In honor of Walt Disney’s 114th Birthday on December 5, 2015, The Walt Disney Birthplace has planned four Chicago-based events to celebrate the Disney Family and their place in Chicago history.
The events begin on Saturday, December 5th at The Walt Disney Birthplace. This modest two-story cottage was designed and hand-built by Walt’s parents, Elias and Flora Disney, in 1893. Elias had moved his family to Chicago to help build the World’s Columbian Exposition, which opened that year. Roy was born in the home in 1893, followed by Walt in 1901, and their little sister Ruth in 1903.
On Sunday December 6th, O-Zell Soda, a Victorian era soda company that was started by Elias Disney in Chicago, will cohost a launch event at Rocket Fizz, St. Charles. As a teenager, Walt himself worked in the factory. Today, the O-Zell Soda Company has been relaunched to help fund the restoration of the Birthplace and support the non-profit 501(c)(3) established in its name with four new soda flavors at Rocket Fizz stores nationwide.
Todd Regan, The Executive Director of The Walt Disney Birthplace, said, “While their family had limited means, Walt and his older brother Roy went on to achieve The American Dream. We’d like the Walt Disney Birthplace to inspire the next generation of dreamers and doers to reach for the stars, just like the Disney brothers did.”
Dina Benadon & Brent Young, Project Founders, added, “We invite families to join us in celebrating Walt’s birthday by honoring the Hermosa community that inspired a young Walt Disney. As we restore the future home of The Center For Early Childhood Creativity and Innovation at The Walt Disney Birthplace, it is our dream to give back to this neighborhood what it gave to the world 114 years ago.” More information is available at TheWaltDisneyBirthplace.org
From 12:00 to 1:00 PM on Saturday, Dec. 5th, there will be a community birthday party complete with free cake in front of The Walt Disney Birthplace at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. in Hermosa. Along with a “Happy Birthday” sing-along and dedications by Chicago luminaries, guests will get a look at the ongoing restoration of the home that Walt, Roy and Ruth Disney were born in. For more details, visit: WDBirthday.eventzilla.net
That evening, from 4:30 to 7:30 PM, Chicago’s historic Logan Theater will host a cocktail reception with special guest and Disney Animation Legend Floyd Norman, who worked on many Disney classics including Sleeping Beauty, 101 Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc, Mulan, Dinosaur, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This event will include a special theater presentation about Walt Disney and the family’s years in The Windy City. Details and tickets are available at: WaltsBirthday.eventzilla.net
On Sunday, Dec. 6th, from 2:30 to 4:30 PM, Rocket Fizz Soda Pop and Candy Shop in St. Charles will host a free “Festival of Fun” in honor of O-Zell Soda. Guests will meet Disney Legends, enjoy arts & crafts, O-Zell Soda Tastings, and special soda deals. Rocket Fizz is located at 301 W. Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174. No ticket is required for the Festival of Fun. Guests are invited to stop by any time between 2 and 4:30 for the festival of fun and soda specials.
The closing event of the weekend is the O-Zell Soda Pairing, Cocktail Party & Walt Disney Birthplace Fundraiser at Shakou Sushi in St. Charles. Tickets and information about the soda pairing cocktail party are available at: OzellWDB.eventzilla.net