Disney Opens WWII-Themed Attraction; Setting Confirmed To Be Pearl Harbor

Mickey Mouse in a red blazer, smiling and holding a megaphone featuring the American flag design, with abstract red stripes in the background. This image is from one of Disney's war films, patriotic
Credit: Disney, Canva

While many fans now associate the Walt Disney Company with happy and wholesome films and TV shows, it was not always that way. In fact, Walt Disney often used his film company to help bring to light some of the larger political issues happening in the world. In the 1940’s, no issue was more important than that of WWII.

In the wake of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Walt Disney wasted no time in mobilizing his studio to actively contribute to the war efforts. Almost immediately after the news broke, Disney recognized the gravity of the situation and made a bold decision to dedicate a significant portion of his studio’s resources to supporting the war cause.

Now, decades later, the efforts of Walt Disney Studios will be memorialized in a new attraction. This June through December, guests will be able to step into the rich history of the Walt Disney Company during WWII.

Related: Disney Salutes Veterans Every Day

Two vintage Disney war film posters: on the left, Mickey Mouse as a pilot with the text "thousands of eyes in the dark keep your eyes open," and on the right, Goofy

Credit: Walt Disney Studio archives, Canva

WWII Announces Dates and Installation

Amid the chaos and uncertainty that gripped the nation, Disney’s swift action in opening up almost all of his studio was a testament to his patriotism and commitment to aiding the war effort. By leveraging his studio’s talents and creativity, Disney played a crucial role in producing insignia, short war films, and military training videos. This call to action illustrated his unwavering support for the country during a time of immense challenge and turmoil.

Disney’s decision to allocate a substantial part of his studio to support the war effort not only showcased his sense of duty and responsibility but also highlighted his deep-rooted belief in using his platform for the greater good. This pivotal moment marked a significant shift in Disney’s focus as he channeled his formidable storytelling abilities and cinematic expertise toward promoting unity and rallying support for the war. This symbolic move also cemented Disney as a truly American company, a title it still proudly bears today.

Disney-style cartoon image of a duck flying a small airplane with four fish passengers hitching a ride on top. The backdrop features a green landscape with clouds and a lake.

Credit: Walt Disney Studio archives, Canva

To honor and celebrate Disney’s historic efforts during that time period, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Ford Island will be installing a new attraction focused on films and other contributions made by Disney during WWII. Called “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II,” this attraction will open from June 3 to December 30. Museum executive director Elissa Lines says:

““We are excited to make these magical Disney historic treasures available for our guests to enjoy. Walt Disney dedicated himself and his entire creative team to the war effort. Everyone, and especially Disney fans, will want to visit the exhibition, because this is the last time this exhibit will ever be shown.”

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Credit: Disney/ Canva

Remembering Walt Disney’s Historic Contributions

As the world grappled with the realities of global conflict, Disney’s studio emerged as a beacon of hope and resilience, channeling its creative energies into producing impactful wartime content. In the midst of uncertainty and adversity, Walt Disney’s decision to open up his studio for the war effort stands as a testament to his unwavering dedication to supporting his country in its time of need.

By harnessing the power of animation and storytelling, Disney played a vital role in shaping public opinion, boosting morale, and fostering a spirit of resilience during one of the darkest periods in modern history. Through his studio’s creative output and unwavering commitment to the war cause, Disney left an indelible mark on the wartime narrative and demonstrated the transformative potential of harnessing the magic of cinema for a greater purpose.

This attraction serves as a symbol of Walt’s contribution during that time, and it will surely be adored by fans of the Walt Disney Company and military history in general. The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is known for its incredible tours and offerings, so this addition is a huge honor for all parties involved.

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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