Fans, History Buffs Visit Walt Disney’s Memorial
Walt Disney died in 1966, and while he — reportedly — was interested in Cryogenics, his family was decidedly not.
Walt Was Cremated, Not Frozen
Bob Nelson, a former TV repairman, became president of the California Cryogenics Society in 1966 — the same year that Disney died. Nelson seems to have helped the rumor grow by claiming in a 1972 Los Angeles Times story that Disney wanted to be frozen:
Walt Disney wanted to be frozen,” [Bob Nelson] says, as casually as if he were talking about municipal bonds. “Lots of people think that he was, and that the body’s in cold storage in his basement. The truth is, Walt missed out. He never specified it in writing, and when he died the family didn’t go for it. They had him cremated. I personally have seen his ashes. They’re in Forest Lawn. Two weeks later we froze the first man. If Disney had been the first it would have made headlines around the world and been a real shot in the arm for cryonics. But that’s the way it goes.”
I’m burying the lede here (pun not intended), but Walt’s memorial is at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
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And, according to SFGate.com’s Julie Tremaine, the quiet, quaint spot remembering the Disney family is pretty difficult to find.
Fans Can Visit The Disney Memorial In Glendale
It isn’t easy to find Walt Disney’s grave. Given how he valued his privacy and his home life, that’s probably by design. The site is tucked away in a corner that attracts the minimum of foot traffic, atop a hill in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, a place that highly values discretion… And yet, people visit Walt Disney’s memorial often, leaving flowers, tokens, and little Disney toys that are whisked away by the groundskeepers as quickly as they’re left. Today, December 15, is the anniversary of Walt Disney’s passing, and it will likely be the most-trafficked day of the year.
Julie’s story is fascinating (as is her name, which Walt would have loved), as she interviewed several people who visited the site, who each had their own reasons for remembering Walt Disney.
A Fitting Tribute
The most poignant quote?
What a fitting tribute,” she said, glad to see something Disney-themed at the inconspicuous memorial. “It’s just a little garden. You would never know he was there if people didn’t tell you where it was.”
Again, be sure to read the entire article here.
I’ve been thinking about Walt a lot this week. If you have been thinking about Mr. Disney’s legacy, let us know in the comments.