When most people think of Walt Disney, they either picture a magical place with a ton of rides and games, or they recollect all of the great movies they have seen through the years with the Disney label. They may even picture their favorite character, such as Winnie the Pooh, Pocahontas or Buzz Lightyear. Well, while the Disney name may mean something a little different to everyone, most are unaware that there is actually a Walt Disney Museum located in San Francisco that every fan should take the time to explore.
About the Museum
Interestingly, the Walt Disney Museum is not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. This 40,000-square-foot museum is found in a historic brick building on the San Francisco Presidio. It features historic materials and uses the newest technology to make it as fun as it is educational. The museum was created to tell the story of one of the most brilliant men to ever live, who single handedly helped define the 20th century. There are more than 200 video screens, a Fantasia-themed theater and even a store to do a little shopping at.
The Walt Disney Museum houses approximately 25,000 works including concept art, rare film clips, scripts, artifacts, photographs and even cameras that were once used to create the original characters. There are some exhibits that are permanent, but the museum does additionally welcome rotating exhibits, so there is always something new to discover. A few highlights to look for include:
- Original drawings Walt created as a child.
- The first Mickey Mouse drawings that were made on that famous train ride on 13 March 1928.
- Academy awards.
- The Lilly Belle train that Walt build for his home in Hollywood.
Education and Programs
The Walt Disney Museum hosts countless programs for the entire family. Just a few of these include:
- Classes and Workshops – If you are interested in voice-over acting, animation or media production, you will want to check out the calendar of classes and workshops here.
- Film – The Fantasia-themed digital theater can hold up to 150 people. This is the best place to watch your favorite Disney movie!
- Talks – If you want to take a closer look at the life of Walt Disney, participate in one of the discussions here with industry professionals and scholars.
- Family Activities – Check out the calendar of activities here that are thoughtfully created to inspire your child’s imagination. There are classes, activities, exhibits and performances that are perfect for the whole family.
- Summer Camp – Here is a camp that any child can get excited over. Campers from 7 to 13 years old have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of topics from film-making to animation, and everything in-between.
There is a lot to see at the museum, so even if you do not watch a movie in the theater, you can easily be there for a few hours, and even longer if you take the time to read everything. You should know that you cannot take pictures inside of the museum, but a photo book is available in the store.
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