On June 9, 1934, Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen, one of the Silly Symphony productions that Walt Disney did back in those days. Donald Duck was created as a companion character for Mickey Mouse; according to Wikipedia, there is a rumor that Donald Duck got his name from Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman, who, the story goes, was dismissed for a “duck” in a match. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I could certainly see that happening! Interestingly enough, a bit of trivia for you — did you know that Donald Duck has been in more films than any other Disney character, and that he is the most published comic book character outside of the superhero genre?
For me, my enjoyment of Donald Duck really stems from two things: my daughter and the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction in the Mexico Pavilion. The picture at the top of this post is an old one — back then, Sophie was so excited for Donald Duck! She was so excited during this meet and greet that she started bouncing, so of course Donald had to do the same! Another time, we saw Donald in the Mexico Pavilion, where Sophie gave him a big hug. She really enjoyed Donald back in the early days of our visits to Walt Disney World.
Now that she’s almost 15, I think her fascination with the characters has kind of waned a bit, and she’s more all about the adventures she makes with her friends.
The second thing that has caused me a lot of enjoyment with Donald is his role in the Gran Fiesta Tour. That simple little boat ride, which I’ve written about before, is just one of my favorite attractions at Epcot. I love all of the different scenes as we go looking for Donald!
So, happy birthday Donald! If you wish, take a look at the start of it all — The Wise Little Hen!