The Walt Disney Family Museum, located in San Francisco, celebrates the work and life of the famous artist and animator. It was built in 2009 and sits inside a former Army base in the Presidio. The goal is for visitors to learn about the life of Walter Elias Disney by viewing a series of galleries that narrate aspects of his life in chronological order. You'll discover Walt's story through his own words, in the form of letters and other documents, and in the words of people who knew him.
A Variety of Museum Exhibits
The museum is divided into 10 galleries, which are as follows:
- Beginnings - This exhibit features Walt's early years, including childhood photos and early art projects.
- Hollywood - This one showcases some of Walt's early Hollywood work, including the original drawing of Mickey Mouse.
- New Horizons in the 1930s - Discover some of the early Disney short films, such as the Skeleton Dance and the Old Mill by viewing concept art, animation cells, promotional posters and more.
- The Move to Features - See art involved in the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as well as tie-in items produced to commemorate the film's release.
- We Were in a New Business - Learn about how the Walt Disney Company turned a corner after Snow White, growing in size and scope and producing Bambi, Pinocchio and Fantasia.
- The Toughest Period in My Whole Life - Read about how the company managed during the difficult time period of the 1940s. During wartime, the studio became involved in a greater number of diverse projects including films for troops to view.
- Postwar Production - See how Disney ramped things back up after the war ended, creating such films as Robin Hood, Cinderella and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
- Walt and the Natural World - Did you know that Walt Disney made nature documentaries? Learn about Seal Island, the Vanishing Prairie, the African Lion and more.
- The 1950s and 1960s - Check out memorabilia related to Mary Poppins and learn about the creation of the Disneyland theme park.
- December 15, 1966 - Learn about the world's reaction to Walt Disney's death and how his legacy lives on today through other individuals continuing his projects.
Visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum
It's a good idea to plan your trip to the museum in advance instead of just stopping in. The attraction is only open Wednesday to Monday, and the hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can buy tickets up to two months ahead of time, and your tickets will have a specific entry time on them. It is not possible to buy tickets at the door.As of February 2009, ticket prices were as follows:
- $20 for adults 18 to 65
- $15 for students and seniors
- $12 for youth 6 to 17
- Free for kids under 6
To order tickets, go to Disney's website, click on "tickets" and pick your admission time. Times are available every 15 minutes. Note that the museum is fairly large, so you'll want to give yourself at least three hours to make it through all the exhibits. The last entrance time is 4:30 p.m.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is at 104 Montgomery Street near the intersection with Lincoln Boulevard. Parking is available behind the building between Montgomery Street and Graham Street. You can also reach the museum by using public transportation.