New Program Announced at Walt Disney Family Museum – Tales of Ghoulish Delight: Creating the Haunted Mansion

Walt Disney first announced his plans to add a haunted house-style attraction to Disneyland in 1958, but the Haunted Mansion didn’t open until a full eleven years later. It is believed to be the last attraction Walt had a hand in before his death in 1966. But, what happened in between conception and the Mansion’s opening in 1969? Take a look at the evolution of the attraction under Walt’s tutelage from a scare-a-minute walk-through to the creepy but comical Doom Buggy ride we all know and love. Join Imagineer Kim Irvine, Walt Disney Company alum Ed Squair, and Winchester Mystery House General Manager Walter Magnuson for a discussion on Walt’s influence on this adored attraction and the three scripts developed by his original “Illusioneers”:  Ken Anderson, Marc Davis and X. Atencio.

Disneyland-Haunted-MansionSat, Oct 15
Two times: 11am–12:30pm & 3–4:30pm
These two presentations will be identical.
$18 members | $12 student & youth members
$20 non-members | $15 student & youth non-members
Ticket On-Sale Date and Time
Tickets will be on sale to the public beginning Thursday, September 22 at 10am online.

Walt’s Circle donors and Supporter-level members may purchase program tickets for this program beginning Monday, September 19 at 10am. All other members may purchase program tickets for this program beginning Wednesday, September 21 at 10am.

Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Program ‘Beyond the Wishing Star: NASA’s Search for Life Outside Our Solar System’

Walt Disney’s Pinocchio is set in motion when Geppetto spots a star in the night sky and makes an improbable wish. In the ensuing 76 years, wishing on a star has become synonymous with Walt Disney’s enthusiasm for a future of infinite possibilities. An early advocate of space exploration, Walt aired the first of three space-related “science-factual” television programs in 1955. The culminating episode, “Mars and Beyond,” speculated on the chance of finding life on other planets. Today that quest continues, invigorated by the discovery of more than 2000 exoplanets by NASA’s Kepler space telescope and by a NASA initiative dedicated to the search for life beyond our solar system. Mission Scientist and astrophysicist Dr. Natalie Batalha has been at the forefront of both projects providing leadership as science strives to answer its most important question: Are we alone? Geppetto wished upon on a star and beyond all expectation, his little wooden Pinocchio became a real boy. Join us as we talk with Dr. Batalha about Kepler’s important discoveries, the prospects for future missions, and what wonders we might find out there among the stars.


Sat, Sep 10 | 1pm


$18 members | $20 non-members | $12 student & youth members | $15 student & youth non-members




Dr. Natalie Batalha

Dr. Natalie Batalha is an astrophysicist at NASA Ames Research Center and the Mission Scientist for NASA’s Kepler Mission. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, and a Doctoral degree in astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Batalha has been involved with the Kepler Mission since the proposal stage and has contributed to many different aspects of the science, from studying the stars themselves to detecting and understanding the planets they harbor. She led the analysis that yielded the discovery in 2011 of Kepler-10b—the mission’s first confirmation of a rocky planet outside our solar system. Today, she leads the effort to understand planet populations in the galaxy based on Kepler discoveries. In 2015, Dr. Batalha joined the leadership team of a new NASA initiative dedicated to the search for evidence of life beyond the Solar System. NASA’s Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) brings teams from multiple disciplines together to understand the diversity of worlds. Kepler has demonstrated that earth-size planets abound in the galaxy. NExSS will lead NASA’s efforts to understand which are most likely to harbor life.

Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Program – ‘Becoming Real: A Muppeteer’s Journey with Dave Goelz’

Meet veteran Muppeteer Dave Goelz who has been bringing life to puppets—including The Great Gonzo, Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, and many more—for more than forty years. Explore the process of creating a puppet character, feeding life and personality into it until it becomes real, to both the creator and the audience. Goelz shares his challenges, successes, and experience in creating life-like, lovable puppets, from concept to construction to performance.


