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  1. #1

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    WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    I got this idea when I heard that the Museum has been having trouble meeting its visitor projections. Having been there twice in the last year, I put it down to the obscure location. (Even once you're inside the Presidio, it's hard to find.) It's such a great place, I couldn't imagine any other reason...until I heard about the agreement between the Disney corporation and the Disney family.

    Apparently, all advertising material has to be shown to Disney and approved before being used. That got me to thinking. (A dangerous pastime, I know. ) The tension between family and company over the management and use of Walt's work is well known. Do you suppose DisneyCorp would deliberately try to hamstring the advertising in order to undermine the Museum? If they feel a particular piece of advertising might be "too effective," would they nix it on purpose?

    I mean, the whole point of the Museum is to show the human side of Walt Disney, to show that he was a real person, not just an empty corporate symbol. Such a stance probably isn't in line w/ the company, who likes its empty corporate symbol just fine, thank you.

    What do you think?
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  2. #2

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Actually, I think the opposite is the case.

    It is in WDC best interest to see the Museum succeed. The more the Museum can humanize Walt, the less the Company was to live up to the iconic image of Walt, which is inaccurate in many areas. But, care must be taken because Walt Disney the company, still has a marketing message that needs to be put out there, and Walt Disney the man does have some unwarranted excessive baggage which must be address with caution.

    As far as the location, Walt's family made a bold move to put the Museum at the Presidio, and may have been a bit optimistic in it attendance projections. The Presidio, and particularly the barracks have yet to become a real destination, and with the Museum the only attraction at that end of the base and the other barracks in restoration, it is going to taken some time to create that draw.

    Most museums don't get a lot of recognition in general. I was at an event done at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and met a gentlement who is a big enough Disney fan that he's a Club 33 member, yet he had no knowledge of the Museum. I offered him the opportunity to be my guest the next time he is in town.

    I am a member of the Museum and cross promote at every opportunity. I wear my WDFM ball cap (with member pins) almost exclusively and recommend the Museum to anyone who'll stand still long enough to listen. And after the experience with this Club 33 member and at my wife recommendation, I grabbed a handful of Join and Discover brochures from the gift shop to hand out when I'm out and about. I encourage other member to do the same.

  3. #3

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    I just visited the Museum finally and really enjoyed it. I hope that it succeeds. It is a treasure for Northern California fans.

  4. #4

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    ^^^
    Always happy to hear that someone has had an enjoy able experience at the Museum.

  5. #5

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    I don't think the company would try to doom the museum. They've even had D23 events there. But... it IS in a really obscure location. This museum would be AMAZING if it were in anaheim and way more appropriate. It's such a great museum though and probably that good because the company DIDN'T get involved.


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  6. #6

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Yes it is a bit obscure, right now. But, as more activities are happening on the Presidio that is changing. Besides, The Presidio is probably one of the prettiest former military bases in the country, and it is great to see them working to bring new function while maintaining the historical value. The retrofit of the Museum building is one great example.

    As far as how appropriate San Francisco is over Anaheim, I think SF is quite appropriate.

    If the Museum were in Anaheim, I don't think you'd see Walt's family there as often. With most of them in the Bay Area, it an hour's drive for most. I have seen Diane and Ron there for almost every one of the sessions they hold up there, and I've seen Walt on several occassion. I even had the opportunity to meet two of Diane and Ron's daugthers there recently. I don't know that people would have that happen as often were the Museum in Anaheim.

    I am also happy that WDC is supporting the Museum while not in control of running it, and I know it is a bit selfish of me, but, I am happy the Museum is right where it is now.

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Yes, well... If I lived up there, I would be happy with that too.


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  8. #8

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    I kind of like how the Family Museum is non-corporate. A lot of it is Diane's personal collection of mementos of her father, and when someone has something interesting, they should be able to share it with other people. It's not so much a business as a place to share history. So much of Disney so corporate and it's nice to see something that is really memories over business. I really the company is considerate enough to let the Millers keep doing this.

  9. #9

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Well, as to why the Walt Disney Family Museum is in San Francisco and not Anaheim, it was my understanding that the Walt Disney Family, at least some of them, live in the San Francisco area and have a winery the Silverado Vineyards Winery in Napa Valley near San Francisco.

    Also the museum is in San Francisco instead of Anaheim because Diane Marie Disney, Walt's daughter, wanted at one time, as little to do with the executives of the Walt Disney Company as possible. Whether that is still true, I don't know.

    But I would think the Walt Disney Company is hardly interested in sinking the family museum. For when the "Disney Wonder" makes its journey from Los Angeles to Vancouver, British Columbia, and stops in San Francisco, one of the tours being offered through the ship is a visit to the family museum. And it would seem likely that they would hardly offer that, if they wanted to sink the family museum.
    Last edited by TheTexasKid; 03-04-2011 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Last sentence in reply was poorly worded

  10. #10

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Spoiler
    Uh... most everybody knows that Diane Disney Miller does the intro to the new Bambi blu-ray, right? Her short spiel is kind of robotic (dare I say animatronic?), but at least it shows a collaboration - even on a small scale - between the Disney museum and the Walt Disney Company...


