Walt Disney’s Childhood Home Offers First Public Tour

Kyle Silagyi

Updated on:

Walt Disney’s Childhood Home Offers First Public Tour

Kyle Silagyi

Updated on:

Walt Disney’s Childhood Home Offers First Public Tour

The childhood home of Walt Disney opened its doors to public tour guests for the first time on Sunday, October 15, allowing the general public to catch a glimpse into the early life of a man who would go on to be a pioneer across several industries. Rebecca Johnson of the Chicago Tribune was able to go on the tour and documented her experience in a recent article for the outlet.

Walt Disney’s Childhood Home Offering Tours

Walt Disney Childhood Home Tour 3
Source: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

The home sits at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. in the Hermosa neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Tours of the location have been offered in the past, but they were all private.

Initially purchased as a vacant plot of land, the house was constructed by Elias Disney (Walt’s father) in the early 1890s. Walt Disney was born on the second floor of the home on December 5, 1901, and lived there until he and his family relocated to Marceline, Missouri in 1906, according to the official The Walt Disney Birthplace project website. Once in danger of demolition, the home was purchased by its current owners in 2013; the group has since worked to restore the home to a state similar to how it appeared during the year of Disney’s birth.

Walt Disney Childhood Home Tour 2
Source: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

According to Johnson, the tour starts in the home’s first-floor parlor area, a room that has received much attention since the house was acquired by The Walt Disney Birthplace group a decade ago. Rey Colón, the project director of The Walt Disney Birthplace, told Johnson that several of the walls that once stood in the parlor had been removed before the group’s purchase. The walls had to be reconstructed and accented with a wooden trim that matched the original moulding, samples of which were present in just one closet in the home.

Walt Disney Childhood Home Tour 1
Source: Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune

The tour ultimately explored the dining room, kitchen, and upstairs bedrooms, including the small room shared by Walt and his older brother, Roy, as children. Roy O. Disney would ultimately be Walt’s business partner, overseeing business operations for The Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio (which would later become The Walt Disney Company) from its foundation in 1923 until his retirement in 1971. Roy oversaw much of the construction of Walt Disney World following Walt’s death in 1966.

The tour roughly coincided with the 100th anniversary of the foundation of The Walt Disney Company (October 16, 1923) and, according to Johnson, was attended by more than 550 people. No additional public tours are scheduled at this time, but The Walt Disney Birthplace project “hope[s] to organize more tours in the future,” according to Johnson.

Disney, though born in Chicago, spent many of his formative years in Marceline. The small city served as a primary inspiration for Main Street, U.S.A., a version of which serves as the entryway for every Disney ‘castle park’ across the globe. D23 hosted a tour of the city for D23 Gold Members in 2022.

Would you be interested in touring the childhood home of Walt Disney? Let us know in the comments.

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