Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Walt Disney Family Museum, Pt. 4

The Disneyland model is one of the most talked about exhibits at the Walt Disney Family Museum. Instead of being a literal model of Disneyland at any one period, it represents the "ideal" Disneyland, featuring some of the most beloved attractions all at once. You are able to see through the top of the Carousel of Progress building and view the attraction itself:

Fantasyland sports the Tournament façades that graced the fronts of the dark rides during Walt's Day; these buildings have also had their roof removed allowing guests to view a representative scene:

The Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship is back in Fantasyland:

and so is Skull Rock—hooray!

The Indian Village is on the banks of Frontierland:

And New Orleans Street has Aunt Jemima's Kitchen, not Riverbelle Terrace:

New Orleans Square has been included, with a nice open view of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. The Hitchhiking Ghosts have been placed on the outside of the attraction; their eerie green glow calls attention to them:

A shot down Main Street; I was surprised that the attraction posters were not put out front; however, the color scheme of the Bank and the façade for Bekins match the original style:

Another view of Tomorrowland:

In Frontierland, there's no Big Thunder Mountain, just the classic Nature's Wonderland attraction:

Zooming in, you can see this cutaway of the Rainbow Caverns section:

The PeopleMover is visible in the foreground of this shot of the small world attraction:

Shortly after seeing this, the exhibit wraps up with a few tales about the projects that Walt was working on during his last days. After going through the entire museum and learning so much about the man and his family, it is hard to avoid getting emotional when reading about his passing.

Still, the final panels are both celebratory and uplifting:

Surely by now you are interested in seeing the museum in person; if so, go to the Walt Disney Family Museum website to plan your first visit.

See more Walt Disney Family Museum photos (especially more shots of the Disneyland model) on my WD Family Museum web pages.


Major Pepperidge said...

As a kid I always sort of wished I could build an elaborate model railroad (but never did). Now I wish I could build my own model of Disneyland! I'll start with Tomorrowland and work my way around.

MRaymond said...

The detail on the model is amazing. It reminds me of the old suvenier maps that showed a small representation over the attraction. I like that the ATIS and Mine train are there. My personal faves.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I am so pleased you got to visit this museum. Our visit was a high point for me. I knew you would love it.

The giant model was such a surprise to find in the basement. I think of it as "Disneyland in Heaven" due to the mix and match of times. Really beautiful and uplifting.

One last comment. Did you notice the style of the museum architecture? Very old-fashioned and historic on the upper levels where the original Presidio building framework is visible and also in keeping with the era of Disney's life depicted, then as you go down, the passages lead into the new structure added specifically for the museum, and the style becomes progressively more modern, both in details and materials, until the exit corridor, all done in ceramic glass and animated video screens, right out of the House of the Future. An architectural tour-de-force, just like Disneyland, and so subtle it is barely noticeable.


Anonymous said...

@Major Pepperidge. I think we could do that now with the 3D software available. Using your photo collection, a 3D model could be constructed true to scale and color, then the model could be printed in sections with a 3D printer and assembled to make up the whole park. I know this technology exists, but don't know enough about how to implement it.

It would be fun to try.


stu29573 said...

Ok, somebody get the bulldozer out. We are rebuilding Disneyland like the model!

Annie said...

This is awesome! I need to go to the museum so bad!

In the part about Nature's Wonderland, I think it's Thunder Mountain that replaced it, not Splash Mountain.

Great post Dave! Thank You!

Bryce said...

I found the final rooms of the museum very moving; I burst out in tears at the television announcing Walt Disney's passing, as I remember that time very well. And the final room with the panels was joyful and inspiring. I have never had such an experience at any other museum!

Dave Meek said...

Thank you, Dave, for posting all of this. I haven't had a chance to get up to the museum myself yet, but all of the glowing reports have me very excited to go. As an artist and model maker myself I really found the shots of the Disneyland model to be fascinating. Well done to all who worked on it. The love and dedication shows. So glad they are allowing photos now.

@ Major, as someone who is building a bit of Frontierland in model railroad form, I can relate!

Daveland said...

JG -I didn't notice the change in design along the way, but as you pointed out, so true - and so well executed!

Annie - You are correct. Still, I am happy to report that Splash Mountain is nowhere to be found on the model, either - just the Indian Village!

Bryce - It truly is an emotional journey.

K. Martinez said...

I can't wait to see this. Only a couple of weeks.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. So, they have this super expensive model but it's not accurate to any year? I don't understand the point of that. It's pretty and everything, but if it's not accurate as to any time period then what's the point?

Daveland said...

Anonymous - It's meant to be a "best of" type model; it was not striving to be perfectly accurate and precise. So, for those that require a historic record of what the park looked like at a specific time, this model will not meet those requirements. I am all for accuracy, but in this case, I loved what they did. I think it shows creativity and allows everyone's favorite vintage attractions to live together harmoniously.