When considering having Mickey hold Walt’s hand for the Partners Statue, sculptor Blaine Gibson consulted footage from the film “Fantasia” for sizing. In the film Mickey shakes the hand of orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski.
One early sketch of the Partners Statue featured Mickey holding an ice cream cone in one hand.
The Partners Statue was sculpted by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson. A former Disney animator and Imagineer, Blaine took one year to create the sculpture and based his depiction of Walt on a bust he originally created in the 1960s.
On the Partners Statue in the Cinderella Castle Hub, the initials on Walt Disney’s tie are “STR.” This stands for “Smoke Tree Ranch,” an area in Palm Springs where Walt once owned a vacation home.
When choosing an expression for Walt’s face, sculptor Blaine Gibson tried to reflect Walt’s goal of making people happy. The statue’s expression is Blaine’s interpretation of Walt watching happy people enjoy the park.
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