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Old 11-08-2010, 10:36 PM   #1
Belle Ella
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Cool BE's Bay Area Bonanza!! New'ish photos added 1/21

I couldn't help myself with the title! I expect this first post will evolve over time as I establish myself here. It's a new thing for me to have a thread not dedicated to my Disneyland trips, even though I report back on just about everything I do. But it's time that I figured "Why not show everyone my take on some other things that California has to offer?".

Some things to look forward to will include:

❀ My adventures in San Francisco
❀ Walt Disney Family Museum
❀ San Francisco Zoo
❀ Giants World Series Victory Parade
❀ Pier 39
❀ Etc.
Well, that's all I've got so far. But there will be more, I promise. And if there's ever anything you'd like to see, just let me know and I'll always do my best to share my thoughts and experiences if I have any.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:43 PM   #2
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Gee BE I bet you have pictures from past northern California trips you could share.
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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Gee BE I bet you have pictures from past northern California trips you could share.
Who, me?

I will definitely add lots of what I have from past excursions. It's just a matter of finding what I have. Wouldn't want to be a liar with false advertisement now would I?
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:47 PM   #5
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Who, me?

I will definitely add lots of what I have from past excursions. It's just a matter of finding what I have. Wouldn't want to be a liar with false advertisement now would I?
Good point mam. I totally agree!!
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:35 PM   #6
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Also you need to fix up Walt**
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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Subscribed!

Also you need to fix up Walt**
Why, I have no idea what you mean ...

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Old 11-09-2010, 12:49 PM   #8
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To start us off, how about the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:52 PM   #9
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Cool Jazz and the Walt Disney Family Museum - Part 1

Jazz & the Walt Disney Family Museum
Part One
July 17, 2010


The Walt Disney Family Museum opened to the public at The Presidio in San Francisco back in October 2009 - that is more than 9 months before I finally got to go and experience it for myself despite many, many (and I do mean MANY) attempts at planning to do so. It was rather heart breaking considering how many of those attempts were canceled the day of. But I wont be a Negative Nancy anymore, because I finally made it! My dad, who from here on out shall be known as Llama (courtesy of the children's book "Is Your Mama A Llama?") and I hit the road at roughly 8:30 in the morning on our field trip. Out tiered tickets (more on that later) weren't until 10:15 and it's roughly an hours drive for us so we knew we would be there plenty early, which was OK. Llama enjoys walking around The Presidio so we knew we wouldn't be bored, especially since I would have my camera to take photos of everything outside due to the warnings that no photography is allowed inside the museum due to copyrights on the material. No sweat!

So for those of you who aren't up to date with the National Parks and Recreational Areas of California, The Presidio actually used to be a Military Base until 1994 when it was officially inactivated and transferred to the National Parks Service. See! I learned a lot of new things today, because I hadn't known this previously. But Llama is a bit of a know-it-all, so of course he knew and divulged said information to me. And when we finally reached our destination it was pretty easy to make the connection. I've been to one or two (or three ) military bases in my life while visiting my Bio-dad who is active-duty in the Army. You definitely get the base feel from them. But hey, it's a gorgeous location!! True to form, we definitely got there plenty early. By the time we parked and ate a little snack it was just past 9:30 so we had about 45 minutes to kill. Perfect time to pop out the Nikon and take her for a spin!


We actually made it!!


I find it funny that this sign is here. The WDFM is the only operating building there on Montgomery and this sign is directly
in front of it. Do we really need the arrow telling us where to go when there aren't any other logical destinations??


I know it may not be everyone's taste but I absolutely love these buildings.


The building was once used as barracks. Now it's a destination for Disney enthusiasts from around the world (literally, there was a
couple who arrived just before we did speaking French
).


I'm practicing for my future job on The Price Is Right or something, can't you tell?

I highly suggest that if you were to go you take some time to walk around the grounds a little and not just focus 100% on the museum itself. The Presidio has some great views to be found. Someday I want to just go out there and explore a bit. But the farthest that I got on an expedition was straight behind building 104 and guess what you get a pretty darn good view of?
(and a few other shots from outside)



The Golden Gate Bridge!!


Me & a map of the Main Post


Because I like rocks.


And who doesn't like flowers?


There's quite a bit of seating outside on the deck for you to relax in, or I suppose to enjoy your meal from the Cafe outside.


Llama!!


Funnily enough, after they put these banners out there was one that did not want to stay attached to the railing.


In case you were wondering, here are the hours of operation for the WDFM!


Roughly around the time they opened the Museum up for those with 10AM tiered tickets was when I decided to go lock my camera back up in my car since it wasn't going to be of much use to me once I was inside of the museum. We still had 15 minutes to go before our 'time slot', so I wanted to make sure we were ready to go when it was our turn. The reason they do admission this way is in effort to cut down on too many people bottlenecking in the galleries, and it keeps the flow of people much smoother. SO! After getting my camera tucked safely away and grabbing our printed admission from home we made our way towards the museum lobby where I was greeted with some rather welcome news. Photography wasn't allowed in the galleries, but the lobby (which serves as a Trophy Room for awards Walt received) and everything else was fair game so long as you leave your flash off. Oh yeah! So I had about 5 minutes to go run back out to my car and grab my camera before it was our turn to start exploring. Sure, it wouldn't give me enough time to take photos then and there, but I would get my chance either when we took a break for lunch or after we finished every exhibit. And I would get my chance, so here are some of the award cases for your viewing pleasure:



















Everyone snapped to attention when their photo was taken.


The highlight of the Lobby for me. These are all original furnishings from the Disneyland apartment.

Stay tuned! There's more to come!! Including one more location inside the museum that allows photography!!
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:54 PM   #10
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Cool Jazz and the Walt Disney Family Museum - Part 2

Jazz & the Walt Disney Family Museum
Part Two
July 17, 2010


So, where is it that we left off? Oh, yes. I was photographing a small selection of what was on display in the Lobby when 10:15 finally rolled around and it was time for us to get our tickets scanned and start our tour. I get the feeling that depending on how many people are there they are a little more open about when you use your ticket, but the guy letting everyone in to the first gallery was letting everyone know that due to how many people they were expecting for the day they would be sticking to the tiered entry as much as possible. It was fine for us. We knew we were there early and that was that. But it's all good once you get started. And from there on out it would be a while before I could take any more photos.


Map of the 1st floor.
  • Gallery One - Beginnings: Walt Disney’s Early Years (1901-1923)
    The first gallery showcases memorabilia and photographs from Walt Disney's childhood (such as Elias Disney's fiddle, the deed of sale to the Disney museum, and Walt's first drawings like cartoons from his high school's year book), through his service in France during World War I driving an ambulance for the Red Cross and you'll find a replica of one of the ambulances he drove here, as well as other memorabilia from his time spent during the war, and finally back to Kansas City where he founded Laugh-O-Grams Films.
Here's a pretty awesome touch to the museum that my dad and I absolutely adored. The elevator in gallery 1c that takes you to the second story of the museum is no ordinary elevator! It is decorated so as to resemble a rail car on a train (specifically the Santa Fe) taking you to Hollywood!


Map of the 2nd floor.
  • Gallery Two - Hollywood (1923-1928) The second gallery follows Walt's journey to California and to Hollywood at the age of 21 where he would eventually found the Disney Bros. Studio with his brother, Roy, because he couldn't find a job, marry Lillian Bounds, and create Mickey Mouse after losing control of Oswald. In this gallery you'll find things like a wall of multiple Alice films, a wall of 348 frames drawn by Ub Iwerks for "Steamboat Willie" (for a grand total of 16 seconds), a fun interactive display on synchronized sound (not as easy as it looks), what is believed to be the first drawing of Mickie Mouse, a display of old Mickey Mouse memorabilia (I want them all!) and a display containing Walt's camera that can be seen in this photo:


