I've found for you a real treasure, something that very probably you've never seen before: rare photos of the legendary Walt Disney's 1965 Walt Disney World announcement press event in Orlando, the day on which everything started for the "Project Florida" that will become Walt Disney World 6 years later. And you better read the article to the end as i have also found the full video of this 1965 press conference, which has never ben available in its entirety as generally only a minute or two were available.
So, everything began on this memorable day with the arrival Walt getting down from his limousine and arriving at the press conference center with Florida governor Haydon Burns.
Here is a few shots of Walt with his brother Roy and governor Haydon Burns sit at the press conference table.
Below, after the announcement, Walt, Roy, governor Haydon Burns and General William E Potter.
So far, the pictures above shows what you may have seen before. But what you've probably never seen are the coming pictures, showing the cocktail party that happened after the press event, with Walt, Roy, and Governor Burns greeting people.
The funny thing is that you can see that they all wanted to meet Walt and have a photo shoot with him! On the next pics, just like after a wedding (!) everyone comes to salute and congratulate Walt!
On the next picture, Walt, Roy, and Governor Burns and his wife.
I bet you've never seen Walt with so many women around him!
No jealous, on the next one it's men surrounding Walt and Governor Burns.
Okay, and now on with the show with the rare full video of this 1965 WDW announcement! Please note that the video has no sound until 1.40 min and then the sound begins with the press conference.
Also, you'll see how funny it is to see Walt doing all what he can to avoid to disclose ideas of the WDW project when journalists ask him questions about it. Another not-to-be missed moment is at the very end of the conference. Walt, Roy and the Governor stand up and start to move out of the table but not Walt! He's suddenly intrigued my one of the microphones on the table...you'll see it, it's at the end and there is something truly extraordinary in it, here is why.
Normally, in each video in which we can see Walt, the show has been staged and Walt is "playing" Walt Disney as the great showman that he was. But, basically, it's a perfect "under control" Walt that we generally see. Now, in this 1965 press conference, and although he looks a bit tired, for most of the time he is the Walt "playing Walt" that we know. But at this very last minute we can see a totally different Walt that we don't see in regular shows. Instead to move out of the table for a picture session, he is suddenly intrigued by this microphone and if you look well - i should say if you "feel" well - for a few seconds his mind is totally "out" of the press event. Any corporate guy would have make sure that the "corporate show" would have had no flaws till the end and would have kept a "corporate" attitude. But not Walt. Suddenly, it's just like if the press event had ended and all his mind is "in" this microphone mystery (apparently it seems to be about a Virginia seal on it, or so ).
And what i like in this moment is the true simplicity of Walt. There is something very true from him happening at that moment, no ego, nothing, just something very simple, and you understand that it was probably in the same way that he was looking at new ideas, projects, models, etc.. that were presented to him at WED enterprises. His natural enthusiasm was important but you need to have this without-ego-simplicity to have genius, and here is a very rare moment during which we can have a glimpse of it.
Pictures and video: copyright State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/