Opened in 2009, the The Walt Disney Family Museum is the culmination of the vision of Diane Disney Miller to present her father's fascinating story and achievements.
Walt Disney is saluted as the man who "raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy."
The 40,000-square-foot facility is in a historic building with fabulous Golden Gate views from San Francisco's Presidio. It has interactive galleries that include Disney's 26 Academy Award Oscar statuettes, early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland, special exhibitions, a gift shop, café and much more.
Visitors are taken through the chapters in Disney’s life: Early Years (1901-1923); Hollywood (1923-1928); New Horizons: The Emergence of the Disney Studio (1928-1940); The Move to Features: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; New Success and Greater Ambitions; The Late 30s to Mid-40s; Post-War Re-Building: Mid-40s to the Early 50s; Walt and the Natural World; The 1950s and the 1960s: The Big Screen and Beyond; and Remembering Walt.
A highlight is one of the studio's original multiplane camera cranes. Visitors see Lilly Belle, the scale-model locomotive that Walt helped build and install on a half-mile track around his home. A 12-foot model of the Disneyland of Walt's imagination is on display. Rare production art by Disney and his team is seen throughout the galleries.
In addition to an introductory film about the Disney family, there is a rotating schedule of animated Disney classics shown six days a week in the museum’s cinema.
In a separate building behind the museum, a large gallery is dedicated to changing special exhibits throughout the year, many featuring original art by top contributors to the Disney studio, such as Marc Davis, Mary Blair and Tyrus Wong.
Disney fans will thrill to see original pencil animation drawings, conceptual artwork, dazzling paintings, appealing designs, cels and photographs. These artists represent members from the elite Disney Legends, a hall of fame for those who created the iconic scenes and the wonderful animated characters that we know and love so well.
Café and Gift Shop
No admission is required to enter the museum café and gift shop on the lobby level, where the multicrane camera crane and the Oscar statuettes can also be seen. The selection in the gift shop is different from the retail items found in a Disney Store, but is more calibrated to the historical aspects of Disney, with collectibles, books, and exclusive souvenirs.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is not affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.
To reach the beautiful, historic Presidio, take Muni bus line 43 or the free PresidiGo downtown shuttle. Metered parking is available on site.
Admission is free year-round for active and retired military, their spouses and dependents with a valid ID. The museum also participates in the Blue Star Families program, which grants all active military free admission for themselves plus five additional guests between Memorial Day and Labor Day.