While we were in San Francisco, it was a big part of our plans to get to the Walt Disney Family Museum. The museum contains the life and legacy of Walt Disney. As Disney-philes, we were excited to tour and experience this exhibit. In the end we spent nearly three hours there and felt like we could have stayed longer.
It is $20 for adults and they give AAA discounts, so be sure to ask.
In trying to put together this post, I realized I had over 500 pictures, and knew I could not post them all. So, I have posted them in an online album, so you can experience everything. Click the link to view all of the pictures.
To get to the museum, we took a bus most of the way from our hotel in the Financial District to the historic district of Presidio. Then we had about a half mile walk. The Walt Disney Family Museum is in Presidio of San Francisco. It is very close to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Upon arriving into the museum, Walt was there to greet us. Well not actually.
Before I start to review the museum, they had a temporary special event in another building honoring the works of Mary Blair. It was actually the last day of the event, so we were glad to have been able to see the display.
Mary Blair was probably one of Walt most prized art director. She worked on some of his most famous works such as Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, & Song of the South. She is also know for her work at the parks, especially It’s A Small World. There is also a large mural in the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World that she is credited with developing. Here is a slideshow of a few of the pictures from the exhibit. There are more in the above online album link.
After touring the Mary Blair exhibit, we returned to the main museum.
After getting your ticket before touring the museum, the lobby has many honors and awards presented to Disney during his career. For those that know Disney well, the lobby includes the special Oscar award he received for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, consisting of an academy Award statuette mounted on a stepped base with seven miniature duplicates.
Once you make it through all the awards, it is at this point you must show your ticket to begin the all tour of the museum. The museum is arranged in a chronological tour of Walt & his family’s life. Since it is chronological, it would obviously start with Walt’s childhood in the early 1900s. Throughout the entire there are many pictures, artifacts, and videos to which Walt describes is past. It was so neat to hear it in his own words. Many attribute most of Walt’s life to Marceline, but his beginning started in Chicago. Here is just one of the many photos in this section.
The next section shows Walt’s young adult life. Walt actually served in the military.
After the war efforts, Walt returned to develop his business. But he ran into many hard times during it’s infancy. Here is a recap of the early 20s.
Because of the hard times, Walt thought that the only way for him to gain knowledge and attention was to move to Hollywood. So in 1923 with $40 in his pocket he headed for Hollywood, leaving Kansas City behind. Once there, here is the timeline for the next five years. Sorry for the blurriness.
It was during this time frame that Walt developed his first character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Wait, who? Not Mickey? Nope. It was Oswald the Rabbit.
In 1928, Walt was on a trip to New York to develop a contract for Oswald. While he was away, he got word via telegram that his middleman, Charles Mintz, was manipulating behind his back. Mintz thought he could do better and took Walt’s staff, and said he could do it cheaper. It was here that Walt learned a lesson and cut out the middlemen. Thus, the birth of MICKEY! Here is a picture of the earliest known drawings of Mickey.
Walt’s life continued to progress through the mid 30s.
Mickey Mouse was first introduced in Silly Symphonies.
Because of Walt’s distrust of middlemen and others after his issues with Mintz and the loss of Oswald, he was the voice of Mickey in the early days.
In the late 30s Walt begins to experience some of the spoils of his work. In 1937, the world premier of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs took place. If you read my post of our tour of the Walt Disney Studios, you would know that everything he earned from this movie went toward building his first studio, The Hyperion.
It is at this point that I am realizing that this is becoming a long post. So I have decided to break this up into multiple parts. Stay tuned for part 2 later this week as we pick up in the late 30s early 40s.