Every Disney fan has their Disney must-do bucket-list. The top of our bucket-lists likely all look quite similar: visit the international parks, go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, go on a Disney cruise, etc. Visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum may not even make the top half of a typical Disney fan’s bucket-list.
Here are the top five reasons why taking a trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco should be your number one Disney must-do:
1. Learn about Walt Disney’s Life
Walt Disney | ©WikiCommons
Is your Walt Disney history knowledge lacking? The Walt Disney Family Museum will take you on an in-depth tour through Disney’s journey as an animator and entrepreneur. The museum serves as great documentation of the history of animation and Disney’s contribution to its progression.
Beginning with Disney’s childhood years, the galleries provide insight into Walt’s involvement in the war, his beginnings as a filmmaker and cartoonist, the creation of Mickey Mouse, the “Silly Symphonies,” the creation of Disneyland, and so much more. You will learn about Disney’s triumphs and failures, from his shockingly successful “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to the devastating Walt Disney Animation Studios strike.
The museum can easily become a three-hour endeavor due to the depth of each gallery. By the time you’ve explored the entire museum, you can be sure there will never be a Walt Disney trivia question you cannot answer.
2. See One-of-a-Kind Artifacts
Model of Disneyland at the Walt Disney Family Museum | © HarshLight/Flickr
The Walt Disney Family Museum will bring you face-to-face with extremely rare artifacts. There is nowhere else you can see the first known drawing of Mickey Mouse or the honorary Oscar Disney won for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” Get an up-close look at the train Walt Disney rode in his backyard and original artwork from countless animated films.
A highlight of the museum is shown in the picture above. This model of Disneyland represents all the changes to the park during Walt Disney’s lifetime. There are so many fun and hidden details in this model (make sure to ask a staff member or volunteer nearby to tell you more about the model)! One could easily spend almost half an hour enjoying just this model alone. It is a must-see for any Disney fan.
3. Cafe + Store
Mickey cake from the Walt Disney Family Museum cafe | © James Morehead
No Disney day is complete without some food and a trip to a gift shop! Take a break from the galleries and grab a yummy snack or meal. You can even treat yourself to delicious desserts, like the Mickey cake shown pictured above.
When your stomach is satisfied, head down the hall to the Walt Disney Family Museum store! You will find merchandise here that you cannot find anywhere else. There are unique Walt Disney Family Museum pins for the avid pin collectors and clothing for those who love to rock Disney apparel. The store also features many books and supplies aimed towards those with interest in animation.
4. Enjoy Everything the Presidio Has to Offer
Presidio Picnic| © Tydence/Flickr
The Walt Disney Museum in located in The Presidio in San Francisco and is a National Park near the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is home to a former U.S military fort, hiking and biking opportunities, museums, and beautiful beaches.
For the history buffs, visiting the Presidio is a great way to learn more about military history with the Korean War Memorial and the Military Intelligence Service Historic Learning Center. If you are more interested in the sciences and environment, the Presidio offers plenty of volunteer opportunities in sustainability and habitat restoration.
Perhaps the best time to visit the Presidio is during Presidio Picnic, which happens every Sunday from March 18 through Oct. 21. The picnic takes place on the Presidio’s Main Parade Ground (right in front of the Walt Disney Family Museum)! The day is full of delicious food from a wide variety of food trucks and cultural dance performances to celebrate the diversity of the Bay Area.
5. It’s San Francisco!
San Francisco | © WikiCommons
Not only does the Presidio have endless opportunities to offer, but the Presidio is right in the middle of one of the world’s most famous cities! San Francisco is home to Alcatraz tours, Fisherman’s Wharf, trolley cars, countless art galleries and museums, Pier 39, and so much more. The city is rich in diversity, history, and breathtaking views.
Between visiting the Walt Disney Museum, exploring the Presidio, and touring around San Francisco, you can be sure taking a trip to the Walt Disney Family Museum will satisfy all your Disney and tourist needs.