‘Scary’ Mickey Mouse picture wasn’t taken at 1940s Disney World

21 September 2021
What was claimed

A “scary” picture of a child with Mickey and Minnie Mouse was taken at Disney World in the 1940s.

Our verdict

The picture does appear to be a genuine vintage image of a child with Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters. But it was not taken at a Disney theme park in the 1940s, as the first—Disneyland—didn’t open until 1955.

A rather unsettling picture shared on Facebook includes a caption which suggests it shows a child with what appears to be Minnie and Mickey Mouse at Disney World in the 1940s. 

However, the picture wasn’t taken at the theme park in the 1940s—Walt Disney’s first park, Disneyland in California, didn’t open until 1955. This was followed by Disney World in Florida, which opened in the early 1970s

But as fact checking service Snopes have previously written, the post shared online is a genuine vintage picture of people in Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes, most likely taken in the 1930s

There are two key reasons why the figures look so different from the iconic characters we know today—the first being simply that their design has changed over the decades since their creation in the 1920s

Secondly, for a short period of time after the characters were released, costumes were predominantly produced by small companies which were not affiliated with Disney itself, which meant they all had a slightly different look. 

There are plenty of examples available online of other interpretations of the characters. 

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as missing context because while the post shows a genuine picture of vintage Disney characters, it was not taken at Disney World and likely pre-dates the 1940s.

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