Thursday, July 30, 2015

Walt Disney Family Museum - 5/24/15

Our trip to San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum. The Disney Family Museum is actually one of the main reasons the five of us came up here and it's been on our list of places to visit for a while. After lunch at Panera Bread, we left for the Presidio.


We could have made reservations ahead of time and paid $20 per person, but as a cast member Ruston gets a discount.

Let's go inside!

It was really cool when we saw Walt's apartment on Main Street.

And while the furnishings there might have been correct to the period, they weren't originals. This museum has the original furnishings of Walt's apartment.

In the lobby are many of the Academy Awards Walt won. Many people have seen the video of Shirley Temple presenting Walt Disney with this special Oscar for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and I especially liked seeing it.

All that and more was just in the lobby, which anyone could see for free. Time to go into the museum.
This first room was all about Walt's boyhood.

We saw some pretty cool original items, like Walt's Baptism Certificate and Walt's father Elias' fiddle.

Walt drew cartoons for his high school newspaper The Voice.

In 1918, Walt joined the Red Cross and was stationed in Neufchateau in France. He drove an ambulance similar to this one, but covered it in cartoons. This 48 star flag flew over the canteen he was stationed at while in France.

On many of the walls were animated movies that told you a little more about each of the stories.

Once Walt came back from the war, he started getting more into film making, starting his Laugh-O-Grams cartoon company.

One of the original cameras Walt used.

Ultimately Laugh-O-Grams went bankrupt, so Walt packed his bags, hopped on a train, and headed to California. Here we boarded an elevator with doors decorated with the Santa Fe railroad logo.

And the inside is decorated similarly to a railroad car.

Once we arrive on the next floor, we exit and we have arrived in Hollywoodland!

It was here Walt found success with the Alice Comedies.

After the Alice Comedies, Walt came up with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Finding some success with Oswald, Walt boarded a train to New York to try to negotiate a better deal for future Oswald cartoons. Instead he was asked to take a pay cut, and because of the way the contract was written, Walt didn't have the rights to Oswald.

Not wanting to tell his brother what had happened in New York, Walt sent this telegram, which was really cool to see. It's one of those piece of Disney history you've heard about, but never thought you'd see in person.

Not wanting to dwell on the past, Walt needed a new idea.

This is the earliest known drawing of Mickey Mouse.


And the Mickey Mouse craze was born.

Ian's been really good so far just hanging out in the stroller. This museum isn't really his thing though, and for us it's been a bit difficult to really check out all the stuff. There's a lot of history here, but that's coupled with a lot of reading, and when you've got a 1 year old, there just isn't much time for that.

Time to turn him loose!


Watching some cartoons. 

He already knows some characters like Pooto and Donna Duck.

"Well, I like Mickey... you feel you can be friendly with anyone named Mickey." - Walt

Looking at all the different paint colors.

In the next room was a map of many of the places special to Walt in Southern California.
Back in 2013, Ruston took us on a tour of Southern California that included many of these locations.

Things like his previous houses, old studios, and even favorite places to eat.

Ian watching an interactive display.


Learning about how the multi-plane camera works.

Ian tried to listen, while Jacob held the phone.

The animator's strike at the Disney studio was hard on Walt.


This next room had lots of neat character models and concept art.

I really liked how the film strip was projected and was constantly changing to tell a different story.

We rounded the corner and had a great view out to the Golden Gate Bridge.

This bench is from the Griffith Park carousel where Walt would take his daughters, and where he ultimately was inspired to create Disneyland.

So of course we've got to get a picture on it.

If you've ever seen photos of videos of Walt riding his little train, you might recognize this.

It's the Carolwood Pacific, led by the engine the Lille Belle.

A Circarama camera, used to film the 360 degree shows for attractions like America the Beautiful.

A really neat feature of this next room was the 13 foot model of the Disneyland that Walt originally envisioned.

It looks similar to how I recognize it, but some attractions are in different locations, while some don't exist any more.


Ian really really wanted to touch it.

Getting a close up look at pirates.

And The Haunted Mansion.

Space Mountain and the Flying Saucers.

And the dinosaur diorama.

This Mickey Mouse Clubhouse gear doesn't look anything like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Ian is used to seeing.

Ian controlling an Animatronic bird, similar to the ones used in the Tiki Room.

The end of the tour is a very somber room, discussing Walt's passing and the world's reaction to it.



At the end of the tour, of course there is a gift shop.
Who is this impostor?

Well we were here for about 2:30 hours and I felt like the time flew by. I could have definitely spent more time here reading everything they had on display, but having a little one along made that difficult. Perhaps on another trip when he's older or if T and I come by ourselves. I don't think this is the best museum to take young kids to. Ian kept wanting to run around and touch things, meaning either T or I had to be right behind him making sure he didn't get into trouble.

Dinner was a tasty local pizza shop.

Only one day left for our San Francisco trip. Tomorrow we fly back home.

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