Walt Disney World Quickly Deleted This Insensitive Tweet Calling 1939 a “#HappyPlace” After It Was Met With Criticism

When you think of the year 1939, what do you think of? You may remember Walt Disney being awarded an Oscar (one large Oscar accompanied by seven smaller ones) at the 11th Annual Academy Awards for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

You may also remember less cheerful events, such as the beginning of World War II and the United States’ declaration of neutrality.

It’s also worth noting that 1939 is the year in which the very beginnings of the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb were created, many Jewish refugees were denied asylum from the United States (which would later lead to many deaths under Hitler’s regime in Nazi Germany), and African Americans were surviving under harsh Jim Crow Era laws.

walt disney receives oscar

Credit: Disney

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In short, 1939 is not often thought of as a happy time in American or world history, despite the cultural achievements of Walt Disney. However, the historical context didn’t stop Walt Disney World’s official Twitter account from posting an incredibly insensitive Tweet, stating, “1939 was a vibe. #HappyPlace.”

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The ill timed Tweet was reportedly up for a whopping five days before Disney took it down after being met with heavy criticism and backlash. Not only that, but this Tweet brought up many accusations of Walt Disney’s own antisemitism, which has long been debated.

In 1938, a year before the Tweet’s supposed “#HappyPlace,” Disney invited Leni Riefenstahl into his studio for a tour. Leni Riefenstahl was a German film director and actress who is mainly known for the role she played in creating propaganda for the Nazi party.

hitler (left) riefenstahl (right)

Adolf Hitler and Leni Riefenstahl. Credit: BBC

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After World War II ended, Riefenstahl would be arrested as a Nazi party “fellow traveler” and would deny any knowledge of the Holocaust. Walt Disney claimed he hadn’t known who she was when he welcomed her into his studio for a tour.

Walt Disney

Credit: Disney

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Understandably, this Tweet has stirred up much of Disney’s past controversies and past claims of racism. Walt Disney World has yet to release any statements or apologies on the situation. Although the insensitive Tweet has been taken down, the harsh truth is that due to the digital footprint, critics likely will not be forgetting this outrageous mistake anytime soon.

About Isabella Reimer

Isabella Reimer grew up visiting Walt Disney World and relocated to Central Florida to be even closer to The Most Magical Place on Earth. She earned her Bachelor’s from Florida State University, where she studied Creative Writing and Women’s Studies. Her biggest hobby is bonding with the ikran at Avatar Flight of Passage, and her retirement plan includes becoming the 1,000 Happy Haunt of the Haunted Mansion.