We just celebrated Father’s Day this past Sunday and we must say that dads do a lot for us, do they not? They help shape us and guide us. Discipline to love us. Ultimately, they want to make sure that once their children are grown, they can get by…and then some. One of those model dads just happened to be Walt Disney’s dad, Elias, who also just happens to have his own window on Main Street USA at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World because Walt loved and respected his dad for who he was.
Elias was born in Canada on February 6,1859. He moved to the United States several years later and lived in Ellis, Kansas for a few years before moving to Florida with neighbors Charles and Henrietta Call.
On January 1, 1888, Elias married his neighbor’s daughter, Flora Call, in Kismet, Florida which coincidentally is just 50 miles north of the land where Walt Disney World would be built.
After several years and moves later, Elias befriended Walter Parr, who was a minister at St. Paul Congregational Church. In 1901, when Both Elias and Walter’s wife were both pregnant, they agreed that if they both had sons they would name their sons after each other. On Dec. 5, Elias and Flora had their fourth son and kept their agreement by naming their son Walter Elias Disney…or Uncle Walt for us Disney fans.
Growing up, Walt learned and took a lot from his father and it ultimately shaped his life and lead him to create the magic that we all love to experience everyday! The maker of the Disney magic began with his dad and for that, we see why Walt honored his dad with the highest honor he could give – remembrance.
He died on September 13, 1941, but his memory and what he did as Walt’s dad will always be remembered each time guests glance up on Main Street USA.
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Be sure to check out the rest of our Main Street USA “history lessons” by clicking HERE.