As we learned in our Disney Traditions class, it’s very hard to find photographs of Walt Disney smoking, although he was a chain smoker all of his adult life, typically smoking at least three packs a day before succumbing to lung cancer in 1966!
Most of the photographs of Disney holding a cigarette have been airbrushed by the company and the cigarette removed, giving rise to the famous Disney two finger point that all Cast Members are taught.
From behind the scenes of “Saving Mr. Banks”:
The company’s blanket ban on lit cigarettes in its films came into effect in 2007, when Bob Iger, Disney’s chairman and CEO, stated: “We expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney-branded films will be non-existent.”
Saving Mr. Banks does feature an unlit cigarette: in one scene, Disney, played by Tom Hanks, is seen stubbing it out as Travers, played by Emma Thompson, enters his office. The cigarette itself is not visible, however, and nor is its smoke. Disney is also seen swearing and sipping Scotch Mist, his cocktail of choice.
Born in 1901, Disney took up smoking in 1918 as an ambulance driver in France during the First World War. He took great care never to smoke around children, but was said to suffer from an incessant, hacking cough.
His favorite brand of cigarettes was Lucky Strike, and he also smoked a pipe. In 1955, he opened a tobacconist shop on Disneyland’s Main Street, which closed in 1991, though it’s traditional “Cigar Store Indian” still stands on the pavement outside the location. Sadly, Disney died from complications of lung cancer in December 1966 at the age of 65.
Great article about Walt and his life-long smoking habit: Walt and His Infamous Cough.
Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!
This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier. Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life. On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.
Now that she’s back, things get wild.
Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental. While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.
While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.
Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.
Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Adventures in the Animal Kingdom