Welcome to Part 2 of My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite.
This post highlights what I was able to see in Walt's Informal Office. This space is considered more of Walt's working office where he would meet with his Imagineers to discuss things in production. The furniture including the drapes are all original.
In the photo above you can see Walt's Irving G. Thalberg Award that he received in 1941. Next to the award is a tiny deer that you might mistake as Bambi. The Disney Archivist giving our tour mentioned that the deer was carved by Walt Disney himself.
You can see this space was more informal with the work table to hold several people. It was designed this height so that plans could be rolled out on top of the table and people could easily carry on a discussion.
All the furniture, papers, and knick knacks are original items.
One of the most interesting things is the hidden kitchenette that was part of the informal office. The wood panel would slide open to reveal a very modern kitchen of that time period. It was usually stocked with favorite items like Walt's favorite cans of chili.
I did ask about the cans that were in the cupboards as shown in the photo. They are not the original. The Disney Archives went through the effort of the reproduce items that would have been on the shelf during Walt's time. The labels were are also reproduced to be accurate for the time period.
One of the interesting items in this informal office is this map of Disneyland. The small red plaques meant projects that were completed and the yellow ones highlighted of things to come to Disneyland.
This yellow note was interesting as it pointed to 1001 Future Ghosts of the Haunted Mansion. When the Haunted Mansion opened in 1969, all Disneyland press materials spoke of 999 Happy Haunts that resided in the mansion.
One last interesting item in Walt's informal office was this photo of actor Ed Wynn. According to the placard by the photo, not only was he a good friend but sort of a good luck charm for Walt.
We spent maybe a 30 minutes touring the suite. It was really exciting to be in the actual place where Walt Disney worked and created Disney magic. I wanted to try to take everything in but I was also feeling a little overwhelmed at the history and significance of Walt's office suite. As we left through this hallway, I was trying to look at all the different photos of Walt. We were a little rushed at this point so I didn't have time to look at each framed photo but I could tell that they were various photos of Walt in a working environment.
D23 did a great job to resorting Walt Disney's Office Suite known as "3H". They do hope to offer more tours but it is a premium opportunity. Even just to walk onto the Walt Disney Studio lot was great.
If you missed Part 1 of My Tour of Walt Disney's Office Suite (Formal Office), you can go back HERE to catch up. There is one more post for this series that I am working on. There was one more area located in the location that was part of the suite. I've also have some closing notes about my tour.
Sorry this post is a little late. I spent the morning with my friend at Disneyland so we could be part of the Super Bowl fun at Disneyland. The Park hosted a fun parade to honor Super Bowl 50 winning quarterback, Peyton Manning.
Main Street USA was lined with many Denver Bronco fans in well dressed in their orange and blue.
You can go to the Disney Parks Blog to see some official photos and also a short video of the parade ceremony.
All this football talk reminded of a song called "You Gotta Be a Football Hero." This song is kind of an anthem tune that you've probably heard of. It was written in 1933 by Buddy Fields, Al Lewis and Al Sherman. Sherman happens to be the father of Disney Legends, Robert and Richard Sherman. Writing music and lyrics runs strong in the Sherman family.
This short film never gets old. Just in case you are already missing football season, here's how the Goof plays football.
Happy Music Monday!
One of the benefits of being a D23 Gold Member is being able to get a chance to attend some of their premium events. So when the chance to be one of the first to get a peek into Walt Disney's office suite came up, I quickly put it on my calendar and diligently waited for the tickets to become available.
On January 29th, I made a drive up to the Burbank and made way to the Walt Disney Studios. There are usually no public tours or access into this working studio except for special events put on by official company entities like D23. After getting clearance at the gate, I found parking and happily stepped onto the Walt Disney Studios lot.
There were a limited number of tickets to about 50 people. There were some people who drove up from San Diego, drove down from Northern California and some even flew in from Chicago, Kansas and Florida. We were all excited to be the first public group to be able to tour Walt Disney's office suite.
As we made our way to the Animation building, we were divided into smaller groups. The office is located on the third floor of this building.
