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  1. #1

    • Joe Flowers
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    Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Theresa, Ruston, Jacob and I have had the opportunity to see so many cool parts of Disneyland, including the Dream Suite, Club 33, the 1901 Lounge, an after-hours tour of Disneyland, and so much more. What's left? The four of us have actually had that conversation before. Walt's apartment was high on the list!

    On Saturday, the four of us were able to tour Walt Disney's private apartment inside Disneyland.

    In order to keep tabs on the building of Disneyland and also as a retreat during the day, Walt Disney had an apartment built above the Disneyland Fire Department on Main Street.

    Every fire department needs a fireman's pole! This particular pole happens to lead to Walt's apartment!

    Climbing up the pole, we emerged into the apartment. I climbed up first, then helped Theresa. Ruston and Jacob followed.

    We're here! Inside Walt's old apartment!
    ... well no, that's not quite how it happened.

    One of our Disney friends was invited to take a tour of Walt's apartment and invited us to join them! We first met up at the 1901 Lounge in DCA to recount everything that's been going on in our lives for the past few months.

    We all enjoyed the drinks and the company until it was time for our tour.

    The lounge was pretty crowded so I didn't want to get up and take a bunch of photos, but you can find a few of my past photos here and here.

    This seems to be a rotating display inside the lounge. I remember previously seeing Snow White and I think Pinocchio. Today we see Dumbo so I wonder if Bambi will be showing up next.

    We walked from DCA over to DL and waited for our tour guide to arrive. We're all excited to get to explore something that's been our list for a while!

    At 1pm, our tour guide Emily came and invited us and a couple other groups to see Walt's apartment.

    We entered the backstage area through this Cast Members Only doorway and at this point we were told we were officially "backstage" and all cameras had to be put away. Aww...

    Just behind this doorway, was a green staircase that led to the 2nd floor of the firehouse. A doormat with a large D was in front of a white door with an old fashioned doorbell. We were allowed to ring the doorbell then invited inside. There were three different cast members inside the apartment and we were asked to put down all our bags and cameras while inside. They said it was to preserve the magic of where we were.

    They told us the history of the room, showed us where Walt and Lillian slept (in separate beds on either side of the room). We saw the kitchenette with a mini-fridge and a small sandwich press that Walt used to make himself grilled cheese sandwiches and also to heat up chili where he'd eat it directly out of the can.

    Lastly, we were shown the bathroom with a full shower with four separate shower heads. Walt really liked to "plus" things up.

    At the end of the tour they asked everyone to place their cameras on the kitchenette counter where a cast member would take a photo for you to commemorate your visit.

    Time to make our exit! Down the firepole we slid into the Fire Station below.

    Wheeee!

    Ok, no, not really. The space above the pole was patched up a long time ago when a precocious young boy shimmied up the pole and found a napping Walt Disney up top (so the story goes).

    I would have loved to see the patio area where Lillian entertained guests, but that'll be a bit of magic to save for another time.

    When Walt lived here, he'd leave the light by the window on. Many times it would be on late into the night and early in the morning. As a tribute to Walt, that light is now kept 24/7, 365 to symbolize Walt's spirit always being here in the parks (with the exception of when members of the Disney family are in the park out of respect).

    A great big Thank You goes out to our friends who invited us to join them on this amazing tour! It's something we've always wanted to do and it was great to finally experience it!

    If you'd like to see a little bit more of Disneyland close up, including a visit to Walt's Apartment, you can book the Walk in Walt's Footsteps tour. It's $109 per person for a 3 hour tour ($84.20 with if you're an annual passholder), with a stop at Walt's apartment, a ride on the Disneyland Railroad, Peter Pan, and it's a small world. When it wasn't under construction, this tour also included a stop at the Club 33 lobby, though now I'm not sure what has replaced it.

    For those who would like to see a little bit more of the apartment right now, Inside The Magic was given the amazing opportunity to record the tour. Much of what we heard was nearly verbatim with what was said in the video below.


    Also, not everyone is prohibited from taking photographs inside. You can see a few more views including the patio and the bathroom from Davelandweb and this other site.

  2. #2

    • formerly very helpful
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Have I mentioned how I want to live the life you have? But seriously, you guys get to do the most amazing Disney things anyone could ever hope to experience.
    Like before, this was a great trip report. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3

    • Done with MC.
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Great stuff, thanks for posting this!

  4. #4

    • Disneyland Dreamer
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Great TR!! A few questions, were you able to take a test shot or two to dial in the camera settings before handing it over to the CM? Your pics have the EXIF stripped, so I can't see how they were shot. I am planning to take the tour this fall, because I'm sure they'll remove Walt's apt sooner than later ala the Lilly Belle.

    I'm amazed at the great things you get to do!!! 1901 and Walt's Apt in the same day!!! You and T are looking great, I must not be keeping you up too much. Keep up the great TRs!

  5. #5

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    Have I mentioned how I want to live the life you have? But seriously, you guys get to do the most amazing Disney things anyone could ever hope to experience.
    Like before, this was a great trip report. Thanks for sharing.
    We've definitely been lucky enough to do some pretty amazing things!


