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Happy Birthday Walt Disney World!

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Life Magazine dated October 15, 1971 

I’m writing this on October 1, 2018. That means that it was 47 years ago that the Magic Kingdom opened, and it’s 36 years for Epcot. Walt Disney World has become such a part of America, it’s hard to believe that it hasn’t really been around for all that long. We’re just three years away from the 50th anniversary (which is going to be quite a celebration), but that doesn’t mean that we have to wait that long to celebrate.

It’s amazing to me the number of lives that have been changed because of the vision of one man. Yes, I realize that Walt Disney did not do it all by himself, but it also would not have happened if it hadn’t been for his dream. He changed the face of the state of Florida, how many people can say that they did something like that? I don’t know what my life would be like if Walt Disney World didn’t exist. I do know that I wouldn’t be living where we’re living. We didn’t move to Florida because we love orange juice!

Every time that something happens at Disney that people don’t like they say “that’s not what Walt would have wanted”. I don’t necessarily think that would be the case. Can you imagine if someone took your dream and created an empire because of it? It boggles my mind. While I’m sure Walt wouldn’t agree with every decision, I think that he would be honored by the way that his vision has improved so many lives for the better.

Life is hard, and sometimes we need a way to escape reality for a little while. That is what Walt Disney World offers to us. It’s a place where we can believe in magic, if we allow ourselves to. For that, I’ll always be grateful. Happy Birthday Walt Disney World! I’m looking forward to celebrating many, many more with you, and I’m truly excited about your future.