If you’re a big fan of Disney World, Disneyland, Disney movies, or anything else related to Disney, you may also be an admirer of the man who started it all — Walter Elias Disney.
From pioneering all sorts of new technologies to creating a clean, beautiful, incredibly detailed theme park that whole families could enjoy, Walt Disney contributed in so many unique ways to American history. And soon, he will be honored in a very special way in the Garden of American Heroes.
On July 3rd, 2020, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order establishing a statuary park named the National Garden of American Heroes (“National Garden”). A task force was formed to begin the process of building the monument. The Task Force has now completed its first phase of work and is ready to move forward. So, today, January 18th, the President signed another Executive Order regarding the National Garden to provide some further direction.
The purpose of the National Garden is to “reflect the awesome splendor of our country’s timeless exceptionalism…In the peace and harmony of this vast outdoor park, visitors will come and learn the amazing stories of some of the greatest Americans who have ever lived.”
Each individual featured in the National Garden”has been chosen for embodying the American spirit of daring and defiance, excellence and adventure, courage and confidence, loyalty and love.” The individuals are considered “historically significant Americans.” The new Executive Order defines a “historically significant American” as a person who “made substantive contributions to America’s public life or otherwise had a substantive effect on America’s history.”
In the President’s previous Executive Order, figures such as John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, George Washington, and others were listed among those whose statues should be included in the Garden. The new Executive Order now includes several more figures such as Muhammad Ali, Nat King Cole, Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, Aretha Franklin, and…Walt Disney! The man who traveled to California with just a suitcase and a dream will soon be recognized in this garden as a true American hero.
The President’s previous Executive Order noted that these statues should be lifelike or realistic representations of the people they depict, and that the National Garden should be on a “site of natural beauty” so that people can enjoy nature, walk by the statues, and be inspired to learn more.
The President’s initial Executive Order on the National Garden noted that it should be made open for public access prior to the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 2026. Thus far, the Secretary of the Interior has been tasked with identifying a site suitable for the National Garden, but its specific location has not yet been revealed. Letters were sent to various governors and counties asking them for their input on potential locations for the garden, statues to donate, and more.
It’ll be interesting to see how this statue of Walt may differ from the Partners statue at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park that we know so well, as well as the Storytellers Statue at Disney California Adventure Park. We’ll definitely keep an eye out for more details about this National Garden and Walt Disney’s inclusion in it.
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What do you think about Disney’s inclusion in the National Garden? Let us know in the comments!