Walt Disney’s Original Office Restored at Walt Disney Studios

This is Walt Disney's formal office in the 3H wing of the Animation Building on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank. The office was restored in it original location with nearly all the original furniture and other items by the Disney Archives as part of a project for the studio's 75th Anniversary. Disney employees, and visitors to the studio will be able to view the office in 2016. //// ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Walt Disney's original offices at the Walt Disney Studios were restored to the state they were in when he was alive and worked there. They are located on the third floor of the Animation Building in the 3H wing.  Date of photo: 12/7/15. - disney.waltsoffice - Photo by MARK EADES, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo by MARK EADES

For years, visitors to the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank would ask where Walt Disney’s office was located. Now they can actually see it.

The Walt Disney Company has restored his offices in their original location on the studio lot. And Monday morning, CEO Bob Iger formally dedicated them.

“Just looking around his office reminds you of his devotion to his family, his curiosity and his relentless creative passion,” Iger said at the ceremony.

The suite of offices, both Walt’s formal office and his working office, are on the third floor of the 3H wing of the original Animation building.

It’s available for viewing by employees, visitors and members of the D23 fan club. It will also be a part of tours of the Studio lot beginning in 2016.

“We put this permanent exhibit together as a source of inspiration for us and a reminder to have great ambition to take bold creative risks, to constantly innovate and push the limits of possibility,” Iger said.

Joanna Miller, one of Walt’s grandchildren, was on hand to see the newly restored suite.

“For me, I feel like a child, because that’s when we were there,” she said. “We did homework in there.”

After Walt’s death in late 1966, the offices were left untouched for a few years, until Dave Smith, the founder of the Walt Disney Archives, decided to document them.

Smith originally snuck into the offices to take photos, and then the company asked him to document what was in the office so it could reuse the space.

“It was really eerie for me to come into Walt’s office and do a complete inventory,” said Smith, who is now retired.

He documented everything from the books on the bookshelf to the legal pads with Disney’s handwritten notes.

After the documentation was completed, the items were put into storage in the Disney Archives. The formal office was turned into an executive office. The working office became a conference room.

The executive office was first occupied by Ron Miller, who eventually became president of the company in 1982. Michael Eisner took over the space when he was named CEO in 1984, and remained there until the Team Disney building opened. Then Roy E. Disney, Walt’s nephew, used the office for many years. After Roy Disney moved out, the suite was occupied by a variety of producers, the last being Marc Cherry.

Becky Cline, the director of the Disney Archives, has been working on the restoration idea for many years. Since this year is the studio’s 75th anniversary, she decided to seriously pursue it.

Her department put together a plan and a budget and presented it to Iger.

“He approved it, and we formally started the project in June,” she said.

Many of the materials, such as the desks, chairs and books are original.

“They were displayed in various forms at Disneyland and Walt Disney World and other locations over the years,” Cline said.

Her team assembled the materials, while studio crafts people restored the walls, lighting and even the kitchen.

“They even found original light switches and openers for the doors,” she added.

The piano in the formal office was frequently used by Richard Sherman who, along with his brother Robert, wrote many of the songs used in many classic Disney movies, such as “Mary Poppins,” and on attractions at Disneyland such as “It’s a Small World”

“Many times after a long day we would come in to that office and share a song with Walt and he would say ‘play it,’ and we knew what he meant,” Richard Sherman said in an interview Friday. “He meant play ‘Feed the Birds’ from Mary Poppins.

“That was his favorite song and it always brought a tear to his eyes,” he said.

Originally posted by Mark Eades at the Orange County Register

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 waltdisney.org, 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 waltdisney.org. 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.

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!

DATE:

Fri, Dec 4


TIME:

10am–6pm

Location All Museum
FREE ALL DAY!

Walt Disney Family Museum Announces New Exhibition Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision For Today

Walt Disney - Tomorrowland

The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to announce its next exhibition, Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision for Today, on view from July 22 through December 7, 2015. Guest-curated by Academy Award®-winning director, writer, and producer Brad Bird (The IncrediblesRatatouille, Tomorrowland), this engaging, multimedia exhibition showcases Walt Disney as a technological innovator, science fiction storyteller, and futurologist by spotlighting his vision of Disneyland’s groundbreaking Tomorrowland.

During his life, Walt spent his time redeveloping, plussing, and adding to his visions of Tomorrowland. Seven months after his passing, the new Tomorrowland opened at Disneyland on July 2, 1967. Though this themed land currently exists in five different Disney Parks and has experienced a number of additional changes since that day, one constant remains: as long as there is imagination in this world, Tomorrowland will keep moving forward towards a great, big, beautiful tomorrow.

Through animated sequences, musical compositions, sound bites, graphics, audio visuals, vintage posters, and more, Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision for Today will immerse visitors in the story of Walt’s hopes and vision for the future, as reflected in his creation of the 1967 version of Tomorrowland at Disneyland.

This exhibition allows visitors to experience Walt’s perception of this beautiful tomorrow in a robust and vibrant way.

