Sunday, October 25, 2009

Disney Family Museum -- October 25, 2009

Today we visited the new Disney Family Museum in the Presidio. The print-at-home ticket came with almost a full page of tips and dos and don'ts. We had tickets for 1-1:15 pm admission. Driving through the Presidio from the 25th Avenue gate was tricky because of traffic diversions for the Doyle Drive replacement project.
We walked around a bit and looked at the area behind the museum. The family visited the gift shop. When the time came, we went in and found ourselves in a room full of awards that Walt Disney had received over the years. From there, we joined a line waiting to have our tickets scanned to enter the galleries.
The first gallery talked about the first Disneys coming to Canada, then the US, and the birth of Walt and his siblings. From there, we went to a gallery where it talked about Walt's early work experience and his volunteer service in WWI. The display included a Model T ambulance, like the one he drove. The next gallery talked about Walt's early exposure to animation, and included some of the Laugh-o-Gram productions on screens. There was a Universal camera, like the one Walt used. From there, we entered an elevator. Santa Fe heralds were on the doors. Inside, it looked like a train car, with windows on the sides. As we rose to the second floor, Walt talked about his trip from Kansas City to Hollywood.
The first gallery upstairs talked about Walt's early experiences in Hollywood, with the Alice in Cartoonland films. There was a nice Pathe camera, and a Bell and Howell. The next gallery talked about Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and the beginning of Mickey Mouse. The favorite item there was an opportunity to watch part of "Steamboat Willy" and try to supply the sound effects.
From there we went to a gallery which talked about Silly Symphonies and the growth of Mickey Mouse and other characters. After that was a section on the multiplane and other technical innovations. A large gallery talked about the pre-war features. After that was a section on the strike, which featured beautifully drawn and lettered picket signs, and the war and the South American tour.
The next gallery talked about the post-war features, animated and live action. At the back of the museum was a long ramp with a display on the True Life Adventures, and huge windows with a beautiful view of the Golden Gate. After that was a gallery on the Carolwood Pacific, Disneyland, and television. The family was very excited by the large model of Disneyland, which featured old and new attractions. The display ended with a gallery on Walt's death.
There were many home movies, family photos, and other mementos of the family throughout the museum. I enjoyed those.
The museum was worth a visit.
Update 26-October-2009. In the earlier galleries, people used old-fashioned phone receivers to hear audio at certain stations. The clips for hanging the receivers were set up wrong, so that the big end of the receiver was held, rather than the small end.

No comments: