Walt Disney quotes

145+ Inspirational Walt Disney Quotes on Dreams

Walt Disney was a TV and film producer, a pioneer of legendary animation films and cartoon characters, and the creator of the beloved theme parks, Disneyland and Disney World. Disney was a man with a dream. With his imagination, courage, and talents, he created a magical world for everyone to explore and call home. In the process, he’s delivered some inspirational Walt Disney quotes about reaching success and following dreams.

Disney was born in 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, and was one of five children. His childhood was spent drawing and painting illustrations. When he was in high school, he took drawing and photography classes and was even a contributing cartoonist for his school’s newspaper. When he was 18 years old, Disney moved to Kansas City and begun a career as an artist for a newspaper. He worked at Kansas City Film Ad Company, where he used his animation for commercials. Along with working there, Disney decided to open his own animation business: Laugh-o-Grams, a series of cartoons and fairytales (both live-action and animation). Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful, and he went bankrupt.

Walt Disney, his brother Roy, and a cartoonist, Ub Iwerks, moved to Hollywood in 1923 and developed what we all know and love as Walt Disney Studios. He co-founded the Walt Disney Company and the Walt Disney Studio with his brother, Roy. The earliest cartoon character–even before Mickey Mouse–was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, but the idea was stolen by one of his employees, and he was forced to create something new. During that time, when sound has just made its way into film, Disney voiced a character known as Mickey Mouse in his very first successful film, Steamboat Willie. He even won his first Academy Award for the creation of Mickey Mouse! It wasn’t until 1929 that he created Mickey’s friends, Minnie, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. His first full-length film was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which won 8 Oscars in 1937. He had produced over 100 films during his life, all incredibly successful and loved.

The Disneyland theme park opened in July 1955 in California. It quickly became a place for children and families to create fond memories together, meet their favorite characters, and explore their curiosity and imagination. Disneyland was influencing young lives and tourists from all over, becoming so popular that Disney decided to branch out and expand the Disney theme park to Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Orlando, Florida. The Florida location was known as Disney World, and it had an additional “world” of EPCOT where visitors could experience cultures, art, and food from all over the world. Unfortunately, Disney died while EPCOT was still under construction, and so his brother carried on to finish the plans. Disneyland and Disney World have Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Adventureland, Fantasyland, and so much more. A Disney vacation is ideal for children and even adults who believe in the timeless magic of Disneyland and Disney World.

Before Disney died from lung cancer in 1966, he married a woman named Lillian and had two kids, Sharon and Diane. His kids and grandkids will carry on the Disney name and legacy. Disney will go down in history for his impact. With that being said, here are some inspirational quotes from Disney himself and quotes from the beloved Disney movies.

Walt Disney quotes

Walt Disney Quotes on Creativity, Learning, and Work 

“I am interested in entertaining people, in bringing pleasure, particularly laughter, to others, rather than being concerned with ‘expressing’ myself with obscure creative impressions.” – Walt Disney

“I never called my work an ‘art.’ It’s part of show business, the business of building entertainment.” – Walt Disney

“Movies can and do have tremendous influence in shaping young lives in the realm of entertainment towards the ideals and objectives of normal adulthood.” – Walt Disney

“Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right.” – Walt Disney

“Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource – the minds of our children.” – Walt Disney

“The important thing is the family. If you can keep the family together — and that’s the backbone of our whole business, catering to families — that’s what we hope to do.” – Walt Disney

“I don’t believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn’t treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should.” – Walt Disney

“I have long felt that the way to keep children out of trouble is to keep them interested in things.” – Walt Disney

“All you’ve got to do is own up to your ignorance honestly, and you’ll find people who are eager to fill your head with information.” – Walt Disney

“Do a good job. You don’t have to worry about the money; it will take care of itself. Just do your best work — then try to trump it.” – Walt Disney

“Leadership implies a strong faith or belief in something.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney quotes

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” – Walt Disney

“Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature.” – Walt Disney

“Adults are interested if you don’t play down to the little 2 or 3-year-olds or talk down. I don’t believe in talking down to children. I don’t believe in talking down to any certain segment. I like to kind of just talk in a general way to the audience. Children are always reaching.” – Walt Disney

“People often ask me if I know the secret of success and if I could tell others how to make their dreams come true. My answer is, you do it by working.” – Walt Disney

“A person should set his goals as early as he can and devote all his energy and talent to getting there. With enough effort, he may achieve it. Or he may find something that is even more rewarding. But in the end, no matter what the outcome, he will know he has been alive.” – Walt Disney

“Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” – Walt Disney

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.” – Walt Disney

“It’s a mistake not to give people a chance to learn to depend on themselves while they are young.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney Quotes on Dreams and Imagination 

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

“Somehow, I can’t believe that there are any heights that can’t be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C s. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy.” – Walt Disney

