The Walt Disney Family Museum located in San Francisco, California, is a museum dedicated to Walt Disney it is not affiliated with Disney Enterprises, Inc. It is formally owned, operated and funded by the Walt Disney Family Foundation—a non-profit organization established by Disney’s heirs and founded by Diane Disney Miller.
What is there to do at the Walt Disney Family Museum?
It is a tribute to the man, the father, the husband, the brother, the innovator, the creator, the genius and the dreamer that we love and call Walt Disney. When you are in LA you MUST visit the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Must!
Admission to The Walt Disney Family Museum
You may purchase tickets online through this link or you may purchase tickets upon arrival at the museum.
Ticket prices at publish of this article are as follows:
- Adult $25
- Seniors (ages 65 and over) $20
- Students (with valid ID) $20
- Youth (ages 6-17) $15
- Children 5 and under Free with adult admission
Add on a classic film screening in the Fantasia themed theater for $5 more, with admission.
Group Discounts at the Disney Family Museum
Groups must have 10 or more guests who are age 6 and older to receive the discounted group rate. Groups must purchase their tickets 72 hours prior to their arrival date.
Memberships are available at many different levels with payment plans, if needed.
Walt Disney Family Museum Upcoming Film Screenings:
Treasure Island (1950)
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
The Three Caballeros (1944)
The Little Mermaid (1989)
The Reluctant Dragon (1941)
Free Admission To The Walt Disney Family Museum
Free admission is on December 5th in celebration of Walt Disney’s birthday. Tickets for December 5th are only available in person day of December 5th.
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Self Guided Tour Through The Museum
There are ten permanent galleries, starting with Walt Disney’s ancestral history and ending with his death on December 15th, 1966.
Gallery one chronicles 1901-1923.
The family history and Walt’s love of drawing. Take time to read each plaque and the bits of family history the Disney family has chosen to share with the public.
Did you know Walt fudged his birth year so he could join the military and the war effort?
Gallery two is 1923-1928, The Move To Hollywood.
Walt is ver the innovator and started the Alice comedies. A story of a real girl living in a cartoon world. Could this have been the forefront of Live action and animated films such as Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book? Learn about the letter that started Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios and how the family made the move to California. Visit the marriage certificate between Walt Disney and Lillian Bounds. And it all started with a mouse!
Gallery three covers 1928-1940, Innovation and Exploration.
Where would animation be today if it wasn’t for Walt and his craft of bringing personality to animation? And where would the film industry be today if Walt had not thought of the story board? How would visualization and story concept be communicated within a team of film makers. Also in this gallery we meet the Disney sisters, Diane and Sharon.
Gallery four is about 1936 – 1938 and the Transition into Feature films.
Meet the Moviola, the machine that Walt spent countless hours behind this editor’s viewing machine checking and rechecking to make sure the story was flowing and the animation was conveying the emotions he wanted to evoke. Turn the crank of the museum Moviola and take a step into Walt’s shoes. Even back in the mid 1930’s scenes were cut from film if they were not helpful to a story. See the lost clips of one of Walt’s favorite scened that ended up on the cutting room floor. Also in this gallery we get intorduced to Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
Gallery five takes you from 1939-1940
In this gallery we learn of the painstaking process it took to bring Pinocchio to life. Also see how Walt was ahead of his time and brought live animals into the studio for his animators to observe and sketch, making note over every living detail. In this gallery you will see one of three multi plane projectors. One is here, one is in Anaheim and the other in Disneyland Paris. I have now seen all three!
Gallery six is from 1941-1945 and talks about film and the War Effort.
Learn how the Disney Studios had a hand in creating Propaganda films for the US Government. When the US government asked Walt to go on a tour promoting good will, he went to South America. Saludos Amigos became the Studios’ first Latin American feature, premiering in Rio de Janeiro. Its overwhelming popularity led to the production of The Three Caballeros.
Gallery seven takes place from 1946-1950 and the post war recovery.
See Walt’s hobby of miniatures and the beautiful collections the family is sharing in The Walt Disney Family Museum. We all should have an ‘outlet’ out side of work. For Walt, it was miniatures. This man was all about the details, and I love him more for it. After the war Walt wanted to push the studio further and branch out in their offerings. Live action had a big push and innovating camera equipment for under water photography happened.
Gallery 8 cover 1948 – 1960 and Walt’s love for nature.
In this section on the museum you can gaze out at the Golden Gate bridge and have a seat on one of the benches that Walt would sit on and dream of Disneyland. Don’t pass by the green bench with out taking to take a pause and a selfie.
Gallery 9 is all about Disneyland and beyond from 1950 -1965
Innovation, transportation and imagination were all to be featured in our beloved Disneyland. Read about what it took for Walt to convince investors to help bring Disneyland to life and how LONG it took him.
Gallery 10 is about Remembering Walt Disney 1966
Take this room slowly, cry in this room, feel in this room, be thankful in this room. Dream in this room.
What is there to eat at the Walt Disney Family Museum?
After taking your time through this self guided tour, you are going to be hungry. The food was AH-mazing. Here is a sample of the menu that was available on the day we visited. I am not sure how often they change the menu, but this will give you an idea of what to expect.
The Walt Disney Family Gift Shop.
This museum gift shop, not Disney Wold gift shop. Lots of books, artwork, mugs, pencils, DVDs, CDs, and shirts. I bought 100 post cards featuring art work from classic Disney films for $20. I brought them home and let my kids put together a ‘collection’ that tell a story and we have them hanging in our hallway.
Special exhibits at The Walt Disney Family Museum
Make Believe: The World of Glen Keane
(Mar 8–Sep 3, 2018)
The Walt Disney Family Museum is proud to introduce our newest original exhibition, Make Believe: The World of Glen Keane, showcasing the work of this influential Disney animator and artist. Keane’s dynamic artistic talent brings to life some of the most unforgettable characters of our time, from the imposing Beast and fearless Tarzan, to the daring heroines Ariel, Pocahontas, and Rapunzel. The exhibition, curated by Glen Keane in partnership with Michael Labrie, the museum’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions, opens on March 8, 2018 in the museum’s Theater Gallery and will be on view through September 3, 2018.
This unique exhibition showcases hand-drawn animation and maquettes of Keane’s most iconic Disney characters, from earlier films, including The Fox and the Hound (1981), to more recent works, such as Tangled (2010). Keane’s methodical approach to his work, honed during a 40-year-career that has witnessed profound technological changes in the field of animation, led to a period now recognized as the Disney animation renaissance. Make Believe features images and animation sketches from numerous films, including The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), and Tarzan (1999).
Keane left the Studios in 2012 to pursue new opportunities and shortly after joined Google Spotlight Stories to create a mobile 360 short film with hand-drawn animation. The partnership with Google led to a collaboration with Tilt Brush, an innovative VR drawing tool. Keane first witnessed the technology and its astounding capabilities at a visual effects conference in San Francisco while the app was in its early development stages. website quote.