Given that Disneyland is an hour's flight away from me, I'm thankful that this museum is only a 20 minute drive from home, and being a weekly visitor (sometimes more than once a week, guilty!) and having had the pleasure of spending many hours in the museum and getting to know the staff, I can firmly say that Walt would be proud of this museum.
-Walt had, according to Marty Sklar, "one foot in the past, because he loved nostalgia, and one foot in the future, because he loved technology." The museum showcases both these worlds. Its collection of photographs, notes (typed and written), artwork (sketches, paintings, comics, cels, etc.), video, audio, etc. is simply amazing (and to think there will be more on display in the near future!!). Even after five visits I have not seen it all. Aside from all the nostalgia, there are many interactive exhibits -- very high-tech and fun. Exhibit 3 features a 'Rockstar' type of game that allows you to match sounds to "Steamboat Willie." Many of the rooms allow you to pick up a phone (the handset depends on the era you are in!) and listen to audio from Walt or those who knew him. Room 4 has an exhibit devoted to music; you choose one of 4 games and match music to film clips and other fun games. And many rooms have tough-screen computers that let you watch clips and interviews, browse through endless artwork, stills, and audio and video, and more! Especially Exhibit 7, wow!
-You get to know Walt the entertainer, businessman, and the human being. Don't brush aside the family photos of Walt with his wife and kids. Looking at this, I really felt I have known him better. It is amazing watching he and his children grow as you progress through the museum. Right before Exhibit 8, you'll even see his handwritten list of favorite foods (hint: it involves lots of gravy lol). In Exhibit 9 you'll see up-close his toiletries kit, glasses, and the cigars he had made when his grandson Walter was born. Amazing how a lot of this stuff got saved.
-And if you love Disneyland... well, you've heard about the model. It took 5 men I think about 5 months to make this. Notice the detail. I've spent hours looking at it, and everytime I see something new. Hopefully when you visit the train will be working; 4 times out of 5 it has not, in my experience. As of today there is also a new castle replica in the room about half-way through. Downstairs, by the theater and restrooms, are ORIGINAL Disneyland attraction photos.
-The multi-plane camera -- I never knew how enormous it was, but amazing how it revolutionized animation. There used to be a mini multi-plane where you could turn a lever and watch the animation move, but this has since been replaced with a bench. Maybe they are fixing it (have not seen it in 2 weeks).
-Detail, detail, detail. Nothing is spared. Walt once said Disneyland would be dead without detail. They've carried on his philosophy here.
So if you are in our fair city, definitely visit. I can't wait to learn more and to attend the special events and meet some of the living legends who worked with the man. Walt's my hero and I can't get enough of this place.