Ronald Reagan Library and Museum to Host Largest Exhibition of Disney Archives to Date

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan LibraryD23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, which encompasses more than 500 historic artifacts from nearly nine decades of Disney history, opens at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum on July 6, continuing through April 2013.

Presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, ‘D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives’ is the largest exhibition ever curated by the Walt Disney Archives, at 12,000 square feet. From Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mickey Mouse to Captain Jack Sparrow and Captain America, the exhibition features more than 500 artifacts, at least half of which have never been seen by the public –  including models, props, costumes, set pieces, and artwork from throughout Disney history.

“Ronald Reagan and Walt Disney were longtime friends, two optimists who shared an unwavering belief in the essential goodness of the American way of life,” said Bob Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “We’re proud to partner with the Reagan Library and the National Archives to showcase Disney’s rich entertainment legacy. This extraordinary exhibit will offer visitors an unprecedented look into Disney’s history and celebrate the connection between these two American originals.”

Among the extraordinary items to be featured are:

  • The original script, written by Walt Disney, for Mickey Mouse’s film debut in 1928’s Steamboat Willie
  • A faithful recreation of Walt’s formal office from the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, Calif., including original furnishings and many of his personal items
  • Hand-drawn artwork and hand-sculpted models used in the production of some of the most beloved Disney animated film classics ever created, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty
  • Props from classic Disney live-action productions, including Mary Poppins, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Shaggy Dog, Babes in Toyland Bedknobs and Broomsticks and more
  • Breathtaking props, costumes, and set pieces from recent Disney classics, including the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON: Legacy, National Treasure and Captain America
  • Intricately sculptured busts of all 44 U.S. Presidents that were created for Audio-Animatronics® figures seen in the The Hall of Presidents attraction at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort
  • A salute to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, showcasing theme park artwork, Audio-Animatronics® characters, memorabilia and authentic attraction vehicles

The exhibition also pays tribute to the long personal friendship and professional collaboration between Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan, which began many years before President Reagan’s political career.

On July 17, 1955, Ronald Reagan was one of the co-hosts of ABC Network’s live coverage of the opening of Disneyland, and as governor of California, he frequently visited Disney’s first theme park. After leaving the Oval Office, one of his first public events was a return to Disneyland, where he officiated at the park’s January 1990 35th-anniversary celebration, proclaiming it “one of America’s national treasures.”

“Walt Disney and Ronald Reagan shared a passion for America, a belief in the human spirit, and an innate optimism that, in both men, galvanized the public,” said John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. “President Reagan was a great admirer of Walt Disney, and we are tremendously proud to host this wonderful exhibition of Disney treasures, and to honor the bond between Walt and President Reagan.”

For exhibit hours and additional information, visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum online at www.reaganlibrary.com, or www.Disney.com/D23. Admission to the exhibition is included with the purchase of admission to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Through April 2013, when the exhibition is scheduled to end, members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club also save $2 on every adult admission.

“At 12,000 square feet, this is the largest special exhibit the Reagan Library has ever put on,” said Duke Blackwood, director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. “It is a testament to the relationship between Walt Disney and our nation’s presidents, as well as the story of Disney, itself. The Reagan Library and National Archives are honored to host this extraordinary exhibit.”

The Ronald Reagan Library & Museum is located in Simi Valley, Calif., about 60 minutes north of downtown Los Angeles and approximately two hours north of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

 

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