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New Walt Disney and Washington DC book fills void in Disney scholarship

Walt Goes to Washington: Finding Disney in DC is a new book that explores the many ties Walt Disney, and the company he co-founded, have with Washington DC, the capital of the United States of America.

From Walt’s connections with U.S. Presidents over the years, to the plethora of artifacts and museum pieces you can still find today in the district’s many museums, and much more, author Jamie Hecker, takes Disney fans on a previously uncovered journey through history.

I particularly liked that the book was written for Disney fans of all levels. You don’t have to be a trivia expert to enjoy the many unknown facts that Jamie has surfaced. But if you like to collect facts, there’s plenty to learn about Disney’s long relationship with Washington DC.

When asked about his patriotism Walt Disney once said that he bleeds “red, white, and blue.” So it should be no surprise that he had a lot of involvement with our nation’s government and its figures. That no one had thought to write this book until now is really a failure of the Disney community. But we are very grateful to Hecker for providing this excellent material.

Walt Disney with then Vice President Nixon and his family at Disneyland’s Monorail dedication in 1959.

Walt worked with various government figures, often creating win-win situations for Disney and the partnering organization. Some of these partnerships, like Disney and NASA’s, helped capture the imagination of Americans, uniting them behind a cause – such as putting the first man in outer space.

Of course, Disney’s involvement in our nation’s capital did not end when Walt died. The company has continued to contribute to the public life of this nation in a variety of ways.

We also know of Walt’s close personal connection to the legacy of President Lincoln.

The book ends with a chapter on the Disney theme park that was planned for the Washington D.C. area but ended up being shot down due to NIMBY numbscles.

If you have a trip planned to Washington DC or live near there, I recommend bringing your copy with you next time you head into the center of the city. The book would make a fantastic companion piece and it comes with a map of each Disney-related location in DC.

You can pick up Walt Goes to Washington: Finding Disney in DC on Amazon, where a portion of the purchase price goes to support The Disney Blog.