We arrived at the office suite, “3H”, the specific location or suite of Walt’s office. We were shown into a small holding room where we met Walt Disney Archive Director, Becky Cline. She gave us some background about how the restoration of Walt's original office suite came to be. She told us that Walt’s office remained untouched for about year after he died. It was then that Disney Archivist, Dave Smith was brought to inventory and pack up the office. Smith took many photographs and accounted for every item down to how many individual paper clips were on the desk. The detailed inventory would play a vital role to the restoration of Walt’s office.
After the Walt's office was inventoried and packed up in the late 1960s, a variety of companies and people occupied the particular space. Like many working studios, the space was leased out to anyone who needed it and paid the rent. The last tenant was Cherry/Wind Productions. It was the working office of producer Marc Cherry (Devious Maids, Desperate Housewives) up until about a year ago.
As we entered the office suite, our small group was asked to put our purses and jackets in a holding room. It is a very controlled environment and can only hold a very small amount of people in the intimate space. One of the first things you notice as you enter the suite is this Olympic Torch.
The torch was given to Walt Disney as he was chairman of the Pageantry Committee for the Winter Olympics in 1960 (Squaw Valley, Ca). Walt produced both the opening and closing ceremonies.
Turning the corner you get a glimpse of this tiny reception area.
Everything in the room is original with a couple exceptions. The first is that the desk had been saved. The Disney Archives had the photos so they could reproduce the receptionist desk.
This showcase is original as well as the trophies with the exception of the special Academy Award on the top of the case. The original Oscar statue with 7 smaller ones that was presented to Walt for Snow White. The original award is housed at the Walt Disney Family museum in San Fransisco. Everything else is real and placed exactly where they once occupied the space.
We watched a short film presentation about the restoration of Walt Disney's office suites. It was neat to see some behind the scenes. The Disney Archives had to build and reconstruct much of the actual space to recreate the original office location.
The restoration was a tedious process. Thanks to the detailed photos and inventory efforts of Smith, the Disney Archivists meticulously assembled Walt's offices as it looked in 1966. Finally we entered the Formal Office.
While Walt's office has been on display in various locations through the years, I think to see it in its original location and environment is very special. To know that this is what it looked like when Walt occupied this actual space was a little overwhelming. If the desk could talk.
There were lots of ashtrays everywhere. You noticed it on the desk, the coffee tables and right by all the chairs.
Here is the famous piano that the Sherman Brothers would play their latest creations on. I bet the piano could tell lots of great stories.
The Disney Archivist informed us that this piano had to be custom designed to fit into the tight space as well as fit into the office decor. The books on the shelves were meticulously placed back in their correct order as detailed by Smith's catalogue and photos. Nothing on the shelves behind the piano are out of place and they are all original items.
This sofa in the following photo is a reproduction. The original went missing a long time ago. When the office was on display at Disneyland for many years, the area where the couch is would have been the place where the glass wall would have been. Where the sofa is placed would have been the where ropes or a barrier would be in place. Disney Archives had to rebuild the wall and reproduce the sofa to re-create this space.
Here are some other photos of things that made up Walt's formal office.
There was this framed photo of Walt in the lobby area where he is holding this animation device called a praxinoscope.
One of my favorite things I saw was this framed Walt Disney image. It is actually the original art work that graced the Times cover in 1954.
Stay tuned for Part 2 in the next couple of days. I'll be sharing my tour of Walt's Informal Office.
Wishing you all things Disney!
I'll have more photos and details in the next couple days.
In 1968, Walt Disney Productions released Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day as an animated short based on the stories of Winnie the Pooh from author A.A. Milne. This particular production is significant because it was the last animated short that was produced by Walt Disney. Walt would never see the final piece as he died in 1966. This short would go on to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film (1968).
This short film is where we meet the energetic character, Tigger. He introduces himself to Pooh with his signature song, "The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers." Written by Disney Legends Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman, this song wonderfully describes who Tigger is. Even the sheet music has a note to play "With a bounce."
One of my favorite lines that also says all there is to know about Tigger is: "But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is I'm the only one!"
Happy Music Monday!
One of the many things you see when you visit any Disney Park are buttons people wear on their clothes to celebrate a special occasion. Anyone can get a complimentary button to commemorate a birthday, anniversary, 1st Visit and graduation, too. These Disney Celebration Buttons are a fun souvenir and keepsake.
Recently, I discovered an independant source for some pretty fun Disney-themed buttons. The offerings are plenty. They change around the inventory often and try to offer buttons that are current to the season or what may be popular in terms of current Disney movies or events.
#parkbound is not affiliated with Disney. They also offer custom buttons. The quality is great and shipping time is quick. There are many pop culture references in their product selections which makes them fun. They also create some buttons to celebrate more current Disney Park events like Disneyland's Paint the Night parade. They even offered button to commemorate the final Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Hollywood Studios.
Here some of the new buttons that I just purchased. My kids and I don't usually wear our Disney pins/lanyard when we visit Disneyland but it's kinds of fun to wear special button on your jacket. We like to accessorize our outfits with something Disney.
They design and feel is just like the Disney Parks buttons that you might see someone wearing. They are great conversation pieces when you are standing in line. They are simply fun to have.
So go check out #parkbound. They run $3.00 a button. They would be fun gifts for birthdays, Valentine's treats and Easter baskets. If you have a Disney trip coming up soon, order some to accessorize your wardrobe. These buttons are definitely a great way to show your particular Disney side.
We spotted Stromtroopers on the ground.
Tomorrowland has all kinds of vegetation for landscaping. It is referred to as "agrifuture."
We went back during the evening and Macsparky took these photos. He has a Dx0 One that he connects to his iPhone in order to get some of these night shots.
The Autopia is changing sponsors (from Chevrolet to Honda) so looks like they are getting some remodeling done. The Tomorrowland Train station is hibernating behind the construction walls, too.
The weather has been great here the past two weeks. The good thing about the rain is that it clears the air and makes the skies pretty. Leaving you with a picture of Disneyland's Main Street USA.
A couple days ago, Disney Parks Blog shared this fun video:
I couldn't help but be reminded of the song, "When I See an Elephant Fly" from Dumbo, Disney's fourth animated movie released in 1941. In the movie, the crows laugh hysterically at the thought that an elephant could fly. Remember that in 1941, commercial planes were not an everyday occurrence, too. So imagining anything but a bird flying was simply ridiculous.
So next time you near any of the Disney Parks, you never know what you might see overhead. It's all part of the magic, right?
Happy Music Monday!
Welcome to a new series that I am going to call "BEHIND THE STORE." It will be about some of my favorites store locations inside Disneyland and Disney California Adventures. Imagineers and merchandise teams put a lot of time and thought into naming a store location and coming up with its story.
There is a way to enjoy this location and appreciate its name. Start by walking over to the sketch artist areas. There are two in the store and most of times you will find a sketch artist at one or both locations.
See how it looks like there is artist paper flying off the desks and floating up to the ceiling? Now continue to looks at the sketches and you will notice that some of the "pages" begin to have color. If you keep following the images towards the front of the store, you will notice that the drawn characters begin to look like they are ready to leap off the page.
After you follow all the "pages" towards the front of the store, exit out of the store and it is now suppose to look like the drawn Disney characters have literally leapt off the page.
Drawing Dumbo takes a lot of paper and it looks like the sketch artist had to do it outside of the store. However, it looks like even Dumbo found his way "off the page".
A side note: you can also enter this store by way of the Animation Academy.
One of the reasons I really enjoy going into this store is not just for its charming story, but it is a gallery of beautiful Disney art, sculptures, jewelry, trading pins, books and more. The selections are always changing so you never know what you'll come upon. There is also an artist available to sketch your favorite characters so you can take a piece of art home (for a premium).
So next time you are at Disney California Adventure, make sure to stop by this fun store and see which characters had jumped Off the Page.
Most people can hum parts of "The Ballad of Davy Crockett." It is pretty catchy. It was written in 1954 by George Bruns (lyrics) and Thomas W. Blackburn (music) for a miniseries called Davy Crockett that premiered on the 1950s Disneyland television series. The miniseries starring Fess Parker as Davy Crockett became a hit. The song was just as popular as Davy Crockett's coon skinned hat.
The theme song for the miniseries was sung by the folk group, The Wellington's. Several other artist would record their own versions including Bill Hayes, Fess Parker, and Tennessee Ernie Ford. They would all enter the 1955 Billboard music charts at different times and break through the Top 10.
