More Walt Disney World Resort Stories

Disney Legend Annette Funicello – America’s Sweetheart

In 1957, I was ten years old, stamps were $.03 each and “The Mickey Mouse Show” was at its zenith, entertaining millions each weekday afternoon, broadcasting in black & white. I had a huge crush on Annette Funicello, as did every boy in the country, I’m sure. My good friend Arnold Haskell and I shared the cost of one stamp and mailed two letters of admiration to The Walt Disney Studios, att: Annette. Many weeks passed before I finally received a post card from the studio, thanking me for my patronage. I was heartbroken that it had not been a personal note from her.

Over the years, I was lucky enough to photograph her on several occasions and even shared that story with her. The following photo was made in 1992, when Annette launched her own line of teddy bears at the Emporium in Magic Kingdom Park. It is a day I will never forget and I thought some might enjoy seeing a historical photo of an amazing Disney Legend who also happens to be America’s Sweetheart.

Disney Legend Annette Funicello in 1992 at Magic Kingdom Park


  • She is still SO beautiful!!

  • Oops, I should have added to my sentence that she is still so beautiful here after all those years.

  • I was there at WDW when she introduced Her Bears. I bought the Sweater Bear because I knew it was her favorite. I have a picture of her signing it and she is in that same dress. It was about 2 weeks after we came home from WDW that she told the world she has M.S.

  • great photo. i planning on getting her movies and mickey mouse club on dvd. i always knew disney will be on her side, but anyway u can bring the mouseketers, u can her beach party pal frankie, because she may have M.S. but it NEVER have her. i hope the day she leaves this earth, emotions and dreams will be in a ALL-TIME HIGH u can bet on that. good luck sweetheart, say hi to mickey and minnie.

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