Social media users have been sharing posts online with an old photograph showing Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse characters posing with a child. Posts claim that the image shows them at a Disney park in 1939. This claim is false.
Disneyland opened its doors to the public on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California, as explained by Disney on their website here . This makes the claim that the photograph was taken at Disneyland impossible, as there were no Disney parks in 1939.
The first Mickey Mouse film premiered in Hollywood on May 15, 1928 as a test screening, according to the Walt Disney Museum (here).
Some of the first Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse costumes can be seen on the Walt Disney Company website here . According to Disney, patterns for the costumes were issued by the McCall Pattern Company on Oct. 19, 1933, inspired by Mickey and Minnie dolls made by seamstress Charlotte Clark in Los Angeles in 1930 and fans of the characters were able to create their own costumes and dolls with the patterns.
Reuters was not able to locate the origin of the photograph in these posts. It appears that the photo shows a version of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse costumes most likely created by fans, not Disney itself.
Fact-checker Snopes addressed the claims in 2020 (here), quoted a YouTuber and Disney Park historian Disney Dan and said that “costume shops unaffiliated with the Walt Disney Company created their own papier-mâché versions” of the characters in the 1930s.
Partly false. The photograph does show the Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse characters, but it was not taken at Disneyland in 1939 as the park only opened in 1955.
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