Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Step Inside Disney History at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our Disney Bucket Lists and what you should add to yours.

If you would've asked me ten years ago what was on my Disney bucket list, it would have involved roller coasters or shows. However, over the course of the last decade I have added a few titles to my nerdy resume, and I'm proud to say that Disney historian is one of them.

Because of that proud title, I've added a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum to the top of my Disney bucket list, and you should too!

The rear of the Walt Disney Family Museum features a glass wall offering a panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photo by Jim Heaphy.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit museum that tells the life story of Walt Disney. Located in San Francisco, the museum overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and inspires visitors with state-of-the-art exhibits narrated by Walt's on words, with early drawing, cartoons, Disneyland models, etc.

Though the museum is not run by the Disney company, it was founded by Walt's daughter, Diane Disney Miller who sadly passed away in 2013. Diane made it her mission to document and the life and accomplishments of her father.

Since I had the pleasure of doing the Walking in Walt's Footsteps tour at Disneyland, I know that going to this museum will be an emotional experience, and that hearing Walt explain his work would be beautiful, haunting, and worth the price of admission (as well as the price of the trip to San Franscisco.)

Galleries at the Walt Disney Family Museum

There are TEN regular galleries at the Walt Disney Family Museum, as well as rolling exhibits that come and go.

Here's what you should expect to see when you go:

  • Early Beginnings
  • The Move to Hollywood
  • Exploring New Horizons
  • The Transition into Features
  • New Success and Greater Ambitions
  • Patriotic Contributions
  • Postwar Rebuilding
  • Walt and the Natural World
  • Disneyland and Beyond
  • Remembering Walt Disney
The galleries feature hand-written letters, videos and original drawings. Each gallery represents a time period in the life of Walt. 

I think the gallery I find most interesting is the "patriotic contributions" one, where they revisit the attack on Pearl Harbor and discuss how the Walt Disney Studio was taken over by the US Army. 

The most picturesque gallery, by far, is the Walt and the Natural World gallery, that features floor to ceiling glass windows and overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge. (Make sure the San Francisco fog subsides before visiting!)

Finally, I get choked up just thinking about the Remembering Walt Disney exhibit, where you'll find press clippings and images from the day after Walt passed away.

Visiting the Museum

The museum is located in the Presidio of San Francisco and is open every day except for Tuesdays. Tickets are $20 for adults, while seniors and students can visit for $15. Children 6+ pay $12. If you have a younger child, kids five and under are free.

Admission is free year-round for active and retired military, their spouses, and dependents with valid ID.

Bucket List

My parents had the pleasure of visiting the museum a few years ago and they couldn't stop raving about the experience. While they are fans of Walt Disney and casually follow, they felt that I would love the experience. I was out in San Francisco for business a few years ago, and of course my only free day was a Tuesday when the museum was closed. 

I will cross this item off my bucket list!

What experiences are on your bucket list? Tell me in the comments below.

For more Disney bucket list ideas, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Disney Bucket Lists Loop:


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