Walt Disney's New Toy

Charles Shows knew and worked with Walt Disney for a number of years. His memories of Walt give us a glimpse into the early days of Disneyland.

Shortly after the California theme park opened Shows took his mother and father on a tour of this new creation. Their family ended up riding the Santa Fe train around the park. As the train chugged forward his father said,"Look!"

Glancing out the window they saw a man driving a jeep trying to catch the train. The man behind the wheel of the jeep was none other than Walt Disney! The jeep raced alongside the puffing engine, Disney waved wildly, he made faces, as he challenged the massive train to a race.

The whistle of the train answered the jeep's horn with a series of toots as Walt laughed like a little boy. Later that day when the family took a ride on the river steamboat at Disneyland they stepped on board as the whistle sounded a series of sharp, loud blasts. As they looked to the captains quarters on the ship they were amazed as Walt Disney stepped out, grinning like a kid with a brand new toy, to greet the parents of his staff member. Walt insisted on being their personal tour guide for the rest of the day as he showed them the kingdom he had worked so hard to build.

Shows said that was the Walt Disney that his parents will always remember...and the Walt Disney he would never forget.

It hard to imagine having those kind of encounters. Certainly there is the Walt Disney that history remembers and captures and the Walt Disney that really was. The reality of the man is probably somewhere in between in all fairness. But there is something about his life that stands out.

Walt Disney enjoyed life. He enjoyed the work he did and the things he created. I love the descriptions of him moving about Disneyland like a child with a new toy. In other words he wasn't so busy or focused on building his dream that he didn't enjoy it along the way.

I think there is a life lesson in there for all of us. Many people live life waiting for one day or someday. They get so caught up in trying to build a life that they forget to live a life. Don't get so busy trying to make a living that you quit living. Enjoy the moments God gives you to make a difference, embrace the moments to laugh, love, and live!

If you do, life will be better...really. You will be better.
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Published on August 18, 2011 13:16 Tags: disneyland, family, laughter, life, trains, walt-disney
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