Tomorrowland: Walt’s Vision for Today is organized by The Walt Disney Family Museum, in close partnership with The Walt Disney Company’s Walt Disney Imagineering, and will be on view in the near future, from July 22 to December 7, 2015 in the museum’s Theater Gallery.

Coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum – Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination

Disney and Dali

From an intangible dream to a phantasmagorical reality, The Walt Disney Family Museum is excited to announce Disney and Dalí: Architects of the Imagination, on view from July 10, 2015 through January 3, 2016.

Guest-curated by filmmaker Ted Nicolaou, this extraordinary, immersive, and enriching experience tells the story of the unlikely alliance between two of the most renowned artists of the twentieth century: brilliantly eccentric Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí and American entertainment innovator Walt Disney. Presented through an interactive experience of original paintings, story sketches, conceptual artwork, objects, correspondences, archival film, photographs, and audio—many of which highlight work from Disney studio artists Mary Blair, Eyvind Earle, John Hench, Kay Nielsen, and more—this comprehensive exhibition showcases two vastly different icons who were drawn to each other through their unique personalities, their mutual admiration, and their collaboration on the animated short Destino. Although the film was not completed during their lifetimes, the friendship between these two great men nevertheless endured.

The excitement for this exhibition is mounting, with great coverage seen already in The Huffington Post and NBC Bay Area.

Be among the very first to see this exhibition—Walt’s Circle donors and members at the Friend level and above will be invited to the Thursday, July 9 VIP preview. On Friday, July 10, all members will have a special opportunity to hear from guest curator and filmmaker, Ted Nicolaou. Members and their guests will enjoy a behind-the-scenes presentation from Nicolaou in the theater before touring the exhibition. To attend the preview and the exclusive curator talk, you can join today by visiting the membership page or by calling 415.345.6810. Note that members at the Friend level and above only are invited to the July 9 preview.

All Aboard! Celebrate Walt’s Trains with Museum Exhibit

Walt Disney Trains

The Walt Disney Family Museum is pleased to present All Aboard: A Celebration of Walt’s Trains, on view from November 13, 2014 through February 9, 2015. This comprehensive exhibition explores the influence that railroading had on Walt Disney’s life and work. It also tells the story of how his railroading legacy lives on to this day in Disney films and theme parks around the world. with more than 200 artifacts, firsthand accounts, archival videos, images of Walt and his trains, and actual model trains running throughout the show, All Aboard highlights Walt’s early passion for trains and how it manifested itself in Disney short cartoons, feature films, and in Walt’s personal life at home.

Guest curator Michael Campbell, president of the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society, constructed the exhibition to reflect Walt’s railroad journey as told through multiple chapters: Lighting the Fire, Building Steam, Gaining Speed, Full Throttle, Switching Tracks, Branching Out, A Grand Circle Tour Around The World, and Coming Full Circle. The exhibition’s conclusion reminds us that, even over a century later, Walt’s railroading influence remains as a vibrant and relevant force.

Members enjoy an exclusive viewing of the exhibition on Wednesday, November 12. Walt’s Circle donors and Friend and Supporter members will be invited to our VIP opening reception on Tuesday, November 11. Become a member today to access these exclusive benefits.

Walt Disney Family Museum to Hold Screening and Talk ‘Marceline: A Tribute to the Town that Walt Loved’

Walt Disney Family Museum - Marceline

Watch a documentary about the small town in Missouri that had a lasting impact on Walt’s life. Hear from  filmmakers Andy and Sara Neitzert, who traveled there to trace the story of Walt’s early years,  and discover the ways in which the town has remained true to the values he so admired. Special guests: Kaye Johnson Malins, Marceline  historian and Director of the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, and Scott Zone, Film Conservator for The Walt Disney Family Foundation.

Tickets: 
$18 members | $20 general | $15 youth (17 and under)

DATE:

Sat, Aug 23

TIME:

3–5pm

LOCATIONThe Theater

Walt Disney Biopic to Air on PBS

Walt Disney

From Variety

PBS and American Experience are taking a look at the man behind the mouse and will air “Walt Disney,” a four-hour, two-night film that aims to explore the life and legacy of the iconic filmproducer and business magnate.

The film is spearheaded by biopic veterans director-producer Sarah Colt (“RFK,” “Henry Ford”) and writer Mark Zwonitzer (“JFK,” “Triangle Fire”) and promises to showcase archival footage and interviews with artists who worked with him on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and Imagineers who helped design Disneyland.

“For many Americans — and for me — the twinkle and swish of the Sunday night Disney logo was pure magic. It was an invitation to a special event,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming officer and general manager, general audience programming for PBS. “For my kids, introducing them to animated Disney movies from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to ‘The Lion King’ brought us great joy and taught them life lessons. Now viewers of all ages can learn about the life and legacy of the man behind the magic and his continuing impact on our lives and culture.”

“Walt Disney is an entrepreneurial and cultural icon,” said American Experience executive producer Mark Samels. “No single figure shaped American culture in the 20th century more than he.”

The TV movie will air in fall 2015 on PBS.