By his own account, Walt's happiest childhood memories were of his time in Marceline and the family farm there. Walt and his sister Ruth spent many happy hours playing in the Barn. Visitors from all over the world have come to Marceline to spend time at "Walt's Happy Place", located in its original place on the Disney family's old farm in Marceline.
Visit this very special Barn, which was rebuilt by volunteers in 2001, and leave your mark among the thousands of signatures, messages and memories already there to share with the rest of the world. There's no doubt about it, when you come to this Barn, you'll feel a special heart connection to Walt.
The Dreaming Tree
The large cottonwood tree still stands where Walt and Ruth played and waded in the spring that ran at its base. Daydreaming under this tree, a young Walt would observe the nature surrounding him. He later called these adventures "belly botany" and drew from these moments in his early works. He apparently never outgrew his need for inspiration from his favorite spot. On trips back to Marceline, Walt always put aside time for reflection beneath it, spending hours alone with his thoughts, back under his Dreaming Tree.
The tree still stands today and visitors are welcome to sit beneath it. Enjoy sitting in the same spot that Walt himself sat while you experience your own belly botany, gather inspiration or just imagine what it must have felt like for Walt.
Main Street USA
Walt made the decision that every visitor to Disneyland would walk down Main Street USA, inspired by his hometown of Marceline, Missouri.
Today, you can shop on Main Street USA, the same street where Walt purchased his first pair of engineer overalls, and visit other quaint shops on the "original" Main Street USA!
Have lunch in the same building Elias Disney served an oyster dinner to local farmers in hopes of organizing them inot a union.
Stroll past the Zurcher building and see the original Coke mural that inspired Coke Corner at Disneyland.
See specially designed street signs that were personally dedicated by Mickey Mouse.
EP Ripley Park
In 1898, the Santa Fe Railroad donated land to the City of Marceline for a park that was named after the president of the railroad, E.P. Ripley. It soon became the pride of the community and a favorite meeting spot. Walt Disney was powerfully influenced by the railroad and named one the first steam locomotive to operate at Disneyland, the E.P. Ripley (it was also said to be his favorite.)
The Gazebo, located in Ripley Park was built in 1898 and is where the traditional Sunday concerts took place. The Disney family would often attend the band concerts at the Gazebo. Gazebo in EP Ripley Park Flora Disney would spread a quilt and the family would spend the afternoon visiting friends and listening to music. Sometimes Elias Disney would join in with his fiddle. Today, the traditions of meeting with family and friends at Ripley park continues.
Also located in the Park is the static display of an original Santa Fe 2546 steam locomotive, which Walt had painted as the Santa Fe & Disneyland RR locomotive on one of his return visits to Marceline.
Walt Disney Post Office
In 1968, the US Postal Department issued the Walt Disney commemorative stamp from this site. The entire Disney family was in attendance along with thousands of Disney fans.
On August 23, 2004, the US Post Office was officially renamed the Walt Disney Post Office and it is the only federal building named after Walt Disney.
Walt Disney Park & Pool
Walt Disney Municipal ParkThe Walt Disney Park & Pool was dedicated July 4, 1956. Walt and Roy along with their wives were in attendance at the dedication. While speaking to the crowd Walt said, "I feel very humble to think that you all wish to name this the Walt Disney Municipal Pool."
This park is also the site where the Midget Autopia, which was donated by Walt & Roy O. Disney, became the first attraction ever to leave and be operated outside of Disneyland. A track was constructed in the Park and the lucky children of Marceline were given the opportunity to take a ride. Today, you can still still the tracks which remain and a restored Midget Autopia vehicle at the Museum.
The beautiful park grounds are open year-round and the pool is open May through August. Admission is charged for the pool.
Uptown Theater and Bed & Breakfast
Located in the heart of downtown Marceline on Main Street USA, this theater was in continuous operation since 1930 through March 27, 2010 and has hosted two Disney film premiers:
The Great Locomotive Chase in 1956 hosted by Walt and Roy Disney. Walt personally addressed the children in the audience telling them,
"My best memories are the years I spent in Marceline; you children are lucky to live here."
The Spirit of Mickey, hosted by the Walt Disney Company in 1998, along with personal appearances by Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto and Goofy and nearly 20,000 fans. The film ran continuously for six full days.
And, make the most of your visit to Marceline by booking your accommodations at the Uptown Bed & Breakfast located above the theater on Main Street USA. Choose from five themed rooms, including the Walt Disney Suite, the Americana Mickey Room, the Santa Fe Room, the Winnie the Pooh Room and the Toonfest Room.
For reservations, contact the Uptown Theater directly at 660.376.2525, 660.375.3333 or visit the Uptown Theater and B&B website at www.Uptown-Marceline.com.