John Stamos Recalls Having Dinner With Tom Hanks Right Before He Was Set To Play Walt Disney And What Should Have Tipped Him Off

John Stamos in Big Shot/Tom Hanks as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks
(Image credit: Disney)

Anybody who is a fan of John Stamos knows that the actor is a big fan of all things Disney. He’s a frequent visitor to the parks, does a lot of work on various Disney shows, and also owns an elephant from the Dumbo attraction, because who wouldn’t if they had the chance? The star of Disney+’s Big Shot is such a big Disney fan that he says Walt would be his ultimate dinner companion, and he sort of did have dinner with him once, but didn’t know it.

John Stamos told Yahoo in a recent interview that his dream dinner guest would be Walt Disney, but then revealed the time he came close to that dream, by having dinner with Tom Hanks. Apparently, Stamos and Hanks had dinner together a few years ago, while Hanks was in the middle of production on Saving Mr. Banks, where he played Walt. Hanks didn’t say a word about what he was working on, though Stamos admitted he probably should have figured it out due to the mustache. Stamos explained…

I was having dinner with Tom Hanks one night and he had this little mustache, but I didn't really think twice about it. He knows how much I love Disney: The next morning we happened to be going to Disneyland and he's there [filming], playing Walt Disney [in Saving Mr. Banks].

The 2013 movie Saving Mr. Banks saw Tom Hanks play Walt Disney himself in a dramatized story of the creation of the iconic film Mary Poppins. It’s also one of the few films to actually shoot inside Disneyland. Hanks is great in the role, and does a great job pulling off the look as Walt, so much so that it is a little surprising that Stamos didn’t make the connection. That pencil mustache of Walt’s is fairly iconic.

The morning after the pair had dinner was apparently when the actual filming at Disneyland took place. In the film, Walt tries to use the park to win over P.L. Travers, played by Emma Thompson, which doesn’t really work. Stamos says he gave Hanks a hard time for not telling him that he was playing Walt when they had met the night before.

Honestly, if I had the chance to eat dinner with Walt Disney or Tom Hanks, I’d have to think about it. Both would almost certainly make for great companions with lots of interesting things to talk about over the course of the meal. Although having dinner with another big Disney fan like John Stamos would probably also be a lot of fun. We can discuss the campaign to get Disney World to name a drink after him.

Somebody may be following in Tom Hanks footsteps, as we know Disney is working on a movie about the creation of Disneyland, which means somebody will be playing Walt Disney on screen once again. Once that happens, maybe John Stamos can have both him and Tom Hanks over for dinner to talk about playing Walt Disney. It's about as close as he'll get. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.