I heard the news of Walt Disney's death on the car radio as my family and I were driving home after doing grocery and Christmas shopping. He was only 65 years old but since I was just 9 at the time that seemed pretty old to me. You might think a young child would be disturbed by this news, especially coming so close to Christmas, but I don't recall being upset. Perhaps it was because I was excited by the weather forecast for the next day predicting a snowstorm for the Pittsburgh area. Alas, it didn't materialize but further east the Mid-Atlantic states got a good amount of snow.
Three days after Disney's death my attention shifted to Dr. Seuss whose animated holiday special How the Grinch Stole Christmas aired for the very first time on CBS. Like A Charlie Brown Christmas (which had its first telecast the year before) The Grinch would also become a holiday classic for the ages.
(The book Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler is one of a number of in-depth biographies of Disney, but Gabler has the distinction of being the first writer to be given complete access to the Disney archives.)