  • Gallery Three - New Horizons: The Emergence of the Walt Disney Studio (1928 to 1940)
    The third gallery is dedicated to what can only be called a creative explosion for the Walt Disney Studio. With the success of the Mickey Mouse series building Walt launched the Silly Symphonies which would flourish and open the door to even new horizons and usher in a new era of color. A few of the Silly Symphonies are highlighted such as "The Skeleton Dance", "The Old Mill", and "Three Little Pigs". Another new horizon for the Disney family was the additions of daughters Diana and Sharon. Something new that I learned was that Diana was the Disney's only biological child. Sharon was adopted after Lillian was warned not to conceive again after 3 miscarriages.
  • Gallery Four - The Move to Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
    It shouldn't come as a surprise that this was one of my favorite galleries in the museum. It features original art from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, including three-dimensional model figures and sketches. The meeting notes and sketches of the dwarves that line one of the walls was a particular interesting read, especially in the personality of the dwarves. Here's one silly fact that just stuck with me: Dopey is three heads high! This gallery also features a couple of interactive displays, one of which was centered around music which was always very important to Walt in his productions. Think of them like little games and I scored 100%!
  • Gallery Five - "We were in a new business"
    Snow White may have been dubbed "Disney's Folly" before it was released, but it obviously proved to be anything but and paved the way for the Studio's move to Burbank and a whole string of new animated features such as Bambi, Pinocchio, and Fantasia and there is plenty of concept art to be found for each including a small video in one corner on how Fantasia evolved from what was originally meant to be just "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". But the big kahuna (pun intended) in this gallery has to be one of the Studios five multiplane cameras invented by Ub Iwerks (#5, in case you were wondering) along with a video of Walt describing whate it was made for and how it worked using the Silly Symphony "The Old Mill" for which it was used to demonstrate. Just another way that Walt Disney Studios helped advance the animation process. The camera takes up two stories of the museum and through the display you can see down into the gift shop and cafe below. There is also an Animator's work desk from the Burbank Studio.
  • Gallery Six - "The toughest period in my whole life"
    You can't say that the museum only covered the rosy side of the Studio.
    I will be the first to admit that I payed the least amount of attention to the gallery dedicated to two crises during the 40's: a three-month-long artists' strike and WWII. There is a lot of WWII propaganda to be found at the end of this room along with concept art for Dumbo and artifacts from the Good-Neighbor Tour in South America with Disney artists known as "El Grupo" (so is that where the "good neighbor" hotels comes from?).
So a big reason why I had a hard time paying attention in gallery six might have had something to do with the fact that I was dying for lunch seeing as it was already past noon! As it turns out gallery six is the perfect place to stop for a break and go get food as there is another elevator located here that will take you down to the cafe and that you can bring back up provided you get a hand stamp first. The hand stamp of the day was Jiminy Cricket! The Cafe downstairs isn't large nor does it provide much selection, but it was nice to sit down and grab something to eat. They had a small selection of sandwiches (roast beef, turkey, ham and cheese), salads (ceasar, chinese chicken), a soup of the day, and a selection of drinks. It was $10 for a sandwich or salad plus a drink and a bag of chips. Llama and I decided to share a roast beef sandwich and a ceasar salad, got our drinks and chips and dug in. It wasn't the best sandwich in the world as it was very sparse in the roast beef department! But otherwise there's not much else to add. I did have to take photos of my food though, lol. See what the DIS has done to me? And it being San Francisco, the forks available are all eco-friendly and they have a separate receptacle for compost. It made Llama smile. After we finished eating we made our way back to the elevator and back to pick up where we left off on our way to gallery seven.


Food available at the Cafe.


Our roast beef light roast beef sandwich.


Our ceasar salad sans dressing.
  • Gallery Seven - Postwar Production
    This was a great room to sit in for a while. There are banners of screens along the top of the room that show a variety of clips with accompanying music from multiple movies produced after WWII, including their first live-action films like "Treasure Island" and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" along with the animated classics "Cinderella", "Lady & The Tramp", "Peter Pan", "Alice & Wonderland" and more. The room is very media-savvy and includes touch-pad kiosks to explore the concept art for these films.
  • Gallery Eight - Walt and the Natural World
    This gallery is dedicated to showcasing Walt Disney's "True-Life Adventures" (the forces behind today's Disney Nature films such as Earth, Oceans, and next years African Cats) and "People and Places". This small gallery also boasts floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass windows showing off a stunning view of The Presidio and the Golden Gate Bridge. This is also the only gallery in the entire museum that allows photography as you can photograph the wonderful view.




  • Gallery Nine - The 1950s and 1960s: The Big Screen and Beyond
    If it wasn't for the Snow White gallery this would undoubtedly be my favorite Gallery. As it stands they are tied for different reasons. If you're a Disneyland fan (as we all are) this gallery is for you. As you walk along a winding ramp back towards the first level right alongside Walt's own Carolwood Pacific Lilly Belle and the history of the track that he built in his own backyard. The camera that filmed Circarama is also there which brought back memories for Llama who told me all about it. When you reach the bottom there's a large miniature model of Disneyland with rides and attractions as Walt got to see them over the years and much more concept art and more memorabilia. We took another few moments to watch a series of screens showing various old Disney video such as the Original World of Color. There are also some displays from the World's Fair and the attractions that it would bring to Disneyland, the Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, and Mary Poppins!
  • Gallery Ten - December 15, 1966
    Be prepared wit tissues before entering the gallery that chronicles Walt Disney's final days. On display are newspaper articles, letters and telegrams with reaction to the news of Walt Disney's death including artwork depicting characters mourning their loss, and television monitors play newscasts covering Walt Disney's passing. It was very touching, very sad, but for me also very uplifting and I can't quite put a finger on why. There's no denying that Walt Disney left a big mark on the world!!

The Walt Disney Family Museum is exactly that - a museum about the Walt Disney family and not just the company. There is so much more to Disney than theme parks and characters that we all love and the museum did a wonderful-wonderful job at capturing and showcasing that. The close work with Walt's daughter Diane who co-founded the museum is very apparent in every room! It was a great day and after leaving the last gallery we made our way to the gift shop which is just too good for words. Word of warning though, there are a lot of amazing hand-crafted items by a local artist I believe. I wish I had written her name down so I could look her up but I completely forgot. Gorgeous items, but expensive!! I did pick up a few things. They had six adorable Snow White postcards and I picked up two of each, as well as a couple of Snow White pins. Llama also bought me a Snow White bracelet while I wasn't looking








There is also a lower level that I am afraid to say we didn't get the chance to reach as we needed to head home. It's where you'll find the museum's 114-seat theater which I believe was showing Disneyland's opening day. I'm ashamed to say I missed it. Almost. I will say this though - I can't wait to go back to take a look at all the things I didn't have the time to pay 100% attention to! And now, I will leave you with a few more photos from around the grounds!! So long, and until next time


The Oscar for Snow White.


Key to the city of San Francisco presented to the Disney family.


Award for Cinderella Contest in Japan, 1953.


Venice International Film Festival Trofeo d'Arte della Biennale for Snow White, 1938.

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:52 PM   #11
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I love the shoe! I must have a pair!
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Old 11-10-2010, 03:45 PM   #12
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I love the shoe! I must have a pair!
But, it's literally 'one' of a kind. You'll have to go around with one foot bare Michele!

Alright, so I have a lot of S.F. Zoo photo from over the years that I would love to share if anyone is interested. Otherwise, I have a fun S.F. weekend planned, with a pit stop at the Oakland Zoo. Go figure
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:52 PM   #13
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But, it's literally 'one' of a kind. You'll have to go around with one foot bare Michele!

Alright, so I have a lot of S.F. Zoo photo from over the years that I would love to share if anyone is interested. Otherwise, I have a fun S.F. weekend planned, with a pit stop at the Oakland Zoo. Go figure
I think I will have to give up the idea. I don't wanna walk around lopsided.
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Old 11-11-2010, 04:29 PM   #14
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I think I will have to give up the idea. I don't wanna walk around lopsided.
I wouldn't think so!

Despite the horrible event of car theft this Tuesday, we've got a rental (we had to go back today because we forgot to add me as a driver on the contract when we picked it up yesterday) and I'm just ready for this weekend to begin. The only things so far that are for sure on the agenda are:

- WDFM
- Pier 39

We have yet to officially settle on what to do Friday (tomorrow) after I get off work. You would think I would have this planned out already, but so far, no dice.
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Old 11-11-2010, 07:36 PM   #15
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I wouldn't think so!

Despite the horrible event of car theft this Tuesday, we've got a rental (we had to go back today because we forgot to add me as a driver on the contract when we picked it up yesterday) and I'm just ready for this weekend to begin. The only things so far that are for sure on the agenda are:

- WDFM
- Pier 39

We have yet to officially settle on what to do Friday (tomorrow) after I get off work. You would think I would have this planned out already, but so far, no dice.
Sometimes it is okay not to plan and to just do things. And yes you need to be on the rental car.
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