As a child, Walt Disney didn't find much encouragement for his artistic gifts at home. His father Elias was a practical man who didn't find much value in artistic endeavors. In fact, it was Walt's Aunt Maggie who provided the spark and supplies a young boy needed to explore his dreams. It was Aunt Maggie who provided the pencils, crayons and paper that Walt used to sketch the world around him; to put his dreams on paper.
When the young Mr. Disney snuck off to draw and dream, he often did it under his "dreaming tree", which was located on the family's Marceline, Missouri farm. It was under this tree that he examined the world around him, explored his imagination and dreamed his wildest dreams. Armed with Aunt Maggie's art supplies and encouragement, little Walter began his life's journey. It was here that he dreamed of a lucky rabbit, a lovable mouse, a cartoon princess and a Magic Kingdom.
Even years later Walt Disney would visit his dreaming tree, making sure to stop by every time he visited his hometown. Every time he visited, more of the dreams he dreamed under that tree had come true. As the years passed, the world had met Oswald, Mickey, Donald, Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs and visited Walt's Magic Kingdom- his greatest dream come true.
It's fairly certain that the world would have never known of Mickey or DISNEYLAND were it not for Mr. Disney's inspirational aunt. Aunt Maggie got to see the success of Mickey Mouse, but never lived to see the animated feature films or DISNEYLAND. But her spirit lives on in them nonetheless. Had she not taken it upon herself to encourage her nephew in his artistic pursuits, the world might have missed out on so many wonderful things and so many magical places.
Little Walt's Dreaming Tree remains standing in Marceline, Missouri and has been designated a historical tree by American Forests. The tree is on private property, but respectful visitors are permitted to visit the tree and take pictures. It's an amazing opportunity to visit a place that inspired a little boy to dream and become an amazing man who would build an amazing place- DISNEYLAND.