I did receive an all expenses paid trip to The Walt Disney Family Museum, but all opinions are my own.
On my recent trip to San Francisco for The Good Dinosaur event (read more about that awesomeness in The Good Dinosaur posts here), we had a chance to stop by The Walt Disney Family Museum. At first, I was a bit confused. I’d lived in California for about three years about ten years ago, and I had no idea that there was a Walt Disney Museum in Northern California. (Epic Disney fan fail there) I did feel a little bit more redeemed when I found out that it was opened in October 2009. (which was after I moved away) . Having my Disney fan status in check, I had a fun time walking into the life of Walt Disney with the interactive exhibits, fun artifacts, and hilarious tidbits we learned about what it was like growing up in the Disney Family.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in el Presidio, one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco. It’s an old military base, that has been converted to many different uses to suit the great city of San Francisco. From the museum windows, you can see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and other amazing views of San Francisco Bay. When we visited, it was the perfect California day, and made the visit to the museum even that much more enjoyable.
I’ve been to quite a few places that talk about Disney history, but I loved this museum because it stretches all the way back to the beginning when Walt Disney was born in 1901. We not only learned about the Disney legacy that he left behind, but we learned about how he became the man that millions of people worldwide have come to know and love. As much as I consider myself an uber Disney fan, there were tons of fun facts that I learned from the museum. For instance, did you know during war time efforts that Walt drove an ambulance? Nope, me neither.
The museum is laid out like a yellow brick road through Disney’s life. It starts when he was born with information about his family tree, and then glides you through how Disney began what we now know as The Walt Disney Studio. It was a fun way to feel like you were walking through the museum with Walt as your guide.
A lot of times museums like this gloss over the bad things that happens in someone’s life, which is kind of annoying because that isn’t reality. That isn’t real life. It really warmed my heart to see that The Walt Disney Family Museum not only shared the triumphs of Walt Disney’s life but also the failures that came along the road to greatness. For me, that is what makes greatness great, when you meet failure in the face and pick yourself back up and try again. That’s truly when you are awesome. Never let anything stand in the way of your dreams, and that’s definitely what Walt Disney did despite many, many set backs.
Over the years, the one thing that I see again and again with Disney employees is the passion that they have for Walt Disney’s journey. The tour guide we had at the Walt Disney Museum was no exception. Sure, you can be a cynic and say that it’s because it’s their job, and you might be right. There is something different between just doing your job and truly believing in the person that you are representing. There are so many people’s lives that Walt Disney touched even after he was gone that I can only hope to have a smidgeon of that affect of people when I am gone. It’s really inspiring how one man could change so much of the world, and it all began with a few simple drawings of a mouse.
If you are in the San Francisco area, or if you are planning a family vacation there, I HIGHLY suggest that you take the time to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum. They have great never before seen artifacts, like the actual living room set Walt Disney used to have in his Disneyland apartment, and the fun tidbits you learn not only about Walt, but about his family are really interesting and not something you will hear about at other Disney museums. My parents are super Disney nuts, and I hope one day to take them to The Walt Disney Family museum so they can learn more about one of their heros too!
To learn more about The Walt Disney Family museum you can visit them on their website here: http://www.waltdisney.org/
Hours: The Museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays through Mondays. Closed Tuesdays, and January 1, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25. Admission: Admission can be purchased at the door or at waltdisney.org. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $12 for children 6 to 17.
Admission is free for members and children under 6. Movies are $7 for adults and $5 for children. For information about annual memberships, please check waltdisney.org/membership.
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