On this day in 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens - better known as Mark Twain - was born in Missouri. Twain was a writer, lecturer, reporter, humorist, editor, printer, and prospector, and his influence on Walt Disney himself, his parks and his films is immeasurable.
His most noted novels Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer are obviously responsible for such park attractions as Tom Sawyer Island and the Mark Twain Riverboat (which both originated in Disneyland).
Twain's first attempt at fiction The Prince and the Pauper was adapted by Disney into a 24-minute short film starring Mickey Mouse.
His 1889 novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was re-adapted into the Disney feature film A Kid in King Arthur's Court and inspired Disney's Unidentified Flying Oddball and The Spaceman and King Arthur.
Even The American Adventure attraction at Epcot features a life-like figure of Twain (along with Ben Franklin).
Perhaps even Walt himself (who was a huge fan of Twain's writing) was thinking of the following Twain quote when first planning Disney World:
"Buy land, they're not making it anymore."
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