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90 Facts You Didn't Know About Disney
As Walt Disney Studios marks its 90th birthday, we celebrate – with trivia!

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Walt Disney Studios was founded in the summer of 1923, which means that the company is now 90 years old. To mark the occasion, we've assembled some trivia about Walt himself, Disney's theme parks and films for your consideration. Read on and see how many are new to you…


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Walter Disney's original moniker was d'Isigny, showing his French roots. While d'Isignyland might not have such a ring to it, Walt d'Isigny might have lent Paris-set animations like The Aristocats and Ratatouille a certain je ne sais quoi.
Everyone's favourite rubbish-compactor, Wall-E, was named after Walter Elias Disney.
If you thought Ariel and Belle's perfect proportions were too good to be true, think again, because they're based on real-life model Sherri Stoner. The diminutive inspiration for two of Disney's hottest chicks was also a writer and producer for animations including Animaniacs and Caspar the Friendly Ghost.
The voice of Lilo, from Lilo and Stitch, is Daveigh Chase - the same girl who haunts our dreams as Samara Morgan in The Ring.
Lots of early Disney films are a mother-free zone: The Jungle Book, Pinocchio and - sob - Bambi. It's been suggested that this was because of their creator's guilt over the death of his own mother in 1938. Fresh from the success of Snow White, he had bought a home for his parents, but tragically a faulty heating system led to Flora Disney's death from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Those Disney animators are tricksy folk, and love to hide classic characters in the background for newer films. For example, in the opening scenes of the Little Mermaid the eagle-eyed may spot Goofy, Mickey and Donald Duck in the audience at King Triton's concert.
Also, the sorcerer in Fantasia is called 'Yen Sid', which may ring a bell if read backwards.
For a couple of years Disney held the patent for Technicolor, making him the only animator allowed to make colour films.
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Your Comments

1 27
Posted on Thursday March 27, 2014, 20:52 by iflyplanes
How is 27 fact? It's a fan theory with no credible sources. Just a guy with too much time on his hands. Read More

2 #15 is incorrect
Posted on Thursday October 24, 2013, 04:16 by JONvincible
Great article, but #15 is inaccurate. Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland is only 77 ft. tall. I'm sure you meant Cinderella castle at Walt Disney World, which is 189 ft. tall. Also, the picture you used is of Sleeping Beauty castle as well. Read More

3 Smells Like Walt Disney World
Posted on Sunday October 20, 2013, 00:28 by HighwayJoe
They might be spraying sea salt into the air at 'Pirates of the Caribbean,' but the one smell that always takes me back to WDW family vacations in the 90s is the scent of wet escalators leading out of the ride (you get the same smell sometimes at subway/metro/tube stations)--not to mention the actual mustiness of The Haunted Mansion. Read More

4 54 is Inaccurate
Posted on Friday October 18, 2013, 13:52 by SuperRob
54 is either misworded or wrong. While Walt may have done that for Disneyland, he died before he could have done that at Walt Disney World. Read More

5 Correction to #76
Posted on Wednesday October 16, 2013, 21:53 by jcsmith2
You're not allowed to date your manager (or managers are not allowed to date subordinates), but if Cast Member dating was against the rules there'd be nobody left to staff the Parks... Read More

6 Disney Quiz
Posted on Wednesday October 16, 2013, 16:34 by QuizFortune
Classic Disney Quiz: assic-disney Read More

7 Item #76
Posted on Wednesday October 16, 2013, 08:31 by esnider65
Not only do cast members in Disney parks date, my now ex-wife, a character cast member, had an affair with a fellow entertainment cast member. Just one of a series that led to our divorce. Read More

8 Mickey's name
Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2013, 14:04 by justinwc
According to Mickey Rooney, Mickey Mouse was named after him. He recalls that during a visit to Disney's studio as a child, Walt showed him his new cartoon character Mortimer Mouse and said "What do you think of my mouse Mickey?" Pausing he then said "Mickey....Mickey...Mickey Mouse !!!" Thus he allegedly changed it. Heaven forbid that an actor should spout bullshit though! Read More

9 Harry Truman
Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2013, 12:16 by bradcam72
Wouldn't ride Dumbo but nuking Japan was okay. Read More

Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2013, 10:23 by Rich2riddler
I think you probably mean Snow White rather than Sleeping Beauty in point 5... Sleeping Beauty was made in 1959! Read More

11 goofy?
Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2013, 09:09 by elsquig
i thought goofy was a cow! a tie wearing dog he aint. Read More

12 RE: 74
Posted on Monday October 14, 2013, 22:56 by balkaster
Contrary to Empire's belief, "dwarfs" is still the accepted plural. "Dwarves" occurs only in Tolkien, and in the writing of people who don't know any better. Read More

13 Being pedantic...
Posted on Monday October 14, 2013, 18:30 by dayboy76
Some great and interesting facts here!! However, RE: fact number 5, Sleeping Beauty wasn't released until 1959, so it was probably the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (released in 1937) that led Walt Disney to buy his parents a house in 1938. And Disney World isn't technically called "Disney World". It's Walt Disney World. I've read somewhere that it was originally going to be called Disney World, but when Walt died during its development, his brother Roy decided it should be named Walt Disney World instead, as more of a personal tribute. I'll go and get a life now, should I? Read More

14 Robin Hood
Posted on Monday October 14, 2013, 17:13 by Jackie Five
If you have the original VHS copy, the signs are quite obvious. You can totally see the sketch marks, not to mention that Little Jon and Baloo are the same character design. Strangely, it is hard to identify these mistakes in future Blu-ray releases. Read More

15 Only 89 Facts You Didn't Know About Disney
Posted on Monday October 14, 2013, 13:16 by metalheadrc
Seems someone didn't double check this as 77 and 78 are the same. Some very interesting facts though Read More

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