On our last trip to Magic Kingdom I looked up some little know facts about a statue that you have seen many times and might even have a picture with your children standing next to it. I am talking about the Partners Statue in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. I have loved this statute since I was a kid and now I know a little more about it and I will share it with you:
1. The Partners Statue was sculpted by Blaine Gibson. He was a former Disney animator and Imagineer. He took one year to create the sculpture and based his depiction of Walt on a bust he created in the 60’s.
2. Blaine consulted footage from “Fantasia” when considering Mickey holding Walt’s hand.
3. An early sketch had Mickey holding an ice cream cone.
4. Blaine tried to reflect Walt’s goal of making people happy and the expression on Walt’s face was his interpretation of Walt watching people enjoy the park.
5. The initials on Walt’s ie are “STR” and stand for Smoke Tree Ranch, an area in Palm Springs where Walt owned a vacation home.
6. The outstretched hand of Walt has an Irish Claddagh ring on his right ring finger. He and wife Lillian bought them for each other on a trip to Ireland and wore them every day.
7. The statue was installed on June 19, 1995.