How John Lennon Officially Ended The Beatles at Disney World

The Beatles’ breakup shattered the rock and roll industry as fans struggled to believe the band was no more. While fans still debate who is to blame for the breakup, many are surprised about where it happened. The Beatles had already announced their eventual split, but John Lennon made their separation official at Disney World, the most magical place on earth. 

John Lennon announced his intention to leave the band in 1969

Paul McCartney and John Lennon | ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

In September 1969, John Lennon privately informed The Beatles of his intentions to leave the band. Later, in 1970, Paul McCartney publicly announced he would leave the band. The last collaboration between The Beatles would be Let it Be and Abbey Road, two great albums shrouded by legacies of feuds. 

Lennon and McCartney both went on solo careers, with McCartney debuting his first solo album McCartney in 1970. Lennon’s first solo album Plastic Ono Band debuted in December 1970. While The Beatles had been separated for a few years, the dissolution was not official until Lennon signed the necessary paperwork in 1974. 

John Lennon officially ended The Beatles at Disney World

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The announcement of The Beatles’ breakup led to three years of legal battles before the band dissolved. In 1974, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr were set for a meeting in New York City at the Plaza Hotel to sign the papers and officially end the band. 

While Lennon lived down the street from the Plaza Hotel, he decided not to attend the meeting and go to Florida with his son, Julian, and then-lover and assistant, May Pang. 

In a 2008 edition of the Orlando Sentinel shared by, Pang said Lennon’s reasoning for not attending was that the “stars aren’t right.”

“I was with John, and it was up to me to tell Harold he had decided not to attend the meeting. Although John was concerned with shouldering a major tax burden because he lived in the United States, I could sense there was a bit more on his mind. His official reason for not showing was ‘the stars aren’t right’. John, Julian and I left New York the following day to spend Christmas in Florida. On December 29, 1974, the voluminous documents were brought down to John in Florida by one of Apple’s lawyers.”

Staying at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort at Walt Disney World, Lennon signed the papers that officially ended The Beatles. Disney can’t confirm the room where it happened, but it’s said to be one where he could overlook the Seven Seas Lagoon and see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance. 

Did The Beatles have a relationship with Disney?

The Beatles and Disney never had much of a working relationship, so, oddly, Lennon decided to end the band at a Disney resort. Disney has referenced The Beatles in many of its productions. For example, the vultures in The Jungle Book are based on the Fab Four. Disney did plan to make a remake of 1968’s Yellow Submarine, but the project was later scrapped. 

In 2020, Disney bought distribution rights for the docuseries The Beatles: Get Back from Peter Jackson. The three-part series is currently streaming on Disney+. 

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