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Walt Disney Museum—The magic that Walt made

in From the Mobile App, Hidden Gems, Kid-Friendly, Museums

Mickey Mouse at Disney Family Museum, photo © Kevin Collins via Creative Commons

Walt Disney went bankrupt — twice. He toughed it out through numerous setbacks, including WWII, during which half his employees were requisitioned by the army and his artists were on strike. He put Donald Duck in uniform and produced a Victory March book. He invited Frank Lloyd Wright to lecture and Salvador Dali to work in his studios (they came). He collaborated with the great conductor Leopold Stokowski on Fantasia. He liked to eat Spam and eggs with biscuits and honey. He testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He invented the ingenious multiplane “super cartoon” camera.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is about Walt, the man, and it shows his difficulties as well as his triumphs, his perseverance as well as his vision. Ten galleries tell his story, from Laugh-O-Gram Films to the always-evolving Disneyland of Walt’s imagination. One entire wall is devoted to the 350 drawings of Steamboat Willie that were required to create less than one minute of animated action.

Regardless of what the marketing materials say, the museum will be more interesting for adults than for children, who take for granted the magic that Walt created.

Transit: If you aren’t driving, try the Muni line #43, which stops frequently on Letterman Drive. The museum is also on the weekend route for the PresidiGo Shuttle. Note: Montgomery Street in the Presidio is not the same as the Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco.

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination—Author Neal Gabler was the first writer to gain complete access to Disney archives, and his book thus offers a complete telling of the fabulous story behind one of America’s most beloved icons—the man who received more Academy Awards (32) than anyone else in history. All phases of Disney’s life are covered, but the book centers on the early years in the studio, when Mickey Mouse, Fantasia, and Pinocchio came to life. About $14. Learn more about or buy Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

The Walt Disney Trivia Book: Secrets, History & Fun Facts Behind the Magic—This book will help you discover Walt Disney World’s secrets, history, hidden treasures, and the little details that make everything so wonderful. It is divided into six chapters. Chapter One covers the “World” in general; the next four chapters cover each of the theme parks; and the sixth and last focuses on the areas “Beyond the Parks” — the resort hotels, the monorail, Downtown Disney, and the water parks. Each chapter begins with multiple-choice questions, followed by the correct answers and additional fun facts about the subject. A great road trip companion and an easy way to brighten your day! About $10. Buy The Walt Disney World Trivia Book Volume 1 or Volume 2.

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