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Unless you count the elevator, you won't find any amusement park rides at the Walt Disney Family Museum. But if you're a fan of "Uncle Walt," you'll find plenty of thrills at this popular non-profit museum on the Presidio's Main Post.
Founded by Walt Disney's eldest daughter, the late Diane Disney Miller, the Walt Disney Family Museum opened in 2009 in one of the iconic brick Montgomery Street barracks, built in 1895. Inside, visitors are taken on a meticulously planned journey through Disney's fascinating life. The permanent galleries offer deep insight into his creative risks, failures, and triumphs thanks to personal artifacts belonging to the pioneering animator and his family, including the first-known drawing of a certain mouse.
Among the more impressive objects in the permanent collection is the two-story multi-plane camera, which allowed Disney's 2D animations to come to 3D life in the days before digital animation. Equally grand is "The Happiest Place on Earth," a 13-foot model built to the specs of Walt Disney's original vision of Disneyland.
Films, Exhibitions, and Talks
Disney classics are screened in the museum's Fantasia-themed theatre. Films change monthly and are free with admission; tickets can also be purchased just for a screening. The Diane Disney Miller Exhibition Hall, located down a short walk from the main museum in another historic building, features changing exhibits that celebrate Disney's collaborators and contemporaries.
The museum promotes the artistic legacy of Walt Disney through camps, classes, workshops, and professional mentoring. Their studio programs foster creativity and innovation by providing students with the opportunity to learn, practice, and perfect skills essential to the screen arts.
Once you're properly inspired by the magic of "Never never-land," head down to the Open Studio on the lower level to make your own art. Free with museum admission, the hands-on studio invites all ages to explore a range of animation tools and techniques. Budding creative minds can also develop their passion and skills in after-school animation workshops (ages 11-18) and summer camps (ages 8-18).
Visit the Museum
The Walt Disney Family museum is open every day but Tuesday. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. Also, while not the same as having breakfast with Cinderella at the castle, the museum cafe serves coffee and treats, sandwiches, and Walt's favorite chili and is a great stop to enjoy before or after perusing the gift shop.
The museum is located just a short walk from the
Presidio Transit Center, so you don't need a car to check it out. If you do drive, paid parking is available close by.
Venues for Special Events
The beautiful facilities at the Walt Disney Family Museum are also available for rental for meetings and special events.
Learn more about venue rentals at the Walt Disney Family Museum >>