|Robert and me at the real|
Disney Archives at the
Walt Disney Studios in
This is a guest post written by my dear from Robert (also known as Mr. DAPS), publisher of the incredible sites DAPS Magic and Geeks Corner. DAPS Magic is the home of great Disney video, information, news and more updated throughout the day with the latest and greatest from the Disneyland Resort and beyond. Geeks Corner is the home of Robert's Geeks Corner web series in which he discusses all things geeky (and awesome!). He is one of my partners in crime when it comes to Disney media events; I don't know what I would do without him! I am very thankful for his friendship and his professional collaborations.
On June 30th, I was invited to visit the Ronald Reagan Library for an early look at the Disney Archives exhibition that is being presented by D23. This exhibition entitled, D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.
Treasures is a big word to me. It evokes memories of the family china found in grandma’s antique buffet or that really fancy ring that has been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. I have been to the archives at the Walt Disney Studios before and I have also been to the Walt Disney Family Museum and both places are definitely full of treasures. Could this new exhibit match those or would it be a really big exhibit with a few treasures scattered between some lesser of note artifacts? These were the looming questions in my mind as I drove up to Simi Valley. These questions were answered within moments of beginning our tour. The first room was filled with relics from the beginning of Walt Disney’s career. I could have spent quite some time in this room looking at ancient scripts, telegrams, and original Disney merchandise...but I’ll admit... I was worried about time. Just like a kid going to Disneyland for the first time, I was afraid of missing something!
I soon found myself making my way past a room full of artifacts of animation and into a much larger room/hall with a random assortment of collectables from the Walt Disney Studios. The first thing that grabbed my attention was Walt Disney’s office. This, for me, was the treasure of all treasures! Several years ago, when visiting the Opera House in Disneyland you could see this office when visiting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. After a trip to Walt Disney World, Mr. Disney’s office is now at the Ronald Reagan Library. The Disney archivists went through great pains to make this office exactly as it was when Walt Disney inhabited it. We were told they went as far as combing the room, iPads in hand, lining up every detail with photos from Walt’s era. Even the books are exactly where he had them! As if Walt Disney’s office wasn’t impressive enough, there was also an old Model T that anyone who is a fan of The Absent Minded Professor will know instantly! This is the car that Fred MacMurray flew around the capitol! Having grown up on this movie and also Son of Flubber, this was definitely a highlight for me. There were many other impressive treasures throughout this room, including a miniature of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but if I were to go into detail about EVERYTHING that excited me in this exhibition... this would quickly become a book. Continuing to explore these Disney treasures, I soon found myself in a big tent filled with amazing dresses, ships, tea parties, super heroes, grim grinning ghosts, and of course a dragon that Mickey Mouse once defeated with his imagination! There is also a wonderful section back upstairs showcasing Walt Disney’s presidential connection (hint: take time to read the letters!).
After this whirlwind tour of the Disney treasures at the Ronald Reagan Library I found myself contemplating my original question. I’m pleased to report that this is definitely a collection of treasures, which there are many, that will not disappoint. Just make sure to allow yourself enough time to really absorb and enjoy everything! I would suggest allowing for an entire afternoon if you like to spend more than a few seconds looking at each treasure. This exhibit is a must see for any Disney fan. I know that I will be returning before it ends its run next spring!
The Treasures of the Disney Archives exhibit continues through April 2013. For information on Ronald Regan Library and the exhibit, click here.