D23 Members recently had the rare opportunity to enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives, hosted by D23 and the Archives staff! D23: The Official Disney Fan Club offers tours of the Walt Disney Studios Lot and Archives located in Burbank, CA on a regular basis to their members. The studios are the only major film/animation studio not to run backlot tours to the general public. These members-only tours are the only way the general public is able to enjoy full tours of this stunning lot which opened in 1940.
My family were lucky enough to be invited to a recent tour experience. That’s IT Mommy’s tour guide duties were expertly handled by Jeffrey Epstein Manager, Marketing for D23 & Disney Corporate Communications Resources.
We strolled through the original Animation buildings where beloved animated films (from Fantasia through The Little Mermaid) were created! Disney movies are all computer animated these days. To see some of the original artwork and models in the environment they were actually created made for an over-whelming connection to the heart and creativity that was put into the manually hand drawn and painted animation cells. Definitely an important part of animation history!
We learned all sorts of quirky Disney history about the other buildings on the lot like finding out Walt’s favorite food was chili and that the cafe on the lot still serves it everyday! We also saw the historic sound stages used for filming such Disney live-action movie classics as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mary Poppins, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl!
All that plus we got explore the beautiful Legends Plaza, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy. Giant 30,000 pound statues of all Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs support the Team Disney- The Michael D. Eisner Building that houses the corporate headquarters of The Walt Disney Company. A “huge” honor for the fact that this movie provided the funds to purchase the lot in Burbank. This plaza also features the Partners statues of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse along with a replica of Roy O. Disney and Minnie Mouse. These statues pay respect to both men for all of their contributions and amazing legacy surrounding animation and movies.
The highlight was getting the chance to visit with retired Disney archivist Dave Smith at the Walt Disney Archives, located in the Frank G. Wells Building. This room has tons of amazing memorabilia and important artifacts surrounding the evolution of Disney movies, products and parks. Dave also had interesting pieces of personal memorabilia from Disneyland’s opening day and an interesting story of his chance meeting with Walt and how Walt had to mail Dave his autograph! From the real Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to classic Donald Duck food products (I remember the Orange Juice!) there was way to much to see or even allowed to see! The coolest was the chance to hold an actual Oscar statue! A visit to this spot would be mind-boggling for the most hardcore Walt Disney fans!
That’s IT Mommy was elated to be invited to the D23: The Official Disney Fan Club one-of-a-kind opportunity! We are very lucky and were ecstatic to have the chance to share our experience with our readers! Would you like to become a D23 member? We have a special offer for you! – Tee & Sean
Our readers will receive 10% off the purchase of a new D23 Gold or Silver Membership (this is only good for new memberships, please no renewals).
Follow these steps:
• Click here: http://d23.disney.go.com/121462-2/
• Select the type of membership they’d like to purchase
• Put a new D23 Membership in their carts (Feel free to mention That’s IT Mommy under Refer A Fan)
• At check out enter the promo code: D23THATSIT
• The 10% will be deducted!
To learn more about the D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, tours and membership benefits go to: http://d23.disney.go.com
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. Tee and her family attended a D23 event/tour free of charge to facilitate this review.This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.