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All Things Disney from KD's Perspective

Happy Birthday Walt (from Walt Disney Family Museum Blog)

In honor of Walt’s birthday, we asked Paul Anderson to share this story with us about Walt’s dedication to building his dream:


To anyone who has read a Walt Disney biography, you know the story of Walt Disney’s 1926 Moon roadster. Walt was quite proud of that car, and it was the very automobile he used to court Lilly.

However, after losing Oswald, Walt and Roy fell on hard financial times. Of course, that didn’t seem to disturb the ever-optimistic Walt Disney. Instead, he came up with a new character, Mortimer Mouse (aka Mickey).

While there are a number of versions of how Walt came up with Mickey, there is only one story of the relationship between his Moon roadster and Mickey Mouse. This story, is considered to be accepted truth … well, if there ever was any doubt about it, I offer proof now (and the actual dates).

When Walt was back in New York recording the sound for Mickey’s third cartoon, Steamboat Willie, he started to run short on money. He kept in constant contact with Roy back in Los Angeles, and they were looking for extra money anywhere they could.

Walt asked Roy in the summer of 1928 to mortgage their Lyric Avenue homes for additional funds. Still, due to problems with the recording of the soundtrack, more money was desperately needed, so Walt, demonstrating his faith in the project, informed his beloved brother to sell his beloved Moon roadster (the latter being the more likely to bring in the cash). The money was not only needed for the work underway in New York, but there are several accounts that it was also needed to meet payroll at the Hyperion Studio (2719 Hyperion).

In digging around through various newspaper morgues in the past, I have come up with an unbelievable number of Disney related articles (5000 plus–). Towards the latter days of my newspaper research, it was getting discouraging, as rarely would anything show up that I did not already have (thanks to a database I started from day one, I actually knew).

So I got the bright (my wife would say insane) idea of searching for various historical Disney ads. So I present here  Walt’s Los Angeles Times classified advertisement (placed by Roy O. Disney … or perhaps Lilly or Edna) to sell said “beloved” Moon roadster.

The first time it ran was on Saturday November 3, 1928, and the car was listed at $525. Apparently there was no interest at this price that day or on the following Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, so the advertisement was run once again on Wednesday the 7th of November.

This time, the price was lowered to $475 and, it sold! Mickey got his soundtrack. Disney started an empire. Payroll was made. Thank goodness for this little classified ad (well, and for Walt’s foresight!).




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One thought on “Happy Birthday Walt (from Walt Disney Family Museum Blog)

  1. (Loose Leaf) I was so excited to reiecve A Fun-Filled Visit to Walt Disney World with Mickey Mouse. I had this book as a child but it was given away. I thought my memories of the book were imaginary, but they turned out to be real recollections. Reading this book as I child I was transported to Disneyland while turning the pages of this book. Mickey is your guide on your trip through DisneyWorld (I always thought it was Disneyland and you can’t really tell the difference with the content of the rides featured in the text). This is a PULL-TAB, POP-UP interactive adventure. You ride on the Submarine while turning a dial to see all the sea-life. You climb the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House to find a hidden treasure at the top. You ride the Tea Cups with Mickey while spinning him around ending in a very funny discontented look on Mickey’s face from all the spinning. The bears at the Country Bear Jamboree play their instruments for you. There are numerous others voyages. I had as much fun seeing the book at age 28 as I recalled all the fun I had with it as a child. A TRUE treasure and TOP book for the avid Disney fan, especially since they closed the Submarine and Swiss Family House in 1998/9. Many happy memories are in the book for the person who attended the park as a child.

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