Hi, I'm Ray and I'm a volunteer at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. When I started working at the museum as a volunteer a little over a month ago, I didn't know too much about it, but now after spending some time exploring every piece of the marvel, here are the ten things that I discovered.
Every morning, when I arrive at the museum, I walk through the galleries before the museum opens, so it's really quiet and all you hear is the voice of Walt Disney, pretty much narrating his life story. But it's such a unique and amazing experience to be in a place like the Walt Disney Family Museum alone.
So here's the top ten things that I did not know about the Walt Disney Family Museum:
- It is founded and owned by The Walt Disney Family Foundation and not the Walt Disney Company, meaning that nothing will be white washed during a presentation about the creation of different attractions or movies. The museum even includes a large exhibit discussing the strike against the Walt Disney Studios.
- The museum displays a lot of rare footage of Walt Disney's home videos with his family. Interestingly though, most of the footage is actually owned by the Walt Disney Company, because they purchased the likeness and rights to most photos of Walt Disney from the Disney family back in the 80s.
- Mary Blair's(Key Artist on It's a Small World) art desk and hat are on display in the museum's it's a Small World themed lower lobby.
- Original Disneyland posters are on display from attractions like “Adventure Thru Inner Space” and “Rocket to The Moon” in the lower lobby.
- One of the multi-plane cameras that were originally engineered by Ub Iwerks to shorten and improve the animation process is displayed in the museum lobby.
- A lot of the goodies sold in the Museum Store are exclusive to the museum and may not be found at any Disney Parks or the Disney store. So, if you are a Disney pin collector this may be the highlight of your visit. Also, the museum store has a fantastic collection of books for sale about Walt Disney and the Disney company. Luckily for you, the store also has some items for sale online.
- The daughter of Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller, occasionally visits the museum (since she runs it). I have run into her a couple of times and she is the nicest person you may ever meet.
- All of Walt Disney's personal Oscar awards are on display in the main lobby along with many of the other awards that he received throughout his lifetime. The most amazing Academy Award to see in person is the custom Snow White Award with the large figure on the top and the seven others representing the seven dwarves.
- In the center of the largest gallery in the Walt Disney Family Museum, lies a large model of Disneyland. But, the model isn't of the current Disneyland or the Disneyland of past, but the Disneyland of Walt Disney's Imagination. Interestingly, the Sleeping Beauty Castle model was created by Walt Disney Imagineering in their model shop.
- The museum shows a different classic Disney feature film every month in the Fantasia themed theatre. The theater is also home to many of the special presentations at the museum that are presented each month.
Thanks for reading. I hope that you get the chance to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum sometime soon, but until then, join our community newsletter and getting updates about the museum and every part of the Disney universe.