'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

Remembering Diane Disney Miller

posted on November 19th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today we learned of the passing of Walt Disney’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller. Upon learning the sad news, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said, “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Diane Disney Miller. She is remembered by Disney fans around the world as the beloved daughter of Walt Disney, and one who graciously shared her family history and personal memories of her father.”

“Diane was a fierce guardian of her father’s legacy who never hesitated to set the record straight, opening The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco to bring her father’s fascinating story to life. In our many conversations over the years, Diane’s unique and special perspective about her father only deepened my considerable appreciation for him. Diane was incredibly generous in that regard, freely sharing her personal insights and providing details that deepened our knowledge, and we remain grateful for her many valuable contributions to our efforts to preserve Disney history. She and her sister, Sharon, have long been recognized as Walt’s inspiration for Disneyland, a place he created for families to have fun together. For that reason and many others, Diane will always have a special place in our company’s legacy and in the hearts of fans.”

“She was also known for her philanthropic efforts, including playing an integral role in the development of the renowned Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to ensure the creation of a unique venue bearing her father’s name that she believed would be “a wonderful thing for the city, for the spirit, for the soul.”

“Diane was the wife of former Disney CEO Ron Miller, as well as mother to their seven children, Christopher, Joanna, Tamara, Jennifer, Walter, Ronald and Patrick. She also had 13 grandchildren and had the great joy of recently welcoming her first great-grandchild into the world. We send our sincere condolences to the entire family and our thoughts remain with them during this difficult time.”

Last year, at the Disneyland Resort, we had an opportunity to meet Diane and take some photographs of her and her family as they visited Disney California Adventure park for the first time since its expansion. Spending a little time with her was a thrill for all of us.

Diane Disney Miller Story Teller Statue

Upon seeing the Storytellers statue, Diane remarked with a sparkle in her eye that she didn’t remember him being this young, saying, “He was older when I met him!”

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Diane also joined us at Disneyland park for our 50th anniversary celebration on July 17, 2005, pictured here with Disney Legend Art Linkletter.

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Among our favorite photos of Diane and the Disney family is this special moment captured during Walt and Lillian’s wedding anniversary celebration in The Golden Horseshoe, just four days before the grand opening of Disneyland park — her father’s dream that she and her sister Sharon inspired years earlier on that day when their dad watched them play from a nearby park bench.

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort

32 Comments

1

Jennie from CA on November 19th, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Wonderful pictures. A very sad day for the Disney family.

2

Jorge on November 19th, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Such a wonderful woman, sad news..this post was really sweet, loved the pictures!

3

Diana on November 19th, 2013 at 9:12 pm

RIP, Diane. She certainly did a lot for the world and kept her father’s legacy alive. At least, she is with her father again and I’m sure she’s got a lot to tell him about!

4

Kylene from CT on November 19th, 2013 at 9:14 pm

The closest I’ll ever get to being in Disneyland with Walt was being in Disneyland with Diane Disney when she read the dedication for the 50th Anniversary. It’s just one very special memory among so many for which we have her to thank.

5

Eddie on November 19th, 2013 at 9:21 pm

My thoughts are with the entire Disney family. May Diane rest forever peacefully.

This is a nice post with wonderful pictures.

6

Loren from CA on November 19th, 2013 at 10:09 pm

This is very sad news. I was there at Disney California Adventure when she visited. She was coming from Buena Vista Street and heading to Carthay Circle. I think she might have just been coming from taking the picture you have up. Anyway, thank you, Diane Disney Miller, for keeping the legacy of your father and your family alive. You will be missed. Rest in Peace…

7

Pansy on November 19th, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Sorry to hear of our loss of dear Diane. .RIP,sends sympathy to you and your family of Disney…Walt’s greeting from above he holds her with open arms<3 Thanks for a blog with her memory <3 love,me

8

Anthony on November 19th, 2013 at 11:07 pm

So sorry to hear of her passing. My condolences to her family and friends.

This was a touching post.

9

Fred from CA on November 20th, 2013 at 12:48 am

Great pictures.

Such sad news, RIP Diane.

10

Anthony from NY on November 20th, 2013 at 7:59 am

I am saddened to hear of Diane’s passing. My condolences to her family, and to everyone who knew her.

She had such an impact on preserving her father’s legacy, which in turn impacted fans everywhere. I had hoped to meet her one day, just to simply thank her for sharing so many stories of her early family life with the public. Those stories will be missed by many.

Rest in peace.

11

Jim from WI on November 20th, 2013 at 9:47 am

The last of the original Disney family. :-(

12

Judy on November 20th, 2013 at 10:01 am

The passing of Diane Disney hit me hard yesterday, maybe because she is the same age as my mother, maybe because of all she has accomplished in her life. I live in Napa and only met her once at a winery dinner. She was such a gracious person and a joy to talk with during the dinner. When the Walt Disney Family museum opened in San Francisco I immediately became a member and brought my mother to the museum. Walt always felt like “My Grandfather” as we were growing up watching him on TV, Diane and her family sharing his life made it seem even more like he was. Thank you Diane for sharing your father with us and sharing your life with us, you have been a big part of all our lives. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, you will be missed deeply. Rest in Peace.

