No trip the the Magic Kingdom is complete without a photo op at the iconic Partners Statue. The statue sits in front of Cinderella castle, at the end of Main Street U.S.A., and greets guests as they make their way into the lands. And by the way, I didn’t spell Cinderella wrong. It’s actually not pronounced Cinderella‘s (one of the interesting factoids we learned on our Keys To The Kingdom tour). Anyhoo – here are a few fun facts about the Partners Statue:
- The Partners Statue was sculpted by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson. A former Disney animator and Imagineer, Blaine took one year to create the sculpture and based his depiction of Walt on a bust he originally created in the 1960s.
- When considering having Mickey hold Walt’s hand, Blaine consulted footage from the film “Fantasia,” in which Mickey shakes the hand of orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski.
- One early sketch of the Partners Statue featured Mickey holding an ice cream cone in one hand.
- When choosing an expression for Walt’s face, Blaine tried to reflect Walt’s goal of making people happy. The statue’s expression is Blaine’s interpretation of Walt watching happy people enjoy the park.
- The initials on Walt’s tie are “STR,” and stand for “Smoke Tree Ranch,” an area in Palm Springs where Walt once owned a vacation home.
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