Reagan Library To Host Disney Archives

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Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Trea­sures of the Walt Dis­ney Archives

Trea­sures of the Walt Dis­ney Archives, which encom­passes more than 500 his­toric arti­facts from nearly nine decades of Dis­ney his­tory, opens at the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library & Museum on July 6, con­tin­u­ing through April 2013.

Pre­sented by D23: The Offi­cial Dis­ney Fan Club and The Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion and Library, ‘D23 Presents Trea­sures of the Walt Dis­ney Archives’ is the largest exhi­bi­tion ever curated by the Walt Dis­ney Archives, at 12,000 square feet. From Oswald the Lucky Rab­bit and Mickey Mouse to Cap­tain Jack Spar­row and Cap­tain Amer­ica, the exhi­bi­tion fea­tures more than 500 arti­facts, at least half of which have never been seen by the pub­lic –  includ­ing mod­els, props, cos­tumes, set pieces, and art­work from through­out Dis­ney history.

Ronald Rea­gan and Walt Dis­ney were long­time friends, two opti­mists who shared an unwa­ver­ing belief in the essen­tial good­ness of the Amer­i­can way of life,” said Bob Iger, chair­man and CEO, The Walt Dis­ney Com­pany. “We’re proud to part­ner with the Rea­gan Library and the National Archives to show­case Disney’s rich enter­tain­ment legacy. This extra­or­di­nary exhibit will offer vis­i­tors an unprece­dented look into Disney’s his­tory and cel­e­brate the con­nec­tion between these two Amer­i­can originals.”

Among the extra­or­di­nary items to be fea­tured are:

  • 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, Calif., includ­ing orig­i­nal fur­nish­ings and many of his per­sonal items
  • Hand-drawn art­work and hand-sculpted mod­els used in the pro­duc­tion of some of the most beloved Dis­ney ani­mated film clas­sics ever cre­ated, includ­ing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinoc­chio, Fan­ta­sia, Bambi and Sleep­ing Beauty
  • Props from clas­sic Dis­ney live-action pro­duc­tions, includ­ing Mary Pop­pins, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Absent-Minded Pro­fes­sor, The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toy­land, Bed­knobs and Broom­sticks and more
  • Breath­tak­ing props, cos­tumes, and set pieces from recent Dis­ney clas­sics, includ­ing the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Tim Burton’s Alice in Won­der­land, TRON: Legacy, National Trea­sure and Cap­tain America
  • Intri­cately sculp­tured busts of all 44 U.S. Pres­i­dents that were cre­ated for Audio-Animatronics® fig­ures seen in the The Hall of Pres­i­dents attrac­tion at the Magic King­dom at Walt Dis­ney World Resort
  • A salute to Dis­ney­land and the Magic King­dom at Walt Dis­ney World, show­cas­ing theme park art­work, Audio-Animatronics® char­ac­ters, mem­o­ra­bilia and authen­tic attrac­tion vehicles

The exhi­bi­tion also pays trib­ute to the long per­sonal friend­ship and pro­fes­sional col­lab­o­ra­tion between Walt Dis­ney and Ronald Rea­gan, which began many years before Pres­i­dent Reagan’s polit­i­cal career.

On July 17, 1955, Ronald Rea­gan was one of the co-hosts of ABC Network’s live cov­er­age of the open­ing of Dis­ney­land, and as gov­er­nor of Cal­i­for­nia, he fre­quently vis­ited Disney’s first theme park. After leav­ing the Oval Office, one of his first pub­lic events was a return to Dis­ney­land, where he offi­ci­ated at the park’s Jan­u­ary 1990 35th-anniversary cel­e­bra­tion, pro­claim­ing it “one of America’s national treasures.”

Walt Dis­ney and Ronald Rea­gan shared a pas­sion for Amer­ica, a belief in the human spirit, and an innate opti­mism that, in both men, gal­va­nized the pub­lic,” said John Heubusch, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Foun­da­tion. “Pres­i­dent Rea­gan was a great admirer of Walt Dis­ney, and we are tremen­dously proud to host this won­der­ful exhi­bi­tion of Dis­ney trea­sures, and to honor the bond between Walt and Pres­i­dent Reagan.”

For exhibit hours and addi­tional infor­ma­tion, visit the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library & Museum online at, or Admis­sion to the exhi­bi­tion is included with the pur­chase of admis­sion to the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library & Museum. Through April 2013, when the exhi­bi­tion is sched­uled to end, mem­bers of D23: The Offi­cial Dis­ney Fan Club also save $2 on every adult admission.

At 12,000 square feet, this is the largest spe­cial exhibit the Rea­gan Library has ever put on,” said Duke Black­wood, direc­tor of the Ronald Rea­gan Pres­i­den­tial Library. “It is a tes­ta­ment to the rela­tion­ship between Walt Dis­ney and our nation’s pres­i­dents, as well as the story of Dis­ney, itself. The Rea­gan Library and National Archives are hon­ored to host this extra­or­di­nary exhibit.”

The Ronald Rea­gan Library & Museum is located in Simi Val­ley, Calif., about 60 min­utes north of down­town Los Ange­les and approx­i­mately two hours north of the Dis­ney­land Resort in Anaheim.

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About Paul Anderson

Paul is an old-timer here at BCDB- his contributions go back to before the site! Paul is widely regarded as a Disney historian, and is also on staff at the Disney Museum in San Francisco. Paul is also a contributing historian for D23, the Disney Club. Paul has published several books and magazine articles on Disney history, too. You are welcome to drop Paul a line here.


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