Legends

THE WONDERFUL ROY O. DISNEY

If you find Disney history interesting I would recommend reading Roy O. Disney And The Creation Of An Entertainment Empire. It’s a fascinating look into the partnership between Walt Disney and his older brother Roy O. Disney. The more I learned about Roy the more I liked him.

Roy’s aptitude for numbers and fiscal know-how were what made all of Walt Disney’s projects possible. Without their unique partnership it’s unlikely that any of Walt’s pioneering firsts could ever have been realized. Both men worked tirelessly and were completely devoted to their company – and neither had the chance to retire. It was Roy who insisted that Walt Disney be the company’s namesake and that their venture operate as Walt Disney Studios.

After Walt Disney’s passing in 1966, before ground was even broken on The Florida Project, it would be Roy O. Disney who would lead it to completion. He ensured that The Magic Kingdom was constructed to Walt Disney’s exact specifications, with every extraordinary detail completed to the highest standard. At the time Roy was simultaneously carrying out Walt Disney’s last philanthropic legacy for CalArts – Walt Disney’s founding vision of a California Institute of the Arts – and it all may have been too much for him.

The Magic Kingdom would open on October 1, 1971 – in the black, with not a single borrowed cent. Once again Roy gave his brother top billing, naming the park Walt Disney World. Roy O. Disney would pass less than two months after the opening ceremonies. His quiet work behind the scenes was so integral to the experiences of anyone who has ever been entertained, moved or inspired by the wonderful world of Disney.

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