By the co-author of The easy Guide to Your Walt Disney World Visit 2017, from the best-reviewed Disney World guidebook series ever. Paperback available on Amazon here. Kindle version available on Amazon here. PDF version available on Gumroad here.



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A Friday Visit With Jim Korkis: The “Sharing the Magic” Statue at the Magic Kingdom



By Dave Shute

Welcome back to Fridays with Jim Korkis! Jim, the dean of Disney historians and author of Jim’s Gems in The easy Guide, writes about Walt Disney World history every Friday on yourfirstvisit.net.

THE ROY O. DISNEY “SHARING THE MAGIC” STATUE

By Jim Korkis

Jim Korkis on Sharing the Magic from yourfirstvisit.netMost Disney fans are familiar with the popular “Partners” statue that is in the Hub areas of both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, where Walt Disney is holding Mickey Mouse’s hand.

According the sculptor, Disney Legend Blaine Gibson, Walt is saying to Mickey, “Look at what we accomplished together. Look at all the happy people coming to visit us.”

But it’s not Gibson’s only statue of a Disney…

Gibson began his Disney career in 1939 as an apprentice animation artist. Walt Disney noticed Blaine’s interest and skill in sculpture and transferred him over to WED (Imagineering) to work on things for Disneyland.

Blaine ended up sculpting everything from Indian chiefs along the banks of the Rivers of America to bathing elephants on the Jungle Cruise. He sculpted President Lincoln (as well as all the presidents in the Hall of Presidents except for President Obama, who was done by a Gibson protégé), Haunted Mansion ghosts and blood-thirsty pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Blaine became a Disney Legend in 1993, the same year the “Partners” statue debuted at Disneyland.

While Mickey truly was Walt’s partner, Walt also had a “silent partner” who once said, “My younger brother dreams of castles, but I am the one that has to get them built.”

Jim Korkis on thw Sharing the Magic statue from yourfirstvisit.net

A statue of Walt’s older brother, Roy O. Disney, seated on a park bench beside Minnie Mouse at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Florida, is located approximately where Roy stood when he dedicated the park in October 1971.

This statue was installed in October 1999 and was also the work of Blaine Gibson.

The statue of Roy is called “Sharing the Magic” and sits by the flagpole in Town Square across from the shadow of Roy’s name on the upper window of the confectionery shop.

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“Roy is sitting back in the bench which indicates he was there first and Minnie came to him, not that he came up to her to ask why she was sitting down and not working,” laughed Blaine who based the pose on photographs taken of Roy in the park in October 1971 sitting on a bench with Disney costumed characters. “Also he is holding her hand underneath so he is supporting it, just like he always supported Walt’s dreams. Roy was very underrated.”

Originally, the statue was put behind a low fence but so many guests climbed over the fence for photographs that it was moved out of the fenced area.

A duplicate is located outside the Team Disney building at Disney’s corporate headquarters in Burbank, California. There is a third statue at the Tokyo Disneyland theme park.

Both the Partners and the Sharing the Magic statues are favorite photo locations at the Magic Kingdom today, as they continue to honor the two brothers who made a dream come true in a Florida swampland.

Gibson’s young assistant on both the “Partners” and “Sharing the Magic” statues was the very talented Rick Terry. Terry is the sculptor of the recent “Storytellers” statue of Walt and Mickey at Disney California Adventure.

Both Gibson and Imagineer Ray Spencer looked over his shoulder while Terry worked on this newest icon in the Disney theme parks.

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Thanks, Jim! Come back next Friday for more from Jim Korkis.

In the meantime, check out his books, including The Vault of WaltWho’s Afraid of the Song of the South?, and The Book of Mouse, and his contributions to The easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Visit, all published by Theme Park Press.

MORE DISNEY WORLD HISTORY POSTS FROM JIM KORKIS

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