This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to tour the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank with a small group of other D23 members. This is something I've wanted to do for a very long time and I cannot put into words how grateful I am that this ended up happening.
Our tour was scheduled for 12:30PM. My dad and I arrived around 11:50 for checkin at noon and were one of the first groups there. We browsed the store for a while and I decided to do my shopping at the end of the tour. We were led into the Hyperion Bungalow, one of the oldest buildings on the lot, and were given fresh water, coffee, fruit, and cookies. A movie played that gave a brief but informative look at Walt's life.
Then, the tour began! The first thing we learned about was this topiary, originally a gift from WDW, that is now on it's 4th edition due to the California heat.
The next thing we saw was this iconic street sign that made for a great photo op!
Pluto's Corner is named for the fire hydrant. There are 3 paw prints beside it, as Pluto's third paw is a bit busy ;)
As we continued walking around the lot, we learned the story of the iconic Walt Disney Studios water tower.
Roy Disney liked the aesthetic of six legs better than four and paid a couple thousand dollars to make it the way he wanted. It worked, because the aesthetic is much superior to others.
This building is where the sound for many Disney/Pixar movies has been recorded.
And this is the sound stage where several iconic films, like "Pirates of the Caribbean" were shot!
After that, I got this picture of the adorable pedestrian walkway.
I honestly cannot remember what this next pic was, sorry!!
We also got to see the outside of the Motion Picture Archives... Apparently they have video cameras in the ducts so no one can sneak in through there!! Guess security watched "Boondock Saints".
Next up was getting to see inside the main archives room. Just outside, they had some amazing pieces of Disney and Fox costuming, including Rami Malek's Freddie Mercury Live Aid costume from "Bohemian Rhapsody"!
Inside the archives, we got to see some really cool pieces of Disney history. This, for example, is a drawing of Mickey done by Walt himself!
And this is an opening day commemorative ticket from Disneyland!
And even more rare... an opening day parking pass!
They also had a lot of props, such as the book from the opening sequence of "The Sword in the Stone".
Some signage from the parks...
And this huge shelf of memorabilia and props!
After exiting the archives, we saw this old school film device that created the illusion of depth perception in old cartoons like "Bambi".
Outside, we saw this fence with a rare "hidden Minnie".
Next up, we got to go into the Ink and Paint building, which was so cool!
We weren't allowed to take too many pictures in there, but we did get to take one of this diorama that showed the art of making an animation, utilizing various characters. I'm posting this one with my fave, Gus Gus!
Next up was the highlight of the tour - Walt's office! First, though, we saw what an animator's office would've looked like back in the day, complete with custom furniture.
And this is what Walt's inner secretary's office would've looked like!
It also had a shelf with many of Walt's accolades.
Some Oscars, a couple Grammys, many Golden Globes, and I think a few Emmys were mentioned. Not quite an EGOT but very close!
Next up was Walt's main office!!!!
This was literally a dream come true. I look up to this man so much, so standing in his office as he would've kept it was a true honor.
This was his custom piano!
And an area for the young ones to play :)
And this was Walt's second office! He kept the desk lower to the ground than many offices do to promote easier cooperation :)
And this is the planning board for my home park, Disneyland!
The Haunted Mansion boasts 1,001 ghosts here, so we must have lost two along the way!
And here is the planning board for Walt Disney World (named so to honor Walt after his passing rather than simply Disney World), or the Florida Project.
The flowery looking thing is Epcot!
And here is Walt's in-office kitchen, stocked with several of his favorites, like chili, spam, and room temperature V8!
Our tour ended in Legend's Plaza, where I got to take a really cool picture with the Partners Statue, which you can't get this close to in any of the parks!
The bench statue was here as well!
They had all the Disney Legends plaques, so I went to find Mark and Carrie's, aka my favorites!
I think they're saving that last spot for Harrison Ford ;)
And here is a picture of the Michael Eisner building, with the Seven Dwarfs on top, with the Legends Statue in front!
And, if you look close enough, there's a cameo by my boy, Gus Gus!
And we ended our tour where all great Disney things end... The gift shop. Though they had so much cool stuff, I limited myself to the Walt Disney Studios exclusive spirit jersey, so you'll probably see me in that very soon!
Anyway, if you're a D23 member, I highly recommend this experience! It was so cool and I can't wait to do it again next year!