal in a deal that included both the intellectual property of the character and all 26 cartoons that Walt Disney created.

3. Mickey Mouse wasn’t Walt Disney’s first significant creation.

In 1927, Universal asked Walt and his chief animator Ub Iwerks to create a cartoon character for them. They came up with Oswald and Lucky Rabbit. Oswald was a huge hit, complete with robust merchandising. With this success under his belt, in 1928, Disney went to New York to renegotiate his contract with producer Charles Mintz. Mintz, however, countered with a different deal: He wanted to cut the budget. And to add salt to the wound, Mintz had been working backdoor deals to hire Disney’s animators out from under him. In the end, Universal ended up with the rights to Oswald, and Disney left New York feeling as if he had lost almost everything. But it all worked out in the end—on the train ride back to California, Disney sketched a character that would eclipse Oswald in popularity: Mickey Mouse.

4. Walt Disney didn’t draw Mickey Mouse.

He did at first, but it didn’t last long—after 1928, Walt was no longer animating, focusing on story development and direction. Instead, he relied on Iwerks and other superior artists to draw dirty work. As a result, he never drew Mickey in any of his theatrical releases. He only drew Mickey when autograph seekers requested it.

5. The First Disney World Resort Was in California.

Although Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is often considered the central Disney theme park, it wasn’t the first. The first theme park and resort created by Walt Disney was Disneyland in Anaheim, California. This is now Disneyland Park and Disneyland Resort. Walt Disney was directly involved in the building and supervision of this theme park. As a father, he enjoyed spending time with his daughters at amusement parks during the 1930s and 1940s. So he wanted to create his amusement park so that children and parents could have fun together.

Initially, he wanted to do this at a site next to his studios in Burbank. But the site was too small. Instead, he purchased a 160-acre site near Anaheim, and construction of the park began in 1954. It was first opened to the public on July 17, 1955. This was an event that was televised on ABC Television Network. This theme park was the first to use its monorail system to transport visitors. It transports visitors from one part of the theme park to another. It is now one of the most visited attractions globally. Noteably, it has played host to over 650 million visitors since it first opened.


Apart from these five things, Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009. Moreover, Disney is one of the most reputed names globally. Of course, whenever we talk about Disney, Micky Mouse comes first, but more than that is the name that has been carried over the years.

Disney produces films and cartoons; they have an amusement park named Disneyland. These amusement parks are in the US, Hong Kong, and other parts globally.

Next we are going to cover an article on  DisneyLand, stay tuned. 

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