D23 and the Walt Disney Archives have teamed up to put some amazing Disney treasures on display for the public to see. This massive 12,000 square foot exhibit is the largest and longest lasting exhibit the Reagan Library has ever hosted and required the addition of a large tent extension to be placed adjacent to the exhibit hall. Nearly half of the more than 500 items on display have never been seen by the general public. These items include: early drawings of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the restored, handmade books used in the opening sequences of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, Walt Disney’s own Disneyland name tag, the original Audio-Animatronics from The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree and Pirates of the Caribbean, and costumes worn by Julie Andrews in Marry Poppins, Glenn Close in 101 Dalmations and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean.
An entire section exists devoted to the celebration of presidents and Walt Disney’s connection between himself and President Ronald Reagan. Many movie props and early, personal Walt Disney artifacts have also been displayed.
Of course among my favorites are the artifacts which are personally connected to Walt Disney. The entire first room is dedicated to ‘Walt’s Early Years’ and contains some of the most rare pieces on display. They are so rare and sensitive that flash photography has been baned in that room to ensure preservation of the documents.
Western Union Telegrams sent between Walt and his brother Roy as well as CB Mintz
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Early Laugh O Gram photographs, a stock certificate and an actual megaphone used by Walt Disney
Hand drawn sketches of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Animation script from Steamboat Willie (1928).
Graphite and colored pencil drawings by Ub Iwerks, text typed by Walt Disney
This script was found in Walt’s Desk drawer after his passing.
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The handmade books used in the opening of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty have been restored and are on display
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Herb Ryman’s drawing of the Disneyland concept, used to attract the investors Walt needed to build Disneyland.
Top Left: Walt Disney’s own Disneyland Name Tag, Cast Member No. 1
Top Right: A Parking Pass and Press Invitational to Disneyland’s Dedication on July 17, 1955
Bottom: The first Admission ticket to Disneyland, #000001. Purchased on July 18, 1955 by Roy O. Disney
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Walt Disney’s Formal Office
Following Walt’s death, archivists catalogued every item and it’s location, down to the figurines on Walt’s desk to the order of the books on the shelf.
Walt’s formal office was on display at Disneyland up until the remodeling of the Main Street Opera House for the 2005 50th Anniversary of Disneyland. It was then on display for a few years at Walt Disney World and has been in storage at the Archives ever since.
Walt’s formal office appears at the exhibit as an exact recreation, down to the floor plan, location of the door and exact square footage.
The last room contains an impressive collection of letters from American Presidents
In 1977 Amy Carter, daughter to then President Jimmy Carter, wrote a letter to the Walt Disney Studios on Camp David letterhead, expressing her love for the character “Evinrude” from The Rescuers.
“US President Lyndon B. Johnson writes Mrs. Lillian Disney a sympathy letter on the occasion of Walt’s Death. The letter was special delivery, air mailed to Mrs. Disney on the same day.”
This is only a taste of what the exhibit has to offer, head over to Treasures of Walt Disney Archives: Movie and Theme Park Artifacts on Display to see some of the hundreds of Disney movie props and Disney theme parks artifacts on display as well.
In celebration, Disney and D23 has released the official soundtrack to the event. A Musical Tour: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at The Reagan Library is available as a digital download from Amazon. The album features 23 specially selected songs and instrumental tracks which are featured at the exhibit.
1. “Turkey in the Straw” (from Steamboat Willie)
2. Overture (from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs)
3. Main Title/“Cinderella” (from Cinderella)
4. Main Title/“Once Upon a Dream”/Prologue (from Sleeping Beauty)
5. Walt Disney’s Dedication of Disneyland – July 17, 1955
6. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”
7. “A Spoonful of Sugar” (from Mary Poppins)
8. “Cruella De Vil” (from 101 Dalmatians [Live Action])
9. Alice’s Theme (from Alice in Wonderland)
10. Theme from Tron
11. “Derezzed” (from Tron: Legacy)
12. Captain America March (from Captain America: The First Avenger)
13. Star Tours
14. Fantasmic! Exit Music
15. “Grim Grinning Ghosts”
16. “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)”
17. “He’s a Pirate” (from Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl)
18. “Be Our Guest” (from Beauty and the Beast)
19. “Circle of Life” (from The Lion King)
20. “Under the Sea” (from The Little Mermaid)
21. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” (from Toy Story)
22. National Treasure Suite
23. Main Show: Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln
The D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives opens July 6th at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. Tickets can be purchased online and attendees can select an entry time and date, reducing the wait time to enter the exhibit. You can purchase tickets at the time of your visit, however you may be required to wait in a line to enter.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is located in Simi Valley, CA, about 50 miles north of Downtown Los Angeles. It is home to an amazing exhibit dedicated to our 40th President. The library contains a replica of the Oval Office, key documents, photos and videos related to his presidency, the final resting place and memorial site of Mr. Reagan, as well as the actual Air Force One aircraft which served Presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush.