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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

 When you wish upon a star, doesn't matter where you are... sorry, getting all nostalgic. D23 presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library is like walking through a wonderland.

D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Now until April 2013

Both young and old fans of Disney will be presented with an amazing collection of treasures from movies, rides and from Walt himself. The first part of the exhibit shows Walt's early career and life. Establishing Disney wasn't easy and it shows through the scores of special items that will open your memories as you walk through the start of Disney.

There so much to go through that I suggest you look through the pictures after the jump to take a taste of how much Disney memorabilia and memories await you.

The starting point explores some great shots of Disney's life such a recreating his early office and giant map of an early Disneyland. If you take the time to read or get an audio tour device you can learn a lot about the man behind the mouse. As someone who has grown up watching Disney every few steps is like recalling a memory of yesteryear. Going with my family to see a film, catching an early glimpse of the Disney Channel,  summer camp movie outings, reading Disney Adventures Magazine, which was no bigger than TV Guide. Everything will trickle in and out as you start singing a familiar song or get lost in a thought.

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious my friends, it came to me as I gazed at the Marry Poppins props. A model sub from 20,000 Leagues from Under the Sea, some random person explaining its origin and how Walt Disney wanted scenes re-shot, because you could see the strings. For those who dwell more on animation there's plenty of early sketches to draw your attention. New discussions would pop-up or props would be explained just by people blurting out, "That's the book from Cinderella", and it was there right in front of you, outside of the movie. I didn't even remember Disney came up with the multiplane camera, that's how we first had a foreground and background in early animation.

 All of that and I hadn't event gone to the big room downstairs. A special room was made to house the treasures imported from Disney and air-conditioned too, mind you. Another burst of memories came in as pieces of Disneyland rides, clothes from movies, and props covered the entire area ahead of me. When I saw Flynn's glowing in the back I rushed over to be greeted by three arcade machines from the film Tron Legacy. Daft Punk's soundtrack playing, I was next to a tron light cycle glowing, so slick. The costumes from the original were nearby, the leather/latex Legacy ones must still be airing out, I read those things got so hot the actors had private air-conditioners so they didn't over heat.

Next we had Disney's new acquisition of Marvel with Iron Man armor and Captain America's costume as well as some motorcycles and a race car. This led to way to the dragon head of Maleficent and the old robot from Star Tours.

The largest props might have been the ships from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, I mean models ships. Who knew the Black Pearl model ship was bigger than a car in real life? Maybe, the animatronic pirate from the ride at Disneyland that was across from it or the ghosts from the Haunted Mansion, surprisingly all silent on the subject. For the ladies you have dresses from many Princesses and a tea party from Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Leaving you see the relationship between Walt and Reagan as well as busts from every US President, which is a bit unnerving as their necks are sticking out and some are missing hair. Then there's a wall of photos with presidents new and old with connections to Disneyland. Finally, as you go to leave, you see how much Disney has grown as a video showcases all their different brands and places they are now.

If your a Disney-phile or someone who wants to step down memory lane I can't think of a better exhibit unless you want to head in the other direction for Disneyland.

Thanks Melissa Giller of the Reagan Library
more pictures after the jump