Walt Disney at Bohemian Grove 1936

Walt Disney attended Bohemian Grove in 1936. On page 136 of his book, Walt Disney: An American OriginalBob Thomas mentioned what happened during Disney’s visit.

“In 1936 he was invited to the annual encampment of the Bohemian Club,” wrote Bob Thomas, “a San Francisco organization of artists and civic figures. The ritual consisted of wining, feasting and camping out in a redwood grove north of San Francisco Bay. When Walt returned to the studio, he complained of being unable to sleep because of the symphony of snores in nearby tents. He described and reproduced each of the snores to the hilarity of his story men. The result was the snoring sequence in the Dwarfs’ cottage.”

Walt Disney was 65 years old when he died. His health had been deteriorating for years. On page 353 of his book, Walt Disney: An American Original, Bob Thomas recounted a conversation between Walt’s wife and daughter. The day before Walt’s death, his wife Lilly phoned their daughter Diane, “He’s so much better. He got out of bed. He kept putting his arms around me, and his grip was so strong. I know he’s going to get well. I know he’s going to be alright.”

Mr. Disney’s wife wasn’t the only one who was trying to remain positive about his health. Walt’s brother Roy also visited his brother that night, “Walt seemed weak but lucid. The two brothers talked quietly about company matters, and Walt was intent on discussing Disney World and EPCOT. He stared at the ceiling, which was covered with foot-square acoustical tiles, and he raised a faltering hand to point out the design of the Florida property. Roy, too, was encouraged by Walt’s appearance, and he remarked to Edna (Roy’s wife) that night that he thought Walt had a good chance to recover.”

Walt Disney died at 9:30 am, December 15th, 1966, of an acute circulatory collapse. Walt Disney was also friends with another Bohemian Grove attendee, former president Dwight Eisenhower spoke about Mr. Disney after he passed away, “His appeal and influence were universal. Not restricted to this land alone – for he touched a common chord in all humanity. We shall not soon see his like again.”

President Ronald Reagan, another Bohemian Grove attendee, was there when Disneyland first opened its gates to the public at 2:30 p.m. on July 17th, 1955, in Anaheim, California. An actor at the time, Reagan introduced Walt Disney to the crowd of people inside the new theme park, and to the people watching at home, “And now, Walt Disney will step forward to read the dedication of Disneyland.”

At age 53, Walt Disney welcomed the world to his greatest creation, Disneyland, “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America with the hope that it will be the source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you.”

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