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Remembering Shirley Temple at Disneyland Resort

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

Iconic film star from the 1930s, turned U.S. diplomat, Shirley Temple Black, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. Although she never appeared in a Disney film, she knew Walt Disney, and has a unique place in our history including an animated caricature cameo in the Donald Duck short, “The Autograph Hound,” as well as her service as a member of the Disney board of directors in the mid-1970s.

But we have a special memory of Shirley Temple here at the Disneyland Resort that some people may not be aware of.


In April 1957, Walt Disney invited Shirley to oversee the opening of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama.


Her daughters Lori and Linda can be seen in the background, along with her husband, Charles Black.


She later said this was the last time she saw Walt Disney, whom she remembered fondly.

It was 18 years earlier that Shirley, at the height of her phenomenal film career, presented Walt Disney with a special Academy Award (including seven miniature statuettes) for “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” in acknowledgment of the “significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.”

A photo of this iconic moment in Hollywood history hangs proudly in the hallway leading to the dining room of Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park.


Shirley: “I’m sure all the boys and girls in the whole world are going to be very happy when they find out the daddy of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand and all the others is going to get this beautiful statue. Isn’t bright and shiny! Aren’t you proud of it, Mr. Disney?”

Walt: “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust. You know I think that Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand, Snow White and all the dwarfs are going to be very proud that you presented it.”


  • I remember I had to put on white cloth gloves to handle Walt’s Special Snow White Academy Award with the 7 Dwarf statues,when placing it in the Walt Disney Story Attraction in his recreated office at Disneyland. Shirley Temple did come and visit us at WED Enterprises when we were building Disney Legend Marc Davis’s America Sings Attraction. I happened to be up in a tree with 2 vultures(now in Splash Mountain)that I was building when she stopped on her unguided tour to ask me about my project. The voice is what I first heard and recognized from watching her TV show as a youngster.

  • I just saw the actual Academy Award that Shirley presented to Mr Disney at the Walt Disney Mueseum in San Francisco. It was amazing to see it close up. If you ever visit SF the mueseum should not be missed, its a loving legacy to the Disney family history.

  • Do you know where this special Academy Award (including seven miniature statuettes is?

    • Lyndie, I believe it is on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.

  • If I remember correctly, there is a short clip of Walt and Shirley at the Academy Award presentation in the movie portion of Walt Disney – The Man Exhibit at Hollywood Studios at WDW. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a great montage of Walt’s life and the Disney legacy.

  • Such a great way to remember Shirley Temple. She was such a delight to watch on television. May she rest in paradise! I’m definitely going to stop in and look for this photograph inside the Carthay Circle… Thank you for posting such a great story!

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