In this week’s final entry focusing on Walt Disney, I wanted to spotlight a few special creations in the Disney Parks that I find particularly magical and provide a strong emotional connection to the Disney family who have made dreams come true for so many millions of people around the world, but especially those who’ve had the privilege to visit the Disney Parks.
These are the three bronze statues called “Partners”, “Storytellers” and “Sharing the Magic”.
The first of these to be commissioned and created was Partners – the now iconic image sculpted by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson featuring a mature Walt Disney holding the hand of his equally famous creation, Mickey Mouse, as Walt points the way to the future.
This piece sits at the Hub at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., in front of each park’s castle at both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. It is also represented in many other Disney Parks worldwide.
The next piece created by Mr. Gibson showcased the oft-unsung hero, crucial to manifesting the dreams of his brother Walt – Roy O. Disney. In this depiction, Sharing the Magic, Roy is seated on a bench supporting Minnie Mouse’s hand as he always supported the ideas of his brother and helped make them a reality. You can find Sharing the Magic placed on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort as that is where Roy O. Disney had his greatest effect on the parks by continuing their progress after his brother’s passing. This statue is not at the Disneyland Resort.
Finally, there is the statue, Storytellers, portraying a young, idealistic Walt Disney, just off the train with his suitcase and a younger version of Mickey Mouse perched atop it. This image of the two, placed at the end of Buena Vista Street near the Carthay Circle at Disney California Adventure, captures the time before Walt’s greatest success but at a point where everything was possible. What is special about Storytellers is that unlike Partners’ positioning, this statue is accessible to everyone, as it is situated with both feet on the ground, rather than elevated on a pedestal like Partners. Wonderful symbolism recognizing Walt’s status at the time, but also satisfying a desire by guests to get closer to “Walt” than Partners’ placement allowed. I also love how this piece ties into the nearby Red Car Trolley News Boys performance of “A Suitcase and a Dream”.
While all three of these are great spots for photo opportunities, and are certainly gorgeous artistic creations unto themselves – particularly the two designed by Blaine Gibson, who knew the men he sculpted personally – I’d like to suggest that next time you’re at a Disney Park, you take a moment just to stop at these monuments to two great men and pay your respects and maybe even say “thank you”. Because without the two of them working together, there would be no Disney Parks for the whole world to enjoy.
Have you paused to look at any of these statues of the Disney brothers? How many of these have you taken pictures with?