Sat, Aug 13 | 1pm


$18 members | $20 non-members | $12 student & youth members | $15 student & youth non-members




Dave Goelz has been a principal puppeteer with The Muppets for forty-one years. His characters include The Great Gonzo, Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, Beauregard, and Waldorf from The Muppet Show; Boober Fraggle, Traveling Matt, and Philo the Rodentia from Fraggle Rock; Sir Didymus from Labyrinth; Digit from The Jim Henson Hour; Rugby and Ditz from Jim Henson’s Secret Life of Toys; Stinky the Skunk from Jim Henson’s Animal Show with Stinky and Jake; Randy the Stupid Pig and Gary Cahuenga the Vent Dummy from Muppets Tonight! and Chip IT guy from ABC’s The Muppets.”

Goelz first started working for Henson Associates in 1973 as a puppet designer and builder and periodically had the opportunity to perform. The first highly-successful characters that he built were Animal, Zoot, and Floyd Pepper. Despite the fact that he had no formal training for puppeteering, he went on to perform characters on The Muppet Show. He eventually stopped building puppets and worked exclusively as a performer.

Walt’s Circle donors, Supporter and Friend level members may purchase program tickets for this program beginning Wednesday, July 20 at 10am by calling 415.345.6829 or emailing All other members may purchase tickets beginning Thursday, July 21 at 10am, online or at the ticket desk. Tickets will be on sale to the public beginning Friday, July 22 at 10am online.

Celebrate Independence Day at The Walt Disney Family Museum

Kick off your Independence Day celebrations with a special talk and film screening of Johnny Tremain, which follows the exciting story of a young patriot in colonial Boston and the tumultuous times leading up to the American Revolutionary War. Rated among the best Revolutionary War films of all time, the film’s star, Hal Stalmaster, joins us for talk after the screening to share his personal stories from making the film, what it was like working with Walt Disney, his later career in casting for The Walt Disney Studios, and his time serving as an Army officer in the Presidio.

The film will be screened prior to the program at 4pm. Admission to the film screening is included with the program ticket.

TALK | A Conversation with Johnny Tremain’s Hal Stalmaster
Wed, Jun 29 | 4pm film screening, 5:45pm talk
$18 members | $20 non-members | $12 student & youth members | $15 student & youth non-members
The film will be screened prior to the program at 4pm. Admission to the film screening is included with the program ticket.

FILM SCREENING | Johnny Tremain
Wed, Jun 29: 4pm | Fri, Jul 1; Sat, Jul 2; Mon, Jul 4: 1pm | Sun, Jul 3: 3pm
FREE for members or with museum admission
$7 non-members | $5 student & youth

About the Speaker –

Hal Stalmaster was born in Los Angeles, California and attended Beverly Hills High School where he recalls that his accomplished classmates were not particularly impressed when he landed the lead role in Walt Disney’s Revolutionary War drama, Johnny Tremain. Hal was seventeen when the film debuted in 1957. Three years later, while studying at UCLA, he went to work for Walt again, this time as Gwynn in the Walt Disney Presents miniseries, The Swamp Fox. Although the role required Hal to grow a pony-tail, he continued to participate in ROTC—an obvious anomaly among his crew-cut classmates. After graduation Hal served for two years as an army officer in the Presidio of San Francisco—home now to The Walt Disney Family Museum—before returning briefly to acting. It was his interest in working behind the camera that led him back to The Walt Disney Studios, this time as a casting director. The job not only suited his career goals, but also provided him with an opportunity to work directly with Walt Disney. After leaving the Studios, Hal went on to a 30-year career as a talent agent.

Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Exhibit – Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio. On view from May 18, 2016 to January 9, 2017, this never-before-seen exhibition created by the museum allows visitors to discover the artistic process and step behind-the-scenes to explore how one of the most influential animated films in history was produced: Walt Disney’s 1940 feature-length masterpiece Pinocchio.

Guest-curated by John Canemaker—an Academy Award®, Emmy Award, and Peabody Award-winning independent animator, animation historian, teacher, and author—this immersive exhibition invites the visitor to experience the production processes of the pre-digital era, providing a glimpse into how legendary animators worked and thought. Pinocchio inspired advances in character development and three-dimensional design, and the exhibition allows guests to enjoy the art created by the animators and designers of The Walt Disney Studios to create the stunning work featured in the film.

Featuring more than 300 objects, this unique, original exhibition takes a closer look at the settings, color, mood, character relationships, style, and costumes of this remarkable film, which has dazzled audiences for over 75 years.

Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum and is being presented in the Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall from May 18, 2016 through January 9, 2017.

