Walt Disney Archives 50 Years of Preserving the Magic

Tickets Now On Sale For The Walt Disney Archives Exhibit at the Bowers Museum

Tickets are now on sale for “Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic” exhibition on the history of the Walt Disney Company. It’s scheduled to run March 7 to Aug. 30 at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.

The exhibition includes more than 400 objects from the archives, including production models from the movies “Frozen” and “Peter Pan,” the set of Walt Disney’s office used in the movie “Saving Mr. Banks,” never-before-displayed sketches from “Fantasia” and of ghouls from the Haunted Mansion ride and super hero costumes.

This 10,000-square-foot traveling exhibit premiered at the Disney fan club D23 Expo Japan in 2018, and is to be supplemented by some rare items on loan to the Bowers.

Tickets will be timed for entry, to manage expected crowds. Adult prices are $23 weekdays, $25 on weekends. Free for Bowers members (Annual memberships start at $40). The museum is closed on Mondays.

Members of the D23 Disney fan club and Bowers Museum members will get exclusive previews of the show. Bowers membership, which can be purchased online, will also entitle members to special events such as an opening day lecture by Walt Disney Archives director Becky Cline, and more.

The Bowers is located at 2002 N. Main St. Santa Ana. It’s mostly known for its exhibitions of cultural artifacts from around the world. Learn more at bowers.org

Here’s the lineup announced so far:

  • March 4: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Evening preview of the exhibit for D23 Disney fan club members.
  • March 5: The Bowers’ annual fundraising gala, this year in honor of Disney. The honorary chairman this year will be Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering.
  • March 7: Public opening of the exhibition at 10 a.m.
  • March 7: Lecture by Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives, in the Norma Kershaw Auditorium at 1:30 p.m.
  • March 8: Legendary Disney filmmaker Don Hahn lectures on the craft and history of Disney storytelling at 1:30 p.m.. He is known for producing Disney films like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent.
  • March 14: Theme songs of Disneyland presentation with Stacia Martin highlighting lesser-known treasures. at 1:30 p.m.
  • March 21: ‘Eat Like Walt’ Dinner Celebration with Marcy Carriker Smothers, featuring Walt Disney’s favorite meals of the mid-century as served by the chefs at Tangata, and the author presenting each course. ($175-195) , 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (includes evening access to the exhibition)
  • March 29: Screening of the Disney animated feature “Fantasia” in the auditorium at 1:30 p.m.. ($10-15).
  • April 4: Walt Disney Archives exhibit Tour & Tea Party with Robert Maxhimer at 2 p.m. (sold out)
  • April 12: Free Easter scavenger hunt with paid admission in the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with items tying back to the exhibit. Ask at the desk.
  • April 25: Inside the 20th Century Fox collection presentation with archivist Lynne Drake at 11 a.m.

Walt Disney Archives 7-Lecture Series: ($120-$180 per person, individual tickets also available)

Various Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. from April 11 through August 22. There will be lectures on topics such as “Inside the 20th Century Fox Collection,” “Weird Mickey,” “Disneyland: Fond Memories of the Past,” and “The Art of Disney Costuming,” among other topics related to the Archives. Presentations will be held in the Norma Kershaw Auditorium

  • April 11: Panel discussion of fun facts and behind the scenes stories about the last 50 years at the Walt Disney Archives, as shared by the archivists who preserve them.
  • April 25: Inside the 20th Century Fox collection, with photos, props, artworks and more from films such as “The Shape of Water,” “Cleopatra” and “Alien.”
  • June 27: Weird Mickey tales shared by Becky Cline.
  • July 12: Fond memories of Disneyland presented by Becky Cline and Stacia Martin.
  • Aug. 9: Highlights from the photo library
  • Aug. 22: Panel discussion on the “Art of Disney Costuming” book.

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