December Birthday of Walt Disney Gives Elementary School in Levittown Cause to Recall His Long-Ago Visit

school sign
Image via Pennsbury School District.
Namesake school of filmmaker and animation pioneer Walt Disney.

Walt Disney, Hollywood visionary, was born Dec. 05, 1901, and the proximity of that date today recalls a unique Bucks County connection to the entertainment pioneer. Jake Rossen recounted the link for Mental Floss.

Walt Disney in Levittown presenting a picture of the school named in his honor.
A student presents Disney with a drawing of the new school named in his honor. (image via State Museum of Pennsylvania)

The Walt Disney Elementary School in Levittown is, indeed, named for the famed filmmaker. It is one of 60 schools across the country similarly titled.

But the Bucks County one is different: It was dedicated by the man himself. And it was the first one he ever launched in person.

Perhaps he was swayed to attend by the backstory on how his name was chosen. The students themselves voted for him.

Given his face recognition at the time — he was a weekly presence on television, and his 1950s slate of films (Peter Pan, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea) were very popular — the kid-centric nominee was understandable.

Disney arrived onsite on September 24, 1955, bearing gifts of animation artwork that still hangs in the building. As he laid the cornerstone, the school band played tunes from his movies.

The Levittown structure on Lakeside Drive has outlived the man, who passed in 1966.

But the gifts he gave that long-ago day have now accumulated sufficient value to warrant the building’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.


More on Walt Disney Elementary School is at Mental Floss.

Connect With Your Community

Subscribe for stories that matter!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.