A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

On my recent trip to California, I got the opportunity to see some of the best that Disney has to offer. I spent a day at Disneyland and California Adventure {my first visit!}, attended the premiere of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, visited Walt Disney’s Office and I got to tour the Walt Disney Archives. The Walt Disney Archives is the place where all the history of Disney and, in particular, Walt Disney is kept. If you want to know the true history of the Disney company, then this is the place to go. However, Disney places high regards on its history, so seeing the Walt Disney Archives is not just something anyone can do. Most of the Walt Disney Archives are not open to the public, or at least I don’t think they are. So, the fact that I got to see some of this history with my own eyes is pretty cool if you ask me. I feel quite privileged!

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives

To give you a little history of the Walt Disney Archives, they actually began in 1970, shortly after Walt Disney’s death. His brother, Roy, did not want to see the history of his brother’s company become mottled or lost somewhere. He wanted to create an archive to commemorate the legacy of Walt Disney and his company. He was pitched the idea by Dave Smith, an employee of the company, and Roy liked Dave’s idea. Dave Smith then began the long and tedious process of archiving everything in Walt Disney’s Office. And I got the rare opportunity to see some of this eclectic material.

One of the coolest things that I got to do was hold an original and authentic Oscar! Yes, the gilded statue that is awarded to Academy Award winners, that Oscar! This one was awarded to Walt Disney for White Wilderness in 1958 for Best Documentary. In case you were wondering, the Oscar is pretty heavy, but not real heavy. It weighed a bit more than I expected it too, though. I am guessing the weight was comparable to a bowling ball. So not your everyday trophy. 😉

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

Another thing that I saw at the Walt Disney Archives was the first ticket ever sold to Disneyland. It was purchased by Walt’s brother, Roy Disney, to show his support for Disneyland. Little did they know back then that Disneyland would become one of the best theme parks in the world. Looking at that ticket to me was like looking at the first car ever sold or the first ticket on a train ride ever. This is a huge piece of American history.

I also saw several original drawings and sketches of different characters from Disney’s animated history, in particular Mickey Mouse. Many of them were from Walt Disney’s original animation team that produced some of the first Disney cartoons and, later on, feature films. This is another piece of American history, especially film history. After all, it was Disney animated films like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Bambi that played huge parts in growing Walt Disney’s company.

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

There were also several collected pieces of Disney history, such as an original map of Disneyland. Throughout the archives there were several different figurines and statues, each representing the beginning of a new idea or era in the Disney legacy.

I also really loved the huge cardboard advertisement for the new movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which featured the characters of all of the film’s main stars, that we got to see on the way to the Walt Disney Archives Tour.

A Visit To The Walt Disney Archives In Burbank, California #PiratesLifeEvent

I have to say that being at the Walt Disney Archives was such an honor. This is a side of the Disney company that only a few people get to see. I have laid my eyes upon some pieces of iconic cinematic history and I can say that I felt a little more connected to Walt Disney and the Disney company after viewing these archives. It was a truly wonderful experience. Thank you, Disney for allowing me this opportunity!

Check out the rest of the pictures I took of the Walt Disney Archives and of Walt Disney’s Office on Flickr!

About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn has been a music lover her entire life. She went to college in Boone, NC, an area that is rich in music and culture. She also worked as a radio deejay for 8 years and grew up in Southeastern, Va, a melting pot of different musical styles and traditions. She has been to more concerts than she can count in every genre you can imagine. She resides in North Carolina with her furbabies and her massive collection of Disney memorabilia.


  1. What a fun visit! I love all things Disney (I am actually using my pink Minnie Mouse pen to write with today). This looks like a great place to visit and experience! PS-I noticed you went to App and live in NC, I am from Charlotte and reside near Bristol 🙂
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  2. I have no idea there was an archives area! That sounds like a fun adventure and something I would totally do! I love that you got to hold a real oscar!
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  3. Wow I don’t think I have ever been to the Disney archives! How cool! Very interesting.

  4. Kristina says

    Now this would be amazing to see and the history I’m sure is amazing. If I ever go to California again I’d love to see this.

  5. I am a huge Pirates of caribbean fan and a Walt Disney fan too! Would love to go when I am in California next time!
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  6. Wow that original oscar is so awesome, looks like such a great exhibition. One day I want to visit Disney World and I’d definitely head here x
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  7. Journa Ramirez says

    What an awesome experience, you are so lucky! I also love everything about Disney.. dreamy and magical!

  8. It looks like you had an amazing time! I am a Florida girl so I grew up going to Disney World and have taken m kids a few times, but I have always wanted to go to Disneyland.
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  9. This would be really neat to experience I think. I would love to see such greatness at the archives. Disney is so fascinating!

  10. I grew up in Marceline, MO and we have a lot of Disney archives, due to the fact he grew up there and had a lot of friends there. It is a delightful place, too!
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  11. Oh wow, visited disney so many times. But never visited the archives. Time to look into that.

  12. I would so love to visit the Disney archives! I’m a huge fan of Disney and this place looks like it would be such a fun place to learn some more about the history!

  13. YEAH! What an awesome experience and it must have felt surreal seeing all of the things that are featured in their archives. As a huge Disney fan, I really appreciate this!
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  14. Super awesome. I find Disney and Walt Disney’s history so fascinating! Thanks for sharing this!
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  15. I’ve always wanted to visit here! We are huge Disney fans and I love following my friends’ adventures on these press trips. Pirates looks like it was an awesome one!
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  16. How fascinating! I love that Walt’s brother made sure that his legacy wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle by opening up the Walt Disney Archives.
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  17. What an amazing opportunity! I would have geeked out so hard – especially when it came time to hold an Oscar haha! Talk about something you don’t get the chance to do every day!

  18. Oh man, I love learning about Walt Disney. We went to Disney World in December and it was so fun to get behind the scenes on the place on Walt!

  19. This would be so much fun to do. I’d love to see all the old archives of where Disney got started.
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  20. I’ve always wanted to go behind the scenes of Disney. To see all that history would be incredible.
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  21. Ray Roberts says

    I worked on the construction crew that poured the very first footing for Cinderellas Castle a number of officials from California were there to participate . A very large portrait was made and was in the preview center for many years. I had a copy from the news paper in Orlando but it got misplaced when i was drafted and was in VietNam
    For 2 1/2 yrs . Is there any way to see if that portrait still exists? It was the first poured
    Footing for the first phase of Walt Disney World. there would not be any of the older guys around anymore im 70 and i was 20 when it was taken… Can you help me??
    Best Regards. Thank You!
    Ray Roberts

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