Taking a journey into the Walt Disney Archives, to learn more about Pirates of the Caribbean and the company, was truly awe-inspiring. This is a place of dreams and imagination. Just like walking through Walt's Office, you couldn't help but feel the energy and creativity that seems to flow through the air.
The Walt Disney Archives was established in 1970 to collect, preserve, and make available for research the historical materials relating to Walt and the company he founded.
It has everything from documents and books, to merchandise and photographs. The Archives also contain historic props and costumes from the first Mickey Mouse Club series to the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
The space we entered was filled with echoes of the past. This is an animator's desk from the 1940s. These desks were built in collaboration with Walt and the animators to tailor it to their needs.
And all those books. I asked the archivist about them and he assured me these were only a sample. The Archives is home to warehouses full of books written by, for, and about the company. I could spend hours looking through just what was in this room alone!
They have publications dating back to 1932!
Although the Pirates of the Caribbean items had already been packed up, to get ready for D23, we did learn something very interesting. Pirates of the Caribbean was originally not slated to be a ride. It was going to be a wax museum. Don't believe me? Just take a closer look at the original map for Disneyland.
The idea was to create a walk-through wax museum where guests could get up close to villains, specifically pirates. However, with the success of “it's a small world” and Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, Walt reimagined the space and decided on a ride instead. I'm glad it's ride, I'm not overly fond of wax museums.
A few of my favorite finds.
The original map for Disneyland.
The first ticket ever sold for Disneyland. It was Roy, Walt's brother, who bought it. With it, the first ticket sold to Shanghai Disney Resort, the newest Disney Park.
The original name tags for Cast Members at Disneyland did not have their names, only a number. This is Walt's original name badge, #1.
“It seems to me that we have a lot of story yet to tell.” – Walt Disney
It was an honor and a privilege to get an inside look at some of the history of Disney. I only wish I could spend more time there.
I was invited by Disney for a special press trip to share my experience of Pirates with my readers. All opinions are my own.
WOW, what a cool place to learn about Disney History! Love that original Map of DisneyLand. Crazy that cast members were numbers instead of names!
So much awesomeness all in one place. I love all things Disney!
I didn’t even know that there was a Disney archives. I bet it was amazing to see all of that Disney history and memorabilia in person!
I would love to check this out. I’m a big fan of Disney. I wish tickets were still $1 😉
Wow !! i love your collection !! Its my dream to visit Disney one day
Ana De- Jesus
I am glad that they turned it into a ride as well as opposed to a wax museum, much more fun. It must have been amazing to have taken a walk back into history and look at the archives x
Wow, that looks amazing! I love Disney so much, it is truly magical. I would love to know more of the history.
Raine C. S.
Wow this is unbelievable really. Is this open to the public? What a seriously amazing collection to see. Thanks so much for writing this. I’m glad I got to read it.
Thanks for sharing these images, it is amazing to have a glimpse into Disneys history! I hope I can visit here one day myself!
This is amazing! I would love to visit and learn more about Disney’s history.
I love to learn as much as I can about Disney History. I would love to go to the Disney Archives.
I love your post. I love Disney and I really want to check this out ASAP. Thanks for sharing.
OXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger</a
All the things seemed so cool, it is so great to learn about the disney history. I’ve always been a fan of this one.
It’s a nice opportunity to see where it all began and what happened next. I think this is a lovely tour! It’s definitely a must to experience.
Now that you told me that it was going to be a wax museum I am rethinking what I think about the ride. I don’t think I would want it to change. But wouldn’t it be cool to have a wax museum somewhere in Disneyland where you could take pictures with your favorite wax villain. That just sounds like fun to me.
I am Disney fan and it is privilege for me if I will be invited as well in this kind of event. I would love to see the Disney archives too! Checking out the Disney history is a one of a kind experience.
I love everything about history and Disney so I’m sure this would be memorable for me. I think its awesome that you got to journey into the Disney archives.
Wow thsi would be so cool to see! I love Disney and learning about these archives is ag reat way to find out some history!
Omg so much Disney awesomeness!!!!! Definitely a dream tour. You just have had the best of time!!!!
I’m such a Disney fan and would love to see the Disney archives 🙂 🙂 What a cool trip!
I didn’t even know this existed. Of course I still have never been to any Disney parks either. I am determined to get there someday though.
I would love to see that in person. It looks like it holds a lot of great history. I love reading and seeing things from the past.
Oh wow, I didn’t know there was so much at the Disney Archives. That collection of books in amazing!
I wonder how many books in total if that is only a snippet! What a wonderful opportunity you had!
This would be amazing to go and see! I love seeing his desk, how cool to think what was created there.
What a cool journey! I would love to discover these Disney treasures. So jealous. 🙂
Oh my gosh! The map of Disneyland is amazing. What a cool experience!
Lois Alter Mark
Wow, this must have been an amazing experience. The treasures in those archives are the stuff of legend!
JESSICA A HARLOW
What an amazing visit into the world of Walt Disney! I think one of my favorite finds would be that original Disneyland map too! There must be so much history, art, creativity, and life flowing in the Disney archives!
So much history in one place! I love the watch. WhenI was in high school I had a Mickey Mouse watch just like the one.
This is really neat. I love reading about Walt and the things he has created over the course of his life.
OMG, how amazing was that? I would be in awe and so emotional walking through here.
What an amazing collection! Walt’s story its so amazing and inspirational!