The original script, written by Walt Disney, for Mickey Mouse’s film debut in 1928′s Steamboat Willie; a faithful recreation of Walt’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California; and props and costumes from Disney’s live-action productions—from Mary Poppins to Captain America: The First Avenger—were just a few of the Walt Disney Archives “treasures” that members of D23 and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum previewed on Saturday, June 30, 2012, in Simi Valley, California.
D23 Members Dora Godina and Daryl Fielder from San Fernando Valley, who have attended several D23 events in the past year, were excited to finally get into the exhibit. “It’s stuff you only read about in magazines,” Daryl says. “And D23 gives you the chance to step your foot into all that stuff.” Sandi Lessert of Portland, Oregon, who travels to nearly every D23 event around the country and has “seen it all” was anxious to find some things that even she had never come across before. “I’m a big Oswald fan, so seeing some of those items that I had never seen before was so exciting!”
From Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse to Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain America, the exhibit features more than 500 artifacts, at least half of which have never before been seen by the public. D23 Member Mildred Goelz of Oxnard, California, attended with her two grandchildren, Sarah and Amanda, who were visiting from North Carolina. “I told them this would be opening while they were in town, and I asked them if they wanted to go,” Mildred says. “They said, yes! I’ve been to this museum many, many times to see the different exhibits that have come through, but this really surpasses anything I’ve seen before. I’m really appreciative of all this being able to be seen by the public. It brings back a lot of great memories.”
“I like the Pirates of the Caribbean miniature ships with all the detail in them, Mark Carbonela from Woodland Hills, California, said. “There is a lot of detail in them—with all the scrims and the patches—that you can see up close. It’s definitely bigger than I thought it was going to be. It’s two levels of Archives stuff I’m still exploring. It’s a great mixture of animation and theme park stuff. You understand Walt Disney’s story at the beginning and then spring into animation, theme parks, and live action films so it’s a neat way to [see it].”
During this special preview, D23 Members had the opportunity to explore Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives—open just for event guests—as well as the rest of the stunning museum. “It’s Disney so you always know it’s going to be great,” Shawna Stevenson from Moorpark, California, says. “But it’s good to see all these bits and pieces—like Walt’s nametag from when Disneyland first opened and even a parking pass. There are a lot of people here who are very excited to look at all the displays. I will definitely be retuning since I am a local here and get the chance to take in all the exhibits.” After a visit to the Treasures exhibit, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and beverages in the Air Force One pavilion.
Disney Legends Dave Smith and Bob Gurr were on hand to sign their new books. Dave’s Disney Trivia from the Vault: Secrets Revealed and Questions Answered and Bob’s Design: Just for Fun were sold in the gift shop along with D23′s exclusive Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives merchandise. D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives opens on July 6, 2012 and runs through April 30, 2013.
By D23′s Billy Stanek