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

“That’s the real trouble with the world. Too many people grow up.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney quotes

“First, think. Second, dream. Third, believe. And finally, dare.” – Walt Disney

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney

“I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.” – Walt Disney

“Never get bored or cynical. Yesterday is a thing of the past.” – Walt Disney

“The era we are living in today is a dream of coming true.” – Walt Disney

“Fantasy and reality often overlap.” – Walt Disney

“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.” – Walt Disney

“Every child is born blessed with a vivid imagination. But just as a muscle grows flabby with disuse, so the bright imagination of a child pales in later years if he ceases to exercise it.” – Walt Disney

“I believe in being an innovator.” – Walt Disney

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

“I suppose my formula might be: dream, diversify and never miss an angle.” – Walt Disney

“First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” – Walt Disney

“I must explore and experiment. I am never satisfied with my work. I resent the limitations of my own imagination.” – Walt Disney

“No! Don’t think outside the box! Once you say that, you’ve established that there is a box.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney Quotes

Other Walt Disney Quotes for Inspiration and Motivation 

“A man should never neglect his family for business.” – Walt Disney

“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, then worrying won’t make it any better.” – Walt Disney

“Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children.” – Walt Disney

“Laughter is timeless; imagination has no age, dreams are forever.” – Walt Disney

“There is great comfort and inspiration in the feeling of close human relationships and its bearing on our mutual fortunes – a powerful force, to overcome the “tough breaks” which are certain to come to most of us from time to time.”  – Walt Disney

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

“I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.” – Walt Disney

“Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Jones’ do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

“In bad times and in good, I’ve never lost my sense of zest for life.” – Walt Disney

“Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.” – Walt Disney

“Laughter is America’s most important export.” – Walt Disney

“The worst of us is not without innocence, although buried deeply it might be.” – Walt Disney

“I do not like to repeat successes; I like to go on to other things.” – Walt Disney

“Leadership means that a group, large or small, is willing to entrust authority to a person who has shown judgment, wisdom, personal appeal, and proven competence.” – Walt Disney

“There’s nothing funnier than the human animal.” – Walt Disney

Inspirational Disney Quotes about the success of Walt Disney World

“For every laugh, there should be a tear.” – Walt Disney

“You can’t just let nature run wild.” – Walt Disney

“The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.” – Walt Disney

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.” – Walt Disney

“Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” – Walt Disney

“The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.” – Walt Disney

“Whatever you do, do it well.” – Walt Disney

“Courage is the main quality of leadership, in my opinion, no matter where it is exercised. Usually, it implies some risk — especially in new undertakings. Courage to initiate something and to keep it going, pioneering and adventurous spirit to blaze new ways, often, in our land of opportunity.” – Walt Disney

“Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk.” – Walt Disney

“When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do. And one thing it takes to accomplish something is courage.” – Walt Disney

“Childishness? I think it’s the equivalent of never losing your sense of humor. I mean, there’s a certain something that you retain. It’s the equivalent of not getting so stuffy that you can’t laugh at others.” – Walt Disney

“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.” – Walt Disney

“I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney Quotes on Filmmaking and the Disney Empire

person holding Minnie Mouse headband overlooking castle

“I do not make films primarily for children. I make them for the child in all of us, whether he be six or sixty. Call the child, innocence.” – Walt Disney

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney

“Animation is different from other parts. Its language is the language of caricature. Our most difficult job was to develop the cartoon’s unnatural but seemingly natural anatomy for humans and animals.” – Walt Disney

“You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” – Walt Disney

“Animation offers a medium of storytelling and visual entertainment which can bring pleasure and information to people of all ages everywhere in the world.” – Walt Disney

“Most of my life, I have done what I wanted to do. I have had fun on the job.” – Walt Disney

“I take great pride in the artistic development of cartoons. Our characters are made to go through emotions.” – Walt Disney

“I wanted to retain my individuality. I was afraid of being hampered by studio policies. I knew if someone else got control, I would be restrained.” – Walt Disney

“All cartoon characters and fables must be an exaggeration, caricatures. It is the very nature of fantasy and fable.” – Walt Disney

Inspirational Disney Quotes about reaching great success and where curiosity keeps leading us

round grey architectural structure

“I try to build a full personality for each of our cartoon characters – to make them personalities.” – Disney

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” – Disney

“I don’t want the public to see the world they live in while they’re in the Park (Disneyland). I want to feel they’re in another world.” – Disney

“Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.” – Disney

“I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.” – Disney

“My greatest reward is that I have been able to build this wonderful organization.” – Disney

“I’d say it’s been my biggest problem all my life… money. It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. – Disney

“Whenever I go on a ride, I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.” – Disney

“I don’t make pictures just to make money. I make money to make more pictures.” – Disney

“When I was a kid, a book I read advised young artists to be themselves. That decided it for me. I was a corny kind of guy, so I went in for corn.” – Disney

“Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive. This facility makes it the most versatile and explicit means of communication yet devised for quick mass appreciation.” – Disney

“In our animation, we must show only the actions and reactions of a character, but we must picture also with the action. . . the feeling of those characters.” – Disney

Inspirational Quotes about keeping the faith

white and red ceramic teacup on saucer

“I think a good study of music would be indispensable to the animators — a realization on their part of how primitive music is, how natural it is for people to want to go to music — a study of rhythm, the dance — the various rhythms enter into our lives every day.” – Walt Disney quotes

“I have never been interested in personal gain or profit. This business and this studio have been my entire life.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.” – Walt Disney quotes

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Disneyland is a work of love. We didn’t go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Until a character becomes a personality, it cannot be believed. Without personality, the character may do funny or interesting things, but unless people are able to identify themselves with the character, its actions will seem unreal. And without personality, a story cannot ring true to the audience.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Disneyland is the star; everything else is in the supporting role.” – Walt Disney quotes

“When people laugh at Mickey Mouse, it’s because he’s so human, and that is the secret of his popularity.” – Walt Disney quotes

“I think you have to know these fellows definitely before you can draw them. When you start to caricature a person, you can’t do it without knowing the person. Take Laurel and Hardy, for example; everybody can see Laurel doing certain things because they know Laurel.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Of all of our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” – Walt Disney quotes

“Disneyland is a show.” – Walt Disney quotes

“We have created characters and animated them in the dimension of depth, revealing through them to our perturbed world that the things we have in common far outnumber and outweigh those that divide us.” – Walt Disney quotes

“We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.” – Walt Disney quotes

“At first, the cartoon medium was just a novelty, but it never really began to hit until we had more than tricks… until we developed personalities. We had to get beyond getting a laugh. They may roll in the aisles, but that doesn’t mean you have a great picture. You have pathos in the thing.” – Walt Disney quotes

“I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known.” – Walt Disney quotes

“I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible because dreams offer too little collateral.” – Walt Disney quotes

“We allow no geniuses around our Studio.” – Walt Disney quotes

“You can dream, create, design, and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney quotes

Inspirational Disney Quotes from the Movies 

Walt Disney quote

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all.”

Mulan quotes

“All it takes is faith and trust.”

Peter Pan quotes

“The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.”

The Lion King quotes

“The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.”

The Princess and the Frog quotes

“Can anybody be happy if they aren’t free?”

Beauty and the Beast quotes

“The only thing predictable about life is its unpredictability.”

Ratatouille quotes

“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.”

The Incredibles quotes

“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Bambi quotes

“Always let your conscience be your guide.”

Pinocchio quotes

“Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”

Lilo & Stitch quotes

“Adventure is out there.”

Up quotes

“Ladies do not start fights, but they can finish them.”

The Aristocats

“When life gets you down, you know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming!”

Finding Nemo quotes

“From failure, we learn, from success not so much.”

Meet the Robinsons quotes

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh quotes

“We may have our differences, but nothing’s more important than family.”

–Coco quotes

“Sometimes, the right path is not the easiest one.”

Pocahontas quotes

“Like so many things, it’s not what’s outside but what’s inside that counts.”

–Aladdin quotes

“You control your destiny — you don’t need magic to do it. And there are no magical shortcuts to solving your problems.”

–Brave quotes

“Listen with your heart; you will understand.”

–Pocahontas quotes

“If you focus on what you left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.”

–Ratatouille quotes

“A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”

–Hercules quotes

“Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own.”

–Duck Tales quotes

“The very things that hold you down are going to lift you up.”

–Dumbo  quotes

“Remember, you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.”

–Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs quotes

“Everything that made that giant tree is already contained inside this tiny little seed. All it needs is some time, a little bit of sunshine and rain, and voilá! Now, y-you might not feel like you can do much now, but that’s just because, well, you’re not a tree yet. You just have to give yourself some time. You’re still a seed.”

–A Bug’s Life quotes

“For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

–The Jungle Book quotes

“I’ll be there someday. I can go the distance. I will find my way if I can be strong.“

–Hercules​​ quotes

“You want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself.”

–The Little Mermaid quotes

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun and—snap!—the job’s a game!”

–Mary Poppins quotes

“Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours.”

Frozen quotes

“There are those who say fate is something beyond our command. That destiny is not our own, but I know better. Our fate lives within us; you only have to be brave enough to see it.”

Brave quotes

“She warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within.”

Beauty and the Beast quotes

“No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

Cinderella quotes

Do you have a favorite Walt Disney quote?

For Further Reading 

Here are some books based on Disney, his life, and the creation behind and magic of Disneyland and Disney World, featuring some inspirational quotes by the man himself.

Quotable Walt Disney

How to Be Like Walt: Capturing the Disney Magic Every Day of Your Life

More Quotes:

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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