Step inside the Walt Disney Family Museum to understand the man and innovator who created Mickey Mouse and Disney World and revolutionized the movie industry. Interweaving Disney’s personal history with early drawings Disney’s animated works, this museum takes visitors back in time to Hollywood’s earliest days.
It is impossible to understand today’s animated movies without looking at the groundbreaking work of Walt Disney Studios. The museum deconstructs Disney’s foundational efforts to create both appealing characters, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the processes that bring them to life. Interactive galleries with listening stations reveal important moments in Disney’s life, including producing feature-length films in Hollywood. The work of pivotal Disney animators, such as Glen Keane, and art directors, such as Mary Blair, is also discussed. Disney fans can explore Disney Fantasia in galleries dedicated to its portrayal of the natural world in a realistic way or take a look at Disney’s work on Disneyland and EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).
Tours of the area, such as adventure van or bike excursions, stop at the Disney Family Museum but don’t include admission.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fans of anime, cartoons, and 20th-century animation learn about the origins of this field of visual arts.
- Children can explore the various media that are Disney’s legacy. Disney’s characters are explored here through the creative process, not through feature-length films.
- Each gallery offers listening stations and the chance to view extensive video and digital film shorts created by Disney, which is half the fun but time-consuming.
- The on-site museum cafe offers light bites and seasonal fare.
How to Get There
San Francisco Muni bus lines 30, 70, and 101’s closest stops are Richardson and Francisco avenues at the Presidio’s eastern end. Visitors can take a 15-minute walk or wait for the PresidiGo shuttle, which stops directly in front of the museum as well as throughout downtown San Francisco.
When to Get There
The museum is open 10am–6pm, Wednesday–Monday and closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. In honor of Disney’s birthday, the museum offers free admission December 5, and all active and retired military veterans and their families are always admitted free of charge.
Diane Disney Miller
Diane Disney Miller, Walt's daughter and a dedicated philanthropist, was the driving force behind the creation of both the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Her legacy includes founding the Silverado Winery with her husband Ron Miller.