The Walt Disney Story was a film attraction that was located on Main Street, U.S.A. at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World'sMagic Kingdom. It told the life story of Walt Disney through his own perspective through the use of interviews and other recordings for the narration and features rare stills and film clips. It was eventually released as an educational film and in 1994 on videocassette for purchase in the parks, featuring an alternate introduction by Mickey Mouse.
The Disneyland incarnation opened in the Disneyland Opera House on April 8, 1973, taking the place of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. However, many guests were disappointed about Mr. Lincoln to bring replaced, so the movie closed on February 12, 1975, enabling Mr. Lincoln to return to the theater. A Lincoln display and a model of the Capitol replaced some of the Walt Disney display in 1985.
Memorabilia related to Walt Disney from the Walt Disney Archives were displayed, including awards, letters written to Walt Disney by famous people, and even an exact reproduction of his offices from the Disney Studio in Burbank. They were reconstructed from photographs and accurate blueprints and furnished with the same pieces that had graced them originally. The scene outside the window was a photographic backdrop that had been used at the studio when a replica of Disney’s office was built on a soundstage for him to use on some of his television lead-ins. They were on display until 2005 when the building became occupied by Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.
Magic Kingdom attraction
The Magic Kingdom incarnation ran from April 15, 1973, to October 5, 1992. Like its California cousin, the pre-show area displayed highlights and memorabilia from Walt's career and a painted mural created by Disney animator Bill Justice and depicted a gathering of Disney's animated characters; new characters would be added with the coming of each new animated feature through 1986. The post-show area originally featured a model and showcase of the canceled Western River Expedition hosted by an Audio-Animatronics owl named Hoot Gibson. This owl was also replicated for Disneyland's pre-show exhibits, but instead hosted a lecture on the True-Life Adventures. Years later, after Western River Expedition was called off, the display was repurposed into an EPCOT Center preview center in 1981-82 and a Disney-MGM Studios preview center in 1987-89. The display area was reopened in 1993 to serve as a center for annual passport redemption.
From October 1996 to January 1998, the location that The Walt Disney Story once occupied became a "Welcome Center" for Walt Disney World's 25th Anniversary celebration. After the celebration ended, the location was transformed into the Town Square Exposition Hall from 1998 to 2010. In 2011, the Expo Hall was gutted and transformed into the Town Square Theater, which opened on April 1 of that year.