A Letter From Walt Disney Family Museum’s Executive Director, Richard Benefield

The following letter was published earlier today on the Facebook page of the Walt Disney Family Museum and has been copied here with permission. We encourage all of our readers to become a Fan of the Museum on Facebook to be apprised of the latest news and announcements from the Museum as well as images of just some of its amazing collection on display. You can also follow the museum on Twitter.

Richard Benefield, Executive Director of the Walt Disney Family MuseumWalt Disney was a storyteller.

Whether he was making a film or developing a theme park, Walt was always telling stories, and what great stories they were: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,Old Yeller (the first movie I, personally, remember seeing), and Mary Poppins to name just a few! Starting this fall, The Walt Disney Family Museum will tell the inspiring story of the man himself, Walt Disney, using his own words, his own voice, and the voices and words of many of his collaborators and family members in video and audio exhibits. You will also find original animation art; photographs and film clips; Walt’s train, the Lilly Belle; a meticulously hand-crafted model of the Disneyland of Walt’s imagination; as well as examples of the technologies that Walt pioneered, like the multiplane camera and the optical printer.

As you enter the Museum, the first thing you will notice is an extensive selection of some of Walt’s more than 900 awards for his artistic work and service to mankind. Among them are 29 of his 32 Academy Awards®, including the only special Oscar® that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences® ever made: one regularsized Oscar with seven small ones. The award, of course, was presented to Walt in recognition of his distinguished work on the feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Walt’s amazing achievements—not only cartoons, film, and television, but also Disneyland, exhibits for the 1964 World’s Fair, and plans for EPCOT—will come to life in the new museum located in an historic army barracks in the Presidio of San Francisco. Because we want everyone visiting us to have a wonderful Museum experience, all admission will be by timed-entry ticket, allowing a set number of people through the door every fifteen minutes. Once you’re in, you can stay as long as you wish! To find out how to purchase your timed-entry tickets, please visit us at www.waltdisney.org.

The Museum is also home to a state-of-the art theater where we will hold screenings, lectures, classes, and live performances. It’s a beautiful place to see an old favorite, like Pinocchio, or something new from one of the Bay Area’s hottest animators. You can find out about these events on our website, but if you become a member of The Walt Disney Family Museum, you will receive a quarterly newsletter and special advance announcements of upcoming events and programs in print or via email. Members also receive discounts on admission to many of our programs and screenings, and they can always go online to get their free timed-entry tickets to the galleries.

We do hope you will visit us again and again to learn more about Walt Disney and to experience the wonderful programs we have in store. We look forward to seeing you at the Museum this fall.

Richard Benefield
Founding Executive Director

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