Walt Disney Gallery, The

Disney Gallery, The Display of Disneyland-related artwork, designs, and models, above Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, opened on July 11, 1987, and closed on August 7, 2007. This area had originally been planned as an apartment for Walt and Roy Disney, and in fact if you study the wrought iron railings on the balcony, you can see the initials of RD and WD. After Walt’s death, Roy decided not to build the apartment. Instead, the area was later used as a VIP lounge by INA, one of the Disneyland participants, and as offices for those planning Tokyo Disneyland. When trying to decide how to help the traffic flow in front of Pirates of the Caribbean, Disney Imagineer Tony Baxter redesigned the queue area, but he also had the idea of building curved staircases up to the second floor and opening the area up to guests. The Imagineers had long wanted a place where they could display some of their concept art for the park. The artwork in the Gallery was changed from time to time, and lithographs and other limited-edition pieces were sold there. Regular signings of books and prints helped draw guests to the Gallery. A new Disney Gallery opened in the former bank location on Main Street, U.S.A., on October 2, 2009; in 2013 it moved to the lobby of the Opera House, as Disneyana took its place. A Disney Gallery also opened above World Bazaar at Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1993.