    Found this thread and wanted to jump in with my two cents. As a fan, I'm just happy that all of those amazing Disney artifacts and memorabilia are out of cardboard boxes (gasp!) and on display for public view. As a former student of art history and museum studies (yes, it's a legitimate field!), I'm elated that these 1000s of items (everything from collectibles to the famous Snow White Oscar to animation cells and photographs) are finally seeing the light of day in a much-deserved setting. Obviously, Anaheim would have made sense for the location of the Disney Family Museum, but couldn't the same be said of Griffith Park or Burbank, since the family obviously spent time there, too?

    The important thing is that this museum serves the public and Disney fans, and gets supported in return. Last summer Disney historian/author Jeff Kurti (author of the "Art of..." books such as "Art of Disneyland") made an appearance at a mini-convention, where he spoke a bit about the Disney Family Museum and how he helped consult at the request of Diane Disney Miller. There wasn't much anti-WDC talk at all, in fact it seems like WDC and it's non-theme park offerings (D23, DCL, ABD) have alot to gain (indirect vacation profits) by fans traveling to the Bay Area to visit the Disney Family Museum.

  11. #11

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Quote Originally Posted by Second Star View Post
    Actually, I think the opposite is the case.

    It is in WDC best interest to see the Museum succeed. The more the Museum can humanize Walt, the less the Company was to live up to the iconic image of Walt, which is inaccurate in many areas.
    I think just the opposite, humanizing Walt makes his own person accomplishments all that more real. The Company loves to pay lip service and would probably not like the real comparison between their founders creative risks, both successes and failures, and their lip service on market researched branding initiatives that are safe.

    Disney also makes money off selling the history of the company, from authorized biographies, to documentaries, to television specials and so on and so forth. Another entity being able to legitimately perform that function is competition to what was once a monopoly. I think, had a Walt Disney museum been pursued by anybody other than Walt's own daughter, that Disney would have passed and/or been clearly hostile to the idea.

  12. #12

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    I will agree that humanizing Walt does make his accomplishments more real, and I'll add amazing to the description. However, I see current management taking a continued, and IMO somewhat unwarranted haranguing for the previous regime.

    I also think it is often forgotten that Walt and Roy had creative options quite different from today's management. While the company became public in 1940, the Disney Brothers maintained a controlling interest in the company. This allowed the brothers to creatively try things that would be called wreckless by today's corporate standards. Even the previous regimes, including Eisner's, had more operational latitude in the pre-Enron and SOX environment.

    The executive management team PRIMARY responsibility is a fudicary one to the stockholders, not to continue the creative practices of it's founders. The founders' creative success is an integral element of that fiduciary responsibility, and should not be ignored, but this management team does not have the same financial options as did the founders. Two previous CEOs were deposed because it was not felt they were maintaining this accountability.

    I don't not know exactly when Diane decided she wanted a brick and mortar Museum, but I would hazard a bet that it was earlier then the current company's CEO. I know that much for material exhibited was for years stored in a warehouse on the Presidio. I also know that there was an online Museum for many years prior to the opening of B-n-M one, and that the online Museum was funded and operated at least somewhat cooperatively between the Walt Disney Family Foundation and TWDC.

    While I have no proof, I suspect that it was Michael Eisner who was resistant to the creation of the B-n-M Walt Disney Family Museum, because it was not that long after Bob Iger's ascending the throne that rumors and then announcement of the Museum began to surface. So, I think it is logical to conclude that even if he didn't encourage it, Bob Iger supported the Museum's creation.

    Finally, because of the way Walt himself set things up, Walt Disney's history is a very valuable asset of the Company. I'm sure the family probably wishes he'd done it differently, but he didn't. The Bob would be shirking his fiduciary duties if he did not recognize this and Exploit this opportunity.

    It is my view that we have to look at the whole picture to see what is real and develop responsible opinions. Seeing what we want see only advances continued misconceptions and errors, and we already have enough of that in the Disney story.

    Yeah, I know... Really long winded, but it better than

  13. #13

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Seeing as both the Bambi and Fantasia Blu-Rays have stuff on the Museum, I really doubt Disney wants to see the museum fail.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Broadway Guru View Post
    I got this idea when I heard that the Museum has been having trouble meeting its visitor projections. Having been there twice in the last year, I put it down to the obscure location. (Even once you're inside the Presidio, it's hard to find.) It's such a great place, I couldn't imagine any other reason...until I heard about. . .
    How about $20 per adult and $12 per kid? Perhaps reasonable to some coastal Californians and NYC residents, but out of touch with with mainstream America.

  15. #15

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    Re: WDC trying to sink WDFM?

    Quote Originally Posted by jcruise86 View Post
    How about $20 per adult and $12 per kid? Perhaps reasonable to some coastal Californians and NYC residents, but out of touch with with mainstream America.


    And how many mainstream Americans visit those museum even in there local areas? Unlike, many museums, the Walt Disney Family Museum, like the Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa have a very specific target audience and are more expensive to operate. The cost to retrofit the WDFM building at the Presidio alone was astronomical. The Walt Disney Family Foundation could have found a cheap location to put the museum to bring down costs, but like her father, Diane and family wouldn't short change the experience just to make it cheaper for some to enter.

    The cost of admission is fair and reasonable for what you receive, and I've attended museums around the country... you won't find a more friendly or knowledgeable crew of volunteers, or a more attentive staff anywhere.

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