Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Disney is Autistic (Episode 26)

Disney is Autistic (Episode 26)

Without Autism, there would be no Disney - at least not like we know it today!
Listen to Autistic podcast hosts discuss: Disney is Autistic. Autism podcast | Without Autism, there would be no Disney – at least not like we know it today! Join us as we dive deep on one of the most globally recognized Autistic celebrities!
Angela: Oh, that is a dream. I would like one of my favorite bands to come just sing one song over and over again for four days.

Matt Lowry, LPP and Dr. Angela Lauria and explore the life and legacy (and Autistic traits) of one of the most prominent figures in the history of animation and entertainment: Walt Disney. Was he on the autism spectrum? Join us on a virtual culture trip as we dive in!

Walt Disney had a difficult childhood, having to work to support his family from age 9. He found escape and joy in visiting an amusement park called Electric Park. As an adult, Walt Disney became obsessed with building his own theme parks, pouring all his energy into envisioning and planning Disneyland and Walt Disney World. He loved trains and incorporated them extensively into his parks.

Walt had intense focus when interested in something (something Autistic people know all about!), but lost interest in his animation business as he became consumed with his theme park dreams. He wanted total creative control.

“Yeah, but like when you have a way and you can see it and you're sure it'll work and all you have to do is get everyone on board and then it doesn't work—that is like such a devastating feeling. Like when you can get people on board, it's an amazing feeling”. –Angela

While his work brings joy to millions of people around the world, there are some darker aspects of his legacy that are not as well-known, including alleged associations with anti-semites and Nazi sympathizers—including an association with Leni Riefenstahl, the propaganda filmmaker for Hitler's regime.

Disney struggled to understand why his employees were unhappy with some of his hyper-controlling policies around their compensation and treatment. He took it very personally when they went on strike. The podcast hosts also discuss his controversial attitudes towards race, gender, and labor unions and try to make sense of how autism might have influenced the good and the bad aspects of Disney’s legacy.

“So he decided oh I've got a lockdown on that I must have lots of control over things so this will never ever ever happen again, which became a theme throughout his life of, ‘I will no longer be bamboozled, I will be the bamboozler.’” —Matt

Walt Disney died before Disney World opened, but his vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) inspired aspects of it. Join Matt and Angela as they explore the conflicting voices and complex history of this extraordinary Autistic celebrity—the man behind the mouse.

Are you a Disney fan? Do you like the parks or the movies more? Tell us about it in the comments!

Want more Autistic characters? Episode 34: Beauty and the Beast is Autistic and Episode 09: Fairy Tales are Autistic

One of our favorite Autistic filmmakers: Episode 41: Tim Burton is Autistic

Ready for a paradigm shift that empowers Autistics? Help spread the news!


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Autistic Culture
The Autistic Culture Podcast
Welcome to the Autistic Culture Podcast. Each episode we dive deep into Autistic contributions to society and culture by introducing you to some of the world’s most famous and successful Autistics in history!
Whether you are Autistic or just love someone who is, your hosts, Dr. Angela Lauria, the Linguistic Autistic and Licensed Psychological Practitioner, Matt Lowry, welcome you to take this time to be fully immersed in the language, values, traditions, norms, and identity of Autistica!
To learn more about Angela, Matt, and the Autistic Culture Podcast visit