One tradition that Disney started with the opening of the Disney-MGM Studios was having celebrities who visited the park put their handprints in cement, which was paying homage to the Hollywood Stars that would do the same thing in Hollywood, California. The tradition was discontinued over the years but you can still find the handprints in front of the Great Movie Ride. There is yet another area for some handprints that is in a special corner of the park that most guests do not get a chance to see, yet these handprints are among the most prestigous, especially as it relates to the history of the Walt Disney Company and goes back to Walt himself.
In a small courtyard in the Magic of Disney Animation, you will find three slabs of concrete with handprints from some very special men. Some of the prints found here belong to four members "Walt's Nine Old Men". The Nine Old Men were a group of core animatiors that worked on early Disney animated films that would become among its' most popular.
The first set is from Marc Davis, who worked on Snow White, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty. In addition to Marc, Ken Anderson included his prints, who is a Disney Legend and worked for the Walt Disney company for 44 years including working on Snow White, the Jungle Book and was also responsible for much of the architecture at Disneyland in the 1950's. Ken O'Connor also has his prints here and like Anderson, is a fellow Disney Legend, and in his 30 years at the company worked on many projects, but Studios fans will recognize his work on the "Back to Neverland" film at the Magic of Disney Animation.
Ward Kimball is next, and like Marc Davis, is another member of Walt's Nine Old Men. Kimball joined the Walt Disney Company in 1934 and worked on many projects, including Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland and later contributed to the World of Motion attraction at Epcot Center.
The last set of handprints belong to Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, both of whom are members of Walt's Nine Old Men. Johnston recently passed away and worked on Snow White early in his career, later creating characters such as Mr. Smee (Peter Pan) and the Stepsisters (Cinderella). Frank Thomas complimented Ollie's work with creating the Stepmother (Cinderella), Captain Hook (Peter Pan) among others.
This tucked away area was difficult to see for park guests but you can now enjoy it if you take the line at the Magic of Disney Animation to see the characters only, as you will pass it outside on your right. It's a shame this area can't be enjoyed by more guests as well as recognized by more for the many incredible contributions these men had on the Walt Disney Company.