10 Life Lessons From Walt Disney

What Walt Disney Taught Me...

As my Disney College Program draws closer and closer to a close I am constantly reminded that none it would be possible without a man and a mouse.

I wouldn't have the dreams and hopes I have or even the ability to work towards them as I am without both the man behind the mouse and the mouse. So from my brief time with the company, these are the ten lessons I have learned.

Taylor Sipos Photography

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. If you can dream it, you can do it," opening day of Disneyland, Walt Disney.

Without People It The Impossible Wouldn't Be Possible

The most soothing site before a movie


Walt Disney once said, "you can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

I'm sure that Walt would attest that to this day it is his people that are making his dream continue to be possible. A place with such tenacity as Disneyland had never been done before. It was promised to be a place for children and parents to play together in pure happiness and magic. A place where people were kind to one and other and create simple magic on the daily. However, this place would be impossible without the cast members and the guests who make it possible. From the guests who fill this magical land and hold treasured memories of its magic. To the cast members who make simple to extraordinary magic for them in this happy place. I know Walt would agree that it takes all of us to make Disneyland the happiest place on Earth and to keep Disney a beloved brand. One different sentiment I think I have truly learned is that without Walt none of this would be possible. None of these dreams would have been dreamt and no one would even think to question the impossible with childlike wonder and curiosity that Walt had. I have learned that without him the dreams I now have close to my heart wouldn't have even been dreamt had I not started working for his trusty partner mouse. So thank you, Walt.

All It Ever Takes Is A Little Imagination

Tink introducing Walt Disney.


"All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them," Walt Disney once said this.

In other words, "Dreams can come true, but you've got to make them happen, it all depends on you," from the awesome Disney movie Princess and The Frog. You can reach for the biggest dream but you have to reach for that dream. If you just keep looking at the stars and sky, you will never, ever, be able to touch them. So use your imagination and dream up a dream that you love and can't wait to come true and make it a reality.

You Can Do It Just Know What You're Doing

One of my favorite princesses who also happens to be the queen of hard work and work ethic.


While Walt had an amazing mind that always seemed to approach childlike impossibilities with an ability to find a way to create the possibility in it all he did actually have a reasonable side. He sold his car to get to California and had people who knew how to take his idea and bring it to life. Walt wanted to create a place where children and adults felt like a child and with that mission in mind he drew up plan after plan and model after model until getting it right. Buying a small plot of land close to broke and putting everything on the line with the hope this place worked out. Even with an idea, suitcase and a dream, there was still always a plan in place to get it done. Without a plan and some hard work, a dream will only ever stay a dream.

Always Pay Homage To Those Who Helped You Get There

One of the many windows dedicated to someone important to Walt.

Taylor Sipos photography

As you walk down Mainstreet you will notice names on the windows, signs, and shops. It is a bit hard to miss them. Those names are Walt's way of paying respects to everyone who helped him with his success. He never forgot those who got him there and felt it imperative to give them a nod. One that would remain long after having passed away. Leaving something behind of both himself and others that would make it so not only his legacy but theirs would last along with his lands. Notable names are his father, brother, and many more. From that behavior, I think it is important that to those who help you along the way no matter they're part may have been, good or bad, pay them homage in you're own way. Maybe not put their name on buildings if that isn't your deal, for me...I'll probably be writing about you.

If You're Not The Best Or Most Qualified Find Someone Who Is

Walt Talking about how they use scale models to create attractions.


Ever heard of the Disney Imagineers? They are a prime example of finding people who are experts at certain things in order to find paths to the desired outcome. From finding people who study only the animation of water to finding people who excel in telling stories and all the way to mechanical engineers, Imagineers are those who know a little bit about everything so they can make anything possible.

When Walt set out to open this place he wasn't a skilled theme park opener. Or a rollercoaster expert. He wasn't an engineer. He was a creative, an animator, and a big idea man. The best way to learn all that you need to learn in order to achieve your dream is to find people who excel at what you lack or have deep rooted knowledge in what you need to know. For example, I know very little about animation so I want to learn from someone who studies it. Truly you don't have to be the best at everything or even know a little bit of everything but to find those who do and use their knowledge to help makes you all the wiser.

Make Sure You Can Pay For It

Aladdin having coin to spend!


Roy Disney was an expert at this part. Which is also part of point five of what I've learned from Walt, remember? If you aren't the best at something find someone who is. In a financial sense, that person was Roy Disney. Of the two Roy was much more practical than Walt. While Walt dreamed the impossible into possibility Roy found the money to fund the impossibles road to possibility. With that said, with whatever life takes you, make sure you have the funds. Whether it be getting a home, car fixed, new car, or something more make sure you are able to find a way to pay for the mundane and then gather ways to make your impossible possible.

The World Always Can Be Magical



Walt wanted the world to disappear for all those who enter Disneyland. Instead to be filled with the magic, hope, and treasure that can be found within Disneyland. It was his hope that guest could harness a little bit of that magic and take it back into the world. I think that kind of outlook is something each of us could do a little more of. Imagine if all of us genuinely wanted to help one and other be happier every day. Not just for a brief time period but for forever. As my favorite fireworks show ends, "all of this is yours...forever." I would add though if we all work towards it. The world can be a rather magical place it all we did was open ourselves up to the possibility of its magic and dare to dream.

It All Started With A Mouse

It all started with this little mouse.


"I hope that we never lose sight of one thing - that this whole thing started with a mouse."

There is a version of World of Color - if you know me, you know that I am obsessed with this version - in which, Walt and Mickey are seen holding hands and as Walt fades Mickey states, "It's okay pal, I'll take it from here."

The scene never ceases to make me cry even when typing, talking, or thinking about it, I sob. I think because Mickey such an eternal brand and for me, the creator, Walt will forever be eternal in my mind. I think it's that mindset that success can be founded off one idea that drives me and my writing. It only takes one little idea for the magic to begin.

It Pays To Have Small Town Values

Screenshot of Marceline, Missouri


"The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together — and that's the backbone of our whole business, catering to families — that's what we hope to do." - Walt Disney

When Walt was young and had a paper business his father made sure that when Walt set out the newspapers they would be nicely brought up to the porch and rested against the door frame with care. If you want something done right, you do it right the first time. You sometimes only get the first time after all. With Disneyland there would only be one first shot, Walt himself admitted that many thought that it would fail. But instead, it succeeded. Because it was done with keen attention to detail, with deep care, and passion to do right by those in which it would be in service. So anything you do, do with that same intention. With care to detail, to those it affects, and with honest integrity.

You Will Never Be Completed

Walt Disney GIF Opening Day


"Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."

Walt Disney's opening day statement can be seen on Mainstreet and at the top of this post. He says that we keep moving forward. Not that Disneyland keeps moving forward, but, we do. We keep moving forward and changing and growing and moving onto the next big adventure. We are curious creatures and we do not stay the same in this life. We evolve and grow. Blossoming into the next phase as we become the best versions of ourselves. We are never finished, never through learning, growing, and changing, just as Disneyland will never be finished.

Thank You Walt Taylor Sipos

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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