Fans Argue Disney “Wouldn’t Have Even Been Around” if Walt Disney Lived Longer

Walt Disney
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney, the founder of the Walt Disney Company, is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of the animation industry and is known for creating iconic characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Over the course of his career, Walt Disney expanded his studio and opened Disneyland Resort, the first Disney Theme Park, started working on television shows and merchandise, and made his name as a pioneer in the field of entertainment. His studio was even the first to use synchronized sound and technicolor in animation.

magic kingdom cinderella castle

“Partners” statue in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are two of the most popular and well-known Theme Parks in the world founded by Walt Disney. Disneyland was the first Disney Park in Anaheim, California. It opened in 1955 and has since become an iconic destination for Guests from around the world. Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Central Florida, is home to four Theme Parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom), two water parks, a shopping and dining district, and more.

Jeopardy's Walt Disney trivia question

Walt Disney Company founder, Walt Disney/ Credit: D23

However despite all the success that Walt Disney’s legacy is now characterized by, some fans aren’t sure if the famous founder himself could have built the company up to what it has become today.

In a post by u/jadennew, the OP asked fellow fans “if Walt had lived a lot longer that he would have eventually upgraded or even swapped out his Disneyland Castle?” In responding to this question, some darker realities about fans’ opinions of Walt Disney and his leadership came to light.

U/CoolUncleTouch shared that Walt Disney’s “focus was EPCOT, so if he lived longer, the weird, kind of authoritarian company town vision might’ve been more of a reality.”

Jeopardy's Walt Disney trivia question

Spaceship Earth, EPCOT, Walt Disney World Resort / Credit: Disney

Related: Disney World Classic Closes for Major Transformation

Another user, u/dave5104, added, “My alternate history path opinion is that Disney wouldn’t have even been around nowadays, because they would have gone down the rabbit hole of building EPCOT as a city without much financial return. Glad they opted to instead just build another theme park.”

Many corroborated this thought that EPCOT would have become Walt Disney’s complete focus. Although we can never know what might have really happened, the legacy that is associated with his name is certainly a force to be reckoned with, to the extent that any former Disney CEO, be that Michael Eisner, Bob Chapek, or current Disney CEO Bob Iger are faced with a lot of pressure to live up to the Disney name.

Here’s looking forward to the Walt Disney Company keeping its name and legacy for the next hundred years.

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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