Walt Disney Archives 50th anniversary exhibit

UPDATE: Bowers Museum Announces Disney Exhibit Extended to April 25

By Beth Deitchman

Updated February 17, 2021: The Walt Disney Archives’ exhibition Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic has been extended through April 25, 2021 at the Bowers Museum! While the Bowers Museum is currently closed in accordance to state officials’ recent COVID-19 update, the Bowers Museum is hopeful it will be able to reopen soon and welcome visitors to experience the wonder of its featured and permanent exhibitions from around the globe.

The April extension of Inside the Walt Disney Archives marks the third and final extension for this magical exhibition. With robust health and safety precautions in place, guests will be invited to step into the Walt Disney Archives as they walk through a dazzling display of 465 objects, including 50 pieces of original artwork, 15 original screen-worn costumes, three cars, and other props that tell the story of The Walt Disney Company. Click here for more information.

The Walt Disney Archives Kicks Off a Yearlong 50th Anniversary Celebration

The Walt Disney Archives marks a major milestone next year and has just revealed plans for a yearlong 50th-anniversary celebration. The festivities kick off at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, where Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic opens to the public on March 7, 2020.

The traveling exhibit offers a rare look at some of the treasures from the archives, such as never-before-displayed production art from Fantasia, Walt Disney’s office set from Saving Mr. Banks, the original pitch portfolio used to secure investors for Disneyland, maquettes from animated films such as Peter Pan and Frozen, and much more. The 10,000-square-foot exhibit features more than 400 objects, including original artwork, costumes, and props that tell the story of the Archives, The Walt Disney Company, and Walt Disney himself. Guests will feel as if they’ve stepped into the Walt Disney Archives as they take in the dazzling display.

Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club were invited to enjoy an exclusive look at the exhibit before it opened to the general public during a special preview night where they chatted with Disney archivists while exploring the exhibit, which runs through August 30, 2020, before heading to other locations around the country. D23 Gold Members receive a discount on tickets to the exhibit, as well as a discount on merchandise in the museum store. Bowers Museum is one of Southern California’s finest museums, showcasing exquisite examples of art and culture from around the world since 1936.

The Walt Disney Archives was founded by Disney Legend Dave Smith in 1970, and since then has carefully safeguarded the most treasured items from The Walt Disney Company’s history, and is a vital resource for every part of Disney, as well as an important research center for Disney scholars, researchers, and writers.