D23 Releases Images from Walt’s Camera
By Michael Truskowski
I have never really spent much time in the D23 website despite being a charter member. I just didn’t find a whole lot of content that was interesting. But Disney has finally addressed this with a revamped, members only section of the website.
Don’t want to join D23? Now you can get a free membership that grants you access to the website without costing you a single dollar. Of course, if you want the magazine, access to special events, and other benefits from your membership, you still need to pay the annual fee. But if you are simply curious about the web content, there really is no reason not to sign up.
As a way of announcing the new site (and driving traffic to it), they released several never before seen images of Walt, taken with his own personal camera. Two of the images were released to the general public.
The first shows Walt in June 1951 on a family trip to Denmark. (Although we have to wonder, whose camera is Walt holding if this picture was captured with Walt’s camera?)
The second shows a younger (1940’s) Walt asleep in his lawn on some sort of lounge mat, thing. It is always interesting to see someone famous when their guard is down, living their normal life. Think of every other image of Walt you have ever seen. He is almost always working. We tend to think of him now as just being Disney the company (which happens when you give your name to what ends up being one of the largest companies in the world). But this photo reminds us all that he was, in many ways, just like us.
Some of the other photos on the D23 website include photos of the girls on the carousel. Yes, those girls on that carousel. You know, the one which served as the inspiration for Walt to build Disneyland. Also in one of the carousel photos is a very young Roy E. Disney. Another part of Walt’s life that readers of this are no doubt aware of is the Carolwood Pacific railroad, Walt’s backyard train, and the predecessor to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Railroads. There are also several photos of his wife Lillian, who we do not get to see nearly as often as her husband.
What I love about these photos is that the really do look like someone’s family photos, not studio publicity pictures. It is an interesting mix of history and human interest. It is accessible at D23.com as a part of the D’scovered series. If you have not been around the D23 site lately, it is worth a trip back. If you have never been there, go grab a free membership and take a look around.