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  1. #1

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    Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Now it’s my turn: You really must visit The Walt Disney Family Museum.







    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Thanks for a great article! I hope to visit the Museum some day. The walkway in Gallery 9 reminds me of the old queue for "Adventure thru Inner Space".

    My husband and I stayed a couple of nights at that Travelodge in 2008. It is clean and comfortable and it is very close the bus line that goes to Fisherman's Wharf. We had a delicious dinner at a little place next door on the uphill side. So it gets another recommendation from me!

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    another great piece Werner!
    Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


    Am I evil? yes, I am
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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Werner... Capital story my good man, absolutely capital. You make a compelling case for visiting the WDF Museum. In particular I enjoyed your photos of gallery 9 for the same reason as Queen of Hearts posted above. I have very fond childhood memories of Adventure Through Inner Space and miss that ride terribly.
    -Tony

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    So glad you were able to visit. The Walt Disney Family Museum is an astonishing, practically unknown jewel here in the Bay Area.

    MiceChat from Main Street.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    When I had the good fortune to have lunch with Diane Disney Miller, Ron Miller, David Price, and Jeff Kurtti prior to the Mineral King presentation. Diane described that moment when you are at the top of the ramp of Gallery 9 as "Christmas Morning." It is as if you are looking at all of the presents under the tree. I thought that summed it up well.

    Great piece. Glad you enjoyed the Museum.

    Sam
    SamLand's Disney Adventures

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Werner, learning that this was your first trip to the Museum makes my meeting you, and having you sign the foreword to Sam's book, so much more special. Thank you for being so gracious.

    Walt

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    I just love the Disney Family Museum! My sister sometimes works there as a volunteer. My most favorite gallery is Gallery 7, which is all about the studio's postwar production, the year that Walt tried to diversify his business to save the studio. It features all of the films released between 1945 and 1955 (animation and live-action alike):

    • The Three Caballeros (1945)
    • Make Mine Music (1946)
    • Song of the South (1946)
    • Fun and Fancy Free (1947)
    • Melody Time (1948)
    • So Dear To My Heart (1949)
    • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
    • Cinderella (1950)
    • Treasure Island (1950)
    • Alice In Wonderland (1951)
    • The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952)
    • Peter Pan (1953)
    • The Sword and the Rose (1953)
    • Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1954)
    • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
    • Lady and the Tramp (1955)

    That's right, the Disney Family Museum was nice enough not to let "Song of the South" go unnoticed! Anyway, Gallery 7 is my most favorite. It shows off the artifacts to create the live-action movies and the artwork of the animated movies. But the best part is this long strip of film that adorns the upper wall of the museum and features constantly shifting images. What do you think of this gallery? (reminds me of the lobby area in the Disney Animation thing at the California Adventure). Here are two shots of it, displaying images from two animated features depicted here (film clips, live-action footage, Mary Blair artwork, etc.):





    What do you think of it?
    My top favorite Disneyland attractions:

    1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
    2. Pirates of the Caribbean
    3. Splash Mountain
    4. Mad Tea Party
    5. Peter Pan's Flight
    6. Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Fantastic article! Really enjoyed it and I think seeing the Disneyland model would be worth the price of admission alone!

    At the bottom of your article, I noted this:
    Disclosure per FTC guidelines: Werner Weiss received a printed copy of the book Walt and the Promise of Progress City and a guest ticket to “Mineral King: Walt’s Lost Last Project” at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Mr. Weiss paid for his own Museum membership for multi-day admission to The Walt Disney Family Museum and for all travel expenses, including his stay at the Travelodge Presidio.
    I can understand why you would disclose this information, but I'm curious as to why other columnists on MiceAge don't also provide such a disclosure.
    "In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends." - Anton Ego

  10. #10

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    I got to go a few days after it opened and I loved it. They are also some of the nicest employees too. They have that old school Disney castmember magic.

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Thank you so much for the wonderful article on the Disney Family Museum.

    We were fortunate to visit this beautiful and fascinating place on our road trip from Seattle to Anaheim late last year. There is so much rich history and interesting stories from Walt himself, as well as those who knew him well. I learned a lot while walking through the museum, such as Walt's time in Europe, driving ambulance when he was just 17, and the employee strike that seemed to truly puzzle and sadden him.

    We stood and soaked in the fantastic "Disneyland of Walt's Imagination" in gallery 9. It was all so well done and such a perfect example of the great man himself.

    I left feeling that Walt Disney is one of the most innovative, fascinating, and nicest men the world has known. I can't wait to return and spend hours and hours, once again, emersing into the wonderful world of Disney.

