The School of Life: Where Did Walt Disney Go to College?

4 Min Read

Few names are as synonymous with the world of animation as Walt Disney. The man behind the mouse, Disney created a media empire that continues to enchant audiences around the world. But where did Walt Disney go to college? Read on to discover more about the early life and educational journey of this legendary figure.

Walt Disney’s Academic Journey: An Unconventional Route

Walt Disney’s path to success was not the traditional academic one. In fact, Disney never attended college. Born in 1901 in Chicago, Disney showed an interest in drawing from a young age. He attended McKinley High School in Chicago, where he took drawing and photography classes and was a contributing cartoonist for the school paper.

Early Education at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts

While still in high school, Disney took night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts  further honing his artistic skills. The training he received here played a significant role in shaping his future as a cartoonist.

The School of Hard Knocks

Despite not having a college degree, Disney was an ambitious young man with a clear vision. He gained practical experience as an apprentice at a commercial art studio, followed by a stint at the Kansas City Film Ad Company. This real-world experience provided Disney with valuable insights into the art and business of animation.


Q1: Where did Walt Disney go to college?

A1: Walt Disney did not attend college. He pursued his interest in art through classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts and practical work experience.

Q2: What was Walt Disney’s early life like?

A2: Disney was born in Chicago and showed an interest in art from a young age. He attended high school in Chicago and took night classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.

Q3: How did Walt Disney start his career in animation?

A3: Disney started his career as an apprentice at a commercial art studio, and later worked at the Kansas City Film Ad Company where he was exposed to the art of animation.

Q4: Did Walt Disney’s lack of a college degree hinder his success?

A4: Despite not attending college, Disney was able to achieve immense success in the animation industry through his creativity, vision, and practical experience.

Q5: What lessons can be learned from Walt Disney’s educational journey?

A5: Disney’s journey demonstrates that success is not solely dependent on formal education. Passion, hard work, and practical experience can also be key factors.

Q6: What are some of Walt Disney’s most significant contributions to animation?

A6: Walt Disney revolutionized the world of animation. He created beloved characters like Mickey Mouse and produced the first full-length animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Q7: How has Disney’s legacy influenced the animation industry?

A7: Disney’s legacy continues to shape the animation industry. His innovative storytelling techniques and focus on character development have set the standard for animated films.

Q8: What role did the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts play in Walt Disney’s career?

A8: The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts provided Disney with formal training in art during his high school years, helping to nurture his artistic talents.

Q9: What can aspiring animators learn from Walt Disney’s career?

A9: Aspiring animators can learn from Disney’s dedication to his craft, his ability to transform personal interests into a career, and his commitment to innovation.

Q10: What other careers did Walt Disney explore before becoming an animator?

A10: Before fully delving into animation, Disney explored careers in commercial art and advertising.