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Mom photographing the Giraffes

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Mom photographing the Giraffes
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Disney - Epcot World Showcase before Illuminations
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Image by Express Monorail
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This day in Disney history:

(1971) Roy O. Disney, who had carried the burden of his brother's dreams for most of his adult life, and certainly for the five years since Walt's death, formally dedicated Walt Disney World to his brother's memory. Although he continued to give his brother the credit – and insisted that “Walt” be added to the name of the park, which had previously been known simply as Disney World – Roy had worked tirelessly since Walt's death to bring the dream to life raising more than 0 million for the park's construction. Just two months after the dedication, Roy Disney passed away.

Bonus: Roy O. Disney's dedication speech: “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”

It is said that Roy O. Disney, while waiting to dedicate Walt Disney World, felt sad that his brother Walt could not be there to see out his last dream and dedicate Walt Disney World himself. He thought that if Walt himself could not be there then the closest thing to Walt would be Mickey Mouse. After all, it was all started by a mouse. So Roy had his assistants go fetch Mickey Mouse to be brought up on the stage to stand by his side while he dedicated Walt Disney World. After giving his dedication for Walt Disney World, he then asked Lillian Disney (Walt Disney's wife) to join him. As the orchestra played "When You Wish Upon a Star", which is sort of considered the Disney anthem, she stepped up to the podium accompanied by Mickey Mouse. He then said, "Lilly, you knew all of Walt's ideas and hopes as well as anybody; what would Walt think of Walt Disney World?". "I think Walt would have approved," she replied.

Roy died from a cerebral hemorrhage on December 20, 1971, the day he was due to open the Disneyland Christmas parade.

Pictured:
Epcot World Showcase
Epcot
Walt Disney World Resort
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
June, 2008

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