Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Walt Disney

Walt Disney created a multi-billion dollar empire via imagination, hard work and child-like wonder. Is there a more inspiring way to become successful than by creating childhood memories for generations of children?

But who was Walter Elias Disney? What job did he have before getting into animation? What childhood experiences inspired the future Mickey Mouse creator? Is he really cryogenically frozen somewhere? What did he like to do when he wasn't making movie magic? What were his mysterious last words?

We've poured through Walt Disney's biography, plus stories, anecdotes, personal quotes and trivia about the man to bring you the most interesting facts about from his life! Think of it as kind of Walt Disney Wiki.  

What can we learn about and from the man who changed history with an animated mouse? Vote up your favorite facts from this list!

  • He Is NOT Cryogenically Frozen Somewhere

    He Is NOT Cryogenically Frozen Somewhere
    Photo: Scott Lowe / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0
    One of the most persistent celebrity myths of all time is that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen. Another rumor states that just his head was frozen after death. Neither of these rumors are true, and no one really knows where the rumors started. In truth Walter Elias Disney is buried (well his ashes anyway, he was cremated) in the famous Forrest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA. You can even visit his grave virtually, or in person, if you're in the area.
  • Mickey Wasn't the Iconic Mouse's First Name Choice

    Mickey Wasn't the Iconic Mouse's First Name Choice
    Photo: Disney / Wickedpedia / Fair Use
    Mickey Mouse is about as iconic as cartoon characters get. Imagine if Mickey wasn't even his name? How's about Mortimer Mouse? Not quite the same ring to it. Luckily, Walt's wife Lillian thought Mortimer Mouse sounded "too pompous" and it was changed to Mickey. Mortimer mouse become an enemy to Mickey years later as another character altogether.
  • He Debuted the First Ever Audio Animatronics

    Not only was he a master of animation, Walt Disney also loved animatronics (as evidenced by the multiple examples on display at Disneyland/Disneyworld, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride being one notable attraction). Disney debuted the first ever animatronic with AUDIO (a commonplace feature now) at the 1964 World's Fair, including the (in)famous "it's a small world" exhibit and the "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" attraction, both of which were later installed at Disneyland.
  • The Legendary Walt Disney Signature...Isn't Actually His

    It was a full twenty years after Walt Disney's death that the company began using the now iconic logo bearing his signature. Turns out that signature was designed by a series of artists to be visually appealing (and it certainly is). His real signature looked nice and clean, but more more like a signature. His signature actually evolved quite a bit as his animation did.
  • Everyone Thought a Feature Length Animated 'Snow White' Would Ruin the Studio

    Everyone Thought a Feature Length Animated 'Snow White' Would Ruin the Studio
    Photo: Disney / Filmic Light / Fair Use
    Imagine a world without animated movies? Any of them. No cartoons or CGI movies. Nothing. Well before Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was released, everyone thought it would be a colossal failure, especially with it's huge budget. They even called it 'Disney's Folly'! Fortunately for everyone, it did amazing business. In fact (if adjusted for inflation) it would be one of the highest grossing movies of all time.
  • His Apartment in Disneyland Is Still There, Virtually Intact

    The combination of Walt being a work-aholic and his profound love for Disneyland meant he was there all the time. So much so that he built an apartment there! Right above the firehouse was his own private residence. And it's still there to this day, almost untouched! The furniture has been touched up (and replaced as needed with time) but everything down to the notes on his desk are as he left them.