Wednesday with Walt: A Disney Love Story

Wednesday with Walt: A Disney Love Story

On July 13, 1966 Walt and Lillian Disney celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. Walt had rented a 140-ft yacht and, together with their two daughters and sons in law (Diane, Ron, Sharon, and Bob) and 7 grandchildren, Walt and Lilly cruised the islands near Vancouver, Canada on what would be their final anniversary together.

The thirteen of them lived on the boat for two weeks enjoying a memorable trip through the waters of British Columbia. According to the Walt Disney Family Museum site Diane said, “The kids playing all around him didn’t bother him. They were climbing all over him, and he seemed to really like that. It was a beautiful, wonderful trip. We loved it.”

As some of you know, I really treasure old magazines I own that have printed articles about Walt. In an excerpt from an article in the February 1953 issue of McCalls entitled, “I Live With a Genius,” Lillian Disney said:

 “…I wouldn’t have missed one minute of the twenty-seven years I have been married to Walt Disney. I’m proud of my husband and what he has done – but I’m even prouder that along the way, in bad times and good, he has never lost his sense of humor or his zest for life.

Being married to Walt Disney is never dull. There have been plenty of times when I felt as though I were attached to one of those flying saucers they talk about. Being female, I maintain that Walt’s imagination flies so high he naturally sees a little farther than the rest of us. But, although Walt has been right a number of times when we have been wrong, we don’t encourage him by admitting how smart he is to his face. We work on the premise that Walt may be a genius but any genius, especially Walt Disney, is wild-eyed and needs a practical family to watch over him.” She later said, “I am flattered to say that, after twenty-seven years of marriage, he seems to want me around as much as when we were first married. He is actually hurt if I don’t go along with him on a business trip. And he spends as much time and thought on a present as though he were still courting me.”

I love the way Lillian spoke about her life with Walt in this interview. She spoke about him not only as a husband but as a person. While reading the words on the page and the way she described him: his loving heart, his creative mind, his unwillingness to compromise on his ideas, I could hear the respect in her voice. I could comprehend how she was his advocate. I could feel the love from Lillian’s heart as she spoke about her husband.

I wanted to remember Walt and Lillian’s love affair today as it was appropriate that today happened to be my Wednesday with Walt. I think they were made for one another, and that is a wonderful gift. I have to wonder if sometime during their anniversary cruise Walt or Lillian looked at the other and said, “I have really loved cruising through life with you!”

Writing today’s blog got me to thinking about other “Disney couples.” There is a Disney play on an old saying that “the family that plays together stays together.” Do you find this to be true? I just have to wonder about the longevity of Disney couples vs. other couples. I know I couldn’t imagine being married to someone who doesn’t love Disney. Thank goodness I don’t have to. What is your Disney love story and how did you know that he or she was THE one?

  • Wednesday with Walt: Master of Sneakiness (
  • Wednesday with Walt: No Beans About It! (
Wednesday with Walt: A Disney Love Story
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6 thoughts on “Wednesday with Walt: A Disney Love Story

  1. I have been telling all my friends about this article. Their love was so special. My hubby is not a HUGE Disney fan like me, but he loves me so much and lets me be the fanatic I am. He is a softy and I know he secretly LOVES it.

  2. Wonderful article. sure makes me wish I could have met them both. but my husband and I know were brought together due to our mutual love for All things Disney. He had just returned from summer on college program when we met. We both returned 2 years later to the college program. He proposed to me 2 years later on the SkyWay bucket over Fantasyland. We honeymooned there and our 6 year old daughter has now been to Disney 4 times in her life. I’m a bit more fanatic about it and my daughter has followed in my footsteps also. So many special memories.

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