The Walt Disney Family Museum has received a fantastic gift from the master of mechanical movement. Founded by Dianne Disney Miller, the Museum opened in San Francisco’s Presido district in 2009. The museum is beloved by Disney fans.
One such fan is the founder of one of the most prolific and successful animatronic factories in the themed entertainment industry. Motivated by all of the amazing things he had seen on his visits to Disneyland, Garner Holt founded his company in 1977. “Without Walt’s intense love for the art and technology of animatronics, my company would not exist,” said Garner. “I was inspired at a young age by the animatronics at Disneyland. My interest in them played a major role in getting started with my own business.”
Garner’s gift to the Walt Disney Family Museum started with a visit he made shortly after the museum’s opening. “The whole time I was walking through, I was looking forward to the animatronics section,” Holt said. “I thought this part of Walt’s legacy needed special recognition and that maybe we could add something kinetic to the Museum.” Garner Holt Productions has presented an Audio-Animatronic “tiki bird” to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio, a donation recognizing Walt Disney’s pioneering achievements with the famous theme park technology.
Holt thought an Audio-Animatronic re-creation of the “Barker Bird” that once entertained guests outside the Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room attraction at Disneyland would make an appropriate addition. Combined with a brief film recounting of the introduction of Audio-Animatronics technology in the early 1960s and an interactive control joystick so Museum visitors can manipulate the motions of the animated bird, the exhibit is housed within an existing alcove featuring a new purpose-built stage with a brushed stainless steel and glass railing. Pretty nifty, eh?
One of our readers, Suzanne Lee, recently visited the Walt Disney Family Museum to experience the new exhibit. Here’s what she had to say about it . . .
The Walt Disney Family Museum has a new and welcome addition in Gallery 9 (the 1950s & 1960s): Pepe del Presidio, a replica by Garner Holt Productions of the Tiki Room Barker Bird.
Pepe introduces a brief film about the Magic of Audio-Animatronics, and gives you a chance to use a joystick to rotate and nod his head, move his beak, puff his chest and move his body forward and back.
The Barker Bird brings much needed life to this section of the Museum.
The Barker Bird is quite the amazing gift. You can learn more about Pepe del Presidio and the Walt Disney Family Museum HERE.