Thursday, November 8, 2012

Walk in Walt's Footsteps

While at Disneyland this time, I took the "Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps" Tour.  My husband had taken the tour years ago and really enjoyed it, so he encouraged me to take it this time.

It's a look at Disneyland history and attractions from the point of view of Walt Disney himself.  It was pretty cool to get a guided tour of the park and to see some things that other people don't get to see.  For instance, the tour allows access to the lobby of the exclusive, members-only Club 33.  Would like to have seen more than the tiny lobby, but it was cool nonetheless.  If anyone knows a member and ever gets to eat there, I'd love to hear about it.

We walked (slowly, thankfully, because my legs by day 4 were VERY sore) all over Disneyland and heard audio clips from various periods in Walt's and the park's history.  We got to go on Peter Pan's Flight without waiting in line (which is really a treat), and got to enjoy the Tiki Room show, too. 

The tour included a tasty lunch - the food at Disneyland has improved 100-fold since my husband and I first visited 10 years ago.

but the coolest part of the tour, by far, was something that has only recently been added to the tour (like within the last month, I believe) - a guided visit to Walt's private apartment over the fire station.  It meant going "backstage" and seeing what is behind the walls where the cast members are only allowed to go.  We didn't see much of it, but it was really cool to see even a little bit.

Walt's apartment is quaint.  But it isn't the decor or the size that's impressive, it's just the history.  And the love that the man had for the site.  It was cool to be one of the first people to visit it on this tour and to get to see a place that was so dear to this guy.

We were only supposed to have one picture (the one with me in it), but I snuck a couple more:

 
Here you can kind-of see the red upholstery on the couch at the left (under the gramophone trumpet)

 
Most of the stuff you see in the pictures is not original, but it's designed to look like it did when the Disneys were there.  The apartment is about 500 square feet and there's a nice little bathroom as well as a kitchenette.  It was cute.  Here are a couple of historic photos from the apartment (stolen from the Internet).
 
 
We were also all given a hefty pin with the famous quote from Disney on it:  "To all those who come to this happy place, welcome.  Disneyland is your land.  Here age relives fond memories of the past ... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.  Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America ... With the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world" (part of the opening day ceremonies at Disneyland July 17, 1955).
 

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