The Life of Walt Disney

Hear about the Life of Walt Disney, from his childhood in Marceline to the streets of Disneyland. Learn how Mickey Mouse came to be!

American English Podcast

American English Podcast

By Shana Thompson

To ONLY listen to The Life of Walt Disney fast forward to minute 9:50.

Walt Elias Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 5th, 1901.

The Disneys, which consisted of Walt, his parents and four other siblings, lived in a neighborhood called Hermosa, which at the time was less than desirable and going downhill.

His parents decided as early as 1906 that it wasn’t the best place to raise a family and uprooted their lives to move to a farm in Marceline, Missouri. Walt’s uncle Robert had bought land there, and everything about Marceline was magical in young Walt’s eyes.

The green pastures surrounding the farmhouse were spotted in fruit trees, and there were plenty of animals to take care of and play with.

The downtown was as cute as a button. Apart from the colorful storefronts and sweet shops, the streets were lined with gas street lights. The roads were unpaved and traffic was made up of horses and buggies. It seemed quaint, so quaint, he later modeled Main Street in Disneyland after it. Just walking distance from Walt’s house, multiple train lines met and he soon fell in love with them, the trains, that is.

He would watch them come and go and imagine the adventures and new places its passengers would encounter.

The Entertainer

For one reason or another, Walt’s parents first sent him to school at age seven instead of age five, like most kids. To say that the transition was rough is kind of an understatement.

For one, he had priorities during class and paying attention to the teacher was not one of them. He would spend his days drawing pictures in the corner of his notebook, then flip the pages quickly to make the images appear to be moving. He loved drawing, and even at an early age, he called himself an artist.

Walt also loved to entertain. Outside of class, he was cast in school plays. One of the most memorable roles he landed was as Peter Pan. And as lead character, he got to fly. He’d never forget it, especially because once, while in flight, the chords broke and he landed into the audience.

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Your Host

Shana - ESL Teacher

Hi Everyone! I am an ESL teacher from California and the host of the American English Podcast. Learn more about me and my teaching experience here.

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