Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Walt Disney Family Museum

The hubby and I have been lucky enough to travel to San Francisco a few times (both together and separately) and have done a lot of the "touristy" things. Before we made our way to the Golden City for the San Francisco Marathon, I put a call out on social media for suggestions of any hidden gems that we may not have seen before.

Quite a few people mentioned the Walt Disney Family Museum and surprisingly neither of us had ever visited. Well, seeing as our wiener dog is named after the man himself, we decided it was a MUST for this trip.

Our SF adventure started Friday morning (around 3:45am), driving from San Diego to the Muir Woods and exploring a bit around the national monument [I promise I'll post a recap of that soon]. From there we made our way to Berkley to grab dinner and see the area (neither of us had ventured over that bridge) before parking and checking into our hotel.

Isn't nature AMAZING?! 

Saturday morning the game plan was to hit up the museum before making our way to the race expo (there was a #WeRunSocial meet-up scheduled at 2pm, but other than that we were pretty free).

The hubby had seen on the hotel's website we could borrow bikes. Since the museum was about 3.5 miles from the hotel, we thought that would be a perfect mode of transportation (originally I suggested grabbing an Uber from the hotel to the museum and then walking to the expo {which was about a mile and a half} and back to the hotel {which was another mile and a half}). Unfortunately, when we checked at the front desk there was only one bike left. #Bummer-ruski

Ryan forgot my Uber suggestion (or misunderstood the time table I had originally laid out), so we just started walking - apparently 9.5 miles of hiking the day before wasn't going to hold us down ;) Thankfully SF is very pedestrian friendly.

The museum is located inside of the Presidio of San Francisco (once an active military base, now a national park).

By the time we arrived it was around 11am. Friends had told us they would normally allot anywhere from 1.5 hours to all day to see everything, but with the expo to get to by 2pm, we ended up spending about 2 hours exploring the museum.

The price of tickets is fairly expensive (maybe it's because we don't often go to museums or maybe this is extra pricey, just like the rest of San Francisco), but we happily paid the $25 per person for the basic admission.

There are 10 galleries to explore throughout the museum. Early Beginnings - included background info of when Walt was growing up (boyhood memories from growing up on a farm to different experiences that would shape his career path). The Move To Hollywood - explained all about his venture on opening a new studio and falling in love. Exploring New Horizons - talked about adding sound and color into Walt's ideas (we got to play a little game that showed how difficult having to sync the sounds with the movies were). The Transition Into Features - showed the big step Walt (and his team) took to enter the world of feature films (as opposed to shorts they were used to doing). New Success & Greater Ambitions - dove into the ideas of Bambi, Pinocchio and Fantasia. Patriotic Contributions - went into a trip Walt took to Latin America and the influences it had on him. Postwar Rebuilding - displayed some of the live-action features (including 20,000 Leagues Under The sea). Walt & The Natural World - depicted Walt's experiments working with nature and introducing it to audiences with a True-Life Adventure documentary series. Disneyland & Beyond - took Walt's dream of creating an amusement park (originally he want it adjoined to their art studios) into a reality. Remembering Walt Disney - looked back over the legacy of creativity and imagination that this man left behind.

Ryan and I both agreed that our favorite galleries were the Disneyland & Beyond (the model replica of Disneyland {or Walt's ideas for it} was fan-freakin'-tastic) and The Move To Hollywood (we listened to an employee give a 10-15 minute talk about Walt's move to Hollywood and eventual creation of Mickey Mouse - well worth it!).

Can you see the teacups in the middle of this picture? They even spun around!

Since when Walt originally picked out the plot of land in Anaheim for Disneyland it was a bunch of orange
trees, you can an homage to them in the lower right corner of the photo above.

It's A Small World

I can't even imagine how much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears go into hand animation!


We loved seeing all of the old memorabilia throughout the museum

To be honest, there is a TON of information in the museum (so much so that at times it can be a tad overwhelming). I can totally understand how someone could spend all day there (although you would need a couple snack breaks ;)). There is so much to see, read, watch and learn. Due to our time restraints there were quite a few things we had to breeze by. Even still, I think we both walked away with a better understanding about Walt and his amazingness!


There are also additional exhibits you could explore (for an additional cost), as well as a film of the month (which also required an additional ticket). Had we had the time, I definitely would've wanted to check out Awaking Beauty: The Art of Eyvind Earle, which was one of the current exhibits (Earle is best known as the lead stylist for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and for concept art that shaped such enduring favorites as Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan.).


I am sort of surprised that we had never been here before, but don't fret, I doubt this will be our only visit. I would highly recommend this place to not only strictly Disney lovers - I think everyone would enjoy it!


Do you enjoy going to museums?


Leah said...

Going there is on my bucket list! I feel like $25 is a steal, I paid $20 last year to walk around a historical botanic garden and that wasn't nearly as interesting -_-.

Unknown said...

We spent about 5 hours there last year and I still would have loved to have spent more time in some of the exhibits. My brain was pretty saturated at that point though! That model is so amazing! When we were there we heard an employee speaking about the development of the monorail. Super interesting!

JennMascari said...

My friend and I went on Monday after the half! Loved it so much!

San said...

That's amazing. I never knew about this museum! Gotta check it out sometime!