On my recent trip to the San Francisco area, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum. A few of my friends had been to the museum and shared photos which had me intrigued. Having visited Disney World just a few months before my trip to California, I was all about the pixie dust. Learning how it all came to be just added even more to the Disney magic that makes me smile almost every day!
Visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum
If you’ve never heard of the Walt Disney Family Museum, you might be wondering what it is and why it exists.
Walt Disney is one of the most well-known faces of the 20th century and people around the world recognize him. But what else do people really know? Especially those who have been born since his death in 1966?
Walt’s daughter, Diane Disney Miller, co-founded the Museum to tell the story of Walt Disney’s life. And they tell it with the tools Disney worked with — art, music, film, and technology. This makes a trip to the music like a walk through a living history story.
A magical work in itself.
Remembering the Beginning and the End
Walking through the Walt Disney Family Museum is like taking a step into the past. Being steps away from drawings that were the beginning of what we know as Disney today is inspiring. Each room you step in takes you into a different stretch of Walt Disney’s life from the beginning to the end. You can learn more about each one:
- Beginnings: Walt Disney’s Early Years (1901-1923)
- Hollywood (1923-1928)
- New Horizon (1928-1940)
- The Move to Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
- New Success & Greater Ambitions
- The Late ’30s to Mid ’40s
- Post-war Rebuilding: Mid ’40s to Early 1950s
- Walt and the Natural World
- The 1950s & 1960s: The Big Screen & Beyond
- Remembering Walt Disney
I was able to learn more about some of my favorite Disney films and the journey Walt Disney went through to bring them to life. If you don’t know about the challenges he faced, it’s an interesting story and one you should check out if you’re ever near the Walt Disney Family Museum. Truly an inspiration!
And you’ll be transported into the world of each era as you walk through the galleries as each on has it’s own style inspired by the time period in Walt Disney’s life!
The Disneyland Vision
One of my favorite galleries in the museum is the one featuring the 1950s and 1960s. It’s where we learned more about Disneyland and where the world of fantasy really came to life in a new way.
It also features a model of “The Disneyland of Walt’s Imagination” which is an enormous 3D model of a version of Disneyland. It represents Walt Disney’s every changing vision for Disneyland and this quote from the man himself sums up the magic of it.
“I’ll have a lot of things there eventually. You see these things I want to keep adding, keep plussing… Disneyland is a thing I can keep molding and shaping. It’s a three-dimensional thing to play with. But when I say play with it, I don’t mean that—everything I do, I keep a practical eye toward its appeal to the public, you see?”
— Walt Disney
In this version of Disneyland, early Tomorrowland attractions like Rocket to the Moon, House of the Future, and the Flying Saucers are shown with later attractions that include the People Mover and an early Space Moutain concept.
Walt Disney’s legacy continues on to this day with Disneyland’s Diamond celebration! Can you believe that Disneyland is 60 years old? And the magic continues to grow!
The magic and wonder of Tomorrowland is also growing and pulling in fans both old and new with the release of the film version!
Tomorrowland opens in theaters everywhere on May 22nd! See how the world of Tomorrowland comes to life in a new way! It’s time to get your questions about the future answered!
You can learn more about the Walt Disney Family Museum:
And learn more about Tomorrowland before you see it in theaters!
Tell me about your favorite piece of Disney magic!