13

Lenore from GA on November 20th, 2013 at 10:11 am

Our deepest condolences to the family. We are saddened to hear of her passing.

14

Hanneke on November 20th, 2013 at 10:36 am

R.I.P. Diane. My thoughts are with the Disney family.

15

Kristen from MA on November 20th, 2013 at 10:56 am

RIP Diane and thank you for inspiring your father and continuing his legacy in the Disney tradition. I, too, visited the Walt Disney Family Museum and cherished the time that I was able to spend learning about this wonderful family — thank you for sharing your memories and Walt’s vision.

Having just returned from a wonderful trip at Walt Disney World this past October (such wonderful family time, no one does it better), I am hoping that the powers that be preserve Walt and the Disney family’s legacy always remembering that there is value in family, values and tradition.

I am greatly saddened (and a little fearful) of this news and send my condolences to the Disney family.

16

Bernadette on November 20th, 2013 at 11:04 am

RIP Diane, It is a great loss…. Thoughts and Prayers are with her family and friends…..

17

Jean from VA on November 20th, 2013 at 11:06 am

So sad to hear of her passing. Condolences to her family. I love the picture of her with her father’s statue. It brings tears to my eyes.

18

Rosemarie on November 20th, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Sorry to hear of her passing. I’m sure she is joyful now that she is with her beloved father. Thoughts and prayers to her family.

19

Aaron on November 20th, 2013 at 12:23 pm

We never met, which is to say I don’t know her, yet it always felt as if I did. The pride I felt working at Disneyland; my giddy belief in the possible; my inexhaustible pursuit of a better tomorrow…is rooted in her father’s work and his hope for us.

Diane Disney Miller was an incomparable treasure in her own right. Generous, visionary, resourceful and kind, she challenged us to our better selves. With Diane around, her dad remained real and didn’t get diluted into an idea or corporate mascot. In her loss we’re bequeathed a brilliant notion of family, a belief in our futures, and a challenge to place our common wealth before our own.

20

Jim on November 20th, 2013 at 12:32 pm

My condolences to her family on this very sad day. A wonderful woman who did great work. Disney fans from around the world will miss her presence terribly, but the gifts she left for all of us will be enjoyed for many years to come. Thank you Diane for everything you did! Rest In Peace.

21

Patricia on November 20th, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Thank you for sharing this wonderful, sad news. Memory Eternal to Diane Disney Miller and our condolences to the family. My daughter and I are devoted fans and are thankful that we had an opportunity to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum last spring~

22

Meagan from AB on November 20th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Beautiful pictures, such a sad day for Disney fans all over the world. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

23

Hope on November 20th, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Such sad news to hear today. She’s with her father once again, so, at least there’s a happy thought. Sincere condolences to her family.

24

Debbie on November 20th, 2013 at 7:35 pm

I’m moved and very touched by the sentiments expressed here. I couldn’t help but tear up a little myself yesterday. Disney(land) has always been a part of my life, and it felt a bit like losing a beloved family member. My thoughts are with her family at this difficult time. May she rest in peace.

25

Bonnie on November 21st, 2013 at 2:27 am

I am so sorry. Condolences to the family.

26

Elena on November 21st, 2013 at 6:40 am

R.I.P. Diane <|3 My sincere and the deepest condolences to the Disney family …

27

Prudence on November 21st, 2013 at 8:37 am

Thank you for the beautiful tribute to Diane Disney Miller. I had the pleasure of catching a glimpse of her at the Walt Disney Museum on my first visit there December last year and had hoped to see her by chance again. Sincerest condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in peace.

28

Robert on November 23rd, 2013 at 10:58 am

RIP Diane from everyone your life and inspiration touched, from a WDI employee trying to carry on the legacy. May you enjoy all the time with Walt and Lillian, your wonderful parents. We will all miss you, a true Disney legend.

29

Jeffrey on November 23rd, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I noticed the flags around WDW at half-mast over the past few days.
Was that in rememberance of Diane Disney Miller?

30

Antoinette from CA on November 25th, 2013 at 1:07 pm

One of the two girls who inspired the creation of the Happiest Place on Earth, that’s quite a legacy.

31

David on November 25th, 2013 at 6:39 pm

So sad to hear this. Many years ago I obtained a copy of her biography on her father that was signed by Walt. She signed the copy as well the day I met her. She was so incredibly gracious. It is one of my prized possessions. My condolences to her entire family!

32

james on March 15th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

r.i.p diane thank u for disney world

32 Comments