  • DATE

    May 18, 2016 – Jan 9, 2017

  • COST

    FREE for members. For non-member rates, Buy Tickets.


    Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall

The Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Website

Walt Disney Family Museum Logo

The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to announce a completely reimagined website at, launching in celebration of Walt Disney’s birthday.

The museum’s Board and staff have collaborated with the Presidio-based agency Swirl, Inc. to bring you a vastly enhanced website experience. The site includes many new features, including an innovative multimedia section on Walt Disney, and showcases an enticing virtual preview of the museum’s galleries. The website provides content-rich, interactive resources for students, historians, and Disney fans around the world. Viewers can visit the site to learn more about Walt Disney, Diane Disney Miller, and their family legacy, and discover their own creative inspiration in Walt Disney’s story.

Please, come take a look—explore, discover, imagine, and find inspiration at the new Continue the celebration of Walt’s birthday at the museum, offering free admission to all on the eve of Walt’s birthday, Friday, December 4. Limited capacity; tickets issued on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional paid exhibition ticket required for Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination.

If you don’t see the new website right away, please clear your browser’s cache. Some systems may take up to 48-hours to show the new website.

The Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Program

Floyd Norman

The Making of Floyd Norman: An Animated Life

Join filmmakers Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey—in conversation with Disney Legend, animator, and story artist Floyd Norman—as they debut clips from their feature-length documentary film following the incredible life and career of the Disney Legend.

$18 members | $20 non-members | $12 student & youth members | $15 student & youth non-members


Sat, January 16


1–3:30 pm

Location Theater

A Birthday Celebration for Walt at The Walt Disney Family Museum

Walt - DL - Castle

In observance of Walt Disney’s birthday, The Walt Disney Family Museum will be commemorating the day before with FREE ADMISSION to all on Friday, December 4 from 10am to 6pm! Join us in celebrating this special occasion, during which we will host a number of exciting activities throughout the day that highlight Walt’s life, work, and legacy. Happy Birthday, Walt!


Fri, Dec 4



Location All Museum

Walt Disney Family Museum – Special Program: ‘Sixty Years of Mouseketeers’


October 3, 2015 marks an important date in Disney history—the 60th anniversary of the original Mickey Mouse Club, which debuted on the ABC television network on that day in 1955. To commemorate the occasion, The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to present a special event, Sixty Years of Mouseketeers, to be offered on two successive days, Saturday, October 3, and Sunday, October 4, 2015.

The prelude to this exciting experience will be a presentation in the theater that includes the historical overview of the series and a panel discussion hosted by Disney author and historian Lorraine Santoli.

After the presentation, you will move into the awards lobby for a one-of-a-kind, personal meet and mingle opportunity where you spend time with each of our special guests as they switch from table to table for autographs and conversation. You will meet with the Original Mouseketeers Bobby Burgess, Sharon Baird, Sherry Alberoni, Tommy Cole, Darlene Gillespie, and Doreen Tracy, plus special guests Tim Considine and David Stollery, actors from Spin and Marty.

Bobby Burgess’s recent autobiography, Ears & Bubbles: Dancing My Way From The Mickey Mouse Club to The Lawrence Welk Show and Lorraine Santoli’s just released Inside the Disney Marketing Machine will be available in the museum store.

Sat, Oct 3 & Sun, Oct 4 | 4:30–9:30pm

Presentation and Meet-and-Mingle Session
$199 members | $249 non-members

Presentation Only
$49 members | $79 non-members

To Purchase Tickets Please Go to The Walt Disney Family Museum

New Program Announced for Walt Disney Family Museum – Behind-the-Scenes of Walt’s Vision for Today

Walt's Vision for Today

In conjunction with the exhibition, Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision for Today, guest curator and film director Brad Bird presents an in-depth presentation of Walt Disney as a technological innovator, futurologist, and thought leader. Hear about Walt’s original concept for the Tomorrowland project, its revolutionary rebuild of 1967, and take a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the exhibition. See rare video footage, hear stories, and learn more about Walt’s fascinating passion for the future.

The program will be followed by a signing with Brad Bird at 5pm; the signing is open only to program ticket holders.

Tickets: Tickets on sale Monday, July 27 at 10am.
$18 adult member | $12 student & youth member | $20 non-member | $15 student & youth non-member

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