From early drawings Walt Disney made for his mother, to ride vehicles from Disneyland and Captain America’s “ready room” from Marvel’s The Avengers, hundreds of items from nearly 100 years of Disney history are making their way to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum as D23, the Official Disney Fan Club, readies the biggest Disney exhibit ever created.
Showcasing the boundless creativity and unbridled imagination that helped define 20th century entertainment, the 12,000-square-foot exhibit—for which the Reagan Library has constructed an entirely new exhibition space—opens July 6 and continues through April 2013.
More than 500 items have already been transported from the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, California, to the Reagan Library—30 miles north in Simi Valley—by the exhibit’s D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives.
Many of the items have never left the Walt Disney Archives and are being publicly displayed for the very first time. Artifacts on exhibit will include:
- An early drawing of Walt Disney’s first major cartoon character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
- The actual 9½-foot tall head of the Maleficent dragon from Disneyland’s Fantasmic! nighttime spectacular
- The fully rigged, 23-foot model of the Black Pearl pirate ship from the Pirates of the Caribbean films
- Meticulously restored, handmade books used in the opening shots of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty
- The very first ticket ever issued to Disneyland—No. 000001, with a face value of $1
- Miniatures hand-built by Walt Disney, which helped lead to the development of Disneyland and Audio-Animatronics® figures
- The very first piece of Disney merchandise ever created: a child’s school writing tablet
- Walt’s own Disneyland name tag—as Cast Member No. 1
- A complete re-creation of Walt Disney’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios
- Original Audio-Animatronics® figures from The Haunted Mansion, The Country Bear Jamboree and Pirates of the Caribbean
- A letter to Walt Disney from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
- Costumes worn by Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins, Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean
- Props and costumes used in the production of recent Disney blockbuster films, including National Treasure, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON: Legacy and Marvel’s The Avengers
Additionally, D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives features an entire section devoted to items that celebrate the connection between Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan. Photos, letters—including a hand-written draft of a letter from Reagan to the U.S. Postmaster General urging the creation of a special Walt Disney stamp—and an assortment of archival items underscore the close personal and professional relationship between the two men, and Reagan’s commitment to honoring Walt Disney’s legacy.
The exhibit opens to the public July 6, following a special preview only for D23 Members and their guests on Saturday, June 30. D23 Members can get tickets to this special preview online. They will also be able to purchase tickets one day earlier than the general public (beginning June 25).
D23 PRESENTS TREASURES OF THE WALT DISNEY ARCHIVES will be open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day, during regular Reagan Library operating hours. Entry to the exhibit is included in the price of regular admission to the Reagan Library, and tickets can be purchased online at www.ReaganLibrary.com/Tickets or at the Reagan Library box office. D23 Members receive a special discount on tickets to the museum, and, along with members of the Reagan Foundation, can visit the exhibit 30 minutes prior to its public opening each day.