Last week, Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes attraction at Disneyland made its last trip around the Rivers of America before a long but temporary closure. It will be closed for at least a year in preparation of the infrastructure and work that needs to get done for the much anticipated Star Wars themed land. The River needs to be drained so it affects all the attractions that utilize the River.
I just wanted to share this fun photo of my friend, Duke, who is pictured below. Duke loves his job as he is some sort of "king of the wild frontierland." I love this photo because it captures Duke's passion for the River and making sure his crew always has a good time while on his canoe. When this attraction comes back, be sure to ask that you get on Duke's canoe.
Happy Music Monday!
I was a little sad to hear the permanent closure of Big Thunder Ranch BBQ. It was one of our favorite places to eat. We would usually try to eat a late lunch or the first dinner seating and the big meal would get us through the day. You got a great meal at a pretty good value when you consider that it was theme park food, at theme park pricing. The premium was worth it.
It was a great location that could give you reprieve from the busy crowds. It was perfect to sit with your friends and family to enjoy a a good conversation over a hearty meal, family style, too. The open air and fun atmosphere was always a good benefit of the location. Did I mention that the food offerings were delicious, too?
The location is permanently closing to make way for the new Star Wars themed land. One of the servers we spoke to said thatthe River Belle Terrace restaurant in New Orleans Square will soon convert to a similar menu to the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ offerings since it was so popular and successful. It won't be the same recipes, and won't be family style, but will be something delicious like BBQ chicken and ribs.
Anyways, before the closure, I was able to ask for one of the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ recipe pamphlet. So try to make some of that delicious Disneyland Big Thunder Ranch BBQ in your own home. They don't look like they require special ingredients and looks easy enough to make.
One of the most popular and fun songs from Disney's 1992 animated movie, Aladdin, is Friend Like Me. It was one of the last music collaborations of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken . In the movie, the song is sung by Robin Williams. The song would go on to receive nominations for Best Original Song in both the Academy Awards and Golden Globe in 1993.
The song is important in that it is when Aladdin gets to know who exactly the Genie is, and the relationship that can exist between them. The Genie sings a song and presents how the "wishing" thing can work to Aladdin in a musical number that is very elaborate, high energy, and fun to watch. Friend Like Me is Genie's signature song. Robin Williams and the Disney animators created a very memorable scene.
So when Disney created a musical stage show based on Aladdin for Disney California Adventure in 2003, they managed to re-create the same kind of scene for a live performance. It is Disney magic. This Disneyland stage show came long way before the Broadway musical version came out in 2011.
Yesterday marked the 14,565th and final performance of the long running Aladdin, A Music Spectacular stage show at Disney California Adventure. Many past Cast Members and fans came in droves to be able to watch the final performances. I found this hi-def video someone posted. They had a great seat and the video is well done. You can see the live version of Friend Like Me at about 18:34. If you want to see a great milestone, watch this video.
Happy Music Monday!
The weather is big news everywhere, especially in Southern California. We joke here that when it rains, it is "STORMWATCH (insert year)" and it makes the headlines. This year it is most interesting because of the El Niño factor.
I know there are lots of weather apps out there. I have several and like the local news weather apps since they seem to be the most reliable for me. However, I am most entertained by this weather app, CARROT. My husband, MacSparky, told me about it and this app makes you look forward to finding out what the forecast is.
Here are a few screen shots from that last couple days to show you why it is a different kind of weather app.
There are even secret locations you can unlock and discover.
Looking at the weather forecast doesn't have to be boring. Check out CARROT and download for some weather fun. Turn on the sound every so often and listen to the app telling you the weather forecast is kind of entertaining too.
Stay warm and dry!
One of the most beautiful songs from the Disney song library is "Colors of the Wind" from the 1995 animated movie, Pocahontas. It was written by Stephen Schwartz (lyrics) and Alan Menken (music). In the movie, actress Judy Kuhn, was both the speaking and singing voice of Pocahontas. The segment was so uplifting and hopeful. A cover was recorded by Vanessa Williams that became a popular single on the radio. The music video incorporated scenes from the movie.
The song went on to be nominated for both an a 1995 Academy Award (Best Original Song) and Golden Globe (Best Song Written for a Movie) and would go on to win both awards. It is a beautiful song that captures the movie's spirit. We are all bound to together in someway since we all live on the same earth.