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Walt Disney Archives kicks off 50th anniversary with exhibit at Bowers Museum

by Brittani Tuttle

The Walt Disney Archives is celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, and to kick things off, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif. will host “Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic,” an exhibit that shares a rare look at some of the treasures of the Archives.

walt disney archives

This 10,000-square-foot traveling exhibit will open to the public on March 7, 2020. Guests visiting the exhibit will find a display of more than 400 objects including original artwork, costumes, and props that tell the story of the Archives, The Walt Disney Company, and Walt Disney himself. Some of the items on display will include never-before-displayed production art from “Fantasia,” Walt Disney’s office set from “Saving Mr. Banks,” the original pitch portfolio used to secure investors for Disneyland, maquettes from animated films like “Peter Pan” and “Frozen,” and more.

D23 Gold Members will be invited to an exclusive look at the exhibit before it opens to the general public during a special preview night. The exhibit will be open through Aug. 30, 2020 before it heads to other locations around the country, which will be revealed next year. D23 Gold Members will also receive a discount on tickets to the exhibit as well as a discount on merchandise in the museum store.

In addition to the exhibit, the Archives will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a variety of events in 2020:

  • The Archives will partner with the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for special ‘El Cap Throwback’ screenings during the year
  • A special exhibit, “50 Years of the Walt Disney Archives,” will debut at D23’s Destination D event at Walt Disney World Resort in fall 2020
  • D23’s Behind the Scenes Experience: A Day at the Studio Lot events in 2020, held exclusively for Gold Members
  • All official Walt Disney Studios Tours in 2020, presented by D23, will include a special gift for guests themed to the 50th anniversary

To learn more about Bowers Museum, visit Bowers.org.

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