The Team Disney Building at The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, California is red brick with a tan roof. Toward the top of the building are huge statues of seven dwarfs from Snow White, holding up the roof. Six are spread out equidistant to one another between the third and fourth story, Dopey is centered on the floor above the rest with his hands up as if holding up the peaked roof. The sun is shining behind the building with a bright blue sky.

D23 Members Step into the Magic on The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour

By Analise Warner and Emma Zomerman

Once upon a time, Walt Disney took a chance on the power of imagination, and, with the help of additional creative minds, the animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was born. With the funds acquired from Disney’s first full-length animated film, Walt was able to purchase the Burbank lot that is home to The Walt Disney Studios. D23 Members were able to step into the magic where dreams continue to come true by taking part in The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour. Members traveled through years of Disney history on the two-and-a-half-hour tour such as walking down studio lot streets where Walt himself would find inspiration, discovering about revolutionary entertainment industry milestones, and greeting friendly Burbank squirrels who started their residence after modeling for the animated classic Bambi.

When members arrived, they were immediately immersed in enchanting facts and information about The Walt Disney Company from tour guides who shared their vast knowledge. On the tour, they gained insight into key events from the founding of the Company in 1923 to current magic-making on the lot today.

Members had the opportunity to see original buildings from the Hyperion Lot that were moved to the current studio lot to help preserve the history created by Walt and his original team. While walking down Mickey Avenue, members felt like they were part of a movie set as they were standing on an actual set where feature films such as Saving Mr. Banks and Muppets Most Wanted took place!

Members first toured the original Animation building, where beloved animated films, including Cinderella and Lady and the Tramp, were created. which contains original artwork sketches from classic animated films including Tour guides discussed the legendary techniques pioneered by Walt Disney’s animators, and members got a close look at original artwork from their favorite animated films, including Aladdin, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, and Beauty and the Beast. Members also walked through the hall dedicated to Walt Disney commemorating his life from 1901 to 1966. Perhaps the most breathtaking experience of the tour was being invited into Walt’s office. The Walt Disney Archives carefully placed each treasure in his office exactly the way it was back in the day, where the Sherman brothers would often surprise Walt by serenading him with his favorite tune, “Feed the Birds.” Upon exiting the office suite, members received an exclusive gift to commemorate the memorable experience.

Additional highlights of the tour included a stroll pass iconic studios with revolutionary technology where famous motion pictures were created, such as Under the SeaMary PoppinsPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Members were further immersed in the company’s fascinating history by visiting the Walt Disney Archives where they explored the thriving legacy and historical collections of this one-of-a-kind studio. Members also got to hold the authentic Oscar® Walt Disney won for White Wilderness!

Guest holding golden Oscar statue in front of a dark blue wall with the Walt Disney Achieves logo. The guest has long dark hair and is wearing a black short sleeve shirt and army green pants. The Walt Disney Achieves logo features 5 different poses of Mickey Mouse. On the far left is Mickey Mouse in black and white and is holding a pencil. To the right is traditional Mickey Mouse with red shorts and yellow shoes and he is holding a pencil. To the right is Sorcerer Mickey in a red robe, blue sorcerer hat with white stars, and brown shoes and he is holding a pencil. To the right is Sir Mickey with a brown hat, red clothes and shoes and he is holding a pencil. To the right is current Mickey Mouse with red shorts and yellow shoes smiling back at the line of Mickey’s to his left.

The grand finale of the tour was the Legends Plaza, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the Disney legacy and is home to the iconic Team Disney Building, which is adorned by seven colossal seven dwarfs. Members took pictures in front of their favorite Disney Legends plaques along with the Sharing the Magic and Partners statues. As D23 members wrapped up their tour, admiring their commemorative keepsakes, they headed to the Employee Center and Disney Studio Store to purchase exclusive studio lot merchandise to commemorate this extraordinarily magical experience.

On behalf of the D23 Team, we hope the memories you made on this tour provided you with new and exciting facts and photos that you can share with your friends, family, and our Disney community. If you didn’t get to join us this time around, be sure to check out our upcoming tour events.

Tour guests smiling in front of The Walt Disney Studios castle backdrop. The castle is silver and gray mounted on a tan wall surrounded by green bushes. The guest on the left has short gray hair, a mustache and is wearing a navy-blue shirt with a red train on it and gray shorts. The guest to the right has long brown hair and is wearing a black T-shirt with neon designs and blue jean shorts. The guest to the right has black sunglasses, a white and black swirled shirt, black shorts, and black shoes. The guest to the right has a light blue button-up shirt with red strips and khaki shorts. The guest is wearing black sneakers. The guest in front has brown hair pulled in a ponytail. The guest is wearing a mid-length black dress and a light blue denim jacket with white sneakers. The guest to the right has short blond hair, a bright colorful shirt, black pants, and black sneakers. The guest to the right has a black hat, grey shirt with Sorcerer Mickey, black pants and black shoes. The guest to the right has a gray T-shirt with Walt Disney Imagineering written on it and is wearing blue jeans, white socks, and gray shoes.

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