Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A visit to the Disney Family Museum



Had a chance to visit the Disney Family Museum at the former San Francisco Fort Presidio  over the weekend.   Not too many people know that this little gem exists inside the Fort which also houses ILM and a host of other businesses and organizations.  The museum is a historical tribute to the life of Walt Disney and contains photos, memorabilia, and exhibits.  It portrays his life, his family's life, and his development from a cartoon artist to one of the most iconic people in history.  It also contains space for workshops a small theater, gift shop, and even a coffee shop for those that get hungry during their visit.


animated displays along with photo fill the walls


Workshops for kids on animation

Winding through multiple floors and a couple of buildings, the museum is a must see for Disney fans.  What I found amazing was how very close to the edge of bankruptcy Walt Disney came in a number of occasions and betting the farm on his next venture - only to succeed beyond his wildest dreams.  He was above all, an innovator who was always pushing the edge of technology and entertainment to bring the entertainment to the masses.  Disneyland was his creative canvass to bring this to the masses.  In a way, I miss the old days when Disney and Disneyland brought out attractions that existed no where else and had people and competitors wondering just how they did it.


I distinctly remember when Disneyland brought out the concept of audio-animatronics.  The enchanted tiki room, Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Great moments with Abraham Lincoln, etc.  Now years later, its again being introduced in new attractions.


One of the highlights of the museum was the mock-up of Disneyland.  It was a bit outdated and did not include the changes since the addition of California Adventures and a few ride revisions were omitted but its still a fascinating display of detail.  And detail is what set Disney apart from his peers.  It was once televised that the Disney maintenance organization knew when every single light bulb in the park was installed and based on the expected lifespan of the bulb, would change it in time so that there would be no burned out bulbs that the public would see.  One of the highlights of the museum was the mock-up of Disneyland.  It was a bit outdated and did not include the changes since the addition of California Adventures and a few ride revisions were omitted but its still a fascinating display of detail.  And detail is what set Disney apart from his peers.  It was once televised that the Disney maintenance organization knew when every single light bulb in the park was installed and based on the expected lifespan of the bulb, would change it in time so that there would be no burned out bulbs that the public would see.  

Disneyland scale model




Ambulance Walt Disney drove during the war

Seniors and AAA members get discounts and expect to spend a few hours to see the museum thoroughly.   Free parking is available outside.




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