While I was in San Francisco for the Monsters University Event I also got the opportunity to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum which is located in The Presidio. All 25 of the bloggers who attended Monsters University along with our awesome Disney Pr Rep, Marshall Weinbaum, took the tour. We split into two groups so that we’d be able to hear our tour guides better. If you go to the museum bring your camera because they allow non-flash photos to be taken which is great because there are so many fun pieces to see at the museum.
In the main lobby there are many awards that Walt Disney won. I think it was something like a 10th of the overall awards that he won in his lifetime or something like that. There were Academy Awards, humanitarian awards, foreign awards and many more. I was blown away by how many awards were in the lobby and found it hard to imagine how there could be more, there were so many. Before the tour got underway I poked around and looked at all the awards that were on the walls. So many of them were elaborate trophies for all sorts of things. One of the coolest ones was a trophy statue of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was huge!
As we made our way through the different galleries. there was memorabilia from Walt’s Early days through to his death. The different galleries were:
- New Horizons
- The Move to Features
- New Success & Greater Ambitions
- The Late ’30s to Mid ’40s
- Post-war Rebuilding
- Walt and the Natural World
- The 1950s & 1960s
- Remembering Walt Disney
My favorite gallery was the 1950s & 1960s because that was when Walt’s plans for Disneyland and Walt Disney World and EPCOT (the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) were taking shape. Walt’s original vision for EPCOT is so ahead of its time and makes me wish that he had lived longer to get that made into reality. I remember as a young kid going to Walt Disney world in 1984 soon after EPCOT opened and going to an exhibit that spoke about what Walt had envisioned. I was fascinated by that exhibit as a kid and wish that we had more time at the museum so that I could could have explored more about EPCOT and what Walt really wanted that to be. EPCOT is still one of my favorite parks at Walt Disney World.
If you have played any of the Epic Mickey video games then you probably recognize Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Oswald is one of Walt’s earliest animated characters. When I saw this I was excited because of how I’ve enjoyed playing the Epic Mickey Games. I even found a book called The Gremlins which has some other characters from the Epic Mickey games. These guys appeared in a Royal Air Force Story by Roald Dahl, writer of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I did not know that he and Disney had worked on anything together and I found that very cool to discover.
After spending two days watching how digitally animated movies were created it was incredible to see the type of equipment that animators used to make feature length motion pictures by hand. This artist’s table could have been used to create scenes or characters from some of Disney’s most beloved films. The sketches around the desk are from Pinocchio.
As I mentioned earlier my favorite gallery was that of the 1950s and 1960s. This gallery showed off an explosive growth in all things Disney from television to theme parks to philanthropy there was so much happening. And then Walt died on December 15, 1966 and we made our way to a highly emotion filled gallery that showcased the reactions that came in from all over the world in response to Walt’s death. I freely admit that I got very choked up at reading the cards, letters and viewing the images. I knew that I would because Walt Disney’s accomplishments and legacy has always been an inspiration to me.
Disclosure: I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. I attended an all expense paid Disney and Pixar hosted event in April. The opinions expressed are 100% my own.
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