    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Great TR!! A few questions, were you able to take a test shot or two to dial in the camera settings before handing it over to the CM? Your pics have the EXIF stripped, so I can't see how they were shot. I am planning to take the tour this fall, because I'm sure they'll remove Walt's apt sooner than later ala the Lilly Belle.

    I'm amazed at the great things you get to do!!! 1901 and Walt's Apt in the same day!!! You and T are looking great, I must not be keeping you up too much. Keep up the great TRs!
    Hmm. I wasn't aware Lightroom was stripping the EXIF when I exported. I'll have to check into that. [EDIT: Looks like it's not Lightroom but the site I host the images on that removes the EXIF. Weird.]
    I asked and was allowed to adjust the settings on my camera. I didn't take a test shot, but the cast member looked at the photo and said it was okay, then zoomed in a little more and took another shot.

    I shot at ISO 3200, f/4.5 with my 10-22mm lens. That worked out to 1/100th second. I also used my external flash and shot in rapid mode, so when he held down the shutter, I got 2-3 shots. If I had to do it again, I might bracket a few shots.

    Ian had started sleeping through the nights now, so it's been a little easier. We've been enjoying getting him out of the house more! Got to keep these TRs going!

    Looking forward to seeing your next TR too. Going out for Dapper Day?

  6. #6

    • Mrs. J. Depp
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Ahh so THIS is why I needed to check out the blog!!


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  7. #7

    • Disneyland Dreamer
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Quote Originally Posted by mre200200 View Post
    Hmm. I wasn't aware Lightroom was stripping the EXIF when I exported. I'll have to check into that. [EDIT: Looks like it's not Lightroom but the site I host the images on that removes the EXIF. Weird.]
    I asked and was allowed to adjust the settings on my camera. I didn't take a test shot, but the cast member looked at the photo and said it was okay, then zoomed in a little more and took another shot.

    I shot at ISO 3200, f/4.5 with my 10-22mm lens. That worked out to 1/100th second. I also used my external flash and shot in rapid mode, so when he held down the shutter, I got 2-3 shots. If I had to do it again, I might bracket a few shots.
    Never thought of bringing my SB600 speedlight, but that's not a bad idea. Let the camera choose the shot if someone else is shooting I guess.

    Ian had started sleeping through the nights now, so it's been a little easier. We've been enjoying getting him out of the house more! Got to keep these TRs going!
    You are a lucky guy. Our little one still gets up at 3-4am every day.


    Looking forward to seeing your next TR too. Going out for Dapper Day?
    Nope, dual birthday celebration in October for my oldest and youngest. Planning now, probably 13th-19th.

  8. #8

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Quote Originally Posted by IzzyInWonderland View Post
    Ahh so THIS is why I needed to check out the blog!!
    Well it certainly wasn't to check out my review of Taco Bell's new breakfast and the new waffle taco.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    Never thought of bringing my SB600 speedlight, but that's not a bad idea. Let the camera choose the shot if someone else is shooting I guess.

    You are a lucky guy. Our little one still gets up at 3-4am every day.

    Nope, dual birthday celebration in October for my oldest and youngest. Planning now, probably 13th-19th.
    Yeah, it's definitely not very bright in there. That plus the bright windows make it a difficult shot.

    We're in the middle of sleep training, but he's sleeping until 6am or so. I'm not going to complain too much.

  9. #9

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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Very cool. Congrats on the trip. A different member treated me to the same a week earlier and just getting in there is like an impossible dream realized. Those shower-heads were kind of trippy, Walt really tried to think of everything. I made a grilled cheese sandwich yesterday in honor of that kitchenette. Great pics, great trip report! Thanks for sharing.

  10. #10

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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Joe- How have you gotten to do all of these AMAZING things?? Very jealous girl over here!

  11. #11

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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Ok I'm jealous. How fun that must have been. Love the pics you take! Thanks for sharing them like you do and all the little details you can't take pics of.
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  12. #12

    • Elk Grove Chris
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Ya, these guys get around. Sure am glad they share the great times, thanks.
    They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe

  13. #13

    • Mrs. J. Depp
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Quote Originally Posted by mre200200 View Post
    Well it certainly wasn't to check out my review of Taco Bell's new breakfast and the new waffle taco.
    Which I also enjoyed


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  14. #14

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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    What a wonderful experience - I hope to see it someday. Thanks for sharing!

  15. #15

    • Joe Flowers
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    Re: Joe's tour of Walt Disney's Apartment above the Main Street Firehouse

    Quote Originally Posted by fifthrider View Post
    Very cool. Congrats on the trip. A different member treated me to the same a week earlier and just getting in there is like an impossible dream realized. Those shower-heads were kind of trippy, Walt really tried to think of everything. I made a grilled cheese sandwich yesterday in honor of that kitchenette. Great pics, great trip report! Thanks for sharing.
    I did something similar! I decided against putting it in the trip report, but after the tour, we went to the La Brea Bakery. While they didn't offer plain grilled cheese, I got the grilled ham and cheese in honor of one of Walt's favorite foods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ash0338 View Post
    Joe- How have you gotten to do all of these AMAZING things?? Very jealous girl over here!
    I'll be the first to admit we've been extremely lucky. Some of our adventures we've put together ourselves, but a lot of things have been through the generosity of others.

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