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Disney Gets $2 Million Grant to Redevelop Old Studio

kansas disney studio

Typically when we think of the places associated with the name “Disney” our minds immediately go to the Disney Parks at either Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort, and if not those, the Disney movies from Walt Disney Animation Studios and the numerous other properties Disney owns are a close second. However, some devoted Disney Fanatics (with a love for Disney history) will know there’s another Kansas City-based Disney studio that will be getting some love.

magic kingdom cinderella castle

“Partners Statue” in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom/Courtesy of Disney

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The Kansas City historical site, Walt Disney’s Laugh-o-gram Studio, is due to be renewed and will be brought back to life as U.S. House Rep. Emanuel Cleaver announced on Wednesday, February 22, 2023. The non-profit group, Thank You Walt Disney, Inc. is getting a $2 million grant to revitalize this old site of Disney history.

The abandoned building once housed Walt Disney’s offices and was where “he and several iconic animators got their start and where characters beloved through the ages and around the world were inspired.”

walt disney laugh o gram studio

Walt Disney’s Laugh-O-Gram Studio, Kansas City/Courtesy of Visit KC

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The old Kansas Disney studio will now be converted into a coworking space, add in a small theater as well as a Disney museum. Cleaver shared, “I think it would be malfeasant if Kansas City did not have some visible tribute to one of its most significant citizens.”

Some Disney fans will also be interested to know that legend has it this studio was also the place where the seed for Mickey Mouse was planted in Walt Disney’s mind. According to Visit KC, Walt Disney used to feed a little mouse called Mortimer every day, and the mouse would sit at his desk, eating crumbs he gave it. When he left for Hollywood, Walt Disney released little Mortimer into a field to keep it safe from the cat that lived in the restaurant below their offices. Per the legend, it’s this little mouse that eventually became the beloved Mickey Mouse that started the Walt Disney Company empire!

walt disney history

Walt Disney/Courtesy of History.com

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With all of this said, it’s certainly a timely renovation of this building, considering that Disney is currently celebrating its centennial; honoring the studio where Disney himself got his career going is certainly a laudable way to continue the festivities!

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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