While in Los Angeles for the Solo: A Star Wars Story World Premiere, I had the honor to be invited to Walt Disney’s office tour in celebration of the 65th anniversary of Peter Pan. As in THE ORIGINAL office that Walt Disney worked in, filled with all furniture, paperwork, and mementoes that were in his office in the 1960s. It was AMAZING. Want to get a peek yourself & discover some of the amazing things we saw on Walt Disney’s Office Tour?
It’s hard to believe that the beloved movie, Peter Pan turns 65 this year. This movie is such a classic and has always ben one of my favorite Disney cartoons, way before I became a ‘Darling’. Honestly, that was just an added bonus.
In honor of the 65th Anniversary, we were invited to tour the place where it was created. From the Walt Disney’s office tour to a fun Peter Pan-themed scavenger hunt, we were all over Walt Disney Studios lot – walking thru history. It was such an incredible honor to walk thru the office who’s walls were “witness to more talent, innovation, and creativity than any other office in Hollywood.” And then we scrambled around the lot, gather as many points as we could in our scavenger hunt.
9 Fun Things You’ll See in Walt Disney’s Office Tour
Walt Disney occupied a corner office on the Walt Disney Studios Lot from 1940-1966. Many others after him used this space for their offices (including Michael Eisner and Marc Cherry), but in 2015, Disney Archivists put this area of the building back into the office suite from 1965. Filled with original furnishing, draperies, collectables, books and more, the office suites (both formal & working offices) are open to D23 members and social guests. So you can imagine my excitement to be invited to tour this space. To walk where Walt Disney and others developed plans for many motion pictures, theme parks, television shows and more. It was such an incredible experience – one I will never forget.
And what makes it so special is that everything – everything – in the offices are original. From the pencils on his desk, to the kleenex box and telephone, from the rolled up empty roll of paper perched precariously on the couch in his working office to the 1914 Knabe grand piano, all of it was stored and brought back to recreate the ambiance of the 1965 office. And here’s just a few fun things you can see:
Disney’s Special Oscar. The secretaries’ office holds a large cabinet with just some of the over 950 awards Walt Disney has won, including a replica of the special oscar he won for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This replica was used in Saving Mr. Banks.
Norman Rockwall drew Walt Disney’s daughters The offices have several photos of his daughters, including gold castings of their baby shoes, and pencil drawings by Normal Rockwall.
A golden bird that inspired animatronics. A tiny, moving golden bird in a cage that caught Disney’s attention in New Orleans helped inspire the early animatronics that helped shape Disneyland attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean, It’s a Small World, and Hall of Presidents.
The piano that the Sherman Brothers composed music on. As I mentioned earlier, Disney’s 1914 Knabe grand piano sits in his formal office. It’s the actual piano that Richard & Robert Sherman composed many of the Disney film scores. Our tour guide told us that many evenings, Richard would come to play Disney’s favorite song, “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.
Actual Telephone. It’s not that a telephone form 1966 is that amazing – but the fact that Dave Smith, who documented Disney’s office when he died, hid the it from the telephone company when they came back to retrieve their phones. So the phones in the offices are the actual phones that Disney used.
Upside Down Books. The bookshelf in Disney’s formal office was painstakingly recreated to look exactly the same as it did in 1966 – complete with upside down books and an uneven shelf. Can you spot it?
Map of Disneyland from 1965. In the working office, one wall is covered in a map of Disneyland with both open and upcoming attractions. And in one corner is some of the first drawings of Disney World.
Miniatures everywhere. Disney loved miniatures and collected more than can be displayed. Miniatures are scattered through out the offices and some can be found hidden behind closed curtains. A miniature deer that Disney crafted himself can be found behind his desk in his working office.
A Hidden Kitchen. Pocket doors slide back to reveal a full working kitchen in Disney’s working office. It comes complete with monogrammed glasses and his favorite food – spam.
These are just a few of the hidden gems that we saw on our Walt Disney’s Office tour that morning. There was so much to see and learn about the office, we could have spent hours there. If you even have an opportunity to take a Walt Disney’s office tour at the Walt Disney Studios, you should jump on it!
Peter Pan-Themed Scavenger Hunt Around Walt Disney Studios Lot
After the tour of Walt Disney’s offices, we were divided into teams to complete a fun Peter Pan-themed scavenger hunt. It was a fun opportunity to explore the the studios and to learn a little history.
We started in the Animation building, where Disney’s offices were located. This building has seen so many amazing Disney movies – from Dumbo to Peter Pan – it’s hard to believe you are walking thru so much history in these halls. While here, we were tasked to find the Peter Pan poster and then go deep into the tunnels to uncover some pixie dust. The tunnels were built to connect the animation building and the inking & painting buildings to protect the animators and their work from the elements.
We ran all over the lot, answering Peter Pan trivia, looking for Peter Pan’s shadows, playing a Captain Hook Ring Toss game, and more. It was a cross between the Amazing Race and a scavenger hunt and it was so much fun.
In the end, our team, Team Wendy, came in third place but we were pretty proud of ourselves for finding all the clues and finishing ahead of time.
Make sure you pick up Peter Pan on BluRay June 5, 2018
Make sure to pick up your copy of the Walt Disney Signature Collection Edition of Peter Pan for it’s 65th Anniversary. The digital download is available today and the Blu-ray is out June 5, 2018.
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Disclaimer: Disney sent me to Los Angeles on an all-expenses paid press trip, in exchange for my coverage of our time learning about the 65th Anniversary of Peter Pan. All opinions are my own.