The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger, joined by members of the Disney family, dedicated Walt Disney’s newly restored office suite on the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank today. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Burbank studio, the Walt Disney Archives restored the space, located in the original Animation Building, to include Walt’s formal and working offices, along with original furnishings, some items from his collection of miniatures, awards, and his piano.
“We put this permanent exhibit together to serve as a source of inspiration,” said Iger during the ceremony, “a reminder to have great ambition, to take bold creative risks, to constantly innovate and push the limits of possibility, to relentlessly pursue perfection, and to tell fantastic stories that touch peoples’ hearts. That was Walt Disney.”
Walt Disney’s granddaughters Joanna Miller, Jennifer Goff, and Michelle Lund were on hand for the event, along with special guests including Richard Sherman (composer of Mary Poppins, “It’s a Small World,” and many Disney classics), Kathryn Beaumont (the voice of Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan), and former head of Walt Disney Imagineering Marty Sklar.
In 1970, when Disney Legend Dave Smith founded the Walt Disney Archives, Walt’s furnishings from his offices were removed, and, for the last 45 years, they were safely cared for by the staff of the Walt Disney Archives. Through exhibitions and loans from the Archives, millions of guests have seen special displays of items from the office at Disney’s theme parks in California and Florida and in museums around the country.
This new, permanent exhibit is dedicated to the creative genius of Walt Disney and presents the history of the man and the company he founded through artifacts and images. There will also be rotating exhibits on various Disney subjects to celebrate anniversaries, films, and events throughout the Company’s history from 1923 to the present day. The first exhibit is dedicated to Kem Weber, the architect who designed the look and feel of the Studio lot, which opened in 1940. Weber also designed furniture for the Studio, and his designs, along with concept artwork, will be showcased for a limited time.
Walt Disney’s office will be open to Disney employees, cast members, and studio visitors. In 2016 it will be added to tours of the Studio lot and Archives that D23: The Official Disney Fan Club regularly offers to its Gold Members.