Walt Disney finds a home in mid-Missouri

1 month 1 week 4 days ago April 13, 2017 Apr 13, 2017 Thursday, April 13 2017 Thursday, April 13, 2017 10:35:00 AM CDT in News
By: Christina Salonikas and Emma Frazier, KOMU 8 Reporters
loading

MARCELINE - Walt Disney had many homes, but the place he always came back to was Marceline, where he spent five years of his childhood.

In 1956, the town decided it wanted to use Disney's name for its pool, which became the start to an ever-lasting relationship.

Walt Disney Hometown Museum volunteer Inez Johnson said, "He said, 'I'd be honored to have my name on that pool. I have nothing but fond memories of my time in Marceline.'"

Johnson not only met Walt Disney in 1956 when he came back to Marceline, but also she housed Disney and his family when they came for the pool dedication ceremony.

"They were the dearest people, ordinary people," Johnson said.

Through the years, the Johnsons and Disney grew a close friendship that would continue even after Walt's death.

In 1956, when Disney and his brother Roy were in town, they wanted to visit their old stomping grounds from their time as children on the family farm.

Walt and Roy Disney were amazed how intact the farm still was after all those years.

"Walt Disney grinned from ear to ear when he saw this one [tree] and said, 'I can't believe my dreaming tree is still living,'" Johnson said. 

Disney called it his dreaming tree because it was a perfect opportunity to sketch pictures of whatever he saw. He told Johnson, "I could always count on rabbits, squirrels and field mice."

The man-made tree that serves as the center of the Animal Kingdom park is based off of Disney's childhood dreaming tree from Marceline.

In 1966, Disney decided he wanted to send one of Disneyland's ride to Marceline.

"Midget Autopia" was a children-only ride that had run for 10 years in Disneyland. Disney felt was better suited back in his hometown of Marceline.

Walt Disney Hometown Museum creative director Peter Whitehead said, "It did the most amazing thing ever, and it moved from its home in California to Marceline. Historically significant, because it is the only ride that has ever left a functioning Disney theme park and maintained operation outside of Disney's control."

Disney was scheduled to come to the dedication ceremony but called two weeks earlier to say he was ill and unable to travel. That same year, Walt Disney passed away from lung cancer.

The ride was functional for 11 years in Marceline. The ride was thrown in the trash after needing additional storage space, and only parts were retrieved. The museum was able to salvage two cars from the ride, one of which is still on display.

Although Disney only lived in Marceline for a short period, he found inspiration and comfort in the town from his childhood.

Email us if there are sites you'd like KOMU 8 News to profile.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - MU has found its new chancellor. On Wednesday, UM System President Mun Choi introduced Alexander Cartwright as... More >>
5 hours ago May 25, 2017 May 25, 2017 Thursday, May 25 2017 Thursday, May 25, 2017 12:10:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
FAYETTE - The city of Fayette Wednesday night issued an immediate boil advisory until further notice for all residents affected... More >>
7 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:06:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker has taped messages from constituents to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens's door... More >>
9 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 8:28:50 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Target 8 investigation background checked Columbia Uber drivers and took a closer look at the ride-share company’s... More >>
10 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:57:00 PM CDT in Target 8
MOBERLY - Moberly no longer will euthanize animals with a gas chamber. In exchange for getting rid of the... More >>
12 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia visitor Zach Walther describes Uber as "convenient." The 23-year-old frequently uses the ride-sharing app, which arrived... More >>
12 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:28:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. CHARLES - The third day of the murder trial involving the death of a Missouri state trooper ended with... More >>
12 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:20:00 PM CDT in News
OSAGE BEACH - Two detention officers were recognized by the Missouri Sheriffs Association for taking quick action that saved the... More >>
13 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Gov. Eric Greitens is looking to Washington for financial help to help those affected by major flooding in... More >>
13 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:05:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – As Missouri lawmakers continue discussions regarding the so-called "steel mill bill," legislators from both sides have pitched... More >>
14 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 3:41:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY – A Columbia man was sentenced in federal court for his role in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.... More >>
14 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police officers took a 15-year-old male into custody after receiving reports of the student threatening violence at... More >>
15 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 2:31:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
MANCHESTER -Manchester, England is roughly 4,000 miles away from Missouri. But for students studying abroad, it can feel like a... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 1:02:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — Callaway County Sheriff's deputies arrested a Columbia woman after they pulled her over and discovered she had a... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:51:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A health system based in Kansas City, Missouri, has signed an agreement with Washington University in... More >>
17 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:49:52 AM CDT in News
KINGDOM CITY — A Fulton man was taken into custody last night after a short vehicle pursuit on Old Highway... More >>
18 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 11:15:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deadly shooting of a 28-year-old man in northeast Columbia. Police said in... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:23:00 AM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A bat in St. Louis County has tested positive for rabies, and health officials say it should... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 9:59:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
6am 47°
7am 49°
8am 51°
9am 55°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill
6:30a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
American Ninja Warrior
8:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
9:00p
Red Nose Day
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld