I love Disneyland. My love for Disney reaches far beyond the park. I love anything that is connected to the name Disney. One can’t help but think happy thoughts when you hear the name Walt Disney. When there is anything Disney related I really try to check it out. Recently we decided to take a trek out to the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit were there for a limited time and I had to see it before it was gone.
The exhibit is brought to the library by D23 : The Official Disney Fan Club. It spans 12,000 feet and is the largest exhibition ever curated by the Walt Disney Archives. It will remain at the Reagan Library until April 30th, 2013. The exhibit features over 500 artifacts – 50% which have never been seen by the public. We couldn’t wait. Fortunately we have been the Reagan Library before so we didn’t need to see the entire museum. We cut straight to the Disney section.
First we saw some of Walt’s original projects such as the Alice Comedies. That was so fun to see considering we know what comes from this first spark of creativity! If only Walt knew what was in store for him and his imagination! Then we saw some of the original merchandising for our favorite mouse, Mickey!
As we continued through the different rooms we came into the section that displayed the items he used to make his films. We saw the Multiplane camera and an animation table.
Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella each featured a live action prologue sequence showing the opening of a grand story book. The exhibit had the actual books on display. I used to love seeing these books in the beginning of the films. Yes, they really are real!
As we wandered our way through the artifacts we came upon many great things. Above all his office was my favorite. They had taken Walts exact office and transported it and set it up just the way Walt had it. This is exactly the way his office looked when he passed. The attention to detail is amazing. Everything in this office is exact, down to the books in the shelf. I so wished I could have gone in and sat at the desk for just a moment. To sit in the place this amazing man sat, would have been inspiring.
We saw so much more. There were many items from Disneys live action films such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins, The Absent-minded Professor, and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.
Eventually we came to some stairs that took us down into a tent that was set up. The tent was very cold. I assume this was to help preserve some of the artifacts. It was especially windy outside which didn’t help warm the room up much either. This room was filled with many costumes and movie props.
Seeing everything that this museum had to offer was magical. We have all grown up to love everything Disney. Once you are able to see all the Treasures that the exhibit has to offer, it helps deepen that love and appreciation. You truly see tangible evidence of all that Walt did to bring us that happiness. Yes, it is magic, but it is also clearly due to the hard work, dedication and dreams from one man. Thank you Mr. Disney!
All photos by Steve Z.