What is Disney Legends?

Have you ever watched a Disney movie or been to the Disney Parks and found yourself thinking, "this is the stuff of legend" or "this character is absolutely legendary"? We assume that you have. As it turns out, the folks at the Walt Disney Company have thought the same thing for decades. In 1987, in the inaugural ceremony, the Walt Disney Company began inducting actors, artists, vocalists, writers, and employees that they deemed to be "Legendary" status, and you won't be surprised to know that you probably know many of the names!

What is it?

Disney Legends is a "Hall of Fame" of sorts, recognizing people who have had an "extraordinary and integral contribution to the Walt Disney Company", according to Disney. Disney Legends can be people who played characters in Live-Action movies or people who played an animated character in a Disney Animation Studios or Pixar movie. They can be animators, directors, producers, editors, and more! Probably the most interesting of the titles would be actual corporate employees; these are definitely the least recognizable of the names, but some are more pivotal in the Disney story than you can even imagine!

What happens when you're a Disney Legend?

First, you're inducted as a Legend at the D23 Ceremony, which is really cool. Our favorite part about the induction? The award itself. Look at how neat this is! If you can't tell exactly what it is, you're not alone. It's a very intricate piece, created and designed by Andrea Favilli, and it's handcrafted of bronze! The hand that you're seeing is the hand of none other than Mickey Mouse, and he's holding a star-tipped wand. The hand sits atop a spiral scroll and is seated on a circular base that features the Legend's name on the plaque. According to the designer, the Spiral stands for imagination and the power of an idea, the Hand stands for the gifts of skill, discipline, and craftsmanship, and the Wand and Star represent magic! 

Once given the Honor, Disney legends also make a plaque with their handprint and signature which is displayed in the Legends Plaza in Walt Disney Studios in California. Finally, they're given a Disney Golden Pass, which means they can get into every Disney theme park for the rest of their life, for free!

Notable Disney Legends

Some of the notable Disney Legends include:
  • Julie Andrews - film actress
  • Sir Elton John - music
  • Betty White - film and television actress
  • Robin Williams - film and animation voice actor
  • Regis Philbin - television host
  • Jodi Benson - animation voice actress
  • Jim Henson - animation voice actor
  • Johnny Depp - film actor
  • George Lucas - film creator and Parks and Resorts Imagineer
  • Mark Hamill - film actor
  • Stan Lee - film actor and producer

Upcoming Disney Legends

The 2019 class of Disney Legends is packed-full of well-known names in today's film industry! Robert Downey Jr., James Earl Jones, Jon Favreau, Bette Midler, and Hans Zimmer are all a part of this year's class! 


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