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Walt Disney’s ties to Palm Springs detailed in D23 article

November 13th, 2013 | by Sherry Barkas | Comments
Walt Disney talks and jokes around with children who attended school on Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs. Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society. All rights reserved

Walt Disney talks and jokes around with children who attended school on Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs. The Smoke Tree Ranch insignia is on his tie. Photo courtesy of Palm Springs Historical Society. All rights reserved

Most valley residents know that Walt Disney loved Palm Springs. He  liked to come here to play polo, and he owned two homes in Smoke Tree Ranch. The first one he sold to help finance the building of Disneyland, which opened in July 1955.

Once Disneyland became successful, he built a second Smoke Tree Ranch home in 1957.

The Smoke Tree Ranch insignia can be seen on neckties that Walt often wore on televised episodes of “Disneyland” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.”

D23 writes extensively about Walt’s link to Palm Springs on its website in a piece titled “Walt’s hidden hideaway.”

“Head to Palm Springs, California, via Highway 111, and you’ll see the astonishing natural beauty of the South Mojave Desert. Low-lying brush, lizards, cacti, and tumbleweeds provide an idyllic backdrop as the narrow roadway leads you to the town’s entrance on the northern side of the towering San Jacinto Mountains. Movie stars have been heading to Palm Springs since the 1920s, and this desert oasis still casts its spell on Southern Californians searching for the perfect weekend getaway.

“Vacationers from around the world have traveled here for world-class golf, spectacular resorts, and one of the world’s most dramatic desert settings, but few of them are aware of a very special enclave, located just a few minutes from the Village of Palm Springs, that holds a special place in Disney history: the Smoke Tree Ranch. Here, among the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and the fragrant scent of desert flowers is a world removed, a place that looks very much the same as it did when a man named Walt Disney would take his family here, leaving the pressures of the Studio behind and enjoying long weekends and holidays with the ones he loved in this one-of-a-kind dude ranch,” the piece starts.

It’s an extensive look at Walt’s love for Smoke Tree, his desire to build a train around his house and morning rides with wife Lilly, as told to D23 by Tracy Conrad, chief operating officer of Smoke Tree Ranch.

Read the full article, complete with photos, at https://d23.com/walts-hidden-hideaway/

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