On the evening of October 16, 2023, the enchanting grounds of Walt Disney’s Mansion played host to a magical gathering. Organized by Friends of Woking Way, this intimate soirée celebrated the 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company. The event, orchestrated by Dusty Sage and publicist Jeffrey R. Epstein, saw a constellation of Disney Legends and luminaries in attendance.
Among the illustrious guests were Disney Legends Tony Baxter, Bill Farmer, Bob Gurr, and Floyd Norman. Also gracing the occasion were Bret Iwan; Michael-Leon Wooley; John Stamos and Caitlin McHugh Stamos; and cherished members of the Disney lineage. As attendees mingled, they were treated to delectable hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Well Done! Catering, all within the magical confines of the mansion Walt lovingly constructed for his family in 1932.
This iconic residence holds a special place in Disney history. It was here that the Disney family resided from 1932 to 1950, a period that witnessed the birth of timeless classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi, and Cinderella.
The evening was filled with heartwarming tributes and memorable moments. Highlights included a toast to the Disney legacy, a sneak peek of the upcoming season of “Wonderful World of Walt” by Creative Capers, and a heartfelt rendition of Walt’s cherished song “Feed the Birds” by Wooley. The night also saw a special birthday serenade for Gurr, who cheekily remarked on being “Only eight years younger than the company!” A poignant memento of the evening was a print of Walt, beautifully illustrated by Norman and autographed by both Norman and Gurr.
Voices from the Evening:
“[We’re celebrating] the fact that Roy talked his brother Walt into coming to California, and that [their] Uncle Robert welcomed them into his home… and gave them the garage of his house when he saw that grandpa needed some place to do his art,” said Walt’s granddaughter Joanna Miller. “Thank you so much for having this party, so we can be in this special place to thank Roy and Walt.”
“We put together this little soiree so we could do a proper celebration of the gentlemen who made the Disney company something we all love so much,” said event organizer and house historian Dusty Sage. “Here’s to Walt and Roy Disney—and all the people with us here today that are themselves a piece of Disney’s magical century.”
“I’ve spent a lifetime being inspired by Walt Disney and his brother Roy,” said film director Timur Bekmambetov, who owns and restored the stunning Disney mansion. “It is my deepest honor to pay tribute to their legacy by filling these storied halls with today’s Disney legends.”
- Catch a glimpse of the “Wonderful World of Walt” season two teaser here.
- Relive the evening’s memories through the lens of Adam Kent Photography.
- Stay connected with the Walt Disney Storybook Mansion on their Facebook page.