Walter Elias Disney-Inspired Travel: Hawaii Edition

One trip to a Disney Park is like a globe-spanning vacation of its very own. Standing in the American Frontier, the snowy Matterhorn mountain is just a short walk away. Turn a corner, you’re deep in the Amazon jungle. Then you’re off on your way to Hollywood, and yet the whole trip can happen in mere minutes.

Walt, himself, loved to travel and to experience the wide range of cultures throughout the world, and he hoped to share some of that through his films, television, and parks. This idea can be seen all the way back to the very first Disney cartoons. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the creation of Walt and his collaborator Ub Iwerks, was off to Africa in cartoons from 1928. Mickey Mouse was invented soon after, and he was no stranger to world travel, either. Throughout the years, Mickey’s adventures frequently led him to fantastic locations, directly inspired at times by Walt’s personal trips.

Disney Family Hawaii Vacation

In 1934, Walt and his wife Lillian made their first of many trips to Hawaii, and they were instant fans of what they found there. Before he left, he had already pledged to put Mickey Mouse on a surfboard, a sport that Walt had been introduced to during the trip. “Would you like Mickey to come to Honolulu on a surf board? When I go back I will make a ‘Mickey’ on a surf board, as I have been on and off one since coming here, and know just how it feels,” he told those around him.

Sure enough, Mickey and his friends found their way to Hawaii in 1937’s Hawaiian Holiday short cartoon, released by RKO-Radio Pictures. Walt and his family and friends would continue to visit Hawaii over the following years using that location as a source of both inspiration and relaxation. Decades later in 1965, after having launched a successful live-action film studio to accompany his animation efforts, Disney would conceive of a Dick Van Dyke comedy film set in Hawaii that would need a month’s worth of shooting on location in Kauai. Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN, was a reimagining of Daniel Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Of course, the Disney family would not mind spending the time it took to get the footage they needed, vacationing all the while.

Walt had a pretty great time traveling with his family, so why not make some pretty great vacation plans of your own? When you book travel to any of the Disney Parks, enjoy a pretty great stay with Embassy Suites Hotels, the upscale all-suites hotel brand guaranteed to make guests happy with family-friendly amenities, including spacious two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast, and nightly complimentary beverages.


Posted 4 years Ago
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