I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse. – W.D.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting The Walt Disney Family Museum while in San Francisco for the Incredibles 2 Event. The museum chronicles the life and work of Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966).
Find animation, innovation, and inspiration in the remarkable life story of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a distinctly American legacy that transformed the entertainment world. Located in the scenic Presidio of San Francisco, the museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that features contemporary, interactive galleries with state-of-the-art exhibits narrated in Walt’s own voice alongside early drawings, cartoons, films, music, a spectacular model of Disneyland, and more. – waltdisney.org
Be prepared to be interested, impressed and emotionally moved, as this museum is like no other. I can’t think of anyone in my life that has not been moved by a Walt Disney experience. My first memory of going to the movies is of walking to our local theater to see Bambi, my blonde ponytails swinging as I walked, a brown paper lunch bag of popcorn and licorice in one hand, and my grandmother’s hand in the other. As time moves, and generations pass, this memory is about as sweet and emotional as they get. To this day I can still feel her love, her hand in mine, while watching Bambi, only now it’s time to bring the feeling full circle, and to create these memories with my own granddaughter. That is just the beginning of what Walt Disney means to me.
I really appreciate that the museum includes so many family details, the failures and even personal flaws of Walt Disney’s life, because often without those there are no great accomplishments. And this man sure experienced great accomplishments. The best advise I was given walking into the museum was to take my time, read, and to take it all in. Every room I walked through had so much to offer, and was just truly magical.
Experience the current exhibition:
Now through September 3rd you can experience the “Make Believe: The World of Glen Keane” exhibit at the museum. The exhibit showcases award winning, and influential Disney animator/artist Glen Keane. The exhibit features drawing, images and notes of his work on Pete’s Dragon, Aladdin, Tangled, Dear Basketball, and more. It is really nice, and definitely worth seeing.
Learn about Walt’s personal history:
There are photos and details of Walt’s life from his baby years through the end of his life. I had no idea he was once in the military, or that there was a Disney apartment in which he raised his children in, so many shared details about a fascinating life.
Learn about the beginning of your favorite characters:
The man was a true innovator when it comes to animation and film. There are plenty of early sketches, storyboards and even film clips of the early to some of today’s favorite Disney characters, so many fun memories.
Looking around the museum, there are all kinds of equipment and cameras that were used throughout the years, Oh how far we’ve come! Also, seeing the notes and an early model for the first Disney theme park, Disneyland is really something. I think I could have stood there and looked at it all day,the details are amazing.
The museum includes a good size cafe featuring a nice selection of food. Also, across from the cafe is the Walt Disney Family Museum gift shop. There you will find something for every Disney fan.
A few of my favorite Walt Disney quotes:
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney won 32 Academy Awards and still holds the record for most individual Academy Awards won. Twenty-six of Walt’s Academy Awards—including the Honorary Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs—are on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street
The Presidio, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA 94129
Last ticket sale and entry is 4:45pm
Closed every Tuesday
Ticket prices: $25 for an adult, $20 for a student with ID, $15 for children 6-17 and Children 5 and under are free. Not bad at all for such a great experience.
Disney Movie Rewards members can use points to score free museum tickets!
I was provided with travel, food and lodging in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own. Some photos and images are credited to Walt Disney Pictures.