2017 Dreaming Tree Gala

Welcome to the inaugural 2017 Dreaming Tree Gala, supporting the Walt Disney Hometown Museum. This black tie event will be taking place inside The Ballroom of the Americas, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on Saturday November 18th, 2017.

Since 2001 the Walt Disney Hometown Museum has been working diligently to keep the story of Walt’s affection for his beloved boyhood hometown alive and vibrant. Through first hand stories and immersive gallery displays the museum reminds everyone that dreams are always worth pursuing, no matter what limitations stand in your way.

Every year the Dreaming Tree Gala will give Disney fans a unique opportunity to come together in an intimate setting, succumb to the temptation of an amazing meal, hear a few ‘never before shared’ stories and rally around a specific Marceline based project that will celebrate the memory of the Disney family. This year The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is excited to announce that the proceeds of our inaugural Dreaming Tree Gala will go towards the return of Walt’s dying gift to his boyhood hometown, Midget Autopia.

Midget Autopia is a piece of Disneyland history that ran at the park between 1956 and 1966.  The ten car ride allowed children to meander peacefully through a country setting, complete with rolling hills, and a cheerful yellow barn. But after a decade of fun in the hot California sun, space was needed to install ‘It’s A Small World’… fresh from it’s run at the New York World’s Fair. The tough decision was made to remove Midget Autopia from the park, but thanks to some quick thinking from Walt and Roy that decision would not mean the end of this perennial childhood favorite. In early 1966 the announcement was made that Midget Autopia would be dismantled, and moved to beautiful Marceline.  When the ride reopened on the 4th of July 1966 it became the first Disney attraction to maintain operation outside the control of a Disney owned park.

Sadly Walt passed a few months after the official dedication, and after an all too short 11 year run in the heart of Missouri the city was forced to retire the ride due to extensive maintenance requirements.

Fast forward some 50 years later and the Walt Disney Hometown Museum is prepared to bring this piece of Disney history back in the heart of Walt’s boyhood hometown.

With your help and support we hope to have Midget Autopia entertaining the children of Marceline in late 2018. All it will take is a little faith and trust… and pixie dust.

Robert Wilson

Robert WilsonFresh out of the military, a young Robert Wilson was living in California and unhappily employed at Douglas Aircraft when a small ad in the LA Times caught his eye. HELP WANTED – JR ACCOUNTANT – WED ENTERPRISES INC. Although the name WED Enterprises meant nothing in particular, Bob submitted his resume and waited patiently.

It’s safe to say 13 might be Robert’s ‘lucky number’ because he was offered his truly life changing position in the accounting department of Retlaw on Friday July 13th, 1968. Eventually Robert would learn that he wasn’t the only one who considered 13 their lucky number. Lillian Disney, was so enamoured with the number that the plate on her Mercedes 350 coupe was proudly customized to read LBD 13.

As we all know the initials WED stands for Walter Elias Disney, and over the next 30 years of his life Robert would not only immerse himself into this amazing family company, but he would also find himself equally immersed within the Disney family itself.

After a name change from WED to RETLAW (Retlaw is Walter spelled backwards) Bob helped broaden the scope of the company, moving beyond the already significant Disney Company connections and diversifying into the worlds of real estate and broadcasting.

During a 30 year career at Retlaw Bob helped establish the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Silverado Winery and worked closely with three generations of strong Disney woman from Lillian to Diane and Sharon to Michelle Lund. He learned from Disney Legends such as Ward Kimball, John Hench, Marty Sklar, Bill Cottrell and Herbie Ryman and mastered every aspect of this complex business, retiring with the title Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer in 1998.

For the first time ever Bob will be sitting down to discuss his amazing career and his close working relationship with the Disney family. Warm and funny, infinitely gracious and truly blessed for a fantastic career and loving family, Mr Wilson will undoubtedly share stories that have yet to be told; and take us behind the scenes at the inner workings of a largely secret family company that was established by arguably the most public figure in the world.

The Dreaming Tree Plated Dinner

Amuse Bouche Pre-Set at Each Setting

Mickey cut waldorf bruschetta with lemon aioli


Bouquet of locally sourced greens with toy box tomatoes, cucumber, curls of golden beets and carrots, with roasted pear vinaigrette
House-made bread and biscuits with butter and honey butter

Pre-Selected Choice of the Following Entrées

Red wine and coffee braised beef short rib with pan sauce with white cheddar macaroni and cheese and seasonal vegetables


Oven roasted French cut chicken breast with thyme jus with Biff’s hash house shredded potato pave and seasonal vegetables


Quinoa and grilled vegetable stack with fire roasted tomato fra diavolo with wilted spinach and rice pilaf


A Trio of Walt’s Favorite Things:

Miniature version of Marceline’s famous Dusty Miller
Lemon chiffon with graham cracker crust
Soft gingerbread and cream cookie sandwich

After dinner you’ll be invited to retire to the cozy and secluded Contemporary Resort’s Porte-Cochére for dessert and a private viewing of the new Magic Kingdom firework spectacular “Happily Ever After”. This stunning 18 minute show will take you on a journey through some of the most magical moments in the history of Disney animation.

To make the night perfect the acclaimed chefs at Disney’s Contemporary Resort have put together a delicious trio of tempting dessert creations that are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. We’re even bringing a little piece of Marceline to the dessert table, with an ice cream treat that originated in Walt’s boyhood hometown.

What a perfect way to wind down a special evening full of fun, laughter and unforgettable memories.


The Walt Disney Hometown Museum and our friends at Walt Disney World have set aside a small block of hotel rooms for the convenience of our inaugural Dreaming Tree Gala guests.

You can select a room at either Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Disney’s Port Orleans – French Quarter by calling the Disney Group Reservations Office at (407) 939-4686 or booking online.

Be sure to keep this information handy when making your reservation:

Group Name:
The Walt Disney Museum Dreaming Tree Gala Room Block 2017
Group Code:
Name of the Resort:
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter
Disney’s Contemporary Resort

Rooms are limited and will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Reservations must be made by Thursday October 19, 2017.

Flying in? Make sure you inquire about Disney’s Magical Express to transition you seamlessly from the Orlando International Airport to your Disney Resort of choice.

We’re so glad you are coming to the Dreaming Tree Gala this year.