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Shelby Foster

Raymond D. Nasher, Walt Disney and Raymond’s father Israel Nasher

NorthPark Center isn’t the only place celebrating a big milestone this year. Disneyland turns 60 tomorrow, on July 17.

Walt Disney, the creator of the happiest place on earth, made a visit to NorthPark on May 28, 1966. Disney was traveling the country on an eight-city tour to gain inspiration for his new endeavor, an experiment in community living to be called the “City of Tomorrow.” NorthPark was the last stop on his tour.

Raymond D. Nasher and Walt Disney


During his visit, Disney had lunch with NorthPark developer Raymond D. Nasher and members of the NorthPark staff. Beloved Dallas Times Herald photographer Andy Hanson took the photo above, which was signed by Disney in his instantly recognizable penmanship.

Disney was pleased with what he saw here at NorthPark. “I’m glad I made Dallas the last stop,” he said. “NorthPark is the best thing I have seen.”

He died just 7 months later, and never got to see his dream realized for the “City of Tomorrow” – what we know as Disney World in Orlando. It opened in October 1971.