Ultimate Guide to The Walt Disney Family Museum
Walt Disney is the man behind the theme parks, the movies and all the magical fun. In San Francisco, California, there is a tribute to the accomplishments of this visionary that is a must-see for any true Disney fan – The Walt Disney Family Museum.
On your trip to California, make sure to stop at The Walt Disney Family Museum, before or after your trip to Anaheim’s Disneyland. You might think you had an idea of how Walt came to create his company and where the ideas of his movies and iconic characters came from, but this Museum gives you a complete timeline of Walt’s career and an in-depth look at both his successes and his failures. Yes, he failed, if you didn’t already know that. Walt is even known for saying that every young person should fail hard at least once in their life. You learn from failure and Walt thrived after he failed – more than once.
Walt wasn’t an overnight success and didn’t earn 22 Academy Awards without some major bumps along the way. But this museum shows how his dedication and hard work paid off and how he kept getting up after being thrown down. He actually came to Hollywood with only $40 in his pocket, all the way from his hometown (at the time) of Missouri.
At the museum, you will get an up-close-and-personal look at Walt’s personal memorabilia, and see his notes, sketches and contracts that were signed by the man himself.
In addition to Walt’s exhibits, the museum also rotates exhibits about other animators, so check the calendar before your trip to see what the current exhibits is. Right now, until January 7, 2019, the museum is hosting Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men: Masters of Animation,´ an exhibit about Disney’s most well-known artists — Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Frank Thomas — who were dubbed the “Nine Old Men” by Walt.
The Masters of Animation features the artists artwork and family including sketchbooks, caricatures, and snapshots, as well as original art from classic animated films such as Pinocchio (1940), Bambi (1942), Peter Pan (1953), Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Sleeping Beauty (1959).
One of the cutest things you will see in the museum is the Oscars that Walt one throughout his career, but the best part is the set of Oscars – yes, set – made for the Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs movie where there were pint-sized Oscars made for the dwarves.
Here’s something cool to know. Every month, the museum shows a Disney film. Also, if you have a teen who loves animation, The Walt Disney Family Museum offers teen animation programs and a Teen Animation Festival International, afternoon workshops, summer camps, and volunteer opportunities (for local kids). What a place to learn, right?
The only downside is that there is not much on the legendary princess Minnie Mouse. Die-hard Mickey fans will be upset at that. But speaking of being upset, there an entire wall of newspaper cartoon drawings from when Walt died on December 15, 1966. If you read everything and learn about his life, you’ll definitely shed a few tears about his death.
The museum has a place to grab snacks and a gift shop. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays and January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25. Admission is free year-round for active and retired military, their spouses, and dependents with valid ID. Admission is $25 for adults; $20 for seniors and students (with ID), $15 for children 6 to 17; and children under five are free.
For more information, visit The Walt Disney Family Museum website at https://www.waltdisney.org.