When Walt Disney died five years earlier, Roy put off his own retirement to see his brother's dream of Disney World become a reality. As the story goes, it was Roy who decided to change the original Disney World name to "Walt" Disney World in honor of his brother. On this dedication day, Roy was certainly missing Walt. As told by John Hench in his book Designing Disney, Roy Disney stood facing the microphone before a crowd of guests ready to deliver the dedication speech at the opening ceremony. He suddenly turned and looked around and said quietly, "Somebody go find Mickey for me. We don't have Walt any more, and Mickey is the nearest thing to Walt that we have left." Mickey appeared and Roy promptly began his speech, with Mickey proudly at his side.
Roy briefly talked about Walt and his dreams, and about being in business together. He then read the dedication plaque for Walt Disney World:
WALT DISNEY WORLD is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney.... and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place.... a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn - together. Dedicated this 25th day of October, 1971.
Roy saw his brother's dream realized and was finally ready to retire at the age of 78. Unfortunately, less than two months after the dedication, Roy died unexpectedly of a massive brain hemorrhage, on December 20th, 1971.
|Roy, Minnie, and Dave|
Have a Disneyriffic day and remember to keep moving forward. See ya real soon!