Walt Disney: He Built a Magic Kingdom!

Abraham Lincoln

From the time he was a child, Walt Disney loved to draw. At first, he wanted to draw cartoons for newspapers, but as a young man, he discovered his love of animation, so he started making short cartoon movies in his hometown, Kansas City, Missouri. Eventually, Walt and his brother Roy moved to Hollywood, California, where they started a small movie company that grew into the Disney empire that we know today. The company’s star was, of course, Mickey Mouse.

As a filmmaker, Walt Disney won 22 Academy Awards. And as a businessman, he started an entire industry: theme parks. When Disneyland opened in 1955, some people thought it wouldn’t work. But they were wrong. Very wrong!

The company Mr. Disney started is still growing today. And just think: It all started with a mouse!

More Fun Facts about Disneyland

It’s a Fact: Walt Disney got the idea for Disneyland after taking his daughters to ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California.

It’s a Fact: When Disneyland opened in 1955, the master of ceremonies was an actor named Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan went on to become president of the United States.

It’s a Fact: The actual bench where Walt got the idea for Disneyland is on display near the entrance of a Disneyland attraction called Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

It’s a Fact: There are tunnels beneath Disneyland that allow characters and employees to move around the park without being seen.

It’s a Fact: Before he chose Disneyland’s 160-acre site in Anaheim, California, Mr. Disney almost put his park on a small 7-acre site in nearby Burbank.  The much smaller site would have been a tiny amusement park, not a true theme park. Thank goodness Mr. Disney decided to dream big!

Just for fun, see what you learned on the

Just for fun,
see if you can answer these questions.
Was Walt Disney born in Hollywood or did he move there to make movies?

He moved there to make movies.

Which United States President was the master of ceremonies on the day Disneyland opened?

Ronald Reagan

Why are there tunnels beneath Disneyland?

The tunnels allow employees and Disney characters to move around the park without being seen?

As a young boy, did Walt Disney love to play music, to write short stories, or to draw pictures?

From childhood, Walt loved to draw. So, it’s not surprising that as an adult, he became a talented cartoonist.

5 Quotes from Walt Disney

“Get a good idea, and stay with it, and work it until it’s done and done right.”

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island, and, best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.”

“When you’re curious, you can find lots of interesting things to do.”

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

More Fun Facts about Disneyland’s Home State: California

It’s a Fact: The capital of California is Sacramento.

It’s a Fact: The biggest city in California is Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the second biggest city in the United States. Only New York City has more people.

It’s a Fact: More people live in California than any other state. In fact, one out of every eight Americans is a Californian.

It’s a Fact: Palo Alto, California is the home of Stanford University. It’s also the town in which the first Mystery Ryders story takes place.

It’s a Fact: California is home to the world’s largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, in Sequoia National Park. The tree is 275 feet tall and weighs over 4 million pounds!

Write Your Own Story

If you have time, you can write a story of your own.

Here are a couple of story ideas you can choose from.

You can either write a story about the amazing life of Walt Disney.


You can write about your favorite Disney character.

To help you write a great story, we have some helpful hints and timely tips.

Today's Ryder Riddle
Today's End-of-the-Line Riddle:
Why did Mickey Mouse take a rocket into space?

He wanted to find Pluto.

The Mystery Ryders

For fun-to-read books about a girl detective who homeschools on a train... check out The Mystery Ryders, a series from the creators of the Homeschool Express.

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