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Iconic Partners Statue At Walt Disney World Resort

Located in front of Cinderella Castle facing Main Street U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom you will find the iconic "Partners" statue with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse.

Disney World Icon
On June 19, 1995 the "Partners" statue was installed in the hub of the Magic Kingdom giving a fitting location for Walt Disney and his most well known character.

As you make your way down Main Street U.S.A you can see the statue which is on a raised platform.  The likenesses of Walt and Mickey in bronze are framed by Cinderella Castle in the background.

There are many stories about what the pose of Walt and Mickey means.  According to "The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom":
Walt is rendered as the visionary, in a hero's stance, pointing toward the future and leading the way for his creation, Mickey Mouse.
Disney Urban legend states that Walt is pointing Mickey towards the statue of his brother Roy at the front of the Magic Kingdom as a sign of handing things over to him.  The sentiment is nice, but the statue of Roy didn't arrive until 1999.

At the base of the statue is a quotation from Walt Disney:  "We believe in our idea: a family park where parents and children could have fun - together."  This one sentiment may have guided the development of the Disney Parks more than any other.

History of "Partners"
The "Partners" sculpture was created by Disney Legend Blaine Gibson.  Blaine is most well known for creating all of the Presidents (prior to President Obama) for the Hall of Presidents attraction.  You cannnot spend much time at Disney World without seeing characters that Blaine helped create ranging from the Pirates of the Caribbean to his later works with the figures for the American Adventure in Epcot. He retired after a long career at Disney in 1983, but was occasionally given special projects to work on afterward.

Marty Sklar approached Blaine about creating the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse for Disneyland.  Blaine was in his mid-seventies at the time, but still was willing to take on the task.  The finished product was placed in Disneyland on November 18, 1993 exactly 65 years after the launch of "Steamboat Willie."  Additional copies of "Partners" were ultimately placed in each of the Disney Theme Parks around the world, with the Disney World version arriving in 1995.

Although Blain Gibson sculpted the "Partners" statue, it is not the first Disney commissioned work called "Partners."  In 1980, Charles Boyer, a renowned Disney artist and ultimately a Disney Legend himself, created a special limited edition lithograph called "Partners" pictured above. 

It is likely that Blaine Gibson was asked to use this "Partners" as inspiration for his legendary sculpture.

"Partners" Inspires
Regardless of origin or true meaning of the pose, the "Partners" sculpture plays an important role in Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  It places Walt front and center as part of the "show" in the hub of the Magic Kingdom as the park guests are about to embark upon their day's adventures.

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