D23 ArchivesD23 Archives News

D23 has just sent over some great news! Next year, 2020 will be a year to celebrate the Walt Disney Archives and its 50th anniversary. As you may know from my previous post “D23 and You (and Me!)” and our first Up the Waterfall podcast episode, the Walt Disney Archives are my favorite part of anything D23 related. This is the true reason we are Disney fans, and any and all info and treasures from the Archives are why we keep going back to D23 events and remaining members.

Destination D – Fantastic Worlds – Walt Disney World 2020

Along with some news about a traveling Archives exhibit, we also get some Destination D news, which will take place at Walt Disney World in the Fall of 2020. UPDATE: We now have an official date for Destination D – Fantastic Worlds in Walt Disney World – November 20-22, 2020! Destination D will honor Disney’s many magical places, from the extraordinary to the fantastical.The exhibit will include 50 iconic treasures, each representing a year that the Archives has been in existence. And Walt Disney Imagineering’s store, Mickey’s of Glendale, will once again open a pop-up shop featuring exclusive items, just for the weekend. Additional details, including special hotel rates and ticketing information, will be announced in late spring. I can’t wait to attend and peruse all of these bits of history. Keep reading below for the official press release from D23:

The Walt Disney Archives celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, and to kick off the festivities, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, Calif., will host Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic, offering a rare look at some of the treasures from the Archives. The 10,000-square-foot traveling exhibit opens to the public on March 7, 2020.

  • Plus, on June 22, the actual anniversary of the founding of the Archives, D23 will hold a special “birthday party” at the Bowers Museum. And next year, D23 will offer two exclusive D23 Behind-the-Scenes Experiences: A Day at the Studio Lot, for an exciting look behind the incredible work that goes on every day at the Walt Disney Archives.

Guests are invited to step into the Walt Disney Archives as they walk through a dazzling display of 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. Artifacts include 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.

Gold Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will be invited to enjoy an exclusive look at the exhibit before it opens to the general public during a special preview night where they can chat with Disney archivists while exploring the exhibit, which runs through August 30, 2020, before heading to other locations around the country (to be revealed in 2020). D23 Gold Members will also 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.

In addition to the exhibit, Disney fans will be able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Archives throughout 2020:

  • The Archives will partner with the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood for special El Cap Throwback screenings during the year.
  • WALT’S MARCELINE: Walt frequently cited this charming Missouri town, where he spent his early childhood, as one of his greatest influences. In fact, its lovely main thoroughfare was an inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. D23 Members will have a chance to explore the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, enjoy local treats, and mingle with special guests during this full-day event.
  • D23’s Behind the Scenes Experience: A Day at the Studio Lot events in 2020, held exclusively for Gold Members of D23, will offer a rare glimpse into how the Archives preserves the magic of The Walt Disney Company.
  • All Official Walt Disney Studios Tours in 2020, presented by D23, will include a special gift for guests themed to the 50th anniversary.

For nearly five decades, the Walt Disney Archives has carefully safeguarded the most treasured items from The Walt Disney Company’s history, including original scripts, movie props and costumes, Walt Disney’s correspondence and script notes, theme park artifacts, merchandise, millions of archival photographs, and many of Walt’s personal effects. Founded by Disney Legend Dave Smith in 1970, the Walt Disney Archives is a vital resource for every part of Disney, as well as an important research center for Disney scholars, researchers, and writers. The Archives also shares its countless pieces with Disney fans everywhere through its exhibitions and close association with D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

If you’re wondering what the D23 Member Gift for 2019 is, take a look at my Instagram Story unboxing of the gift, explaining all the reasons to join D23! 

Who else is going to attend Destination D or any of the other D23 Archives events next year? Let me know in the comments below! Thanks for reading!

D23 10 year Anniversary