How Walt Disney’s schleppy business plan made him a superstar

by David Lewis

True story:

Every other year (or so) mom and dad would take me to Disney World.


I was always upset because we only ever made it into The Magic Kingdom and I really wanted to go to Epcot. I remember thinking this thing must be really great because it’s impossible to get tickets for it.

Anyway, we would stay with my aunt in Bartow and make the trek over to Orlando.

I didn’t know it at the time but those precious moments I spent talking to Mickey and riding Big Thunder Mountain and visiting Tomorrowland… they almost didn’t happen.


Walt Disney was such an amazing guy… I mean if you read about him… and I suggest that you do…

… dood was fierce.

He had a vision no one else could conceive of.

… least of all the ex-spurts in the banking business.

Here’s what I mean:

One of his first projects was to start a movie company.

Cost: $750.

He asked his bank and they said…

dun, Dun, DUN!


They all believed it was a stoopid idea.

So, he borrowed the money against his whole life policy (the insurer couldn’t turn him down because of the guaranteed loan provisions in his contract).

Repaid it with interest… built up his cash values even higher and…

Decided he wanted to do something more…

He needed a lot of money for this crazy hair-brained scheme of an amusement park called…


At the time, all the amusement parks in America were like something out of a graphic novel… seedy, dirty, places with characters you would absolutely NOT want in a photograph with your children.

Disney had this idea that he could build a park that was clean, friendly, and so safe you could leave your child there unattended.

Went to his bank… asked for the startup capital…

And the bank said…

dun, Dun, DUN!


Well… not EVERYONE said no. He was able to secure SOME money… but not enough.

Again… most banks and investors thought he was crazy… that this Disneyland idea was stooopid…. that the park would be closed and out of business in a year and totally forgotten.

So… he went back to his life insurance company.

In a later interview he commented on just how hard it was to get that project off the ground…


“It takes a lot of money to make these dreams come true. From the very start it was a prob­lem. Get­ting the money to open Dis­ney­land. About $17 mil­lion it took. And we had every­thing mort­gaged, includ­ing my per­sonal insur­ance…”


And the rest is history.

What was the return on that investment he made with his boring old life insurance policy?

I honestly have no idea off the top of my head.

But it wasn’t 2% or whatever the ex-spurts and geew-roos are saying nowadays.


If you have absolutely no interest in that kind of control over your moolah, then away with ye. I can help you not.


If that kind of flexibility and control over your money DOES appeal to you… and you’re tired of begging for money from lenders for a dream you KNOW will work, come check out what me and my minions are doing with life insurance and how we might be able to help you build a custom insurance plan of your own.

More info here:


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About David

David Lewis is a licensed life insurance agent, and has worked in the life insurance industry since 2004. During that time, he has worked with some of the oldest and most respected mutual life insurance companies in the U.S. To learn more about him and his business, go here.