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Walt Disney Family Museum Opens in San Francisco

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At the new Walt Disney Family Museum, opening in San Francisco on October 1, you can catch a glimpse of Walt Disney, the man, before there was an empire. Before his animation career took off, Walt spent his childhood in rural Missouri and Kansas City, and worked a newspaper route and drove an ambulance in World War I.

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In the ten galleries that trace his work from its beginnings (Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, 1937) to his last creations (Mary Poppins, 1964) you’ll discover some intriguing little-known facts:

+ In 1949, Disney sent a team of naturalists to Alaska for a year to “film anything they might find interesting.” The result was "Seal Island," a nature documentary that won an Academy Award.

+ The movie Fantasia, which opened to mixed reviews in 1940, nearly sent his studio flailing into bankruptcy.

+  In 1942, Disney Studios released Saludos Amigos, a series of animated shorts ("Lake Titicaca,” “Aquarela do Brasil,” "Pedro," about a baby airplane, and “El Gaucho Goofy," in which the floppy-eared character moonlights as a cowboy in Argentina)—woven together by footage of Walt and his team touring Latin America.

+ EPCOT means Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—an idea that preceded New Urbanism by some 30 years.

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The museum houses the first sketches of Mickey Mouse; scribbled ideas about Disneyland, even home movies, and its bones are equally striking—a former barracks in San Francisco’s Presidio, with interiors by the Rockwell Group.

 


Guest blogger Alison Goran is a freelance contributor to Travelandleisure.com.



Photos courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Foundation (c) Disney

 

 

 

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