If you’re the ultimate Disney history buff or a fan of all the magic Walt Disney created, then you’ve got to plan a visit to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Inside the Magic recently had the opportunity to preview what’s to come this year at the Walt Disney Family Museum, and we’re happy to share everything with all of you.
Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World
Not only are we celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday this year, but also we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the museum! This year, the museum is welcoming guests to experience Mickey Mouse in a whole new way. This epic exhibit coming to the Walt Disney Family Museum will showcase the love and history of Mickey Mouse and chronicle Mickey’s influence on art and entertainment over the past 90 years. This exhibit, which is original and unique to the museum, tells the story of Mickey Mouse’s origin, rise to fame, and worldwide appeal as it relates to the origin and success story of Walt Disney himself.
Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World is curated by Andreas Deja, a renowned animator and the modern hand of Mickey Mouse. The exhibit will feature over 400 objects which include rare and never-before-seen original sketches, character model sheets, and concept artwork, as well as items from Deja’s personal collection.
“I remember when Mickey turned 40,” Deja said during his presentation about the exhibit. He shared a childhood memory about his experience purchasing a magazine that celebrated Mickey Mouse’s 40th birthday. “I remember just treasuring that magazine and dicing into it. I’m very thrilled to be a part of this exhibit.”
Deja shared the different unique aspects of the upcoming Mickey Mouse exhibit, such as the opportunity for guests to draw Mickey Mouse, as well as interactive content, like screens displaying pencil tests that move as animated scenes when guests touch the screens. By the sounds of it, this exhibit is original and immersive, and one that Disney and Mickey fans won’t want to miss.
The Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World exhibit will be on display at the Walt Disney Family Museum from May 16, 2019 through January 6, 2020.
The Walt Disney Family Museum hosts a number of special events every year that welcome everyone from local San Francisco community members to artists worldwide.
The museum will be hosting several festive after-hours events for the public. Each event celebrates a different theme where guests are invited to experience the galleries in a whole new light with food and drinks available from the museum café and food trucks, wine, beer and cocktails catered by Taste. The events will also include intimate tours and presentations, film screenings, and hands-on art activities. The first of these special events will be The Wonderful World of Women on Friday, March 29.
This year, the museum will yet again host the Teen Animation Festival International, which celebrates young filmmakers from around the world and highlights excellence in high school animation programs and outstanding achievement by teens. This year’s festival and award ceremony award take place on June 1–2, 2019. The museum will partner with San
Francisco International Airport and the Redford Center, offering two special awards. You can read more about the Teen Animation Festival International here.
In addition to special events, the Walt Disney Family Museum will be hosting several talks throughout the year. For the first half of 2019, you can listen to the following discussions at the museum:
- Disney Family History with Rebecca Cline | Saturday, February 2 at 1pm
- The Hand Behind the Mouse: Stories of Ub with Don and Leslie Iwerks | Saturday, March 30 at 1pm
- Love Letter to Walt’s Legacy with Director Kevin Lima | Saturday, May 4 at 1pm
- The Beauty and Legacy of Fantasia with Composer Fabrizio Mancinelli | Saturday, June 22 at 1pm
- Voicing an Icon: Mickey Talks with Brett Iwan | Saturday, May 18 at 11am & 3pm
How you can go for free
Did you know you can visit the museum with free admission? Every year on Walt Disney’s birthday, December 5, the museum offers free admission for all guests. The museum hosts many special activities and presentations on this day to celebrate Walt’s life and legacy.
If you are an educator, the Walt Disney Family Museum offers free museum tickets for all Title I school field trips, as well as free buses for all SFUSD schools. The museum serves over 13,000 participants in this program annually, so educators are encouraged to take advantage of this. With their amazing outreach programs and accessibility, the Walt Disney Family Museum is a fantastic field trip destination for schoolchildren to learn how they can use their imagination to make a difference in the world, just as Walt Disney did.
When is the best time to visit?
Of course, just like with the Disney Parks in Anaheim and Orlando, guests typically want to know the best time of year to visit the museum. And like with Disney Parks, our answer is always that any time is a great time to visit because Disney magic lasts all year. But of course, depending on your interests, you may want to consider visiting during certain times of the year.
By far, our favorite time to visit the Walt Disney Family Museum is either in the Spring or during the holiday season. Because the museum is located in San Francisco, Spring is a great time to visit if you aren’t a local. We recommend planning your trip during a time when the weather will be best, although San Francisco weather can be unpredictable.
If you or a loved one has a disability, the museum has hosted Family Access Days for the past several years, during which the museum opens early to families of children with disabilities so they may explore a more accessible, quieter environment. The next Family Access Day is scheduled for Saturday, March 9.
If you want to experience some true Disney magic, there is nothing like the Walt Disney Family Museum during the Christmas season. Check out our post all about what you can do at the museum in December.
They now have a podcast
The team at the Walt Disney Family Museum has created a podcast for Disney fans and history enthusiasts, and we encourage you to have a listen. The podcast, called WD-FM, is available to listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and TuneIn, and will feature a variety of topics and discussions, as well as speeches and anecdotes given by Walt Disney himself that have been reserved in the Walt Disney Family Museum archives.