With traffic the way it is, I try to avoid traveling long distances. However, I am a pretty big Disney fan, so getting the opportunity to visit the Disney Archives Exhibit at the Reagan Library was something I could not pass up. The Reagan Library, by itself, is already a very nice destination. It sits on top of a quiet hill in Simi Valley California, which is about 60 miles/97 kilometers north of Disneyland. Admission was $21 a person and is well worth the price because it includes both the Museum and the Disney Archives Exhibit. The exhibit runs through April of 2013.
When you enter the museum, you are greeted by this grand Presidential Seal on the floor:
A little further down your tour, guests will get a chance to step into an extremely accurate replica of the oval office. Sadly, we were not allowed to sit at the desk to take pictures, but this is as close as I would probably ever get to the real oval office. One of the tour guides said that they no longer allow visitors in the real Oval Office.
The highlight of the Reagan Museum Tour for me was definitely the Air Force One Pavilion. Unlike the replica Oval Office, this is THE actual Air Force One that President Reagan used. In fact, this jet flew all the presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush.
The Pavilion is just massive! I spent most of my time here just staring at the plane.
Now for the Disney Archives Exhibit!
Here is an early sketch of Oswald The Lucky Rabbit:
The prop story books at the beginning of Walt’s feature films were on display also:
This is the sketch that Imagineer Herb Ryman drafted up to show the bankers. This essentially sold the idea for the financing of Disneyland! I would have definitely said yes! 😉
There is also a replica of Walt’s Office on display:
The exhibit just had one priceless item after another! Check out this parking permit and admission ticket from opening day belonging to Walt’s brother, Roy:
Disney’s opening day ceremonies are also shown on a small tv screen:
Those well acquainted with Disney Classics Should be familiar with these props:
Over at the annex, they have some of the more contemporary movies featured. Here is a scene from the live action version of 101 Dalmatians:
Those of you that are missing ElecTRONica, or just fans of the movie TRON in general will appreciate this section of the exhibit:
More modern props from some movies you may have heard of:
The crown jewel of the exhibit is this massive production model of the Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. This was one of the models used for filming, so needless to say it is incredibly detailed:
Some other props and costumes from the Pirates franchise:
If you’ve never had a chance to get up close and personal with a dragon, here is your chance:
There are also some hitchhiking ghosts that might need a ride:
There are plenty more things to see in both the Museum and the Archives exhibit, so it would be worth the drive for Disney fans. Allow yourself 3-5 hours to see everything, depending on your pace, and be prepared for traffic on the way back if you’re visiting during the week. I visited on a Saturday, and left Anaheim around 11am and drove back around 5pm with no trouble at all.
That’s it for now. Thanks for stopping by!
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