Halloween at the Walt Disney World Resort

Sights & Sounds at Disney Parks: Ducky and ‘Lady and the Tramp’

posted on February 17th, 2012 by Greg Ehrbar, Writer/Author, Disney's Yellow Shoes Creative Group


The story of Don Williams might as well be a Disney movie.

Ducky Williams Drawing Donald Duck

“Once upon a time, in a place called Springfield, Massachusetts, there was a young lad named Don Williams, who loved Disney Characters and animated films. His grandmother, who also loved cartoons, bestowed upon him the nickname ‘Ducky,’ for she loved cartoons.

Ducky wished upon many stars, in hopes that someday, somehow, he might actually work for The Walt Disney Company. Well, years went by and soon Ducky was a fine young man. But he fell under the enchantment of banking, becoming a Springfield bank vice-president rather than a Disney artist—though he delighted bank patrons with his annual gallery of superbly rendered Disney Characters and scenes.

One day, Ducky decided to break the enchantment and left the bank for Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. But many more years passed as Ducky took jobs in and around the theme parks while pursuing a career in the marketing art department. When his opportunity finally arrived, Ducky was given 90 days to prove himself.

Over thirty years later, Don “Ducky” Williams is the one and only senior character artist at what is now known as Disney’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group. In his remarkable career, he has created thousands of artworks for advertising campaigns, best selling books, online messaging and television programs. And as one of the most beloved Disney Cruise Line onboard presenters, Ducky is sharing his lifelong love of Disney with thousands of fan…all of whom are surely living happily (and Duckily) ever after.”

Ducky Williams’ 'Lady and the Tramp' Artwork in Tony’s Town Square Café in Magic Kingdom Park

Every day, as guests pass through any one of the Walt Disney World Resort road entrance arches, they see Character art created by Don “Ducky” Williams. And at Magic Kingdom Park, Ducky’s artwork adorns the walls (and some windows) of Tony’s Town Square Café. Ducky tells us he had fun creating all the art, but he probably had the most fun doing the painting of that “sssssilly” Beaver with Lady and Tramp.

Ducky Williams’ Artwork in Tony’s Town Square Café in Magic Kingdom Park Ducky Williams’ Artwork in Tony’s Town Square Café in Magic Kingdom Park Ducky Williams’ Artwork in Tony’s Town Square Café in Magic Kingdom Park Ducky Williams’ Artwork in Tony’s Town Square Café in Magic Kingdom Park

So, now when you’re enjoying the new Diamond Edition of Walt Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” on Blu-ray and DVD, you’ll also be watching the same film upon which Ducky himself was inspired—as a youth in 1955, then again decades later, studying scenes to create the Tony’s Town Square Café artwork—and today, finding it as fresh and delightful as ever, in breathtaking high definition on Blu-ray.

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

6 Comments

1

Ellen on February 17th, 2012 at 6:53 pm

My parents have seen Ducky twice on the Disney Cruise Line, and his story is incredible! The volume of work that he has done boggles my mind. What a talent.

2

Timothy on February 17th, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Met Ducky in 1994 and have always been impressed with his talks and his artwork. He truly enjoys his work and loves working at Disney. His is a true Disney Magic story. Would love to see a movie or book about him. Thanks Ducky for all you do.

3

Samantha on February 19th, 2012 at 9:42 am

My boyfriend wants to be an Imagineer for Disney very much, but doesn’t think it can ever happen. I’m going to show this to him so maybe he will follow his dreams like Ducky and never give up!

4

Sharon from CT on February 19th, 2012 at 9:45 am

Have met Ducky many times and he is always the same….genuine!! No frills he is a very nice man and always signs his work and does it gladly!! I have quite a few pictures he has done and will continue to “collect” them whenever I can. I hope he is on the Hawaii cruise this April and I have the chance to see him again. Thanks Ducky for being you!!!

5

Russell on February 19th, 2012 at 10:45 am

My wife, Judy and I met Ducky on the Disney Magic and were truly awed and inspired by his story of dedication and tenacious drive to achieve his goal of becoming a Disney animator. He truly loves his work and Disney and the world are much better because of his amazing talent. I agree that a book or a movie should be made to tell his story!

6

Friend on February 19th, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I bet Ducky would love my 1950′s Lady and the Tramp Disney velour end table lamps my grandmother bought us back then. Maybe one day I will meet him.

6 Comments