Walt Disney is Never Seen Smoking

Disney’s cigarette has been airbrushed out of this photo.
Walt Disney’s cigarette has been airbrushed out of this photo.

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.

No cigarette in this photo either!
No cigarette can be seen in his right hand in this photo either!

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.

dapper Walt Disney smoking
The cigarette has been air-brushed out of this photo of a very dapper looking Walt Disney from the 1920s.
disney smoking walt
The cigarette in his fingers has been airbrushed out.


The two finger point.
Tom Hanks as Walt Disney doing the famous Disney Two Finger Point in Saving Mr. Banks.

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, Walt Disney, played by Tom Hanks, is seen stubbing a cigarette out as Mrs. Travers, played by Emma Thompson, enters his office. The cigarette itself is not visible, however, nor is its smoke. Disney is also seen swearing and sipping Scotch Mist, his cocktail of choice.

WWI photo in France
WWI photo of Walt Disney in France, 1918.

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 especially later in life.

During the construction of Disneyland.  The cigarette has been airbrushed out.
Walt walking around during construction of Disneyland. The cigarette has been airbrushed out of his right hand.

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.

walt disney dies
Walt Disney dies of lung cancer December 15, 1966.

Sadly, Disney died from complications of lung cancer in December 1966 at the age of 65.

On MK’s Main Street USA with Big Chief Seegar.  All the Disney Parks have a Cigar Store Indian.

Great article about Walt and his life-long smoking habit: Walt and His Infamous Cough.
No Smoking (2)

Walt Disney & Smoking

                                               The famous Disney Two Finger Point.


frozen Two Disney Sisters

We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover
Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
book Two Girls
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!


Two Disney sisters2 DCP Alumni
Two Disney Sisters


dlr4 Partners Sleeping Beauty Castle
May 28, 2019:  The Partner’s statue with Walt holding Mickey’s hand in front of the newly refurbished Sleeping Beauty Castle.


3 replies to “Walt Disney is Never Seen Smoking

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