    Thanks again for the wonderful post, and thanks to the Disney family for creating another magical Disney experience.
    [Half awake] How many cups of sugar does it take to get to the moon?

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    What a splendid article, Werner. I've passed it along to Diane Miller, who will appreciate knowing you enjoyed your visit, and really "got" what she and the Museum team were trying to accomplish. I have just a quick note on one of your comments--we would have loved to have been able to offer small screening rooms as many museums do, but were constrained by the historic structure and space limitations of the original 19th century barracks building that house the Museum. The design team worked hard to isolate the sound at each exhibit area, but the sound can vary depending upon the number of visitors in each gallery. I'm glad you enjoyed it nevertheless, and I hope you can come back soon. With all best wishes, Paula Sigman Lowery (creative consultant to the WDFM and member of its original "content team")

  13. #13

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneylandfan85 View Post
    But the best part is this long strip of film that adorns the upper wall of the museum and features constantly shifting images. What do you think of this gallery?
    I thought the gallery was great. And I'm pleased that it had its own personality, different from the galleries before and after it.

    ---------- Post added 02-03-2012 at 11:30 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by TodAZ1 View Post
    I can understand why you would disclose this information, but I'm curious as to why other columnists on MiceAge don't also provide such a disclosure.
    Actually, they do.

    For example, check the columns from Al Lutz and Kevin Yee. You'll find disclosure notes just below the "Let’s Discuss!" link.

    One thing that the columns of MiceAge, MiceChat, and Yesterland have in common is that our goal is to be trustworthy — not to do whatever it takes to get freebies. That said, we do appreciate it when we have cordial, cooperative relationships with Disney entities and other entities that are the subjects of our columns.

    ---------- Post added 02-04-2012 at 12:40 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    What a splendid article, Werner. I've passed it along to Diane Miller, who will appreciate knowing you enjoyed your visit, and really "got" what she and the Museum team were trying to accomplish. I have just a quick note on one of your comments--we would have loved to have been able to offer small screening rooms as many museums do, but were constrained by the historic structure and space limitations of the original 19th century barracks building that house the Museum. The design team worked hard to isolate the sound at each exhibit area, but the sound can vary depending upon the number of visitors in each gallery. I'm glad you enjoyed it nevertheless, and I hope you can come back soon. With all best wishes, Paula Sigman Lowery (creative consultant to the WDFM and member of its original "content team")
    Hi Paula,

    Thank you for passing my article to Diane Miller and for your insight about reason for the lack of small video theaters and the issue of sound isolation.

    Although my reaction to the Museum was overwhelmingly positive, I felt my article had to mention the audio. For me, the competing soundtracks in a few galleries reduced my enjoyment of those galleries. If the intention was to isolate audio, it didn't always succeed. I've been in museums with audio coming from overhead domes; that seems to work better. Perhaps an improvement could be achieved with something as simple as turning down the volume levels for some videos.

    My comment about small sit-down video theaters reflects a museum technique that I enjoy as a museum guest. It's really not a criticism of The Walt Disney Family Museum. I'm sure the designers faced a lot of tough choices in how best to use the available space.

    I plan to return to The Walt Disney Family Museum. Next time, I hope to bring my family.
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 02-03-2012 at 09:41 PM.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  14. #14

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    A great article as usual! I have been half planning a trip since before it opened, but no luck so far (sigh...) on a side note, I have been to San Fransisco only once, in the early ninties, and I was very surprised to see you feature the place where we stayed in your article! I remember it as you report it, and I was really thrilled that it was so close to all the tourist spots. Anyway, thanks again!

  15. #15

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    Re: Feb. 3, 2012: My Visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum

    Quote Originally Posted by stu29573 View Post
    on a side note, I have been to San Fransisco only once, in the early ninties, and I was very surprised to see you feature the place where we stayed in your article! I remember it as you report it, and I was really thrilled that it was so close to all the tourist spots.
    The Travelodge Presidio is quite close to The Walt Disney Family Museum — a pleasant walk for anyone who enjoys walking. Also, it has free parking (instead of the $50+ per night parking that many San Francisco hotels charge), so you can use a rental car to visit the De Young Museum, other Golden Gate Park attractions, and places across the Golden Gate Bridge, such as Sausalito and Muir Woods.

    There are other hotels much closer to traditional San Francisco attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, the cable car system, boats to Alcatraz, sightseeing boats, Union Square, and Market Street. However, there's good bus service from near the Travelodge Presidio to these areas.

    One night, I walked back from Fisherman's Wharf to the Travelodge Presidio instead of taking a bus. It was more than two miles, but I enjoyed seeing Chestnut Street in the Marina District on the way.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

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