The Walt Disney Family Museum
I don't know if this is technically a trip report or for information, so I put it here.
The Walt Disney Family Museum opens on October 1st in San Francisco. I had the pleasure of attending a preview this past Saturday.
If you are planning a trip to Southern California and if you have time and budget space, I highly suggest you go and visit.
The museum is not owned by the Walt Disney Company. Inside, you will find a treaure trove of history, love, and a better understanding of Walt himself.
The museum goes into details of how Walt started, and it is full of artifacts from his life, including audio and visual of Walt himself. They have a multi-plane camera display, an entire working model of Disneyland (as Walt saw it), plus many interactive displays.
They have a section on each part of his life, including a railroad portion. I am not a railroad affectionato, but those in my party who were were just tickled pink.
When you get to the room with the early Mickey Cartoons, make sure you get the cat's tail instrument. I don't want to ruin any surprises for anyone, but DO THIS interactive display. I'm sure you will hear the laughter from those guests playing with it before you get there.
The museum is set up chronologically, too. You get to journey alongside Walt's failure and successes as he grows into clearly what becomes the greatest entertainment mind of our times.
I'd hate to write a review and leave out the best parts. But, I don't want to spoil anything. Just take enough time to savor each part.
thank you! We may be going there in November.
We are planning a trip to the city just for this. thanks!
We are planning to go, but I wouldn't say that it's close enough to go from LA while doing a Disney vacation. SF is a good 6-8 hr drive from the LA area.....
We went on 10/1 and the time it takes to go through the entire museum is much longer then 2 -2 1/2 hours if you are a real Walt fan. We could have easily spent the day there. We had tickets for 3pm and had to leave at 6 when the museum closed. It is really beautiful. We happened to be in SF that week and I was so excited to get tickets. The Presidio is a long ride via bus so allow enough time if you take public trans. The view of the Bay is beautiful from there.
I hope this worked! More pics coming soon!
Oh, it is worth the stop for anyone vacationing anywhere near San Francisco. The Presideo is lovely, and the back picture window of the museum has a beautiful view of the bay and Golden Gate Bridge. You are also a short walk from the Palace of Fine Arts, which just got some restoration work done on it.
If you go to the Disney Family Museum and find yourself short of time and nearing closing time like a previous poster here, do not miss Gallery 9. It is fantastic.
To reiterate - if you're more than mildly interested in Walt and his life/work, allow LOTS of time. There are lots of things to read/listen to/watch - I spent 4 hours and feel like I need another 8! There are 10 different galleries each on a different period in his life/career - and some of those are more than 1 room. But it's not really for kids - it's the history of Walt Disney. There are a few things kids might be entertained by, but any adult with a small ( under 10 I'd say ) child won't be able to take much of it in.
It's a beautiful tribute to the man and what he has given to all of us.
Thanks to his daughter Diane for making this happen.
The Walt Disney artifacts were generously donated by Walt's daughter, Diane.
The Presidio is run by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. My grandfather used to take me there when it was a fully working military base. I used to be in the JROTC in San Francisco and perform right there in front of the museum, which used to be the parade grounds. Nearby in the Presidio is "Crissy Field", an area where the military planes used to land. There at crissy Field are walking paths and a small store/museum which gives a history of the Presidio, not to mention a gorgeous view of the Golden Gate Bridge. :cool2:
So many wonderful memories, and it is so beautiful there.:cheer2:
I found a link with great pics of the Disney Museum:
The link to the Walt Disney Museum in San Francisco:
History behind the museum:
And the original museum in Marceline where Walt grew up:
And just in case you do visit the presidio:
Don't forget a jacket...It gets VERY COLD in San Francisco!:scared1:
The neighborhood around the museum:
Front of the museum:
Parking is free!
Here's a picture of the brochure and map of the museum:
Just visited the Walt Disney Museum!
As a child, I would read "The Art of Walt Disney" cover to cover and savor the story of the man, the mouse, and the creation of Disneyland. Visiting this museum is like living inside that book!
We spent 4 1/2 hours there and it was not enough. (But that was all I could ask my 5 year old to do ;) ). We arrived early, not knowing how long traffic through downtown San Francisco would be. We took a short walk down to the shore of the bay to take some piccies of the Golden Gate bridge. We entered at 10am, opening time. One tip, pictures are not allowed except for one spectacular glass hallway through which you have a great view of the Golden Gate, so do bring (but don't use) your camera.
I certainly could have spent 8 hours there and not do the same thing twice. We got to gallery 4 by lunchtime and were told we had only been to 4 out of 10 galleries. So we went downstairs to the cafe for lunch. Warning about the cafe, they only serve one sandwich, one soup, and one salad, and they really have nothing for kids (not even a bagel!). However, the food (Wolfgang Puck) was very good. I had a tuna/mustard sandwich and my husband had the chili, both excellent. My 5 year old ate a cupcake and the banana I had with me as a snack.
In the afternoon, we picked back up again in gallery 5. My son especially liked the interactive items in each gallery, such as: a moviola of Snow White that he could crank and display; the various headsets / phones / touch screens that he could hear; synchronizing sound effects to an early Mickey cartoon; and of course Disney cartoons playing around every bend.
My husband, who is not really a Disney fan, still enjoyed the historical nature of the museum and reading about a visionary such as Walt.
I loved so many things and even after being a student of many a Walt Disney autobiography and many Disneyland historical books, I learned stuff too!! Certainly something for everyone.
The top three items I really, really loved was:
Anyway. Go! If you are on this forum, you are probably a Disney Fan so leave yourself all day to visit! It was a dream come true!!!:cheer2: :wizard:
Just went yesterday--what a FABULOUS museum! I am not usually one to spend hours and hours in one museum, and I rarely read everything, but this museum was so fascinating and the subject matter so compelling that the five hours we spent wasn't nearly enough time!
To reiterate: The museum is in San Francisco, nowhere NEAR southern CA, so it's not something you could visit along with a Disneyland visit, unless you are planning to spend extra time in the state.
The food offerings in the cafe when we were there were three different sandwiches, two soups, and three/four salads. I didn't find the prices to be any different than the average museum cafe. It was very small, however.
The exhibits are well set-up and very detailed. There are so many personal artifacts and home movies/photos from the family. I was amazed that there is even MOVIE footage from Walt's infancy and childhood! (Who had a movie camera in 1901?????)
I agree the museum is not for small children. Even my teens might have been a little bored to spend so many hours there. The price is high ($20) but I found it well worth it. You'd never guess you were in an old army barracks--it has been lovingly and beautifully transformed. Walt would've approved wholeheartedly.
I'm hoping to go again soon and give more time/energy to the second half of the exhibits, as we had to rush through those a bit because of time constraints--there is a lot to take in and digest and those exhibits in particular are fascinating and poignant, as well as memorable for us baby-boomers.
This is a MUST for an Walt Disney fan!!! :thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2
We went just last weekend (New Year's weekend) and loved it, but it was PACKED. There were no tables available in the cafe, and outside it was about 50 degrees. Thank goodness I found some French guys with whom to share a table inside.
We paid an extra $10 to watch a film (about 1 hour) on Christmas with Walt Disney. There were a lot of home movies, and it was very touching.
People in the museum were very friendly. I chatted with one lady about the death of WD's mother (very heart-breaking) and with another lady about the song "Baby Mine" from Dumbo. We agreed that it's difficult for a mom to listen to it without shedding at least a few tears.
That view out the window is stunning. I was so swept up in the Disney story, I really felt like I was in Hollywood/L.A. Then I came around that corner and knew I was in S.F.
We spent 5 hours total, but I know I will be back.
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