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Walt Disney Archives exhibition to debut at Graceland in July

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

On July 23, 2021, the Graceland Exhibition Center in Memphis, Tenn. will host “Inside the Walt Disney Archives,” an exhibition celebrating the legacy of The Walt Disney Company with behind-the-scenes access never before granted to the public.

Inside the Walt Disney Archives

UPDATE – 07/22/21: The public will be able to experience Inside the Walt Disney Archives at Graceland on Friday, July 23 to celebrate the opening day of its six-month exhibition. Free activities for the opening will include speakers, music, photo-ops, a kids’ craft station, and a special ribbon cutting. Exhibit tour tickets and food and beverages will also be available for purchase.

Special guests for opening day include Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney Archives; Michael Vargo, vice president of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club; Bret Iwan, the voice of Mickey Mouse; Bill Farmer, Disney Legend and the voice of Goofy and Pluto; and Elvis Presley Enterprises CEO Jack Soden and Vice President of Archives & Exhibits Angie Marchese.

The opening event will begin at 10 a.m. CDT with a ribbon cutting ceremony (no charge), followed by a panel discussion at 12:45 p..m with Cline, Iwan and Farmer (no charge). From 2-4 p.m., there will be a Meet & Greet with Iwan and Farmer (no charge), and the exhibit will be open until 5 p.m.


The 10,000-square-foot traveling exhibit (currently at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif. through June 20, 2021) showcases more than 450 objects, including original artwork, costumes, and props like rarely-displayed sketches for “Fantasia,” a maquette from “Frozen,” and a Wolverine costume.

Disney's desk
Photo by Samantha Davis-Friedman

The items in the exhibit also cover a wide range of Disney properties, from Disney live-action and animated movies and 20th Century Fox films to items from the Disney Parks, vintage Disney merchandise, and even Walt Disney’s personal effects.

Highlights of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit include:

  • Jack Sparrow’s compass from “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
  • Mary Poppins’ original carpet bag
  • Vehicles from “Herbie: Fully Loaded,” “Tron: Legacy,” and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Tombstones and Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attraction
  • Prop storybook from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”

Plus:

alien xenomorph prop figure
Photo by Samantha Davis-Friedman
  • Alien Xenomorph prop figure from the Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ The Great Movie Ride attraction
  • Costumes from “Beauty and the Beast,” “101 Dalmatians,” “Pretty Woman,” “Walk the Line,” and many more Disney and 20th Century Fox films
  • Electromagnetic Shrinking Machine from “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”
  • Davy Crockett’s raccoon skin cap
  • Wilson the volleyball from “Cast Away”
  • The sword from “Zorro”
  • Magic Bedknob from “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”
  • Lumiere and Cogsworth props from “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)
  • Dead Man’s Chest from “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”
  • Congo Queen Model Boat from Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise

Family-friendly programming and presentations throughout the exhibition include:

  • Disney Trivia Nights
  • A Haunted Mansion Zoom panel with evening tours of the Disney exhibit and the Graceland Mansion
  • Exhibit Tour + Dive In Dinner & Movie Screening of “The Lion King” at the Guest House at Graceland Pool
  • Halloween costume party at the exhibit with a costume parade, candy stations, face painters, and craft stations
  • Exhibit Tours & Tea Parties
  • A Princess and Pirate party with crafts, trivia, bounce house, and games
  • Walt Disney’s Birthday Celebration Weekend
  • A screening of “The Princess and The Frog” and Zoom panel with Disney animators/filmmakers
Disneyland ticket
Photo courtesy of D23

“Inside the Walt Disney Archives” will be at the Graceland Exhibition Center from July 23, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022. Self-guided tickets are $15 for adults (age 11+) and $8 for children (age 5-10). Children 4 and under are free. There is also a 10% discount for groups of 15 or more.

VIP Tickets are also available for $50 and include a guided tour of the exhibit, special access to a VIP lounge, a commemorative lanyard, an exclusive commemorative pin, and a $15 food voucher. In addition, a $50 Passport ticket provides access to unlimited self-guided tours during the six-month window.

Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a 20% discount on single exhibition admission and VIP Tours (not valid on Passports or special events).

The AAA Four-Diamond Guest House at Graceland is offering a special package that includes the resort’s best available rate, discounted Disney exhibition tickets, and one complimentary Disney throw blanket per room.

Click here to see the full schedule and purchase tickets and hotel packages.

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