D23 Disney Archives Exhibit at Reagan Library

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to visit the new Disney archives exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.  There’s pretty much no other reason to visit Simi Valley, but there I was.

I’m not a D23 member at the moment, so I paid the full $21 admission price to get in.  Well worth it and it includes the presidential museum as well.  It took me about 5 hours to go through both exhibits.  And you could probably spend longer, but I had to get back to Hollywood for my show at the Comedy Store.

My fear was that it would be a lot of stuff I’d seen before.  I’ve been to both D23 Expo archive exhibits, the Disney Family Museum, and the Disney Archives itself.  Some of the stuff I’d seen before, but they did manage to bring out some good surprises.

Note to art/animation fans… There’s not a lot of animation art on display in this exhibit.  There’s a few things in the first couple rooms, but this one is a lot more about movie props and Walt stuff.  Though the few pieces that are included are fantastic.

Ok, on to the pictures…. I’m going to go out of order here.  Otherwise it will take forever to sort through the pics.  You can click on the picture to see a larger version.

Disney World Presidents

These are the sculpted busts of each and every American president, used for the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World.

This is the original airbrush acrylic painting of the iconic Beauty and the Beast movie poster.


The original acrylic painting for The Little Mermaid film poster. It is NOT the infamous one with the penis tower. So this must have been painting #2.

The scale working model of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean. Also seen at the last D23 Expo, though more dramatically lit here. And the thing is huge! Easily 20 ft long and 18 ft high.

Another view of the Black Pearl model.

A treasure chest prop from Pirates of the Caribbean.

The infamous Pirates of the Caribbean compass. This piece was also seen at the D23 Expo.

Will Turner's dead pirate costume from Pirates of the Caribbean

The Bone Throne from Pirates of the Caribbean. Dead Man's Chest(?)

Need I explain? This is Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow costume from Pirates of the Caribbean.

This is a pirate animatronic from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Walt Disnery World.

These hitchiking ghosts are from the Disney World version of The Haunted Mansion.

The bride from WDW's Haunted Mansion attraction.

It's Little Oscar from the Country Bear Jamboree! Of all the formerly "living" things now encased in glass boxes, I felt the most bad for Oscar.

Murphy the Dragon from Disneyland's Fantasmic. This thing is huge! It's just the head of course. The original body was mostly fabric. Pretty intense to see up close though.

Another shot of Murphy the Dragon's head from straight on. This is my cell phone wallpaper now. 🙂

This is RX-24, your original tour guide on Star Tours at Disneyland before the new 2.0 changes.

Captain America's costume and portable ready room from the film.

I don't believe this is a costume. Just a large figure of some sort. Not sure. I really just took the picture for my girlfriend who's a big fan of the Iron Man films.

Tony Stark's race car from Iron Man.

Costumes from the original Tron film.

It's amazing how goofy and low budget the Tron costumes look close up.

This is a lightcycle figure from Disneyland's ElecTRONica street party.

The Flynn's Arcade and video games from Tron Legacy.

Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter costume from Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland.

Costumes from the battle scene in Alice In Wonderland.

Maquettes and set pieces from Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland. These are much larger than the typical small maquettes you see for animated films. These figures were nearly 3 feet tall.Cruella DeVille's fire dress from 101 Dalmations.

The sign leading to the lower level of the exhibit where the larger movie artifacts are being shown.

One of two Lucretia Borgia paintings from The Shaggy Dog.

The second Lucretia Borgia painting from the Shaggy Dog. Both paintings were very large and authentic looking. You could easily picture them in a real art gallery.

The prop ring that turns Wilby into a dog in The Shaggy Dog.

The Isle of Naboombu books and the bedknob from Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

Emelius Browne's street display from the Portobellow Road scene of Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

One of the original flubber cars from The Absent Minded Professor. Four different cars were used in the film.

Mary Poppins costume from the movie. This piece has also been seen at the Expo archives exhibit.

The shooting model for the Nautilus in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea. It's made out of brass and measures about 5 feet long.

I'd definitely never seen this before. This is the script with Walt Disney's handwritten notes for the plaque aboce the railroad tunnel at the entrance to Main Street that welcomes everyone to Disneyland.

This is cast member badge #1. That would be Walt Disney's personal badge, of course. Interesting that they didn't use names originally.

I'd seen a couple other early tickets, but this is ticket #1 to Disneyland, owned by Roy Disney. That $1 admission price would get you exactly nothing at the park today.

This is the stuffed Mickey that rode the train with Walt Disney during Disneyland's opening day telecast. Can be seen in many famous photos with Walt from that day.

Walt Disney was a collector of miniatures and little mechanical toys. This tiny mechanical bird in a cage became one of his inspirations for creating AudioAnimatronics.

I'm not entirely sure this is the original, but I think it is. Herb Ryman's initial presentation drawing of Disneyland used to entice bankers into investing in the idea.

This is the storybook from the opening title sequence of Snow White. The Sleeping Beauty one, which I'd seen before, was also on display.

This is a maquette of the Pleasure Island donkey-driven coach from Pinnocchio. I had to bit my tongue to not be an annoying know-it-all Disney nerd when the lady behind me exclaimed "The donkeys look so sad! Why do they look so sad?!" Bit my lips and moved on.

These are original drawings from The Brave Little Tailor. Not cels, so I assume they are storyboard art.

This is an original script with story board drawings for Steamboat Willy. It doesn't get much more historic than that.

The shooting model of the HMS Endeavor from Pirates of the Caribbean. This has never been seen at other exhibits.

The title card from various Mickey Mouse shorts. Also makes a great cell phone wallpaper. 🙂

Ok kids.. That’s all for today.  If you have a chance definitely go visit the exhibit at the Reagan Presidential Museum in Simi Valley.  Oh, and while you’re here, download my new single “Geeks Don’t Care”.  It took me a couple hours to put all these pics up for you. 🙂

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