The Reporter (Vacaville)
Article Launched: 06/19/2005 08:02:24 AM
For her, he was Dad, not Uncle Walt
By Leo N. Holzer/Assistant News Editor
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Diane has another gift for her father - the Walt Disney Family Museum, something that she's been planning for several years. It will be housed in a refurbished building at The Presidio in San Francisco.
"We chose San Francisco because we're living here," Diane said. "I knew it had to be in a population center and there's a lot of tourism in San Francisco.
"We moved everything to a warehouse in San Francisco ... Academy Awards, photos, all sorts of stuff.
"I just thought it would be a little family museum, maybe I'd pour tea or something," she said, laughing. "Then our second son, Walt, said: 'Mom, we have to do more for Grandpa.' People would expect more from this guy and his family."
Diane said the museum will be in a beautiful brick building. "We'll offer an audio visual walk-through about his life" - from before his birth, through his childhood, his service in the Red Cross during World War I, to his films, TV shows, Disneyland and how his legacy has influenced today's society.
The museum will include a learning center, and archive. "We're going to do it right. It's going to take about four years because of all the renovation," Diane said. "To me it's kind of in my dad's spirit to renovate an old building."
Diane hopes to pay operational costs with proceeds from a small cafe and bookstore at the site. She wants to keep admission free.
"What I've learned working on the museum and listening to people is that they really want this ... I have no doubt that people will come."
With a little luck, the museum might work to boost Walt's standing with the youth of today and future generations.
Diane hopes it will help to paint an accurate picture of an American original who had pixie dust in his pocket and a dream of a better world.